(ORDO NEWS) — The USA won the race in the lunar program, leaving the USSR behind. After America survived the shock that the Russians launched their first satellite in the world, were the first to fly around and photograph the far side of the moon, launched the first man into space, the Americans had only one chance – landing on the moon.
This is where the problem started. The most surprising thing is that the Americans took the path that the USSR was most accustomed to. Were collected in one fist the whole color of science. Between corporations, as is usually the case, there was no war for orders.
We simply chose the most suitable options. But in the USSR, the L1 lunar project caused a real struggle between the design bureaus of Korolev and Chelomey.
An interesting fact is that the USSR already had a Proton launch vehicle. He allowed to make a manned flight around the moon. But according to the recollections of the participants of that time, S.P. Korolev said that the astronauts would not be put on a poisonous rocket.
Really. Proton uses heptyl as fuel. The oxidizing agent is nitric acid. Why in Kazakhstan there are many cases of poisoning of the local population, which used the first stages of the Protons for household needs.
Later, there was information that the Proton was not used due to the fact that at the start, there were very large overloads. Allegedly, the astronauts would not have survived them. To what extent this is so, only the designers themselves can answer.
Two cosmonauts were supposed to participate in our project. One remained in orbit, the second was supposed to descend to the surface of our satellite. The first person who was supposed to set foot on the moon was planned by A.A. Leonov. Yu.A. Gagarin was appointed understudy.
The H1 launch vehicle was designed to deliver the Soyuz spacecraft with a manned lunar module into lunar orbit. So what’s the reason?
Let’s start with the fact that space is a very expensive pleasure. Money was saved on everything. The problem with H1 lay in its first stage.
Four starts, four disasters. But the first thing that catches your eye is that a test bench was not built for testing the first stage. All first stage engines were tested separately on the ground. Thus, the reason for her refusal was never found out.
When it became known that the Americans were about to land on the moon, the crew of A.A. Leonov (according to his memoirs) asked to send them on this flight. But no such permission was obtained. And for good reason.
On February 21, 1969, six months before the launch of Apollo 11, H1 launched without a crew. But at 69 minutes into the flight, the rocket exploded.
The second H1 exploded on July 3, 1969 on the launch pad. The launch complex was almost completely destroyed. It became clear to everyone that we would not be the first on the moon. And so it happened.
These catastrophes were preceded by no less tragic events for the Soviet cosmonautics. From a rather ordinary operation, due to individual intolerance to anesthesia, Sergei Pavlovich Korolev dies. In rather. Yuri Alekseevich Gagarin dies.
The people who took the place of the Queen were talented designers. There can be no doubt about this. But Korolev had a brilliant talent for organizing, a talent for persuasion. His sharpness was legendary. Although he never punished anyone undeservedly.
And most importantly, he was a member of the Kremlin. He could argue with anyone, regardless of rank and position. After all, the first satellite would not have flown so soon if it did not fit into a military project. And it was not just a satellite. Radio beacon, for guidance of ballistic missiles.
With the moon, Korolev became interested in the fact that the construction of a lunar base would allow the whole world to be held at gunpoint with impunity. The military then seized on such a fantastic project. Korolev prudently kept silent about the fact that its cost is such that it will simply ruin the country. The queen needed a flight. And the military bought.
The need for H1 was due not only to the flight to the moon. This rocket made it possible to launch stations weighing more than a hundred tons into orbit. The Zvezda station was not conceived for peaceful purposes. Korolev was simply brilliant at using the needs of the military, their desires, for his far-reaching goals.
He knew how, where by cunning, and where by his strong character to knock out funds for his projects. His death derailed a lot. And Gagarin’s death finished the job. It must be admitted that there are no people left whose opinion was undoubtedly listened to in the government of the USSR.
The opinion of the Chief Designer and the first cosmonaut of the planet was like an axiom for many. All doors in the Kremlin opened before them. Their opinion could not be simply kicked off. The people are very significant.
It is quite possible to say that with their death, the rapid development of astronautics practically ended. Yes! There were successes. But few people know that Korolev did not aim at the Moon. His destination is Mars. And the lunar project was an intermediate link.
After the change in leadership at the Design Bureau Queen, everything flowed like in stagnant times. The new management did not receive money for the test bench. After the restoration of the launch complex, two more launches of H1 were made.
Another two disasters. Another failure of the first stage. The Americans were already walking on the moon with might and main. In general, the project was quietly closed. They forgot about Mars. There was an attempt to revive the project when Russia successfully tested the Energia launch vehicle.
MS Gorbachev in 1987 even suggested a joint flight in 2001 to Mars with the Americans. But we are unlikely to fly to Mars in the next 40 years. There is no USSR. In space, the undisputed leaders of the United States. They no longer have anyone to compete with.
Therefore, it makes no sense to spend hundreds of billions on a flight. The moon was a matter of prestige, raising the American spirit, which was greatly battered by the successes of the USSR. Now that incentive is gone. Eventually, like a tombstone, the roof of the assembly and test building at Baikonur collapsed.
She buried the only instance of the Energia launch vehicle. This put an end to Russia’s grandiose plans. Now even popular science films say that the most powerful launch vehicle is Saturn and the Ariane-6 under construction.
But our Energia, its modifications were supposed to launch objects weighing up to 230 tons. Saturn 5 is not capable of this. It was already built to the limit of its capabilities. And Ariane-6? its modifications were supposed to display objects weighing up to 230 tons.
Saturn 5 is not capable of this. It was already built to the limit of its capabilities. And Ariane-6? its modifications were supposed to display objects weighing up to 230 tons. Saturn 5 is not capable of this. It was already built to the limit of its capabilities. And Ariane-6?
Found something to surprise the Russians. For Russian designers, longingly recalling the old days, such a launch vehicle is a stage long gone.
From all of the above, it should be noted that the curtailment of the lunar program, the change of leadership in astronautics, became the beginning of the decline of Russia’s leadership in space.
We forgot the words of our powers that be, spoken by Tsiolkovsky. “Whoever conquers space will rule the world.”
We, as always, did not heed this prophecy. But China is very well aware of this. His space program is so fantastic that many do not believe that China will carry it out. And in vain they do not believe. After all, remember the early nineties. Then there was an article that China was going to start manned flights into space. Everyone took it as a joke.
There was even a joke. “A Chinese spaceship has crashed. Two astronauts and forty-four stokers died.” Therefore, China’s project to land on the moon and build a permanent base in 2021 no longer looks so fantastic.
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