Author Topic: Soviet Moon Landing Project  (Read 30045 times)

Offline Downix

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Re: Soviet Moon Landing Project
« Reply #20 on: 11/08/2009 01:41 pm »
The Soviet Union could not beat the US to the moon because of the way the Soviet system works.
Yes, the Soviet system enabled competition between the two major houses, rather than a central agency forcing natural competitors to instead cooperate.

The irony in the soviet system being more capitalistic.
chuck - Toilet paper has no real value? Try living with 5 other adults for 6 months in a can with no toilet paper. Man oh man. Toilet paper would be worth it's weight in gold!

Offline William Barton

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Re: Soviet Moon Landing Project
« Reply #21 on: 11/08/2009 02:36 pm »
The Soviet Union could not beat the US to the moon because of the way the Soviet system works.
Yes, the Soviet system enabled competition between the two major houses, rather than a central agency forcing natural competitors to instead cooperate.

The irony in the soviet system being more capitalistic.

I have called the whole Korolev/Glushko/Chelomei thing "office politics." And I've seen some very large US corporations all but paralyzed by it.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Soviet Moon Landing Project
« Reply #22 on: 11/08/2009 09:44 pm »
I have called the whole Korolev/Glushko/Chelomei thing "office politics." And I've seen some very large US corporations all but paralyzed by it.

Go back and reread the earlier post about the prison camps.

It's a little hard to pass this stuff off as "ego" or "office politics" when people were imprisoned and nearly killed because of the actions of others.  Those kinds of things are a little hard for people to forgive.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Soviet Moon Landing Project
« Reply #23 on: 11/08/2009 09:50 pm »
Yes, the Soviet system enabled competition between the two major houses, rather than a central agency forcing natural competitors to instead cooperate.

The irony in the soviet system being more capitalistic.

This is really a misreading of the entire political system.

One of the problems with authoritarian regimes is that the winners in struggles never have any legitimacy.  As a result, the losers are constantly fighting to oppose the winners.  Don't like the fact that you lost the contract?  Keep fighting and wait for a new premier, and then maybe you will come out on top too.  There are a number of examples of this in the Soviet system.

That doesn't happen (as much) in the American capitalist system.  The companies that lost the contracts for the Apollo capsule, the lunar module, and the Saturn V did not keep fighting the decisions.  They acceded defeat and moved on.*

There was a great short article in Air & Space magazine several years ago written by a guy who was involved in a losing bid for the S-II stage for the Saturn V.  He wrote about how they had to construct the stage inland and then move it out to the sea.  So in their bid proposal, they did a massive route survey, figuring out all of the telephone lines that would have to be removed, bridges bypassed, and so on, in order to get their stage to the water.  When they lost, they saw how North American proposed to do it:  build it near the water.  He acknowledged that this was a better idea, and it was why NAA won the contract.



*(Yes, a footnote)  This has changed in recent years in the US with companies protesting losing bids and seeking to have them reversed.  The USAF tanker decision is the best example, but there are quite a few others.

Offline Nickolai

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Re: Soviet Moon Landing Project
« Reply #24 on: 11/09/2009 03:14 am »
It really doesn't seem prudent to turn this into a thread about communism vs. capitalism, democracy vs. authoritarianism, etc.

FWIW, from my point of view, the USSR clearly had the technical capability to go to the moon, but lacked, as other have noted the political will (alright, so they may have chosen not to develop LOX/LH2 tech like America, but in general they were capable). It's not very different from America at the beginning of the decade, when the technical capability to send humans to orbit was there, but simply not enough political impetus to get it done faster.

Trying to get back on topic, I know that the LOR after the lunar landing was to be done by hand. They arranged a number of hexagonal ports on the top of the lunar lander ascent stage so the pilot of the orbiting ship would have a higher tolerance to deal with when docking. Anatoly Zak published a lot of info about the Soviet LK on his site this past summer, it's worth taking a look at: http://www.russianspaceweb.com/lk.html

Offline CarlosMeat

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Re: Soviet Moon Landing Project
« Reply #25 on: 11/09/2009 11:46 am »
http://kuasar.narod.ru/history/ussr-moon-program/lk.htm (in Russian)

Initial weight of LK was 2.2t (and had 2 people). It had to be increased to 5.5t (with only 1 pilot).
Weight reduction problem - for every 1kg that could be saved there were money given (60 roubles)
4-beam radar system was tested on E-8 automatic lunar lander series.
There was automatic landing planned (for unmanned configurations of the lander)
Control system: based on military rockets navigation systems. Control of all 4 major steps - approach, landing, launch from lunar surface, docking on LLO. Main input sources - radar and gyroscopes. All calculations were performed in 3 separate independent streams (to reduce chances of any errors). Speed - 20,000 operations/sec.


Wow ,thanks !  That is what I was looking for. So there had been tests of both computers and navigation systems that were close to Apollo at least.
« Last Edit: 11/09/2009 11:47 am by CarlosMeat »

Offline William Barton

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Re: Soviet Moon Landing Project
« Reply #26 on: 11/09/2009 12:05 pm »
I have called the whole Korolev/Glushko/Chelomei thing "office politics." And I've seen some very large US corporations all but paralyzed by it.

Go back and reread the earlier post about the prison camps.

It's a little hard to pass this stuff off as "ego" or "office politics" when people were imprisoned and nearly killed because of the actions of others.  Those kinds of things are a little hard for people to forgive.

The quotes around "office politics" do carry some content. In any case, however bitter Korolev may have felt about his time as a Zek, it didn't stop him from doing his job later. But, perhaps ironically, it surely contributed to his early death, which in turn surely contributed to the failure of the Soviet lunar program. Unintended consequences.

PS: You might do better not trying to read so much ignorance into some commentary. History is much more open to interpretation than, for example, aerospace enginneering. You can disagree with someone without asserting they haven't read a certain post, using their failure to mention each and every detail of each and every previous post, refuting each assertion as they do so. It isn't worth the time and effort, and it always makes one miss the point. YMMV, of course.

Offline carmelo

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Re: Soviet Moon Landing Project
« Reply #27 on: 11/09/2009 03:11 pm »
If the Soviets had successful in their subsequent attempts with N1,and had a manned landing in 1970 or 1971,this would affect the American programs about the moon?

Offline kch

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Re: Soviet Moon Landing Project
« Reply #28 on: 11/09/2009 03:18 pm »
If the Soviets had successful in their subsequent attempts with N1,and had a manned landing in 1970 or 1971,this would affect the American programs about the moon?


I would think so.

Offline Archibald

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Re: Soviet Moon Landing Project
« Reply #29 on: 11/09/2009 03:43 pm »
Sure. this would fuel up competition, and competition with the soviets was Apollo best chance to stay alive.

The soviets had some interesting lunar lander projects in the jigs - L3M and LEK.
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: Soviet Moon Landing Project
« Reply #30 on: 11/09/2009 03:45 pm »
PS: You might do better not trying to read so much ignorance into some commentary.

I was not assuming ignorance.  I was disagreeing with the characterization of extreme events as somehow petty (i.e. "ego" or "office politics").  There was nothing petty about their attitudes.

Offline William Barton

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Re: Soviet Moon Landing Project
« Reply #31 on: 11/09/2009 04:02 pm »
PS: You might do better not trying to read so much ignorance into some commentary.

I was not assuming ignorance.  I was disagreeing with the characterization of extreme events as somehow petty (i.e. "ego" or "office politics").  There was nothing petty about their attitudes.

Okay. I would say "petty" is a mischaracterization of what I was saying, but I can see the interpretation. I wasn't dismissing what happened in the Soviet Union with the comparison, so much as scaling it. People do die even from genuinely petty office politics (Sumitomo being a particular good example), but that's not the most usual result. What happens inside US corporations is limited by the existence of higher authorities, not by some natural limitation on the personalities involved, or the actual nature of the larger economic systems.

Offline Danny Dot

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Re: Soviet Moon Landing Project
« Reply #32 on: 11/23/2009 01:36 pm »
On guidance, navigation, and control for a lunar rendezvous, I read some Apollo man in the loop tests that showed a good lunar ascent and rendezvous can be done by looking out the window for attitude and having a radar altimeter.  The minimum amount of equipment on the ascent vehicle is very, very small. 

Of course when I announced this fact in a room full of NASA engineers at the start of Exploration to simplify the design of the lander, I was laughed off the stage for being so stupid.  Nobody wanted to even hear the reference that the data was generated at Johnson Space Center in 1963 using Apollo astronauts to fly a high fidelity simulation.  I am sure NASA ended up sticking a bunch of IMUs and computers in the lander rather than use the simple hand flown backup.

Danny Deger
Danny Deger

Offline William Barton

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Re: Soviet Moon Landing Project
« Reply #33 on: 11/23/2009 02:05 pm »
On guidance, navigation, and control for a lunar rendezvous, I read some Apollo man in the loop tests that showed a good lunar ascent and rendezvous can be done by looking out the window for attitude and having a radar altimeter.  The minimum amount of equipment on the ascent vehicle is very, very small. 

Of course when I announced this fact in a room full of NASA engineers at the start of Exploration to simplify the design of the lander, I was laughed off the stage for being so stupid.  Nobody wanted to even hear the reference that the data was generated at Johnson Space Center in 1963 using Apollo astronauts to fly a high fidelity simulation.  I am sure NASA ended up sticking a bunch of IMUs and computers in the lander rather than use the simple hand flown backup.

Danny Deger

Why would any engineer, know that a numerous pilots could fly non-computerized, manually 3-axis controlled helicopters over poorly mapped hostile territory in the early 1950s (Korea, for example) assume that a comparably skilled pilot couldn't fly a lunar lander down from low lunar orbit to the ground without difficulty? As far as I can tell, you could even have the same control inputs as a helicopter. The collective pitch control of a helicopter doesn't throttle the engine, but it accomplishes the same goal (increasing/decreasing thrust). What would you need, besides throttle, stick, rudder, and radar (for altitude and ground track velocity)? Some systems gauges and a flight engineer to watch them? And for ascent, what is really different? Pilots make rendezvous with moving targets all the time (aerial tankers, carriers at sea, etc., and an orbiting command module is moving on a pretty predictable path. Didn't Aldrin do his Gemini/Agena rendezvous calculations with a slide rule?
« Last Edit: 11/23/2009 02:08 pm by William Barton »

Offline spaceman3

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Re: Soviet Moon Landing Project
« Reply #34 on: 11/25/2009 04:01 am »

But this is not what happened.  Ego's conflicted...

It was rather more than ego.

In 1938 Glushko 'Denounced' Korolev, leading to his torture and assignment to a labour camp (a Gold Mine) where he suffered permanent damage to his health (including the loss of all his teeth).

He was retrieved from there rapidly, re-tried and assigned to a 'sharashka' - a prison where scientists did work for the state. He initially went to Tuplov but moved in 1942 to work in a prison with our old friend Glushko, who had by this time been denounced himself. Glushko was Korolevs boss.

Everybody in Korolevs pre-war group was denounced. Korolev was the only one that didn't end up being shot and he was in constant fear of the same fate during his time in prison.

Glushko was one of the principle instigators of his torture, Labour Camp time and Prison time and was then his boss in prison with the possibility that any criticism of his work would have led to Korolevs death.

So, rather more than a clash of egos.

Rick

Without distracting the thread from a discussion of Soviet manned lunar hardware, I just wanted to clarify a couple of points:

-- Glushko never denounced Korolev. When Korolev was arrested and tortured, he was *told* that Glushko denounced him. Hence in a number of letters Korolev wrote from prison, he names Glushko (and others) as the folks who denounced him. He didn't know the truth until later.

-- Glushko was NOT "one of the principle [sic] instigators of his torture" etc. Glushko had nothing to do with what happened to Korolev in prison. Korolev did have a professional rival in the 1930s (a man named Andrei Kostikov) who was much more guilty of that charge.

-- "Everybody in Korolevs pre-war group was denounced. Korolev was the only one that didn't end up being shot and he was in constant fear of the same fate during his time in prison."

Also, not true. As far as historians can tell, seven people from Korolev's institute were arrested in the late 1930s (of several hundred who worked there). Of those, two were shot, and the other five ended up various camps but survived.

-- Korolev and Glushko had a very cordial relationship through the 1950s. Glushko, in fact, gave a famous lecture in 1958 calling Korolev the greatest rocket scientist the Soviet Union had produced after Tsiolkovsky. Their relationship went totally sour only in the 1960s with the arguments having to do with the development of the R-9 ICBM and eventually the N1 superbooster.

Needless to say, this is not to take away from the horrors of Stalinism, but merely to point out that there are a lot of myths about Korolev's arrest that need to be dispelled.

Offline lucspace

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Re: Soviet Moon Landing Project
« Reply #35 on: 05/06/2019 04:58 pm »
I came across an interesting photo online today; it shows a LOK trainer! Was not aware this was used at the time.
Image date is given as 1978, which is a bit mysterious as the Soviet lunar landing effort had been cancelled years earlier...

Source: https://ology.sh/conceive/fiziologiia-kosmosa/
« Last Edit: 05/06/2019 05:00 pm by lucspace »

Offline Zero-G

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Re: Soviet Moon Landing Project
« Reply #36 on: 05/07/2019 03:29 am »
I came across an interesting photo online today; it shows a LOK trainer! Was not aware this was used at the time.
Image date is given as 1978, which is a bit mysterious as the Soviet lunar landing effort had been cancelled years earlier...

Source: https://ology.sh/conceive/fiziologiia-kosmosa/
To me it looks like a Soyuz trainer. How can you see it's a LOK trainer, not a regular Soyuz trainer?
"I still don't understand who I am: the first human or the last dog in space." - Yuri Gagarin

Offline tonya

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Re: Soviet Moon Landing Project
« Reply #37 on: 05/07/2019 04:58 am »
I came across an interesting photo online today; it shows a LOK trainer! Was not aware this was used at the time.
Image date is given as 1978, which is a bit mysterious as the Soviet lunar landing effort had been cancelled years earlier...

Source: https://ology.sh/conceive/fiziologiia-kosmosa/
To me it looks like a Soyuz trainer. How can you see it's a LOK trainer, not a regular Soyuz trainer?
The dome on the habitation module at the top left is a cupola window for use while docking with the LK. The design is unique to the LOK, you can see some more pictures of it at Astronautix, including from the inside.
http://www.astronautix.com/s/soyuz7k-lok.html

Offline geza

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Re: Soviet Moon Landing Project
« Reply #38 on: 05/07/2019 05:56 am »
I came across an interesting photo online today; it shows a LOK trainer! Was not aware this was used at the time.
Image date is given as 1978, which is a bit mysterious as the Soviet lunar landing effort had been cancelled years earlier...

Source: https://ology.sh/conceive/fiziologiia-kosmosa/

It is quite possible, that just there was no reason to throw away the LOK simulator. Given the similarity of the LOK and the Soyuz, I can even imagine that the LOK simulator remained in use for introductory training, when the details of instrumentation was not that important. Or, they was just proud on their own Lunar effort and showed the LOK simulator to important guests. (The less important members of the public were not supposed to know about the failed project.)

Offline archipeppe68

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Re: Soviet Moon Landing Project
« Reply #39 on: 05/07/2019 07:40 am »
It is definitely an LOK trainer, and this is a first time I see such hardware.
There are several photos of the LK tranier but, until now, no LOK trainer at all.

The 7K-LOK was a specific derived version of the original Soyuz 7K-OK, optimized for lunar orbital operations.
It was different in several ways:

1) The Orbital Module has the same dimensions of the nominal Soyuz but with different docking system, bulbous portholes, and the access/EVA port placed on top rather on bottom.
2) The Reentry Module has place for 2 crew members (rather 3 as in the nominal Soyuz) with no backup parachute, and so only one hatch for it (rather 2 as in the nominal Soyuz)
3) The Service module was completely different the one used in the nominal Soyuz version replaced by the Block-I.

The photo shows clearly the Orbital and Reentry module of a LOK.
You can also check it with my artwork (currently available on my "Spacecraft" book).

 

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