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Why Russia Did Not Put a Man on the Moon – The Secret Soviet Moon Rocket (Video)

Thursday, October 20, 2016 4:35
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It’s probably the most well known peacetime battle between the USA and the Soviet Union, in both technological and ideological terms of the 20th century.

Although the USA won the race to the moon, if you’d been a betting person from the mid 1950’s to 1960’s, the chances are that you would have thought the Soviet Union had a very good chance of getting there first.


So why didn’t Russia put a man on the moon?

At the time the soviets were leading the space race, they had already started with the launch of Sputnik, then launched several probes to the moon, including one in 1959 that orbited and taken photos of the far side and By 1961 they were the first to put a man in to space.

So when Kennedy made his now famous “We choose to go to the moon” speech in 1962 to rally public support, Khrushchev’s response was silence, neither confirming nor denying that they had a plan for a manned moon mission.

But at the time Khrushchev wasn’t really interested in competing with the US over the moon, he was more interested ICBM’s the Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles for the strategic rocket forces.

But there were others that had harbored plans for manned mission for a long time, these included the man whose name was a state secret and the most powerful man outside the Kremlin when it came to space.

He was Sergei Pavlovich Korolev, outside the inner circle of the top space scientists he was known only as the “Chief Designer” or by his first 2 initials SP, because the Soviet leadership feared that the western powers would send agents to assassinate him.

Korolev was the man who was behind many of the soviet space successes and the head of the OKB-1 design bureau, he over saw sputnik, and the manned missions including the first man in space Yuri Gagarin. His authority extended over almost everything to do with space, his design group worked on missions to mars and venus, communications, spy and weather satellites, ICBM’s and the soviet manned moon missions.

Korolev had a huge amount of control over the space program. In administrative power he was almost a one man version of NASA covering areas that in the US were done across multiple aerospace companies and flight centers.

But even a man with his power and connections didn’t get everything his own way. He had to continuously fight against rival designers and design groups. Although Korolev wanted the moon missions, in 1960 the job was given to his rival, Vladimir Chelomei because of his patronage by Khrushchev but his lack of experience meant that progress was slow.

The progress of Apollo on the other hand worried the chief designers and as a result of this and the in-fighting between the design bureau’s meant that there were multiple overlapping designs for the moon missions, at one point there were 30 different designs for launchers and spacecraft.

In 1964 and with the fall of Khrushchev, Korolev was given complete control over the moon missions and pushed through his designs ahead of Chelomei’s and the decision to finally compete for the moon was given, with the aim to land in 1967 the 50th anniversary of the October revolution and get there before the Americans.

This created a problem for Korolev, in order to lift the payload weight of 95 tons he needed a very large rocket. This new rocket would be called the N1, be as big as the American Saturn 5 and would require large powerful engines, similar to the F1 rockets in the Saturn.

Valentin Glushko was the leading Soviet rocket designer and head of the OKB 456 bureau, which had a near monopoly when its came rocket design & production. He specialized in making engines that used hypergolic propellants.

These consist of a fuel and an oxidizer, that when mixed together spontaneously ignite when they come into contact with each other. Korolev thought these were too dangerous for manned missions due to the highly toxic and corrosive nature of the chemicals that made up the fuel.

Glushko said that it was not possible to create a new large engine design that used cryogenic fuel of liquid oxygen and Kerosene and get it ready in time with limited resources and cash. He also sited that at the time the Americans had been working on cryogenic Saturn engines for 5 years and still hadn’t got them to work reliably…….



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Total 7 comments
  • Anonymous

    BS. They had to know the US faked the moon landing. Since both were running a scam, they decided to cut their fakery costs and collaborate on the space station scam. This came at a time when animosity was at least as high as it is right now. It’s like Professional Wrestling and it just doesn’t fool everybody anymore.

    • Mongoose

      this is true.

    • caribbean critic

      It’s called the (Compton Inverse Scatter Effect) This is described as i,e, the solar wind / particles impacting the capsule shell being converted to lower energy particles which give off high energy X-rays flooding the cabin. This would cook any living tissue within the capsule. Without a locally generated magnetosphere round the capsule traveling to the moon with men or women inside is impossible.

  • Nanar

    I will cite a russian test pilot:
    “of course I go drunk in the plane, would I not be drunk, I would set foot in it” :lol:

    or this story (but I don’t know if it true)
    Nasa spent 5mios dollars inventing a pen able to write in space. Russians used a pencil”

    What is almost sure is that Gagarin was not the first Russian man in space, however, he was the first one to come back alive !

    • Eggzactly

      Paper Mate was the pen. I am old enough to remember that. :wink:

  • Godzilla

    If there are aliens on the moon, would they allow space-craft to land on it? According to some people, the moon has 2/3 the gravity of earth and is just as hollow as earth is. Does all this sound strange to you? And as others say you would need a magnetosphere to bounce off solar radiation or you would get cooked inside the capsule. Assuming they could intercept the moon by space-craft how would they disembark from the capsule into the landing module, and how easy would it be to land the module soft enough to not destroy the module and kill the crew? Then do everything in reverse to come back to earth. So much can go wrong.

    I am not saying we never went to the moon, but I do have serious doubts. Its more likely we sent unmanned probes and took pictures from moon orbit. Yes we sent people into space(earth orbit), but sending them to the moon is a whole other ball game.

    And if we went for three years, then the aliens kicked us off? Why wouldn’t they kick us off from the beginning if we went and they were hostile? None of this really makes any sense.

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