Soyuz 7K-L1/Zond

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tohaki

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You will often read that <b>Zond 7</b> was the only successful test flight of this programme, which I don't understand. Of the flights that circumnavigated the Moon I know that <b>Zond 5</b> pulled to many Gs on re-entry and that <b>Zond 6</b> depressurised shortly before, but what was wrong with <b>Zond 8</b>? It looks like a completely successful flight from what I have read.<br /><br />It seems that everything was progressing for <b>Zond 9</b> to be the first manned flight, but then the programme was cancelled, even if they were still working on the N1.
 
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JonClarke

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There are lots of things that are "common knowledge" about the Russian space program that are wrong. Zond is one of them. <br /><br />Zonds 5, 7 and 8 were both completely successful, Zonds 4 and 6 completed much of their mission although they ended badly. But the spacecraft was ready for crews with Zond 9. I don't know what the crewed flight would have been called. probably not Zond, and I suspect not Soyuz either.<br /><br />The only reason the Zonds were not flown with crew was the unreliability of the booster. It failed 6 tiumes out of 11. The launch escape system worked well each time, but it was too big a risk.<br /><br />Jon <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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tohaki

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>There are lots of things that are "common knowledge" about the Russian space program that are wrong. Zond is one of them.<br /><br />Zonds 5, 7 and 8 were both completely successful, Zonds 4 and 6 completed much of their mission although they ended badly.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />Really? The 20G re-entries of Zond 4 and 5 was not an issue?<br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>But the spacecraft was ready for crews with Zond 9. I don't know what the crewed flight would have been called. probably not Zond, and I suspect not Soyuz either.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />That is a good point. One would think that they had given it some thought, even if we don't know about it.<br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>The only reason the Zonds were not flown with crew was the unreliability of the booster. It failed 6 tiumes out of 11. The launch escape system worked well each time, but it was too big a risk.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />The booster certainly was unreliable, but given the excellent launch escape system and that the Soviets had taken chances before, I think it was probably more political. Not only had Apollo 8 flown, but also Apollo 11. It was a shame for the Cosmonauts though, as I'm sure they still wanted to go.<br /><br />By the way, which launches do you include to get that number? I assume that you are not counting the four early Proton 8K82 launches or the Proton 8K82K in general, but only the Proton 8K82K/11S824(/Soyuz 7K-L1) combination. I still don't get the same number as you though. Here is the launch list as I have been able to put it together from Encyclopedia Astronautica:<br /><br />10 March 1967 - Cosmos 146 - Soyuz 7K-L1P s/n 2P - Success - boilerplate<br />8 April 1967 - Cosmos 154 - Soyuz 7K-L1P s/n 3P - Failure - Block D failed to restart in LEO, boilerplate<br />27 September 1967 - N/A - Soyuz 7K-L1 s/n 4L - Failure - RD-253 failed in first stage
 
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JonClarke

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My understanding is was that there serious plans to fly Zond with a crew before Apolloo 8, but the booster reliability issue killed it. Like you said, the crew - supposedly Leonov and Makarov- were ready to fly, but politically it was seemed too risky. After Apollo 8 there was no point to a manned flight, but plenty of point to further testing.<br /><br />My numbers were from the Wikipedia site. The reasons for the differences are that it does not list the following launches you mention:<br /><br />10 March 1967 - Cosmos 146 <br />8 April 1967 - Cosmos 154 <br />21 July 1968 - N/A <br />2 December 1970 - Cosmos 382 <br /><br />For some reason they also include (and I did not pick this up 1st time round) two LK-1 launch attempts on the N1.<br /><br />Jon<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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tohaki

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>My understanding is was that there serious plans to fly Zond with a crew before Apolloo 8, but the booster reliability issue killed it. Like you said, the crew - supposedly Leonov and Makarov- were ready to fly, but politically it was seemed too risky. After Apollo 8 there was no point to a manned flight, but plenty of point to further testing.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />Yes, that sounds logical. I can't help feeling that it was a shame not to go through with it after all that work though.<br /><br />I found some images taken on Zond 5-8 on the Web. Some of them are really nice.<br /><br />http://www.mentallandscape.com/C_CatalogMoon.htm<br /><br />There is also a video of the Zond 5 launch on YouTube.<br /><br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Chgc3hMY1hU<br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>My numbers were from the Wikipedia site. The reasons for the differences are that it does not list the following launches you mention:<br /><br />10 March 1967 - Cosmos 146<br />8 April 1967 - Cosmos 154<br />21 July 1968 - N/A<br />2 December 1970 - Cosmos 382<br /><br />For some reason they also include (and I did not pick this up 1st time round) two LK-1 launch attempts on the N1.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />Ah, there is an explanation for everything. It looks like that Wikipedia article could do with some work. After I put together this list and posted it I discovered, as I shou, that there already was a more comprehensive list on Encyclopedia Astronautica.<br /><br />http://www.astronautix.com/graphics/l/l1ye8tab.gif<br /><br />Everything that is not specifically stated as an N1 launch is the Proton 8K82K/11S824. The only thing I can see that I would have added to it was that the spacecraft
 
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