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Soviet Lunar Expeditionary Complex

Triton

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Can anyone recommend a good English source for information concerning Valentin Glusko's Lunar Expeditionary Complex beyond the Russian Space Web site and Astronautix, either books or websites? Does anyone have concept art they would be willing to share? I have been on the Buran web site.

It's my understanding that Glushko designed the Lunar Expeditionary Complex for a possible Soviet lunar base? Part of the project's development included the Vulkan rocket with eight Zenit boosters that evolved into Energia that was later used for Buran. There was the LEK (Lunniy ekspeditionniy korabl' ) lander, Lunokhod manned lunar crawler, Laboratory Factory Module, and Laboratory Living Module.
 

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nickd

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It is very hard to find information about Glushko's proposal for Lunar program even on Russian.
To make renders, You saw in the post above, i've used mainly paper model from here: http://www.cardmodels-r.narod.ru/html/LEK.htm

Later, i've asked about Glusko's Lunar program in "Novosti Kosmonavtiki" forum.
Here is the thread (on russian, but there are some nice pics and schemas)
http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=9189&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0
There was many answers and corrections, so it appears I must remake the LEK model.
I can share the info I received from this tread, if You interested.
I will try also update the information on my site next week.

Best Regards,
Nick
 

Triton

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nickd said:
It is very hard to find information about Glushko's proposal for Lunar program even on Russian.
To make renders, You saw in the post above, i've used mainly paper model from here: http://www.cardmodels-r.narod.ru/html/LEK.htm

Later, i've asked about Glusko's Lunar program in "Novosti Kosmonavtiki" forum.
Here is the thread (on russian, but there are some nice pics and schemas)
http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=9189&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0
There was many answers and corrections, so it appears I must remake the LEK model.
I can share the info I received from this tread, if You interested.
I will try also update the information on my site next week.

Best Regards,
Nick
Yes, I would be very interested in this information. ;D Thank you very much NickD for sharing your models and this information.
;D
 

nickd

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The main thing we argued in "Novosti kosmonavtiki" topic, was about thermal blankets of the LEK, LZhM and LZM. This is summary of the topic:

Thermal blanket must be white coloured, textile type (like on "Lunokhod"). The large "barrel" on the side is actually airlock, accessed via small tunnel in its upper inner side. It stays on the landing stage, when ascent stage starts from Moon. In the opposite side of the living compartment (where is main hatch on my model) must be positioned emergency hatch with manually retractable and removable ladder (can be attached to each of the landing legs)
In the scheme above, You can see landing gear operation. When legs touched surface, touchdown rockets are fired, to ensure good surfase contact. The touchdown rockets can be seen on my LZhM model, but still not prezent on the LEK model. The touchdown rockets nozzles are turned 15 degrees out, to be sure exhaust will not affect landing stage.

The LEK, LZhM and LZM launched to Moon using Vulkan launcher. The third stage of the Vulkan (Block "V" - named "Vezuviy" (Vesuvius))is used to deliver them to Lunar trajectory. Each of the craft uses direct ascent flight schema, without taking to lunar orbit. LEK spacecraft uses as lunar descent stage its own landing stage ("PS" stage). LZhM and LZM has not enough "own" fuel - for killing the speed they use "Block R" (now called "KVRB") stage as lunar crasher stage. At 3 km altitude KVRB separates, and the last 150 m/s are killed by LZhM/LZM itself (they have "own" fuel for delta V = 150 m/s plus 100 second of hovering).

I can share models now, if you want (.an8 or .3DS), but they are still not fully ready. The LZhM model is somehow at good readiness, but LEK model needs major redesigning - it is not fully correct, so dont consider it realistic for now.

Another interesting detail: The power system of the LZhM and LZM are not solar-electric (with solar arrays), but solar-thermal. Large arrays on the top of the LZhM are not solar arrays, they actually are radiators, dark coloured to accumulate heat and boil the thermal agent (unknown type, may be water?) and propell the turbogenerator.

LZhM model:



LEK model:


 

Michel Van

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Fantasic Information
its sad the Sovjet union had no chance to start the Project.

i have question to the Vulkan Block V 'lunar crasher' rocket stage.
it use LOX/Lh2 or N2O4/UDMH ?
 

nickd

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Block V uses LOX/LH2 fuel.
According to memoirs of Boris Ivanovich Gubanov
(on russian again, sorry! http://www.buran.ru/htm/42-3.htm) Block V must use RO-95 engine with 10 mT thrust, ISP = 475
Development was planned for 1991-1992.

This is a render of the block V by Yuri Kulchitsky. He will make Vulkan Launcher for Orbiter.


Some renders of his Vulkan:


A link about Vulkan:
http://www.buran.ru/htm/vulkan.htm
This is translation of the data present there:

Launch weight: 3810 mT
Payload (LEO 170x230 km, i=50.7 deg): 170 mT
Payload (GSO): 28 mT
Engines:
----------------------------------
1st stage: 11D521 thrust-no data
----------------------------------
2nd stage: 11D122 thrust 8x740=5920 mTf (kgf x 1000)
thrust in vacuum 309/336 mTf
specific thrust impulse -
sec/kg - 4x190=760
----------------------------------
3rd stage (block V): 11D57M thrust 351/452 mTf
specific thrust impulse 42 kgs
sec/kg - 460

Yet another russian Vulkan link (nice pics):
http://www.buran.ru/htm/38-3.htm#vulkan
 

flateric

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nickd, cool stuff! thanks
 

Michel Van

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nickd said:
Block V uses LOX/LH2 fuel.
According to memoirs of Boris Ivanovich Gubanov
(on russian again, sorry! http://www.buran.ru/htm/42-3.htm) Block V must use RO-95 engine with 10 mT thrust, ISP = 475
Development was planned for 1991-1992.
thanks for Info nickd

that works
its only 2-3 day to Lunarorbit
with stage in shadow with Payload towards Sun
there not much boil-off from tanks
 

OM

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its only 2-3 day to Lunarorbit
with stage in shadow with Payload towards Sun
there not much boil-off from tanks
...Which only works if the payload isn't that sensitive to the heating and/or is properly insulated. I suspect boil-off would have been factored into the fuel loads, and a BBQ roll would have been implemented during such a mission anyway.
 

nickd

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LEK used solar arrays, only LZhM and LZM used solar-thermal generators. But on Your picture is not LEK, but later project. Solar arrays on picture, are attached to LOK orbiter, docked with LK lander.

The LEK is single spacecraft, launched by single launch of Vulkan LV, and capable of reaching Moon and return crew back to Earth without docking with other spacecraft.
LEK had a reentry capsule INSIDE its crew compartment (like on L3M-1972 project, actually LEK was further development of this craft).
You can see reentry vehicle left of the cosmonaut's head in this picture:


When Vulkan LV was rejected by government, the LEK project was cancelled due to inavalability of launcher, capable of delivering this spacecraft to Moon. Glushko proposed a new, less ambitious lunar project - LOK + LK Energia


The expedition used two launch scheme. Launch vehicle was Energia.(It was rumoured, Energia version with top, not side payload attachment. Another rumour, this version was called "Uran" - for both, I cant found sure information)

First launch is unmanned - to deliver LK lander to lunar orbit. Second launch is with crew of 5, onboard the LOK - Lunar Orbital Craft.
On lunar orbit, both spacecraft rendezvous and docking, and 3 crew descent to moon surface for a week. After ascent, LK docked again to LOK and crew returns to earth using LOK. Inside the LOK You can see reentry capsule.
 

Triton

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nickd said:
LEK used solar arrays, only LZhM and LZM used solar-thermal generators. But on Your picture is not LEK, but later project. Solar arrays on picture, are attached to LOK orbiter, docked with LK lander.

The LEK is single spacecraft, launched by single launch of Vulkan LV, and capable of reaching Moon and return crew back to Earth without docking with other spacecraft.
LEK had a reentry capsule INSIDE its crew compartment (like on L3M-1972 project, actually LEK was further development of this craft).
You can see reentry vehicle left of the cosmonaut's head in this picture:


When Vulkan LV was rejected by government, the LEK project was cancelled due to inavalability of launcher, capable of delivering this spacecraft to Moon. Glushko proposed a new, less ambitious lunar project - LOK + LK Energia


The expedition used two launch scheme. Launch vehicle was Energia.(It was rumoured, Energia version with top, not side payload attachment. Another rumour, this version was called "Uran" - for both, I cant found sure information)

First launch is unmanned - to deliver LK lander to lunar orbit. Second launch is with crew of 5, onboard the LOK - Lunar Orbital Craft.
On lunar orbit, both spacecraft rendezvous and docking, and 3 crew descent to moon surface for a week. After ascent, LK docked again to LOK and crew returns to earth using LOK. Inside the LOK You can see reentry capsule.
Fascinating information NickD. Thank you for sharing it. ;D Please continue to share this fascinating information. ;D It's very difficult to find information in English about Zvezda. Brian Harvey in his book Soviet and Russian Lunar Exploration devotes little more than a page to Zvezda and what he calls the theoretical Vulkan rocket. Would the Vulkan LV have had 8 strap-on Zenit boosters?

I was previously unaware of Glushko's LK lander and LOK - Lunar Orbital Craft using Energia as a launcher. It is also easy to get confused because there are only snippets of information available in English.
 

nickd

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Yes, it is true, about the boosters. They are slightly modified "Energia" boosters, without recovery system. "Energia" boosters derived directly from "Zenit".

I will try to translate the most correct in my opinion information about "Vulkan" LV.
It is from book "Triumph and a tragedy of the "Energia"" from Boris Ivanovich Gubanov.
Please excuse me if i make some inaccuracies in translation!

Technical project of the "Vulkan" LV was developed according 5-year research and development plan,
purchased by the government in July 1981, and technical assignment by General Bureau in july 1982.

"Vulkan" launch vehicle is a part of the unified family of LV's including "Zenit", RLA-125, "Energia"-"Buran-T" which uses the same main engines and standard rocket blocks with their main systems. "Vulkan" includes: 8 first stage rocket blocks - "Block A", developed from first stage "Block A" of "Energia" LV. 1 rocket block "Block C", similar to central block of the "Energia", 1 launch-docking block - "Block Ya" and Space Payload Block in different variants, depending of the configuration.

Launch mass of the "Vulkan" LV is 4747 mT. Payload to LEO 200 km with inclination 50.7 deg is 200 mT, with inclination 97 deg - 172 mT, to GSO using "Vezuviy" space tug - 36 mT, to lunar orbit - 43 mT, to Mars transfer trajectory - 52 mT.

Blocks "A" are linked in couples in four parablocks. Blocks "A" of the "Vulkan" LV do not have recovery systems, like blocks "A" of the "Energia". The volume of the fuel tanks of the "Vulkan" blocks "A" is inreased, by stretching them with 7 meter cylinder extension.

When "Vulkan" is on the launch pad, blocks "A" are connected to block "Ya" by two support platforms, unlike blocks "A" of the "Energia", which are connected by four points. This causes need of redesigning the tail construction of the blocks "A".
All blocks "A" are divided to two identical groups - left and right blocks in each parablock. The differences of the groups included position of separation systems and connection struts for block "C" connection.
Launch mass of block "A" is 449.2 mT, construction mass - 57.3 mT, fuel foad - 386 mT, including 278.8 mT oxydizer and 107.2 mT fuel. Length of the block is 46.5 m
Engine RD-179 (14D20) have 860 tonnes full thrust at earth level, 937 tonnes thrust at vacuum. ISP is 308,5 earthlevel, 336.2 in vacuum.

Central block of the "Vulkan" LV have some differences comparing to block "C" of the "Energia" LV. They include 15 meter increased length of the fuel tanks, different form of the oxydizer tank upper side, new connector ring, common cylindical RD-0120 engine fairing, instead separate engine fairins on "energia", and symmetrical location of the inside-tank systems, including tunnel-pipeline.
Launch mass of block "C" is 934 mT, construction mass - 89.7 mT, fuel load - 832 mt, including 713 mT LOX and 119 mT LH2. Four main engines RD-0120 have each 175 tonnes earth level thrust, 200 tonnes thrust in vacuum.
ISP earth level is 396, in vacuum - 454.9. Tank length of block "C" is 63 m.

LV manufactoring complex, includes structures on Baiconur will be kept the same as for "Energia". In "Progress" factory in Kuibishev started a building of the assembly workshop for building of all the block "C" elements.
Stretched blocks "A" were planned to build in Omsk on "Polyot" factory.

Launch of the "Vulkan" was possible only from UKSS (Universalniy Kompleksniy Stend Start).
 

Archibald

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Bringing this back to life... in his (superb) book Challenge to Apollo, Siddiqi states that as of 1970 Lyulka 11D54 / 57 was in serious trouble.
Did they ever manage to make it work properly ? It was rejected for the N-1, then briefly considered for Vulkan and later one of MAKS ancestors (system 49 or 49M or Bizan).

Even today, a 40 ton thrust LOX/LH2 engine would be impressive and useful altogether. ;)
 

hesham

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Cool,thank you Athpilot.
 

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In yours opinion,f Soviet Leadership (Bresnev Breznev) had chosen the Lunar Expeditionary Complex instead Buram,and the Russians went on the moon in early 80s, what would do the United States?
Ronnie Reagan would go to bed under a red moon?
 

Michel Van

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carmelo said:
In yours opinion,f Soviet Leadership (Bresnev Breznev had chosen the Lunar Expeditionary Complex instead Buram,and the Russians went on the moon in early 80s, what would do the United States?
Ronnie Reagan would go to bed under a red moon?
had Breznev and His military not insist on analog characteristic of US space Shuttle for there new project
Vulcan had fly earlier begin of 1980s
Reagan would have go ballistic for anger, because the "Commies" would have land on Moon and talking going to Mars
while the USA stick in Low orbit with Space Shuttle
He would kick the Democrat US Congress and Senate in there "posteriors" saying "Who not with me, is now a Enemy of US !"
throw billion dollars into NASA order them to counter the Soviets activity so fast as possibly.

Shuttle C and Shuttle Heavy Lifter here they come...
 
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