UR-700: about the rocket project, which hypothetically could allow the USSR to win the “lunar race”

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UR-700: about the rocket project, which hypothetically could allow the USSR to win the “lunar race”

In the 1960s, the USSR and the USA actively developed programs for lunar exploration. In the Soviet Union at that time there were two launch vehicle projects for flights to the natural satellite of the Earth - N1-L3, created under the leadership of S.P. Korolev, and UR-700, proposed by the general designer of OKB No. 52 V.N. Chelomeem as an alternative.

The uniqueness of the latter project was that it envisaged the fastest possible creation of a super-heavy lunar rocket based on components of already existing launch vehicles.



Unfortunately, the Soviet program of flights to the Moon was curtailed before the UR-700 could get to the launch pad. However, some experts believe that Chelomey’s rocket was ahead of its time in a number of ways and could have allowed the USSR to win the “lunar race” against the United States.

A special feature of the UR-700 launch vehicle was that it was designed according to a direct flight pattern, excluding intermediate connections. This simplified the rocket design and flight program, but required the use of a more powerful launch vehicle.

As a result, Chelomey’s lunar rocket had the following design. UR-700 was made according to a three-stage scheme.

As the first stage, six side blocks were used, which were docked in pairs to the launch vehicle according to a package scheme. In addition to the fuel and oxidizer, these side blocks additionally housed overflow tanks in the upper part, which fed the second, central stage before the separation of the first. Lattice-type aerodynamic stabilizers were also installed on these blocks.

The second stage consisted of three blocks similar to those described above, connected together.

Both the first and second stages were equipped with RD-270 engines. To this day, these units are the most powerful of the single-chamber units that were developed in the USSR and Russia. There were a total of 9 such engines on both stages.

The third stage of the UR-700 was designed on the basis of the first stage of the UR-500 with the number of side blocks reduced to three. In the central part there was a tank with fuel, and in the side parts - with an oxidizer.

The third stage of the Chelomey super-heavy rocket was equipped with three RD-254 engines.

At the same time, I visited V.N. Chelomeya and his own concept of a lunar ship.

The latter included four main stages, which were sequentially tested during the flight, and a descent module with a crew of 2 people.

The energy supply of the LC was carried out using elements based on oxygen and hydrogen.

After initialization of the launch of the booster stage engines, the ship entered the flight orbit to the Moon. Then, when approaching the natural satellite, the device used the engines of the braking unit to enter the lunar orbit and set the descent trajectory.

In turn, the crew could use a bank of three engines to hover over the lunar surface and select a landing site.

Finally, after completing the tasks on the Moon, the landing gear was separated and the liquid rocket engine of the ascent block was started.

Ultimately, the UR-700 project was canceled and the Soviet lunar program ended. But the assembly of a rocket from ready-made spent modules, proposed by Chelomey, has found its application in modern rocket science.


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    1. -1
      6 March 2024 12: 09
      Yura, I'm sorry, we lost everything... crying
      1. +2
        6 March 2024 12: 41
        UR-700: about the rocket project, which hypothetically could allow the USSR to win the “lunar race”
        the project is not of this country, but of a past highly developed civilization.
    2. +1
      6 March 2024 12: 15
      The project is good. It's a pity they didn't make it to testing.
      1. +3
        6 March 2024 13: 47
        Although the project was based on ready-made blocks from the UR-500 (later Proton), it was very controversial. 5000 tons on the starting table, most of it is heptyl and amyl, that's something. In addition, at the third stage, the option of fluorine/hydrogen or nuclear propulsion was considered. In general, an extremely dangerous thing.
        1. 0
          8 March 2024 00: 01
          5000 tons are not much different from 2850 tons of the same N-1. And that heptyl and amyl are safer than hydrogen and oxygen at Energy.
          As for nuclear engines, it’s also okay. In the 70-80s, our maritime reconnaissance satellites were launched with nuclear engines. There was experience.
          1. +2
            8 March 2024 09: 38
            How to say. Heptyl is a terribly poisonous thing, amyl is slightly less poisonous. Cryogenic components are dangerous due to low temperatures, but in terms of fire hazard there is no big difference. Glushko was an opponent of large oxygen-kerosene engines on the N-1, defended low-boiling steam, however, having become a general. designer of Energy, created high-power oxygen-kerosene engines for the 1st stage and oxygen-hydrogen engines for the second. Low-boiling steam is good for long-term storage in a charged form, but the danger is higher and the energy parameters are lower than that of the oxygen-kerosene pair (oxygen-hydrogen is unrivaled in terms of energy, despite all the disadvantages).
            1. 0
              9 March 2024 13: 53
              Heptyl is poisonous if handled carelessly. Just like oxygen and hydrogen are dangerous. That is, the main factor is improper treatment.
              1. +2
                9 March 2024 18: 26
                Quote: Lomaster
                Heptyl is poisonous if handled carelessly.

                Have you carefully examined the diagram of this “super package”? This is not a central block and 4-6 side ones, there’s so much fancy stuff there... Moreover, with the transfer of fuel from the 1st stage blocks to the working second... The solution is beautiful, but can you imagine the vibrations of such a package of 5000 tons?? Possible leaks? And this is not only and not so much explosive, but also extremely poisonous. If there had been an accident at the start, half of the Union could have been poisoned. The kings rejected this project precisely for this reason. He didn’t even want to put cosmonauts in the Proton - heptyl!
                And Glushko liked working with this fuel pair, because the cryogenic factor was excluded during calculations and tests. Even when working on “Energy,” he resisted to the last, insisting on heptyl. But... calculations showed that there would not be enough energy. Only kerosene and hydrogen with liquid oxygen.
                So the UR-700 would not have turned out. But Chelomey’s dockless flight scheme is interesting, but it required a payload capacity of 150 - 170 tons into the reference orbit. Without insurance, like the N-1 (when the second Lunar Module was delivered to the Moon ahead of time as a backup). After all, we were supposed to launch THREE N-1 missiles for one mission. And for this, THREE cyclopean launch complexes were built. If we hadn’t raced, but had tested the engines properly before transmission and improved the automation, by the mid-70s we would have been flying to the moon like on a regular bus.
          2. +1
            9 March 2024 16: 13
            Do not confuse the isotope reactor of the satellite (mini nuclear power plant) and the nuclear propulsion engine that remained in the models and drawings.
    3. -5
      6 March 2024 12: 27
      There would also be evidence that the Americans landed astronauts on the Moon.
      1. -2
        6 March 2024 17: 05
        Even Przewalski's horses understand today that the Americans did not land on the Moon. But no, they write. Perhaps this single phrase is the whole point of the article. Overton window from the other side.
        1. +1
          7 March 2024 16: 45
          It is a fact! The complete absence of any significant evidence and a huge number of statements that contradict common sense and real technical capabilities involuntarily lead to this idea. Practically, one question remains: did the Americans at least send something to the Moon, or is it a complete fake?!
          1. The comment was deleted.
            1. +1
              10 March 2024 20: 23
              Your “brains” can only be seen on the asphalt. No other way. I, unlike you, received a specialized education, and I remember two questions that our professor, who introduced us to the RTSU course, and himself never doubted then, in the early 80s, that the Americans “fly”, yes we then no one doubted it (after all, the USSR recognized it!), everyone asked two questions:

              1) How was it possible to make 1 tons of thrust on the F-800 engine with 1 chamber?! The USSR already had more powerful engines, but on 4 cameras! A single-chamber engine, even in theory, could be made 500-600 tons, but not 800! And at 500 tons there were already enormous risks of combustion failure! Then he said, well, they have supercomputers, possibly ultra-precise calculations and a powerful control unit in the engine! Now this is funny! When the Americans themselves, the same Musk puts up to 30 engines on a rocket! And a mobile phone is tens of times more powerful than the then super monster Cray-1s! At the same time, in the 60s, when the F-1 was created, there was no trace of Cray!
              1. +2
                10 March 2024 20: 30
                2) Turn-free landing - then, in 1985, using existing technologies (not in 1969!!!), was extremely risky, due to the required crazy precision of control and navigation systems, and for 1985 the professor, with 1B approval, assessed the success of splashdown not more than 5-10%, and having invested a lot of money, he said that it was possible to bring the probability of a successful landing to 25-30% maximum! Moreover, the probability of 6 successful landings even with a probability of 0.3 was less than 0.1%!!!
              2. The comment was deleted.
                1. +1
                  10 March 2024 22: 33
                  Horny animal?! Stop grunting!
                  The vacuum thrust of the F-1 is now written as 790, but before it was written as 801 - apparently it has “shrinked”, the RD-170 is 806. Read the manuals, you animal!
          2. +2
            9 March 2024 18: 30
            Quote: sH, arK
            Did the Americans at least send something to the Moon, or is this a complete fake?!

            Sent. Their automatic Pioneer stations made approximately the same number of landings on the Moon as there were manned flights. That’s why the signal/picture came from the Moon. They were launched using the Saturn-1B launch vehicle by Werner von Braun.
            1. -1
              10 March 2024 20: 33
              I meant something slightly different, Saturn 5, starting from Canaveral, I think, actually carried something to the Moon, landing modules, without people, perhaps with the automatic return of a small module, because they seemed to have several grams of lunar soil... Although All studies of selenite were done in the USSR and on USSR materials!
              1. 0
                10 March 2024 21: 12
                Quote: sH, arK
                Saturn 5, starting from Canaveral, I think, really carried something to the Moon,

                He did not carry or carry anything except a dummy of the Apollo SA made of ... (yes, yes) stainless steel. We captured one such module, looked at it, shed tears... and gave it back to the Americans in the port of Arkhangelsk. There is a photograph of that program - Hungarian journalists were filming it. And they published it in their working circulation. Yes - for insurance.
                The interplanetary stations "Pioneer" were sent to the Moon, which broadcast "reports" from there in recordings. Precisely from those places where the Apollos supposedly landed. They were launched quite officially - “for reconnaissance of a future landing site.”
                By the way, the Chinese "Jade Hare" finally reached the Apollo 11 landing site. And I didn’t find anything there... but after searching more carefully I found “Pioneer”. Our former intelligence officer, an illegal immigrant in France, Artamonov, just spoke about this. But it’s better to watch the lectures of Academician Popov (participant of the Soviet Lunar Program), in several lectures (available on YouTube) he analyzed the American bluff in detail. And Putin spoke about this several times during his presidency. He even hinted that we would officially expose him, if anything happened. . But for now we are exposing “unofficially”. Through many films and investigative programs, lectures similar to those of Academician Popov, etc.
                Quote: sH, arK
                . Although all studies of selenite were done in the USSR and on USSR materials!

                It was Lodge by order. As well as the simulation of the joint Soyuz-Apollo flight. Only the flight of the Soyuz was real, the rest was filmed in pavilions and on an American flying laboratory (in conditions of artificial temporary weightlessness). . Leonov lied, repeatedly and selflessly. By order (at first), and then for money and status. He was knighted, made a shareholder and the face of Alfa Bank... But the main thing is still the order of the CPSU Central Committee and senior management.
                By admitting this forgery and scam, we then got a lot, but at the same time we swallowed the hook, which a little later pulled us into the frying pan of the 90s.
                Many space powers have already become convinced of the reality of the Moon Scam. China and India are among them. But they do not publicly expose the main bandit in the area. And it's clear why. But that's it for now.
                Today the Lunar Scam is already an "Open Secret".
                1. +1
                  10 March 2024 22: 38
                  Yes, I heard this story about Leonov and about the capture and then return of the landing capsule, and much more, and about the disappearance of films (they allegedly had 16 mm, but no one ever saw them!), and about the disappearance of 400 kg of selenite - like there is, but no one has seen it! There are many questions... But I only mentioned those that were asked by our professor, who did not doubt it then, he simply did not understand how, why and why... And those questions were purely technological and were asked almost 20 years later, and their solutions just as it wasn’t then, it’s not now...
        2. -2
          8 March 2024 00: 03
          Watch Ren TV more often. They don't give you such nonsense about UFOs there. There were amers on the moon. And period.
    4. +2
      6 March 2024 12: 32
      Quote: Zacvasetskiy
      Yura, I'm sorry, we lost everything... crying

      In addition to Yura, we should also mention about a dozen developers of our country’s missile shield, the author of one of them named NPO Mashinostroeniya, Reutov, Moscow Region. This is his brainchild. By the way, Khrushchev’s son, who is now in the USA, worked there for some time, and of course he passed everything he knew. I would send the people who released him to life imprisonment. And this is not an opera, but the top officials of the state. sad
      1. 0
        8 March 2024 00: 09
        Firstly, Khrushchev emigrated after the collapse of the Union. Then no one was responsible for anything. Secondly, Khrushchev worked in the 60s, for which he received the star of the hero of socialist labor. After his father was removed, he was moved from all places, and he did not have access to secrets. Therefore, he could no longer give up his secrets in the 90s. Due to his lack of these secrets. This was successfully done by other Judases in uniform and in civilian clothes.
    5. +6
      6 March 2024 12: 35
      As far as I understand, we ended the lunar program when we lost the race, that is, after the US landing on the Moon. Then there was no point in spending much money.
      1. +2
        6 March 2024 13: 43
        Yes, this is a very painful loss in space, but nevertheless, we should not forget that with all this, the USSR had many other achievements, such as the exploration of Venus, the first photographs from another planet, the first recording of sound from another planet, the first drilling of another planets.
        1. +1
          6 March 2024 14: 33
          Quote from Arisaka
          Yes, this is a very painful loss in space, but nevertheless, we should not forget that with all this, the USSR had many other achievements, such as the exploration of Venus, the first photographs from another planet, the first recording of sound from another planet, the first drilling of another planets.

          Yes, and "Lunokhods"! We arrived, landed on the moon, and worked! And this is with electronic components of that time!
          1. 0
            6 March 2024 15: 05
            Everyone knows about Lunokhods, but they forget about Venus. Although it is called the “Russian planet” abroad for a reason! This is an extremely interesting and complex engineering task that our scientists completed. At the same time, many problems were solved, the famous “curse of the lid” :)
    6. +1
      6 March 2024 13: 39
      History does not tolerate the subjunctive mood.
      As part of this series, not a single launch vehicle was produced and full-scale tests were not carried out due to the government’s decision to develop the N-1 super-heavy rocket of the Korolev Design Bureau, and to stop the competing development of the super-heavy rockets R-56 of the Yangel Design Bureau and the UR-700 of the Chelomey Design Bureau.
    7. 0
      6 March 2024 16: 51
      Quote: Lomaster
      The project is good. It's a pity they didn't make it to testing.

      I don’t know if it’s a good one, but I haven’t “dabbled” with pumping fuel in flight yet. Yes, and heptyl, if there’s a disaster, it’s a disaster on the ground. The royal kerosene burned out, and then there are WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. Several thousand tons. recourse request request
    8. +1
      6 March 2024 17: 04
      Quote from Arisaka
      As part of this series, not a single launch vehicle was produced and full-scale tests were not carried out due to the government’s decision to develop the N-1 super-heavy rocket of the Korolev Design Bureau, and to stop the competing development of the super-heavy rockets R-56 of the Yangel Design Bureau and the UR-700 of the Chelomey Design Bureau.

      Quote from Arisaka
      As part of this series, not a single launch vehicle was produced and full-scale tests were not carried out due to the government’s decision to develop the N-1 super-heavy rocket of the Korolev Design Bureau, and to stop the competing development of the super-heavy rockets R-56 of the Yangel Design Bureau and the UR-700 of the Chelomey Design Bureau.

      They didn't handle it financially! N-1 was allocated approximately 6 billion rubles. Which is extremely little. The USA allocated $40 billion for Saturn
      They built it WITHOUT TESTING ON STANDS (building a stand for such a rocket is a spectacle))))). We thought we’d launch it, and we’ll see it through.
      So let's split the money for several projects! what
      1. 0
        6 March 2024 21: 26
        Yes, without fire tests we got what we got. Well, synchronizing such a complex first stage is not a task for the mid-20th century.
        1. 0
          7 March 2024 17: 01
          The Americans conducted approximately 1300 tests when designing engines and preparing for flight. EACH ENGINE worked out its “own” 3 times. Twice once, and a third as part of a stage. And only then for the start.
    9. +1
      6 March 2024 17: 26
      Quote: Starover_Z
      Quote from Arisaka
      Yes, this is a very painful loss in space, but nevertheless, we should not forget that with all this, the USSR had many other achievements, such as the exploration of Venus, the first photographs from another planet, the first recording of sound from another planet, the first drilling of another planets.

      Yes, and "Lunokhods"! We arrived, landed on the moon, and worked! And this is with electronic components of that time!

      All these achievements were achieved due to the light launch vehicle. Project 300 tons. Which was developed for defense. A manned ship to the Moon is already an extremely heavy carrier. Over 3000 tons. You need to start from scratch. hi hi hi
    10. 0
      8 March 2024 16: 43
      Well, after all, heptyl rockets in manned space flight are a very so-so idea. Although, if the astronauts died, it would make no difference whether they were using kerosene or heptyl. And Proton’s further experience showed that it was quite possible to use them as trucks (at least), albeit with eco-risks. But in general, in those years, UR-500 aka Protons were very unreliable and often suffered disasters, so then there could not be much hope placed on them.
      And one of the main reasons for the failure of the lunar project is the conflict of ambitions between Glushko and Korolev. Although there are many questions with the royal N-1, because by the 4th launch they almost managed to make the rocket fly, but then the whole project was closed due to the superiority of the amers, and the remaining ones were cut

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