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Dreams of the Future

The USSR opened the space era, Russia is continuing its mission. This journey was full of success, the happiness of amazing achievements, tragedies, and temporary recessions. However, it is still the beginning. Cities on orbit are waiting for us. From there we will fly to settle on the neighboring planets. New spacecraft is waiting for us, the new generation of the first comers is ahead. The major discovery is ahead. We considered cosmonautics a step from the surface of Earth, however, it is a journey on a new plane. Our solar system is the ecliptic plane. It is high time to look at the stars again. It is high time to move the limits of our world again. The universe is our home. It is time to make the next step.

LK lunar lander (full-size model), 1968

It was developed in Korolev’s bureau (now RSC Energia) within the framework of the Soviet lunar program. The Lunar ship (LK) along with the Lunar-orbiting spacecraft (LOK) had to be delivered to the moon onboard the L3 aircraft. As its total weight exceeded 15 tons, a new super-heavy N-1 carrier rocket was needed for its delivery. According to the plan, L3 was to reach the moon, after which LOK with one of the astronauts would remain in orbit while LK with the second member of the crew would land on the surface of the moon. To return LK would fly off from the moon and connect to LOK. The astronaut would relocate to LOK (through open space, as the construction did not include the inner hatch), detach the modules, and LOK would head back to Earth. LK passed all the necessary tests, including three unmanned flights, and was found to be fully prepared for the lunar mission. However, due to the fact that the N-1 rocket failed to be finished in time, the Soviet Union lost the so-called «race to the moon» and by 1974, both the lunar program and the development of LOK were terminated.

From the collection of Moscow Aviation Institute (national research university)