SPACE EVENT REPORT J-VEHICLE FAILURE - - 3 JULY 1969

Created: 8/26/1969

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

J-VEHICLE FAILURE39

An.attempt to launch the Soviet's giant new apace booster fromt Tyuratara atSZuly resultedajor disaster when the vehicle exploded on the pad soon after first-stage ignition. The intended mission of the operation was to send an unmanned payloadtto the moon. Recovery of the vehicle in the USSR aftere-entry over the Indian Ocean apparently was also included in the mission profile. imilarhad culminatedancellation prior to launch on

The new Soviet booster is estimated tohrust ofoillion pounds at lift-off and to be capable ofayloadounds in tarth orbit. Zt is the only Soviet launch vehicle capable ofanned lunar landing operation, although, since high energy propellents are not used (as in the case with the USwo launches with subsequent earth-orbit rendezvous and docking will be required to accomplishission. Zt appears virtually certain thatuly event was Intended as the firsteries of flight tests leadinganned lunar landing. The loss of the booster during its firet launch attempt is expected to delay the Soviet manned lunar landing ty upwardsear. , howrver, can probably be used for launchings when problems with the system are corrected. Zt could support several trissions. suchanned lunar orbiter, an unmanned sample return probe,arge space station. anned lunar landing mission requires both pads, it now appears that the Soviets will be unable to mount this mission untilr more

IMPLICATIONS OF THE FAILURE

From available evidence the cause of failure cannotetermined. If no major redesign ofehicle isa launch could probably take place fromefore the end easonable manned lunar landing program schedule would not require the first dual launch j. until the spring ofallowing sufficient to repair. anned lunar landing would not appear possible before2 or, moreanding would, of course, be further delayed if major redesign ofehicle is necessary.

Original document.

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