ORR POSITION ON SOVIET MANNED LUNAR LANDING PROGRAM

Created: 2/19/1964

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The Purpose of this ORR position paper is to provide background information for the forthcoming USIB consideration of the needeiwrandiun to Holders ofn the subjectoviet manned lunar landing program. In this paper, we have undertaken to present and discuss only that portion of the evidence and those considerations which bear most directly and most importantly on our judgment. The information presented in this paper is current asL.

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Foreword

sJmnnary

I. Evidence on Soviet Intentions to Land athe Moon

II. An Illustrative Soviet Manned Lunar

HI. Economic Considerations

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Figure 1. Construction Support Area Between

Launchnd E, Tyuratam Missile Test Range,3

Figure 2. Line Drawing of ConstructionBetween Launch Complexes yuratam Missile

Figure 3. Illustrative Soviet Manned Lunar Landing Program9 . . .

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Current evidence on the Soviet space effort does not permitto be drawn concerning the statusanned lunargran and is not an adequate basis for judging whether it iswith the US program, or indeed whetherrogram eventhe USSR. The strongest indicationery large boosterperforming this mission ic under development and that theintend- toan on the moon in this decade

facilities has

Tyuratam, where an unprecedented expansion of physical occurred since the, preparation of KIRc>. Although

seems unlikely that TCBM progress

for all of the new

thereistinct possibility that

believe

a very largo booster capable of the lunar mission will be forthcoming and perhaps an interim space

booster as well, mentew sup

ew installations which can be clearly associated with developmentery large booster. However, we have no assurance that suchwill be required and our evidence is not sufficient to rule out the use of existing facilities for this purpose. The only other body of evidence available, Soviet statements, suggests that the USSR is engagedanned lunar landing program, but gives no clearor its time phasing or current status.

It is clear that the Soviets have not accomplished many of the missions which would be prerequisiteanned lunar landing. our analysiseasonably paced Soviet lunar landing program9 indicates that no identifiable program milestones needoccur beforether than construction at Tyuratam. Since we have no means of identifying such activity prior to the fLight

test phase, we believe that the absenceigh level of

activity up to this time should not be interpretedegative indi-cator of Soviet intent or capability to compete.

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We have reviewed again the likely effect of economic considerations upon Soviet intentions. There can be no doubtompetitive manned

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lunar landing program would be extremely costly and that economicwould havetrong negative influence when the Soviet leaders wore considering their responoo to the US challenge However, we do not believe that those considerations would necessarily have been an overriding factor. The Soviet decision would have depended upon the value the Soviet leaders placed uponrogramational policy objective relative to competingilitary and civilianof the same level of resources.

Accordingly, In the absence of firmer evidence than is nowwe believe it Is premature toonfident judgnent regarding Soviet intention! tn nrhlpyp j. canned lunar landing in this decade.

Ifindicatesooster capable of

acc<raiy.ijjiiLng una mission is being developed, we should be able to Judgeair degree of confidence by5 or6 that the Soviets are compelln;!. he other if I

iwij wnuj.uu.isi mat tneould not be capable

of accomplishing the lunar objective

IV Evidence on Soviet Intentions toan on the Moon

At present, three main bodies of evidence are available to us

ana statements uy lyauiuu, ahici.

TTMTB Launch Facilities. Sinceas prepared inn unprecedented expansion of tbe physical facilities at Tyuratam has been undertaken. Although some of the new facilities were in an early stage of construction at the time of that estimate, the bulk of the new construction was begun This expansion includes the construction of three new launch areashe addition of two major new buildingsumber of lesser structures to one of the original Tyuratam launch facilitiesnd the preparationarge new construction support facility (betweennd E) which may be intended for another new launch complex.

In the past, the appearance of new launch facilities atregularly foreshadowed the initiation of new programs,we had no prior knowledge or evidence. These programs haveeither new vehicles or new deployment configurations forvehicles. Detection of such facilities at Tyuratam has notour earliest indications of forthcoming programs but hasus to determine at least their general nature by analyzingunder construction and their apparent relationships tofacilities. In general, however, we have been unable todetail the characteristics of new vehicles until welli tt

At present, we are limited in our ability to interpret theof the expansion of facilities at Tyuratam,

we believe some"

elusions can be drawnair degree of confidence on the basisphysical features or the new " '

knowledge of existing Soviet ICBM and space systems, and our judgment of likely Soviet requirements- These conclusions arc:

(a) Bo currently operational Launch complexes at Tyuratamof accommodating launch vehicles of the siae required forlunar landing mission exceptnd B, which wouldmodification. It is knowna second

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assembly and checkout building was constructed near the originalbuilding atetween aboutnd of another large new building in the launch area wasthe end2 or in3 and appeared completed by This building, which was not rail-served

September, is probably as large as or larger than any coapWabTe

building at Tyuratamquare-footage basis. To date, however, there has been no identified activity associated withhich would account for the construction of these buildings and we have no basis for Judging what new program or programs they are intended to serve. There has been no comparable expansion of the facilities at Complex A.

<b)s probably intended for an ICM systemthe SS-7.

lu ujuttfuoccasions in

(c)aunch area ofs probably intendedew launch vehicle which is more likely to be unpace booster. I

. launchers 'are soft, they are probably intended

onsiderably larger vehicle Lhan thoseecause the pad separation distance apparently is planned to be almost twice as great. In fact, past Soviet pad separation criteriaehicle somewhat larger than the US Saturn 1. This would be adequateCO-megaton delivery systemariety of new space missions, but would probably not be sufficient for the manned lunar landing mission-The presenceingle support facility atuggests that even if the two launch areas are intended for different vehicles they will be closely related.

(e) It la unlikely that all of the foregoing activity iswith new ICBM programs. If one or more of these facilitiesoe devoted primarily or exclusively to space operations,nd the anticipated launch complexnd Emost likely candidates. no basis at this time

for excluding the possibility that one or WMII these areas is being prepared toery large new booster capable of performinganned lunar landing mission.

Static Test Stands. Analysis or design thrust capabilities of static test stands in the USSR has failed toasis forwhether the Soviets areew booster of sufficient thrustanned lunar landing program.

_ Indeed, it is still not possible to ustingumn with certainty between those stands intended for enRlne

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tests and those for the entire stage.

Current estimates of the capabilities of the known static test stands in the USSR range fromaximum ofillion pounds thrust. In US practice, test stands are normally not used to full design capability, even though thereafety margin over and above the design rating. Thus, by US standards, the estimated capabilities of even the largest identified Soviet test stands appear somewhat low for testing the entire stageooster orillion pounds thrust, although they are more than adequate for testing Large single engines in the million pound thrust class. In view of the uncertainties of the data, however, these judgments cannot be regarded as conclusive.

leBt stana identified tos at.

Btand'was completedrobably was used

initially to test theCW booster J

| later may have ueeu ubeu to tost THe"

jferegBxa these two installatloiia as -thet

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Ithese facilities indicates that no new testhave been

or buier installations have been constructed which, by virtue ofand the timing of their appearance, might be indicatorsery large new vehicle. However, there has alsoevidence of any major new nrogiwejticpI

it is likely

^iwiuLmunj puitiwj ui DOtn lacilitles has "been available for new programs for some time. Since even major modifications might not

be discernible in theof

facilities to date nfatoLr

of the Bite required for the lunar mission is not alreadyif the Soviets have chosen toooster similarto thepace booster

here rflight'be'no'handling and testing facilities. Such boosters mav well

Soviet statements provide the only direct indication that the USSRanned lunar landing program underway. However, they are ambiguous, conflicting, and of little value in deterraininj. the present status of the program and whether it is aimed atanned lunar landing in this decade.

Khrushchev's statements in the latter part3 concerningUMcL1rdins Clearly wcre landed to create the he US inenture. is difficult to judge the extent to which his remarks actuallycurrent Soviet policy.

uim. uiat mirub

cnev3 statements indicate that the Soviets have some undefined or

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relatively distant target date for whatever lunar landing program is now underway. on the other hand, it teems clear that the soviets would have little to gainublic cctrmiitment at this junctureace with tbe us, but might benefit substantiallylowdown in the us apollo project. it may be, therefore, that klrubhchev's remarks were motivated primarilyesire to exploit criticism within the us of the scope and pace of the apollo program. moreover, the statements are sufficiently ambiguous to admit the possibility that the soviets mightanned lunar landing by tbe end of the decade.

khrushchev's statements dltfer markedly in tone from statements made with increasing frequency earlier3 by individuals associated with the soviet space program. in general, the latter statementsa soviet intention toanned lunar landingelatively few years and tn several instancesompetitive tone,esire to accooplloh this feat first. since the khrushchev statements, however, there hasotable decline in commentary from other soviet sources. in the absence of more tangible evidence, we do not believe that soviet statements assist materially in evaluating soviet policyompetitive manned lunar landing.

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IJ" An Illustrative Soviet Manned Lunar Landing Program

tne past,i

eliable basic for denying the existence o

evidence has riot

. specific space

progrsna. The situation with regardanned lunar landing program is somewhat different, In that the raagnitude of this undertaking would require unique hardware and facilities at the test range ond possibly at some other space-related locations in the USSR. Nevertheless, analysiseasonably-paced manned lunar landing program Indicatesoviet program toan on tbe moon0 could beat the present time without any major milestones being observable other than the Initial phases of construction at Tyuratam.

yuratam during the nextmonthsa launch complex clearly associatedery large booster, we could probably Judge with considerable confidence by5 or0 that the Soviets were engagedompetitive program. Presumably the Soviets will have accomplished during thisumber of detectable missions which would be applicableanned lunar landing, ouch as additional lunar reconnaissance and rendcrvous and docking. These activities would not be conclusive indicatorsompetitive program, because they could apply equally to some other objective or combination of objectives. It Is our present Judgment, however, that the appearance ofooster during this time period, and the major resource coraoitment which it would imply, would be more likely toirect Soviet response to the US lunar challenge1 than pursuit of any alternative apace flight objective. On the other hand, if lt becomes clear that none of the construction nowat Tyuratsan is intendedery large booster, and no additional construction is begun in the next year or so which appears to be for this purpose, there would then seem to be little likelihood that the Soviets couldanned lunar landing

By way ofypothetical manned lunar landingis shown in This program assumesecis.ion to proceed with the program was reached bynd that the "newarea betweens intended to support construction of launch facilities for the manned Lunar landing mission. Based on statements by Soviet personalities known to be associated with the

Tn general, the timing or specific activities and the relationships between them ure in agreement with on early proposal for the Apollo program which was then based on the TOR technique.

space program, we believe that the Sovieta would have adopted an Earth Orbital Rendezvous (EOR) mode.

ompletion oare.

TTKTU Construction. The estimated two-year construction period for the launch facilities generally io in line with Soviet construction experience observed in tho past for large-scale installations at the test range. Launchequired somewhat more than two years to build but did not have the extensive construction support facilities present betweennd E. Launch Complexhich has afacility approaching in size that of the new area, has been under construction since shortly before o this Complex have required an estimatedonths to complete;, which beganear later, were in such an early stage of construction r

;hat we are unable toirm estimatey the status of the construction sup-

port facilitiesnd E

we would expect construction of tne uyurutiuiui support area am prob-ably the launch area to have started by now. Presumably, the magnitude and general nature of these facilities would be clearly identifiable some timef not before.

In the US Apollo program, by contrast, construction ofor theegan in2 and is not scheduled for completion until abouteriod ofoars; however, almost an entire year has been spent In earth moving operations peculiar to the launch site at Cape Kennedy. Construction of the vertical assembly building was started innd will require about two years. An industrial area was begun in3 to support the Gemini program and will take aboutonths to complete; this area will be laterand used to support the Apollo program.

Supporting Missions. The Soviets have already begun to carrywhich couldanned lunar landing program.

knowledge of Soviet space programming is so imperfectUnberexplanations, rangingack Of urgency in acquiring the dataesire on the part

1 f oosters, stages, space-

craftthan that now

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the uj huuhhi lunar mission, the first launch is scheduled for the second quarterb; with the first manned flight in| and the first rendezvous operation in the second quarter

Development of re-entry technology for the return phase of the lunar mission has not been included in the illustrative program, but several alternative approaches to this problem are open to the Soviets. They may choose to use high angle re-entry utilizing atmosphericonly (as in the USn which case the first observable flight test might occur in IS&t. Alternatively, they may adopt ainvolving partial retro-braking prior to re-entry, which would reduce the heat shield performance requirement. Finally, if weight isonstraint, they may elect to use retro-braking to get into earth orbit and then use proven re-entry techniques.

Launch Vehicle. Development of an early high energy stage

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pa not essential to the accomplishment of subsequent

mi-iesiones in the development of launch vehicle hardware for the lunar mission. If the Soviets choose to use hydrogen fuel in the upper stages of the launch vehicle, they would probablymaller engineest bed, although this early engine would not have to be flight tested before the end Howvcr, the Soviets may not beto use hydrogen fuel toigher specific impulse; they may elect to use other propellent combinations or fuel additives for this purpose.

Aboutonths have been allowed in the illustrative program for test firings of the launch vehicle, from the first firing of the booster to the first manned flight. This compares with aboutonths now scheduled for unmanned launches in the US program. The first and second

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stages of the Soviet vehicles axe estimated to be man-ratedhile the third stage is man-ratedollowing which the manned lunar landing mission could be attempted.

Lunar Spacecraft. Flight tests of the lunar spacecraft stretcheriod ofears prior to mission accomplishment. This compares favorably with the liiunch schedule for fully instrumented Apollo spacecraft, although five launches of Apollo boilerplate models ore prora-ammed during

-"ieW^tie^^eis^bably

alreadyooster capable of launching boilerplate prototypes.

ear has been allowed for rendezvous and docking operations using mission hardware before the earliest manned lunar landing attempt is scheduled. In the early Apollo program which utilizedine-month period was scheduled for this purpose.

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HI Economic Considerations

A manned lunar landing program is very expensive; Khrushchev and others have expressed concern in the past over the high cost of such an undertaking. In considering whether to accept the US challengel, the Soviet leaders would have had to weigh carefully the benefits fromrogram against those to be derived from alternative, competing usesoth military and civilianof the sane level of resources. Whatever the Soviet decision, however, lt is unlikely to have been based solely on economic considerations. At least equally important would be the Soviet leaders' view of their ability tosuccessfully and their assessment of the consequences for Soviet prestige and claims to great power status of default from the race.

Although we have no direct information on the costs of Soviet space programs, the estimated cost (produced-in-thc-US) of the Illustrative Soviet manned lunar landing program would be on the orderillion Peak expenditures on the order ofbillionear would probably be requiredosts of this magnitude probably would have tended to dissuade the Soviet leaders from accepting the US challengeI.

Nevertheless, in the past, the Soviets have been willing to allocate substantial resources to their space program, to which they have attached great importanceeans of projecting on image of military strength and technological superiority. Although they have done much to make their space program ao economical as possible through the use ofmilitary hardware and facilities, keeping uniqueinimum, and through concentrationimited number of major space objectives, Soviet accomplishments in space have come high-It is estimated thathe endhe Soviets had spent the equivalent of at0 billion and perhaps as much as $lt.5for those programs already in the flight test phase:

Additional expenditures for programs now underway, but notbe on tbe order

5 bii'MUII usillion. Primarily, this range reflects our uncertainty concerning the Soviet tinetablcanner lunar Handing. Because of lcadtimeoviet decision to compete would

" These figures exclude all other space programs except those required toanned lunar landing, such as lunar reconnaissance and early rendezvous and docking. Ihey also exclude the costs which would be incurred during the latter part of the decade for subsequent lunar programs, such as the establishmentunar base.

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have had lo be made bynd already would have entailed0 billion. Even ifovietsnot to compete, however, they must have made someuture effort toan on the moonprobably on the order0 billion.

Thus, estimated total Soviet space expenditures through the endange frombillion5 billion. This compares with NASA expenditures for this period of aboutillion and DOD spaceof aboutotal US space expenditureillion through the end

There arc numerous indications that the Soviets are committed tospace program in the next few years, involving newnew space systems, and there seems little doubt that SovietTor apace are destined to grow. The KYMTR and TTMTB

1 expansion in the number and site of launch coa-

plcxcT at TD1TR in the past few years has been so great that it cannot be accounted for entirely by new weapon systems programs. Some of tbe facilities now being built almost certainly are intendedupport future apace progress.

Even if the Soviets are not committedompetitive manned lunar landing program, we would expect them to undertake several less costly, less opecUcuLar missions in this decade in order to maintain their positionreat space power and their world image as aadvanced nation. Thereide range of missions which could be accomplishedore advanced booster, such an that currently estimated to be developed in the next few yearselivery vehicle foregaton warhead. These missions probably would include early rendezvous andmall earth-orbiting station,anned circumlunar flight. Because the cost of developing the booster would be borne by the military,ackage of programs could be purchased for an estimated expenditure of onlyillion to $8

The next class of space missions wouldooster of much greater thrust which would have no immediate military application. The cost of developing this unique booster, therefore, would besolely to the Soviet space program. Otheranned Lunar landing mission, the most likely mission in this decade that might employoosterarge manned scientific satellite, thtcoat of which rangesillion to $l6 billion. of thia magnitude, however, verge on thoae estimated for the

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illustrative Manned lunar landing5 billionmaller manned opace station could be established without

the useery large and costly booster. Because the 3oviets would probably consider that the lunar mission would be of greater value in maintaining their national Image of preeminence In space, we believe that Soviet developmentery large booster in tlie near term, oh seems to be implied by the size of the facilities now underbetweent Tyuratam, wouldtrong indication that the Soviets intend to competeanned lunar landing mission.

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