Soyuz 7K-L3
The Soyuz 7K-LOK, or simply LOK ( meaning "Lunar Orbital Craft") was a Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

A spacecraft or spaceship is a craft or machine designed for spaceflight. Spacecraft are used for a variety of purposes, including communications, earth observation, meteorology, navigation, planetary exploration and transportation of humans and cargo....

 designed to launch men from Earth to circle the moon and developed in parallel to the 7K-L1
Soyuz 7K-L1
The Soyuz 7K-L1 spacecraft was designed to launch men from the Earth to circle the Moon without going into lunar orbit in the context of the Soviet manned moon-flyby program in Moon race. It was based on the Soyuz 7K-OK with several components stripped out to reduce the vehicle weight...

. The LOK would carry two cosmonauts into orbit around the Moon, acting as "mother" spacecraft for the LK Lander
LK Lander
The LK was a Soviet lunar lander and counterpart of the American Lunar Module . The LK was to have landed up to two cosmonauts on the Moon...

, which would land one member of the crew to the surface. It was part of the N1-L3 programme which also included the LK lander and the N1 rocket.


The Soyuz 7K-LOK is based on both the unmanned Zond 7K-L1 lunar flyby vehicle and the first-generation Soyuz 7K-OK earth-orbital manned spacecraft. Like the 7K-OK model, the 7K-LOK was divided into three sections, an ellipsoid Orbital Module, the "headlight"-shaped Descent Module, and a cylindrical equipment module. Like the 7K-OK, the 7K-LOK was capable of physically docking with the LK Lander, but lacked the transfer tunnel used on the Apollo Spacecraft
Apollo spacecraft
The Apollo spacecraft was composed of five combined parts designed to accomplish the American Apollo program's goal of landing astronauts on the Moon by the end of the 1960s and returning them safely to Earth...

, thus forcing the cosmonaut to make a spacewalk
Extra-vehicular activity
Extra-vehicular activity is work done by an astronaut away from the Earth, and outside of a spacecraft. The term most commonly applies to an EVA made outside a craft orbiting Earth , but also applies to an EVA made on the surface of the Moon...

 from the 7K-LOK's orbital module to the LK Lander using the new Krechet
The Krechet-94 is a space suit model developed for lunar excursion during the Soviet manned lunar program. It was designed by NPP Zvezda. Development began in 1967, concurrently with the Orlan suit for microgravity spacewalks...

 space suit (the predecessor to the Orlan space suits used today on the International Space Station
International Space Station
The International Space Station is a habitable, artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. The ISS follows the Salyut, Almaz, Cosmos, Skylab, and Mir space stations, as the 11th space station launched, not including the Genesis I and II prototypes...


Other changes to the 7K-LOK was the elimination of the solar panels used on the 7K-OK, replacing them with fuel cells similar to those found on the Apollo CSM. Another feature, a "cupola" located on the Orbital Module, allowed the cosmonaut in the 7K-LOK to perform the docking procedure with the LK Lander after lunar liftoff. Only the Descent Module from the 7K-L1, with a thicker, reinforced heatshield, is used on the 7K-LOK and like the 7K-L1, is capable of doing a "skip" reentry so that the Soyuz can be recovered in the (former) Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....


The information display systems
Information display systems
"Information display systems" is the general designation for the control panels and displays of Russian spacecraft. For example, the original Soyuz 7K-OK spacecraft used the "Sirius-7k" IDS.-See also:...

 (IDS) on the LOK were different from those of the Soyuz-7K.
The Descent Module was equipped with the "Uran" control panel and the Orbital Module featured the "Orion" approach control panel.


Only two 7K-LOK's have been flown in the short lifespan of the failed Soviet lunar program
Soviet Moonshot
The Soviet manned lunar programs were a series of programs pursued by the Soviet Union to land a man on the Moon in competition with the United States Apollo program to achieve the same goal set publicly by President John F. Kennedy on May 25, 1961...

, both of them atop the N-1 rocket
N1 rocket
N-1 was a heavy lift rocket intended to deliver payloads beyond low Earth orbit, acting as the Soviet counterpart to the NASA Saturn V rocket. This heavy lift booster had the capability of lifting very heavy loads into orbit, designed with manned extra-orbital travel in mind...

, and both times being pulled by the launch escape system when those boosters failed. These two aborted flights later proved that the launch-escape system worked when a similar problem on a Soyuz-U
The Soyuz-U launch vehicle is an improved version of the original Soyuz LV. Soyuz-U is part of the R-7 family of rockets based on the R-7 Semyorka missile. Members of this rocket family were designed by the TsSKB design bureau and constructed at the Progress Factory in Samara, Russia....

 forced the Soyuz T-10a to be jettisoned with its cosmonaut crew in 1983 before the booster exploded on the launchpad, destroying it. On later flights of the N-1, both of them failures, only dummy spacecraft were used, and they, along with the booster, were destroyed.


Although never flown in actual spaceflight, the planned joint Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

European Space Agency
The European Space Agency , established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 18 member states...

CSTS or ACTS is a human spaceflight system proposal. It was originally a joint project between the European Space Agency and the Russian Space Agency , but is now solely an ESA project...

 missions to the Moon, planned as a response to NASA's Project Constellation
Project Constellation
Constellation Program is a human spaceflight program within NASA, the space agency of the United States. The stated goals of the program were to gain significant experience in operating away from Earth's environment, develop technologies needed for opening the space frontier, and conduct...

, will see the resurrection, somewhat, of the 7K-LOK spacecraft, but with the current Soyuz TMA hardware (solar panels, docking & transfer system, etc.) being used.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.