Korolev's N1-L3 Moon Rocket
by CaptKordite
uploaded 2017-01-16
(updated 2017-01-18)
mod ship
#tantares #Russian #Soviet

A Tantares mod replica of Sergei Korolev’s N1 heavy lifter originally intended as a launcher for military space stations and a crewed Mars flyby using a nuclear engine upper stage but repurposed as a competitor to the American’s Saturn V. Development began in 1959 but because of numerous failures, it never took men to the moon and the entire project was kept secret until the fall of the Soviet Union.

A mod rocket called Korolev’s N1-L3 Moon Rocket. Built with 120 of the finest parts, its root part is Tantares.Crew.A.

Built in the VAB in KSP version 1.2.2.


  • Type: VAB
  • Class: ship
  • Part Count: 120
  • Mods: 4


  • Contares Common
  • Squad (stock)
  • Tantares

The flight profile goes something like this. Stage the Blok A engines and then stage to release the clamps. After about a minute, stage to drop Blok A and stage again to ignite the Blok B engines. After another minute, that tank has emptied so stage to drop Blok B and stage again to ignite Blok V. This engine will take your craft to a 100km periapsis.

Above 60km while coasting to periapsis, select action group 1 to discard the escape tower and the fairing. Nearing the periapsis maneuver node, ignite the engines. When your apoapsis reaches 20km, turn of the engines, stage to discard Blok V, stage again to activate Blok G and then Z to finish circularizing your orbit while at the same time making sure that the discarded Blok V doesn’t clutter up LKO.

Set your maneuver mode for the Mun. Blok G only has about 2/3 the dV necessary to reach the Mun so you will stage and stage again to power up Blog D to get to the Mun. So much for not cluttering space with discarded boosters.

There are no solar panels but the craft has a fuel cell to generate electricity. Even so, the batteries should have enough for the entire trip if you don’t waste power.

At some point during your coast to the Mun, you will activate action group 2 to decouple the LOK (the orbital craft) from the LK (lander). Turn the LOK around and dock with the lander like the Americans did with Apollo.

You will also need to control from here to the LK so that the Blok D engine can be used for orbital insertion when you arrive at the Mun.

When you are ready to land, you will need to transfer the lander pilot. Historically, though, there would have been no connecting tunnel between the LOK and the LK. The lander pilot would have had to exit the ship in a space suit to transfer.

Undock and use the Blok D engine to deorbit. There’s a lot of dV available so use that engine rather than the lander’s engine for most of it. Stage and stage again to activate the lander’s engine for the final approach and landing.

The return is what you would expect.

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This craft is built with the newer Contares, AB Launchers, and TantaresLV mod packs but with the Old Tantares builds. If you update Tantares from the KSP Forum links to Github, it will break your ships and kill your crews.

Old Tantares 37.1 : http://kerbal.curseforge.com/projects/tantares-stockalike-soyuz-and-mir
TantaresLV : https://github.com/Tantares/TantaresLV/releases
Contares : https://spacedock.info/mod/180/CONTARES
AB Launchers : https://spacedock.info/mod/181/AB%20Launchers

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