Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Raiders of the Lost Shroud

Continuing on my quest for N1 data, I came to considere the mass of the shroud (protective cover for the L3 complex). Looking for the same type of info for the still in use Soyuz launcher, wasn't much of help as I couldn't even find one single source that will list these two informations... Now, that may be because I'm not as good as I like to think at using Google ... or maybe not? Anyway ... what I gathered was that modern days Soyuz shroud is about 9.12m long and weight about 3000kg. I got the mass from the Chinese Shenzhou spacecraft which design is based off the Soyuz and sports a very similar shroud. From SpaceRef.com, I was able to find the length of the shroud by using a ruler and the following schematic (hoping it is to scale!) and knowing the total length of Soyuz it-self (7.2m):

Using these two values, we can raisonably estimate the mass of the N1 shroud by using a simple proportion rule: 3000 / 9.12 * 33.2 = 10921.05kg, where 33.2 is the length of the shroud on the N1 .. well at least the length of the mesh I'm using currently (which isn't perfect but does the job right now). The N1 shroud was made to protect not only the Soyuz LOK but also the LK (lunar lander) and two propulsive stages (Block G and D):

10.92 tons is actualy a pretty sound weight. My initial estimation, that I had done by substracting the mass of each of the N1's components from its known liftoff mass (about 2825 tons), was totaly off-base with a mass at 100 tons ... and it sure sounded pretty unrealistic. Of course we may still be off, as modern day shroud are likely to be lighter than the ones used in the later 60s early 70s ... but it's a start.

While I'm at it, I'd like to point the following two sources of informations on the Soviet Space Program:
Challenge to Apollo is available from the most excellent (and most useful) site: Manned Spaceflight PDF Documents by Bob Andrepont. I have started browsing throught it (which was authored by Asif Siddiqi) as it is more closly related to my focus on the manned Moon project, but with over 1000 pages, it's not for the casual readers ...


Post a Comment

<< Home