Friday, January 13, 2006

To vent or not to vent ...

One of the exciting part of working on an Orbiter's add-on is the search for data and images about the vessel you are making. If I told you that the amount of info available on the Internet for a Soviet rocket developed in the heyday of the Cold War is pretty slim, I'm sure you won't be surpised at all ... But even so, a fair amount of info can be gathered from a few web sites, such as the excellent Mark Wade's Encyclopedia Astronautica. I'll said that it is enough to make a N1 simulation relatively close to the real thing, altought what's more of an issue is that there isn't a lof of images of the whole N1-L3 project. This make some of the little details a bit harder to figure, such as: Where the N1 stages venting before liftoff? I'm guessing that they should, as each of the stages were using a liquid propellant similar to the Saturn V, which was venting quiet a lot before and during liftoff and flight as the following images shows:

Now, if we look at some of the available images of the N1 liftoff from Baikonur it's hard to tell if the same kind of venting was happening:

The low quality of these images and the distance between the photograph and the rocket doesn't help, but even so ... I can't really see much venting happening ... In fact, if we look at a modern day launch of a Soyuz, we can't see as much venting on it as the old Saturn:

A close look to the picture shows some sort of steam flowing down the boosters. The question is can we assume that such venting was happening on the N1 ...


Blogger georg_H said...

Saturn V upper stages had liquid hydrogen whereas all N1 was kerosene-fed, as it's the Soyuz.

9:48 AM  

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