12 Reasons Why the USSR Never Got to the Moon

By Oobject on at

While the Saturn V made headlines shuttling American astronauts to the moon, the Soviet N1 rocket was made famous for a slightly different reason—when it blew up on takeoff it resulted in the largest, non-nuclear, man-made explosion of all time. This week's Oobject showcases the N1 and 11 other pieces of Soviet Moon tech used in the USSR's failed moon shot.

One of the 5 remaining LK landers

N-1 base showing the 30 NK-15 engines. Note the people in the background for the massive scale.

N1 preparation and launch video

Soviet N1 moon rocket exploding


Soviet LK Lunar Lander


2 N1 rockets on the launch pad


Soyuz 7K-L3 -- This formed the orbital portion of the Russian Moon program, In conjunction with the N1 Rocket and LK lander


Krechet Soviet moon suit


N1 compared to Saturn V moon rocket. The N1 is slightly smaller and was designed to carry a maximum payload of 90 tons vs 120 tonnes, but it had higher thrust.

N1 NK-33 engine, still used today. The only bit of the N1 program to survive was the NK-33 engine, which have been tested for use today, by Orbital Sciences, the company that formerly owned the satellite mapping system now used by Google Maps.

Parts of the N1 in a Baikonur childrens playground