Voskhod launch vehicle (11A57)

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Voskhod launch vehicle.

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An initial concept of the three-seat Vostok formulated in February 1964 called for keeping the mass of the spacecraft unchanged, however the resulting Voskhod gained weight, reaching 5.7 tons. (466)

To launch the heavier payload, its rocket was equipped with a more powerful upper stage, which was borrowed from the 8K78 (Molniya) booster. It enabled to add an extra ton of payload. The modified rocket received a designation 11A57. (84)

In its aerodynamic configuration, the 11A57 variant was very close to the 8K78 version of the rocket with the 1M Mars probe, however, the cylindrical section of its payload assembly was streched by 2,710 millimeters to 16,665 millimeters versus 13,955 millimeters on the 8K78 variant.

A similar vehicle -- 11A59 -- was also used to launch Zenit reconnaissance satellites.

A total of 299 vehicles under a designation 11A57 were eventually launched, including 14 that failed. However some of the third stages on 11A57 were equipped with the older RD-0108 engine, while the majority had RD-0110.


Separation of the third stage apparently filmed during the Voskhod mission.




Read (and see) much more about the history of the Russian space program in a richly illustrated, large-format glossy edition:



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Page author: Anatoly Zak; Last update: March 13, 2020

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To carry a heavier Voskhod spacecraft, its launch vehicle was upgraded with a more powerful third stage.


Fueling of the 11A57 (Voskhod) rocket before launch. Credit: RKK Energia


Launch of the Voskhod-2 spacecraft.

Lift off



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