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Wednesday, 20 March, 2002, 12:02 GMT
Soviet Moon rocket secrets revealed
The images show early test versions of the booster's first stage.
Nine or 10 N1's were built at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The giant rocket was launched just four times; each one was a disaster ending in abrupt and catastrophic failure.
They are interesting photographs because they reveal some previously unseen detail in the structure and construction of N1's first stage, Soviet space expert Edwin Cameron told BBC News Online.
Designed to lift the Soviet Moon lander into space, the N1 was a titanic feat of engineering. Its first stage involved a cluster of 30 high-powered rocket engines using kerosene and liquid oxygen as fuel.
Pumping fuel to each rocket motor also proved to be a major problem.
When the N1 project was cancelled in 1976, the Soviet space chief Valentin Glushko ordered all the remaining N1 hardware to be destroyed. However, despite his orders, much of the equipment survived.
In 1997, 94 leftover N1 engines were sold to the American company Kistler for refurbishment and incorporation into a new rocket.
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