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This is the LK lander, that cosmonaut Alexei Leonov should have attempted to land on the moon at some point of the late 1960s or early 1970s. It was the terminal (quite possibly in all senses) phase of the complex LK-LOK proposed Soviet lunar mission, a mission cancelled due to the repeated test failures of the huge N1 rocket.

One of the failures was so catastrophic it resulted in perhaps the largest human created non-nuclear explosion ever seen on the planet. So heaven knows what would have happened if they’d ever gone ahead with the mission.

The lander itself, meanwhile, has a certain familiar style about it.

soviet-lunar-lander-lk-001

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The craft was featured on an excellent BBC4 documentary about the history of the Cosmonauts, and I felt inspired to share it here.

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