USSR'S ANSWER TO THE SATURN V.
Very large model of the Soviet N1-L3 rocket, one of two examples produced by Energia Corporation. Resin and metal. The rocket itself 56 inches tall x 13½ inches at widest point (grid fins), raised slightly on stand. Scale 1:72.
Development on the N1 rocket began in 1959, under the direction of Sergei Korolev. It was designed to deliver a payload beyond Earth orbit, and ultimately to the Moon; the N1-L3 model would carry the L3 lunar payload, consisting of an Earth departure stage and a lunar landing assist stage, in addition to a single-cosmonaut lunar lander and a two-cosmonaut lunar orbiter. By November of 1967, a mock-up was complete and on the launch pad.
The completed N1 was very slightly shorter than the Saturn V, but had a greater lift-off thrust. The N1 was made up of three stages, each of which had a conical liquid oxygen tank topped off with a spherical kerosene tank. The first stage carried some thirty engines, and the resulting complex plumbing proved problematic.
As a result of its technical difficulties, in turn due to lack of funding for full-up testing, the N1 never successfully completed a test flight. All four unmanned launches out of 12 planned tests ended in failure, each before first-stage separation. The longest flight lasted 107 seconds, just before first stage separation. Two test launches occurred in 1969, one in 1971 and the final one in 1972.
The tallest rocket model we have handled, and a striking relic of the Soviet lunar program.