This 30-Enginee Rocket Created The Largest Non-Nuclear Explosion in History

Soviet N-1-L5 mega-booster

During what would become the most dramatic month in space history, an apocalyptic explosion of near-nuclear magnitude took effect in the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, two weeks before the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon. The Soviet N-1-L5 mega-booster launched on July 3, 1969, and detonated moments later. The rocket was the Soviet counterpart to the US Saturn V, with the intention to enable crewed travel to the Moon and beyond. Fortunately, only its first stage, the most powerful ever built to that day, ignited while the rocket crashed back down. “Today… I saw without exaggeration, the end of the world, and not in a nightmare but while fully awake and standing right next to it,” Lieutenant Colonel Semen Komarovsky would declare about the massive explosion. The N1 Moon project was subsequently pushed back two years and cost millions in losses. But Soviet officials didn’t measure the setbacks in terms of money, but in the precious time they had wasted to win the Moon race…

Credit Dark Space

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