N1 (rocket) - Remains

Remains

The two flight-ready N1Fs were scrapped and their remains could still be found around Baikonur years later used as shelters and storage sheds. The boosters were deliberately broken up in an effort to cover up the USSR's failed moon attempts, which was publicly stated to be a paper project in order to fool the US into thinking there was a race going on. This cover story lasted until glasnost, when the remaining hardware was seen publicly on display.

The advanced engines for the N1F escaped destruction. Although the rocket as a whole was unreliable, the NK-33 and NK-43 engines are considered rugged and reliable when used as a standalone unit. About 150 engines survived, and in the mid-1990s, Russia sold 36 engines to Aerojet General for $1.1 million each. This company also acquired a license for the production of new engines.

Supplied through Aerojet, three of the engines were incorporated into Japanese rockets J-1 and J-2. The US company Kistler Aerospace worked on incorporating these engines into a new rocket design, with which Kistler sought to eventually offer commercial launch services, before declaring bankruptcy. In Russia, N1 engines were not used again until 2004, when the remaining 70 or so engines were incorporated into a new rocket design. As of 2005, the project has been frozen due to the lack of funding. The current design of Orbital Science's Antares launch vehicle includes two NK-33s as the first stage engines.

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