R-7 "Semyorka*", SS-6 "Sapwood", SL-1/2, A Type

The R-7 first test flight. * "Semyorka" - "Little seven", idiomatically.

he R-7 missile was designed on plans laid out in the governmental order from February 13, 1953 to develop a two-stage ballistic missile with a range of 7000-8000 km. , serving as the basis for the most famous family of boosters ever developed. By 1954, engine development was underway at the GDL ("Gas Dynamics Laboratory"). In 1955, the testing launch site at Baykonur was selected. The booster was built at the Kuznetsov factories at Kuybyshev. In April 1956 the first R-7 rockets were finished and ready for testing and engine testing began. From August, until December 1956, launch equipment for the R-7, was installed at Baykonur. After this, an R-7 test article was used to test the ground support equipment. The first flight version R-7 (8K71) was rolled out to the launch pad after two months of checkout, on May 5, 1957. The rocket was launched on May 15, only to fail after 50 seconds of flight. After three more failures, the first successful flight of the R-7 occurred on August 3. The rocket test flight terminated at the Kamchatka peninsula. The second successful flight was on September 7, with Premier Nikita Khrushchev viewing the launch. The project was headed by Korolev's NII-88 but involved a wide range of other Soviet research institutes: OKB-456 - Glushko - Engines, NII-885 - Ryazanskiy, Pilyugin - Guidance, NII-3 - Shebanin / GSKB Spetsmash - Launch facility, KB-11 - Nuclear warhead , NII-4 - Sokolov - Launch pad development, TSIAM - Svishchev, TsAGI - Dorognitsin, Struminskiy - aerodynamics, NII-6 - Sukhikh, NII-125 - Zhukov, NII-137 - Kostrov, NII-504 - Karpov, NII-10 - Kuznetsov - gyro platform, NII-49 - Charin, Mathematics Institute - Steklov and Keldysh.

The R-7 (8K71) ICBM test  with the elongated conical nose cone. The conical nose was a plywood-sheathed ablative reentry body, which contained the 5 megatons thermonuclear  warhead.

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