THE MISHIN MISSION December 1962 - December 1993

Fredericksburg, VA, USA.

Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, Vol. 47, pp. 357-362, 1994.

Despite the large amount of information that has now emerged on the Soviet manned Lunar effort, many unanswered questions remain about hardware and poorly defined historical related questions. What is clear from my own research is that only about 45% of the full programme story had been told and officially released as of the end of 1993. Much of the programme still remains a secret, but thanks to seven direct meetings with retired General Chief Designer Acad. V P Mishin totalling over seven hours, many hardware questions have been answered.

The first meeting was held in Paris in June 1991 at the then Soviet pavilion at the Paris Air Show; the rest were carried out over several days at the IAN Congress in Montreal, Canada on October 6-10, 1991 and the World Space Congress, in Washington, D.C. United States of America, Aug. 28-Sept. 5, 1992.

Attending those meetings were the interpreters Acad. Milkhail Ya Marov, of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Harvey R. Wasiuta formerly of Space Commerce Corporation and others in subsequent meetings. Also, participating in the various sessions led by Charles P. Vick were Trevor WIlliams, David R. Woods, Dietrich Haeseler, and Christian Lardier in 1991. Subsequently, in 1992 Charles Vick and David R. Woods did the questioning. Thanks to Mr. Theo Pirard, of the Space Information Center, who took a series of photographs that filled in critical details, it has now become possible to define the L3 spacecraft hardware details precisely.

Three of the drawings were, by request, signed by Acad. V.P. Mishin even though they were still undergoing revisions. He had specified changes which have been completed and registered copies for himself. Subsequent changes were made in light of actual photographs of the hardware and discussions with the individual component designers for precise working understanding of the details. This proved critical in understanding the docking systems design configuration details. The result is a series of drawings on the Soviet manned Lunar programmes hardware reflecting many years of research, though only part of the total series of drawings that have been developed on the programmes physical layout.