Soyuz 7K-LOK
L2 (Lunar Orbit Module) (RP1357 p16, 31-220).svg
Lunniy Orbitalny Korabl drawing
DesignerSergei Korolev
Country of originSoviet Union
OperatorSoviet space program
ApplicationsCrewed cislunar flight and lunar orbit
Launch mass9,850 kilograms (21,720 lb)
Crew capacity2
Dimensions10.06 meters (33.0 ft) length
2.93 meters (9.6 ft) diameter
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Cislunar space
Lunar orbit
Maiden launchDecember 2, 1970
Last launchNovember 23, 1972
Related spacecraft
Derived fromSoyuz 7K-OK
DerivativesSoyuz 7K-L1 lunar flyby
Soyuz 7K-OKS space station shuttle
Flown withLK lander
Apollo CSM and LOK drawn to scale
Apollo CSM and LOK drawn to scale

The Soyuz 7K-LOK, or simply LOK (Russian: Лунный Орбитальный Корабль, romanizedLunniy Orbitalny Korabl meaning "Lunar Orbital Craft") was a Soviet crewed spacecraft designed to launch men from Earth to orbit the Moon, developed in parallel to the 7K-L1. The LOK would carry two cosmonauts, acting as a mother ship for the LK Lander which would land one crew member to the surface. It was part of the N1-L3 programme which also included the LK lander and the N1 rocket.[1]


Like the 7K-OK model, the 7K-LOK was divided into three sections, an ellipsoid Orbital Module, the "headlight"-shaped Descent Module, and a cylindrical equipment module. Like the 7K-OK, the 7K-LOK was capable of physically docking with another spacecraft, but lacked the transfer tunnel used on the Apollo (spacecraft), thus forcing the cosmonaut to make a spacewalk from the 7K-LOK's orbital module to the LK Lander using the new Krechet space suit (the predecessor to the Orlan space suits used today on the International Space Station).

Another change to the 7K-LOK was the elimination of the solar panels used on the 7K-OK, replacing them with fuel cells similar to those found on the Apollo CSM. Another feature, a "cupola" located on the Orbital Module, allowed the cosmonaut in the 7K-LOK to perform the docking procedure with the LK Lander after lunar liftoff. Only the Descent Module from the 7K-L1, with a thicker, reinforced heatshield, is used on the 7K-LOK and like the 7K-L1, is capable of doing a "skip reentry" so that the Soyuz could be recovered in the Soviet Union.

The information display systems (IDS) on the LOK were different from those of the Soyuz-7K. The Descent Module was equipped with the "Uran" control panel and the Orbital Module featured the "Orion" approach control panel.


Only three uncrewed 7K-LOKs were flown in the short lifespan of the failed Soviet lunar program.


  1. ^ Wade, Mark. "L3". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 1 December 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  2. ^ Mark Franchetti (July 3, 2005). "Russia plans first men on Mars". The Times. London. Retrieved 2008-02-05.