NW096 1/144 R-7 Sputnik 3 LV


The history of Soviet launch vehicles begins in 1956 when the first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) was built, giving birth to the R-7 (or Semyorka), a one-stage rocket with four strap-ons which sent the third Sputnik into orbit on May 15th, 1958. Tikhonravov's 1.4 metric ton ISZ satellite was to have been launched by the new R-7 ICBM as the Soviet Union's first satellite, but the R-7 was ready before the satellite, so it was preceded by Sputnik 1 and Sputnik 2. The ISZ was a miniature physics laboratory, but was launched with a known faulty recorder, limiting data to that received when the spacecraft was over Soviet tracking stations. As a result, the Van Allen radiation belts were discovered by the United States rather than Russia.