The R-7 СЕМЁРКА (Semyorka, the Seven) was the first ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) in the world. It was originally designed to transport nuclear weapon payloads, but the configuration shown here was used to deliver the СПУТНИК 1 (Sputnik 1) satellite to low earth orbit. Fun trivium: СПУТНИК means "satellite", so the "Sputnik satellite" really means the "satellite satellite".

The mesh construction near the nose cone separates the first stage of the launch vehicle from the second stage (yes, there is a nozzle behind the mesh). The second stage was only used to bring the payload to a stable orbit. The first stage and the boosters accelerated the rocket to escape velocity.

The R-7 was designed in the 1950's, but forms the basis for most subsequent Soviet and Russian launch vehicles, even the modern СОЮЗ (Soyuz) rockets and spacecraft.

The launch tower shown here is scratch-built and fictitious.

The kit is an US Airfix kit from 1979, see the review page for details.

Launch system without ground structure. The СПУТНИК 1 had a diameter of 58 centimeters and was located in the top of the nose cone, but its antennas were almost three meters long, so it occupied all the space in the cone.

The СЕМЁРКА had five identical RD-108 engines with four nozzles each. Four engines were located in the boosters, one in the first stage. There were two Vernier thrusters for attitude control in each booster and four in the first stage. The first stage carried more fuel and hence burned longer than the boosters.

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