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Documentary on the N-1 rocket

An exclusive technical documentary on the N-1

About the project

This crowdfunding campaign aims at funding the production of an exclusive documentary about the soviet lunar N-1 rocket, both from an historical and technical point of view. This 100+m-tall (344ft) rocket was designed in the 60s by the Korolev design Bureau as a mean to send humans to the moon, and we will dive into the details of its preliminary design, its technical constraints and final design, the design and construction of the launch pad, the timeline and investigation for each of its four launches, the upgrade of each model accordingly, and the aftermaths of this program. If this campaign is successful this documentary will eventually be available to all for free on YouTube on the 1st july 2020, hence I propose you to become my sponsor for this ambitious project, and have a chance to get some exclusive goodies for the backers.

The video sources about the N-1 are rare, that's why most of the documentaries about the N-1 look a bit similar. But I intend to do this documentary with a different mindset. I'd like to re-scan some video archives reels to illustrate this huge space program. This will done in collaboration with russian specialists that have access to the reels, but this is a very expensive process (~30$ per second). These video images will offer a fresh look on this program and maybe allow you to rediscover details usually hidden in pixels garbage.

Based on technical documentation of the different parts of the launcher and its launch pad, I'll try to deliver a documentary that will enter the technical aspects of how this gigantic system worked, as never shown before in a video. It will for example include the precise design and evolution of the rocket engines, the internal features and assembly procedures of the launcher, the operation of the launch pad or the way the L3 complex was supposed to get to the lunar surfance and back to Earth.

Based on precise diagrams that could be gathered these last years, different professional modelers will be involved on the 3D modeling of the rocket, the launch area, the transporter/erector, the engines and the integration building. Thanks to these precious assets, an animation team will generate illustrative sequences in HD and allow for detailed explanations even when no video archives are available.

In addition to these teams, graphists will bring an additionnal visual style by illustration historical sequences and other miscellaneous situations that cannot be shown with actual videos. Here is a sample of what we are preparing, with Korolev (left) arguing with Glushko (center) while Chertok is in the background.

What are the funds for?


This project is organized by a volunary association, and 100% of the budget will only be dedicated to the production of the documentary. Even though the costs are important, the majority of work will be done for free by unpaid workers, and the target budget will just barely allow the film to be produced.

Here are the main expense source:

Purchase of 9 minutes of video archives = 510 seconds x 30 $/s = 14.310 €
3D modeling (launcher, launch pad, grasshoper, engines, etc) = 3.500 € (minimum)
2D and 3D animation = 2.500 €
Russian interpreter for the documentation = 1.680 €
Ulule commission = 5.000* 8% = 400 €
Goodies cost = roughly 550 € (depends on the exact number)
Music rights = 216 €

Total cost = 23.156 €

And the income:

French state subsidy = 12.500 €
This crowdfunding campaign = 5.000 €

​Total income = 17.500 €. If this crowdfunding campaign just reaches the minimum step, the video archives will be ordered down to the available budget, focusing on the most important parts. Every additional dollar will be injected to obtain more original videos, more detailed 3D models and more animations.

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