In response to the United States announcement of manned moon landing plans, the Soviet Union announced the TMK program. This program would have sent manned missions to Venus and Mars. The original mission was just a flyby of the two planets. Several possible variations were considered, some of which added manned landing components on the surface of Mars.

For the purposes of this we can just assume the N1 rocket was a total success. There is no reason why it couldn't have been completed, it is only a failure in history because of poor management and that changes in the political attitudes of the USSR made it un-needed.

Given the technology and knowledge of the era was there any chance the crew even surviving?

By the announcement of this program, multiple manned missions had been made to low earth orbit. But it was not until the manned moon landings of the Apollo program that we learned how harsh even the environment on the moon could be. There are more details about this experiment here. Did the Soviets possess the correct knowledge to adequately shield the crew from radiation encountered during the mission?

Some of the missions had durations measured in years. Even if you could put the crew on a calorie-restricted diet and somehow carry enough food, you would have to reuse water and oxygen while in transit. Did the Soviets posses an adequate knowledge of life support systems that can support such a long duration mission?

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    $\begingroup$ This is a book topic, and actually about 10 questions in one. It's also heavily opinion based. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Aug 4, 2017 at 15:43
  • $\begingroup$ I would love to see this topic explored more in questions here! But as it is now, this question is far too broad. $\endgroup$ Aug 4, 2017 at 18:15
  • $\begingroup$ @GdD Could you please reconsider this question? I have narrowed it to just asking if the crew would even survive. $\endgroup$
    – Eric Urban
    Aug 8, 2017 at 21:11
  • $\begingroup$ @EricUrban It's narrower now, although still asking more than one question to be honest, however I have nominated it to be reopened as I'd like to see it answered. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Aug 8, 2017 at 21:42
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    $\begingroup$ @EricUrban My apologies if my comment sounded like a complaint, it was really meant as an observation, and reasonable grounds for deleting my answer. I think you did the right thing narrowing the scope - with 4 separate questions in the body, it seemed logical for me to answer the one in the title. I was surprised at how thoroughly lambasted I was for having done so. $\endgroup$ Aug 11, 2017 at 9:24


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