Triumph and Tragedy

Principal Engineer Distribution Planning SPRINGER-PRAXIS BOOKS IN SPACE EXPLORATION SUBJECT ADVISORY EDITOR John Mason B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. ISBN 978-0-387-73585-6 Springer Berlin Heidelberg New York Springer is a part of Springer Science + Business Media (springer.com) Library of Congress Control Number 200794102 Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of research or private study, or criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, this publication may...

Authors preface

The mission of the Soyuz 11 crew who lived on board the first Salyut space station is remembered by the phrase triumph and tragedy. Triumph stands for the successful designing, testing and launching of the world's first space station in an unbelievably short period of time. In fact, it was done in less than 16 months. It also stands for the ability of the Soyuz 11 crew to dock and enter the station after the preceding crew had been prevented from doing so. And then it stands for their ability...

Info

Vilnitskiy, Lev B., 25, 111, 112, 409 Volkov, Nikolay G., 147, 283, 403 Volkova (Birykova), Lyudmila A., 148, 283, 383, 403 Volkova (Kotova), Olga M., 147, 283, 403 Volkov, Vladimir V., 148, 283, 403 Volkov,Vladislav N., 5, 34, 36, 37, 39, 45, 47, 48, 54, 59, 72, 76, 84, 91, 114, 117, 120, 122-134, 145, 146-159, 163, 167-171, 173-177, 179-183, 185-189, 199-203, 205, 207, 208, 210-217, 219-221, 223, 224, 226-229, 231-236, 239, 240, 243-250, 253, 256-260, 268, 273, 277-279, 281, 282, 284, 285,...

Index

Abramov, Aleksey P., 25, 408 Afanasyev, Sergey A., 7, 14, 15, 18, 20, 26, 105, 119, 124, 125, 176, 181, 182, 186, 222, 255, 256, 276, 278, 285, 297, 322, 343, 344, 350, 351-353, 355, 367, 395 Agadzhanov, Pavel A., 96-101, 182, 185, 227, 255, 338, 403 Alekseyev, Vladimir B., 218, 396 Almaz, 1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 41, 50, 95, 144, 329-332, 343, 351, 355, 356, 385, 392 Anna-III, 203, 204, 391 Anyokhin, Sergey N., 33, 72, 149, 150, 164, 400 Apollo 11, 5,...

Personnel

Academy of Sciences Keldysh, Mstislav V. (1911-1978) President of the Soviet Academy of Sciences (1961-1975) Petrov, Boris N. (1913-1980) A senior academician in the Soviet Academy of Science involved in space research the head of Interkosmos organisation Research-Cosmonaut of Academy of Sciences (1966-1974) involved in the testing of lunar landing equipment Communist Party and MOM Senior Officials The first Minister of the Ministry of General Machine Building or Soviet Space Industry...

Zem

Rocket and Space Corporation RKK Energiya named after S.P. Korolev Central Design Bureau of Machine Building headed by Vladimir Chelomey originally OKB-52 today NPO Mashinostroyenie Central Scientific Research Institute Central Scientific-Research Institute for Machine Building. The institute is responsible for systems analysis, and for research and development of spacecraft and rocket technologies. Founded in 1946, it was called NI-88 until 1967 Cosmonaut Training Centre Flight Control Centre...

Zarya And Zvezda

When the Almaz and DOS programmes were initiated, no one could have predicted that such hardware would form the core of a space station at the turn of the century, but the Russian-built Zarya ('Dawn') and Zvezda ('Star') modules are key parts of the International Space Station. And certainly not even Sergey Korolev could have dreamed that his Soyuz spacecraft would still be in use ferrying crews to this station. This legacy is truly the best of monuments to the lost crew of the first space...

Valeriy Nikolayevich Kubasov

Bertalan Farkash

After training for missions which never flew to the first three DOS stations, in May 1973 Kubasov was assigned with Leonov to the Apollo-Soyuz programme. After the two spacecraft were docked, Thomas Stafford and Donald Slayton transferred through the special airlock to the hatch of Soyuz 19, where the historic handshake between men of the rival space-faring nations occurred. Meanwhile, their colleague Vance Brand remained in the Apollo. The cosmonauts had prepared a surprise for their guests...

Aleksey Arkhipovich Leonov

Salyut Leonov

Following the loss of the DOS 3 station in May 1973 Leonov and Kubasov were reassigned to the Apollo-Soyuz programme. They lifted off in Soyuz 19 on 15 July 1975. The Apollo carried a special airlock on its nose and was the active partner in the docking. In the two days during which the two spacecraft were linked the crews visited each other several times. Half an hour after separation, the Soyuz played the After almost 10 years of continuous training for circumlunar, lunar landing and space...

Aleksey Stanislavovich Yeliseyev

After his third and final space flight on Soyuz 10 in April 1971 Yeliseyev became one of Yakov Tregub's deputies, being responsible for the preparation and control of manned missions. He worked mainly on the development of the programmes for missions and the onboard instruction, the technical aspects of crew training, and the control of a flight. When Prime Minister Aleksey Kosygin and America's President Richard Nixon signed an agreement which called for the first joint space mission involving...

Vladimir Aleksandrovich Shatalov

On 26 April 1971, immediately after his return from the Soyuz 10 mission, Shatalov was promoted to Major-General. Two months later he superseded Kamanin. This appointment was largely the result of his close relationship with Marshal Kutakhov, who was his mentor prior to becoming a cosmonaut, his participation in organising the historic visit to Baykonur of President Charles De Gaulle in June 1966,13 and his excellent management skills. His promotion coincided with the Soyuz 11 mission, and his...

Nikolay Petrovich Kamanin

Kamanin's involvement with the space programme began in the best possible way, with the selection and training of the first cosmonauts, including Yuriy Gagarin, the first man to orbit the Earth. It ended with the deaths of Dobrovolskiy, Volkov and Patsayev. However, during his 11 years as head of cosmonaut training there had been other deaths. In March 1961, shortly before Gagarin's launch, the young trainee cosmonaut Valentin Bondarenko lost his life as a result of burns from an accidental...

Yuriy Pavlovich Semyonov

After leaving Mikhail Yangel's Design Bureau in 1964 to join Korolev, Semyonov rose steadily through the ranks. He started as an assistant to the main designer of the Soyuz spacecraft, but was then appointed the main designer for the L1 circumlunar variant, and finally the main designer for the DOS programme. During the period in which Glushko ran the company, Semyonov participated in improving the Soyuz to serve the second-generation Salyuts, and later Mir. He also directed the Interkosmos...

Boris Viktorovich Raushenbakh

As a result of the loss of DOS-3, Raushenbakh was dismissed from his post in charge of the development of systems for the guidance and orientation of vehicles in space, and soon thereafter left the TsKBEM to become a professor at Moscow's Physics and Technical Institute. This was a natural move, because while working at the TsKBEM he had been a part-time lecturer there. Raushenbakh was one of the most imposing senior personnel at the TsKBEM. In addition to being a theoretician and designer of...

Boris Yevseyevich Chertok

As the last of the Pleiades of extraordinary members of Soviet rocketry, they called Chertok a patriarch of cosmonautics. For two decades (1946-1966) he worked with Sergey Korolev. He directed the department which developed guidance systems and their associated electronics. From 1966 until 1973 he was a member of the Chief Operative and Control Group at the TsUP in Yevpatoriya. He was also one of the men who in 1969 approached Ustinov behind Mishin's back and thereby started the DOS programme....

Vladimir Nikolayevich Chelomey

The empire that Chelomey had spent many years building up began to decay when Ustinov became the Minister of Defence in 1976. As Ustinov did not wish to have two institutions working on manned space projects, Branch No. 1 of the TsKBM at Fili was transferred to NPO Energiya.5 It was therefore ironic that whereas Mishin had sought to offload the DOS programme to Chelomey, Almaz was removed from Chelomey and handed to the TsKBEM's successor However, later Fili became KB Salyut, and eventually...

Uj

The crew would by partly recycled using a condenser in the air conditioning system. And the scientific payload was increased to about 2 tonnes. The improved DOS had the capacity to support two men for 180 days, and the plan was to send three crews, each of which would spend two months on board. It was fully expected that DOS-3 would significantly upstage the American Skylab. In the period October 1972 to April 1973 the crews who had trained for the lost DOS-2 switched their attention to DOS-3...

Dos An Improved Station

In sounds strange, but between December 1972 and April 1973 two stations were simultaneously in preparation at Baykonur, which was fairly buzzing with activity. One was OPS-1 for the military and the other was DOS-3 for the Soviet Academy of Sciences. The relationship between the TsKBM and the TsKBEM was strained by competition for access to the altitude chamber and other service test facilities. Mishin's engineers had also to prepare the Soyuz that was to deliver the first Almaz crew. And...

Lost At Launch

Salyut Leonov

Meanwhile, the TsKBEM engineers were hard at work developing modifications to the Soyuz to eliminate the weaknesses revealed by the investigation conducted by the State Commission of Academician Mstislav Keldysh. At the recommendation of Konstantin Bushuyev, the issue of pressure suits was reconsidered, and it was duly decided that henceforth cosmonauts should wear them for launch and the return to Earth, even though this would mean reducing the number of couches to two in order to accommodate...

Salyuts Last Days

The tragedy that befell the Soyuz 11 crew had not only dramatic effects on the plans for further use of the world's first space station, but also the entire Soviet manned space programme. On 9 July 1971, while the investigation of the accident was underway, the State Commission decided to halt preparations for the next flight to Salyut. This was despite Leonov's assurance that his crew was ready for a 1-month mission. But after such a terrible tragedy, no one wished to take the risk. Salyut was...

Specific references

Novosti kosmonavtiki, 2001, pp. 338340 (in Russian). 2. Chertok, B.Y., Rockets and People - The Moon Race, Book 4. Mashinostrenie, Moscow, 2002, pp. 341-348 (in Russian). 3. Salahutdinov, G.M., 'Once More about Space'. Aganyok, No. 34, 1990 (Interview with Vasiliy Mishin). 4. Tarasov, A., 'Missions in dreams and Reality'. Pravda, 20 October 1989 (Interview with Vasiliy Mishin). 5. Yeliseyev, A.S., Life - A Drop in the Sea. ID Aviatsiya and kosmonavtika,...

Cosmonauts

Wrong valve - Owing to the error in the onboard documentation and the fact that the flight controllers neglected to warn them otherwise, the crew of Soyuz 11 undocked from Salyut believing that the manual shutters of the ventilation valves were set in the opposite sense to that which was the case, and when they realised that a valve was leaking they directed their attention to the wrong one. Dobrovolskiy and Patsayev - As the two valves were located above their seats, Dobrovolskiy and Patsayev...

Training

Crew teamwork - With a new commander assigned less than four months prior to the mission, Dobrovolskiy, Volkov and Patsayev were members of the third crew until the launch of Soyuz 10 in late April 1971. They had not trained as intensively as the first two crews. Yevgeniy Bashkin, who was an instructor, says that this crew was not given the same attention as the others, since no one expected them to fly to DOS-1. Cosmonaut Gorbatko even said that the majority of the TsPK staff did not recall...

Mission Control

Organisation - The organisation of the Soyuz 11 mission was one of the weakest links in the chain of factors leading to the tragedy. The spacecraft was modified and tested much too hastily. The programme for the mission and the organisation of the crew's activities were also developed in a hurry, and without full consideration of the implications of a prolonged exposure to weightlessness. For Mishin, who was antagonistic to the DOS programme, the main event in June 1971 was the third launch of...

Ventilation valves

Valve screw - The screws on the ventilation valves of the descent module had been insufficiently torqued. The automatic shutter used a ball which was held in its nest by the screw. But the screw on No. 1 valve was not fastened properly, and when the pyrotechnics fired to jettison the orbital module the ball was unseated from its nest. Shatalov, who wrote of the discovery of this problem, did not specify how the screws were torqued on the valves of the Soyuz 11 spacecraft. But it is reasonable...

People And Omissions

A characteristic of the development and operation of the first Salyut space station was continuous work under time pressure. It is true that the TsKBEM's designers, disappointed by the failure of the lunar programmes, worked with great enthusiasm because DOS was new and of major significance to the prestige of the Soviet space programme. However, the deadlines were simply unrealistic. Although the Kremlin told the team not to hurry, they were well aware that Moscow wished the station to be...

From Vera Patsayevas Notes

Until her death in 2002, Vera Patsayeva collected information on the worst tragedy in the Soviet manned space programme - which claimed the life of her husband. An expert in remotely sensing the Earth from space, she worked at the TsNIIMash, which was located alongside the TsKBEM. She was close to many designers and specialists from the TsKBEM, including Yeliseyev and Raushenbakh, and had access to secret information on the mission. Courtesy of her daughter Svetlana, we can now publish for the...

Could The Cosmonauts Have Survived

In analysing the actions of the Soyuz 11 cosmonauts during the decompression to assess whether they might have saved themselves, there are two basic approaches. Mishin and the TsKBEM engineers concluded that the crew should have been able to halt the leak - but they had panicked and failed to identify the source of the leak in time. But General Kamanin and the military cosmonauts at the TsPK thought that the decompression occurred so rapidly that the crew had no real chance of manually closing...

The Agony

How did the cosmonauts react It is possible to make inferences from the analyses performed by the medics, the state of the cabin, and the data recorded by the 'black box'. During the descent, each cosmonaut wore a medical belt with various sensors and the data on their vital functions was recorded. Prior to their return, the general physical state of each man was good. Dobrovolskiy's pulse in a normal, unstressed state was 7885 beats per minute. Volkov, being more dynamic and emotional, was...

The Valve

Let us consider the function of the valve which was the technical cause of the loss of the Soyuz 11 crew. The limited capacity of the launch vehicle obliged Feoktistov and his design team to make the Soyuz descent module a very small vehicle - it is so cramped that it is right on the limit for accommodating the human body. In fact, the bell-shaped module stands 2.16 metres tall, has a maximum diameter at its base of 2.2 metres and weighs only 2.8 tonnes. Yet it had to contain couches for three...

Decompression

The first to present was Vasiliy Mishin, who described how the Soyuz 11 spacecraft differed from its predecessors. He pointed out that a total of 19 spacecraft had been launched since November 1966, with Soyuz 10 and Soyuz 11 being the 7K-T crew ferry. The main difference between the two recent ships was the modification to the docking system following its failure on the Soyuz 10 mission. According to Mishin, Soyuz 11 suffered no major problems until the separation of its modules. It is not...

Commission

A special 12-member State Commission was formed to determine the specific cause of the Soyuz 11 tragedy. The chairman was Academician Mstislav Keldysh, and his deputy was Georgiy Babakin, who was the Chief Designer of the Lavochkin Design Bureau which developed lunar and interplanetary probes. The membership included Sergey Afanasyev, head of the Ministry of General Machine Building, and General Designer Valentin Glushko. Although Glushko developed the engines for Korolev's rockets in the...

Western Speculations

As soon as TASS made the announcement that the Soyuz 11 crew had been found dead in their couches, people all around the world began to consider whether their deaths were due to a technical fault or were the result of a fundamental limitation of the human body. One of the prevailing theories was that man might not be able to survive for long periods in weightlessness. For several years there had been a serious debate among scientists about the effects of long-term exposure to weightlessness. In...

The Announcement

The tragedy was revealed to the world in a message released by the Soviet national news agency at 6 a.m. on the 30 June TASS reports the deaths of the crew of the spaceship Soyuz 11, Lieutenant-Colonel Georgiy Timofeyevich Dobrovolskiy, Flight Engineer Vladislav Niko-layevich Volkov and Research Engineer Viktor Ivanovich Patsayev. On 29 June 1971 the crew of the Salyut orbital station fully completed the flight programme, and was directed to make the landing. The cosmonauts transferred the...

Dobrovolskiy Was Still Warm

Dobrovolskiy Volkov And Patsayev Body

When the State Commission was informed of the terrible news, Afanasyev, Mishin, Kerimov and others refused to believe it, and asked for confirmation. About an hour later, General Uglyanskiy reported from the landing site that within a few minutes of the module landing, members of the recovery team, led by General Goreglyad, had opened the hatch and found the cosmonauts inert and without any signs of life. Interestingly, Chertok has a different account of events in the TsUP immediately after the...

Code

At 1.45 a.m., almost seven minutes after finishing the braking manoeuvre, Soyuz 11 crossed the coast of Portugal. Shortly thereafter the automated system rotated it through 90 degrees in order to position the orbital module on top and the propulsion module facing down. At 1.47.28 a.m., while passing over France, twelve explosive 7 A further complication was that owing to the difficulty in achieving a hermetic seal of the hatch prior to undocking, the cosmonauts were initially 20 minutes behind...

The Silence Of The Cosmonauts

Dobrovolskiy, Volkov and Patsayev knew well the risks of the return operation, but on the third orbit after undocking from Salyut they were in excellent spirits and impatient for the landing. At 1.10 a.m. on Wednesday, 30 June, while out of radio contact over the Pacific Ocean approaching Chile, Dobrovolskiy, assisted by Volkov, oriented Soyuz 11 to position its main engine facing the direction of the flight. One of many disputed issues concerning the final phase of this mission is the time of...

W

6 Cnyci< ho ochobhom 'A 1 napaiuioTe, npeAnocaAOHHbie onepam-in < - 7 Po6otci abut ore as Pi (Jfr msitkom nocaAKM * The normal deployment of the Soyuz parachute system (1) the pilot and drogue chutes deploy in turn (2) on the drogue chute (3) jettisoning the drogue deploys the main chute (4) while on the main chute, two ventilation valves open (5) the base heat-shield is jettisoned (6) the harness of the main chute is repositioned for landing (7) retro-rockets fire 1 meter above the ground...

Soyuz Landing Operations

The most critical and dramatic phase of a manned space flight is the return to Earth. For a Soyuz mission, it starts with the orientation of the spacecraft for the braking manoeuvre and ends approximately 90 minutes later with the landing of the descent module on the Kazakh steppe and the evacuation of the crew. This phase involves a sequence of twelve specific actions, the successful completion of which is vital for the safety of the crew. Indeed, to date, the worst accident in the history of...

Pm

Volkov ''Good.'' Zarya ''And your mood '' Volkov ''As always. We are on your schedule. We will put on our 'penguin' suits now. Everything is in order. The systems of the Soyuz are normal.'' Dobrovolskiy ''What is the weather like in the recovery region '' Zarya ''The weather is excellent. All is ready. We are waiting for you.'' The State Commission met at 7.30 p.m. and confirmed the landing parameters. General Nikolayev reported that everything on the station and the ferry craft was as it...

Am

Dobrovolskiy I have a question about the sleep schedule. It says that Yantar 3 is to go to sleep at 12.40, that Yantar 2 will be awakened at 14.00, and that during this time Yantar 1 will rest.'' Zarya Correct. We will realign you slowly. Do you understand '' Dobrovolskiy The logic of this alignment is understood. Can the station remain without anyone on duty '' Zarya It is the decision of the Control Group. Did you understand me correctly Dobrovolskiy I understood. However, we are not happy...

Day Monday June

Work resumed with the Orion astrophysical observatory, this time with stars in the constellation of Serpens. Volkov was in charge of navigation. He spent a lot of time 'sitting' by a porthole on the station's floor, 'hunting' for landmarks on the Earth and in the sky. Once Volkov had selected a landmark, Dobrovolskiy would orient and stabilise the station to enable this to be viewed. During the next orbit, Patsayev controlled the two telescopes of the Orion system, one on the exterior of the...

Tracking Ships

As noted, the mission of the first Salyut station was controlled from the TsUP in Yevpatoriya, Crimea, supported by several tracking ships of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. In March 1971 Academician Sergey Korolev had relieved Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov in the North Atlantic, near Sable Island off the Canadian coast. Its first task had been to support Soyuz 10 in April. Now it was supporting Soyuz 11. Most of the crewmen of Academician Sergey Korolev originated from Odessa, the city in which...

One Thousand Orbits Day Sunday June

At 2.14 a.m. the Salyut space station completed its 1,000th orbit since its launch on 19 April. It was in the communication zone at the time, and cosmonaut Gorbatko was the communication officer at the TsUP. He pointed out that the crew had been on board for 206 orbits, and joked that perhaps they should remain for an additional thousand orbits. In accordance with the flight plan, 20 June was a rest day in space. They made a TV report showing off the station's various sections and its...

Space Birthday Day Friday June

On the second day after the fire the mood of the cosmonauts noticeably improved. Volkov and Patsayev even gave a 5-minute TV report in which they showed some of the scientific equipment - in particular demonstrating how the enormous bulk of the solar telescope dominated the compartment. They also talked about monitoring the Earth from the station. Of course, by this point they had removed all evidence of smoke, and at no time did they refer to the fire. Watching the broadcast, Kamanin noted a...

The Smoke Isnt Being Produced Any More

The controllers met again five minutes before the next communication session and Yeliseyev's team prepared brief instructions appropriate to each of the three options. Just in case, he invited Eleonora Krapivina, who had spent a lot of time studying the crew in training and could evaluate their capabilities in an emergency situation. For Yeliseyev, it was important to have someone on hand to assist him in providing the most important instructions to the cosmonauts in the brief time available...

Day Wednesday June

Dobrovolskiy and Volkov performed a test of the various methods for controlling the station. When doing so manually they used the wide-angle optical periscope. In addition, the accuracy of the ion automatic control system was tested. They also checked the intensity of the flashes while the attitude control system's engines were firing. Later, they studied the cloud formations in the upper atmosphere using a radio-mass-spectrometer.1 During the brief time when all three men were awake, Patsayev...

The Curtain

To the national TV audience, the flight of the Yantars had settled into an established routine with the cosmonauts working to the timetable of scientific experiments, exercises and other activities. The programme was going to plan and the crew were in excellent spirits. There was not even the slightest hint in their transmissions of the clashes between Volkov and Dobrovolskiy. At the TsUP, Yeliseyev, Nikolayev, Bykovskiy and Gorbatko, who were jointly responsible for communicating with the...

Day Saturday June

Salyut again entered the communication zone. The cosmonauts began the day by measuring the radiation in the station, then analysed their cardiovascular systems and tested their eyesight in different illumination conditions. Photography of the Earth's cloud cover and various atmospheric phenomena completed the day's scientific work. The crew transmitted another TV show and talked of living in their home in space. 12 June. I woke up. I drank water from the new tank we finished the...

Day Thursday June

One of the primary tasks for this first crew was to determine the degree to which the human body (and indeed other organisms) were influenced by long-term exposure to weightlessness. The crew were to have a detailed medical checkup every five days. This involved taking blood samples and electrocardiograms, and checking the composition of their bone tissue, in particular of their shins. The procedure was more sophisticated than on previous flights. For instance, whereas only the rate of...

Medicine On Salyut Day Tuesday June

The second day for the cosmonauts on Salyut started at 1 a.m. on 8 June, when the station entered the Soviet communication zone. After breakfast, they checked the life support systems and made a start on preparations for the scientific programme. At 11.02 a.m., the cosmonauts initiated a manoeuvre to raise the orbit to 239 x 265 km with a period 89 minutes. With Salyut's systems confirmed to be in good order the Soyuz was powered down, since its interior would be ventilated by the station's...

Early Days

The first few days on Salyut were reserved for reconfiguring the station's systems, checking the equipment, starting the scientific investigations, and allowing the crew time to adapt to their new environment. Salyut was considerably more complex than any previous manned spacecraft, with more than 1,300 individual instruments and in excess of 1,200 kg of scientific apparatus. The Soviet press, television and radio reported enthusiastically this latest success of the manned space programme - the...

Sun sensors

sensors for the angular speed during the rotation of the station gyroscopes for measuring the angle of the station in three axes an integrator for longitudinal accelerations a control system for the orientation engines and radio-location rendezvous apparatus. While firing the manoeuvring engine, small orientation engines would hold the station stable. The system for manual control allowed the crew to align the station towards the Earth, the Moon, the Sun or the stars. While in stellar...

Space Laboratory

In essence, the Salyut space station was a series of cylinders with small, medium, and large diameters. It had a total length of 13.6 metres, a maximum diameter of 4.15 metres and a mass of 18.6 tonnes. It comprised four sections. At the front was the transfer compartment. This was the smallest habitable section. It was 3 metres in length, just over 2 metres in diameter and had a volume of 8.1 cubic metres. It contained the life support and thermo-regulation systems. It also contained the No. 5...

The Station Is Huge

After confirming that there were no problems with either the spacecraft or the crew during the first hours of the mission, at 3.00 p.m. on 6 June Kamanin and Shatalov took off in an IL-18 with a dozen Air Force flight control and docking specialists. At 5.00 p.m., the TsKBEM team set off in another IL-18. This group comprised the leading specialists in the spacecraft's systems, namely Mishin, Chertok, Shabarov, Feoktistov and Yeliseyev, accompanied by Minister Afanasyev and some members of the...

The First Orbits

Once they had settled down in orbit, Dobrovolskiy began a diary in his notebook, starting with the launch and his impressions of weightlessness The launch went normally. A smooth flight. We felt some swinging and vibration but it wasn't a problem - not too strong. Before separation of the last rocket stage, the loads increased. Then, in an instant, silence The interior of the cabin became brighter. On board clocks and the globe instrument started after a few seconds. After separation, there was...

Liftoff

When Georgiy Dobrovolskiy, Vladislav Volkov and Viktor Patsayev were woken up at 3 a.m. on Sunday, 6 June 1971, it was still dark at the Baykonur cosmodrome. They briefly exercised, shaved, had a light breakfast - their last meal on Earth - and then the final medical checks. An hour later, after brief reports of the status of the rocket and Soyuz 11 spacecraft, the State Commission gave the 'green light' for the launch, and the rocket was fuelled. In contrast to previous missions, this time...

Would Like So Much To Explore

The research engineer of the Soyuz 11 crew, Viktor Ivanovich Patsayev,13 was tall and skinny, had green eyes, was going bald, and was so quiet that his presence was often overlooked. Cosmonaut Shatalov observed Viktor was the total opposite of Vadim. He was also an engineer, also a top expert. But in contrast to Vadim he was reserved, quiet, self-controlled and humble - he didn't talk much. He liked his job. He was an expert in scientific instruments and related apparatus. He passionately...

Space Does Not Forgive Mistakes

One day in January 1962, my squadron commander invited me to his office. He asked me how I was doing, about my health, how I felt. Then, suddenly he stood up and asked me 'What do you think about space flight ' I asked 'Me ' He replied 'Yes, you Georgiy Timofeyevich ' I didn't know what he had in his mind, so I said nothing. Finally 'Don't you want to fly to space Think it over.' That was all. How could I reject such a proposal To fly far above the Earth in the emptiness of space. I remembered...

Between The Sea And

About space began cosmonaut Dobrovolskiy when asked the inevitable question by the famous space journalist Alexandar Romanov, I must admit, I never dreamt about it. The interview occurred in July 1969 during the tour by Frank Borman, the first American astronaut to visit the Soviet Union. All the TsPK's cosmonauts -veterans and rookies - gathered in Zvyozdniy to meet the man who commanded the Apollo 8 mission which orbited the Moon in December 1968. Dobrovolskiy had been seated on one of the...

Mishin Volkov And Leonov

Let us return to Mishin and the decision to swap the entire crew. When speaking of this issue at the State Commission he repeatedly used ''we'' rather than ''I''. Who else was involved in taking this decision It is clear from Chertok's memoirs that Mishin did not consult either Chertok or Shabarov, his most senior deputies present, as they heard the news from Severin, who was from a different design bureau The discussion between Severin, Chertok and Shabarov occurred late in the afternoon of 3...

Options

Leonov Kubasov Kolodin

While the engineers at the TsKBEM were modifying the docking mechanism of the Soyuz to eliminate the problem which had prevented Soyuz 10 from linking up with Salyut, on 2 May 1971 Vasiliy Mishin proposed to General Kamanin a revision to the programme. Owing to concern that Salyut's drogue might have been damaged, he proposed that the next mission should carry in its orbital module two spacesuits, identical to those used for the external transfer during the Soyuz 4 5 mission. Once the...

Show Me That Designer

A commission led by Boris Chertok decided that the first space station had almost been lost as a result of the error of leaving the Soyuz control system active during the automated docking process. By the end of April, the commission - which included the docking system designers Lev Vilnitsky, Viktor Kuzmin, Vladimir Siromyatni-kov and Vsevolod Zhivoglotov - made the following recommendations The speed of contact should be no greater than 0.2 metres per second. After capture, the docking probe...

The Night Return

Shatalov and Yeliseyev spent their second night in space snoozing, but their rookie colleague, Rukavishnikov, remained awake, watching the Earth and taking pictures. In fact, he had a criticism of the spacecraft ''At a temperature of 20 degrees it is impossible to sleep in the flight suits. It is very cold. During the first night we slept only two or three hours. Instead of sleeping, we sat and shivered It is necessary to carry sleeping bags.'' He was disappointed by the failure of their...

Mom Doesnt Release

To dock with the Salyut station was a four-stage automated process over which the cosmonauts had no control. The first stage was the initial mechanical contact, when the head of the active spacecraft's probe touched the interior of the conical drogue. This activated a sensor in the shock absorber on the probe. Then stabilisation thrusters were to slowly force the ship forward to drive the head of the probe into the hole at the apex of the cone, which the engineers referred to as the 'nest'....

Into Space

After the press conference at mid-day on 20 April 1971, the Soyuz 10 cosmonauts and their backups went to Pad No. 1 to inspect the 50-metre-tall rocket, enclosed by its service structure. Also present were hundreds of engineers, technicians and the military who managed Baykonur launch operations. The tradition of this gathering had been established a decade earlier, when Gagarin had prepared to ride a similar rocket from the same pad to become the first man to orbit the Earth. All nine...

Between Space And Bikes

''His ambition is to convert a refrigerator into a vacuum cleaner,'' joked Shatalov of Nikolay Nikolayevich Rukavishnikov, the Soyuz 10 research engineer who was an expert in electronics and the physics of cosmic rays. Short and skinny, and quiet but with a serious face, Rukavishnikov was a natural technician who loved to repair old apparatus and to devise new things, even once attempting to improve the design of a helicopter. Nikolay was born on 18 September 1932 in the town of Tomsk in...

J

A member of the recovery team assists Yeliseyev (waving) from the hatch of the Soyuz 4 descent module, as Shatalov stands on the left. Another member of the recovery team stands alongside the capsule with the warm clothes for Yeliseyev. Khrunov is not visible. A member of the recovery team assists Yeliseyev (waving) from the hatch of the Soyuz 4 descent module, as Shatalov stands on the left. Another member of the recovery team stands alongside the capsule with the warm clothes for Yeliseyev....

Interesting Things Attract Me

Space Soyuz

Just as Shatalov stood out in the military cosmonauts, so did Yeliseyev among the TsKBEM's civilians. He was the first member of the group of cosmonaut-engineers selected in May 1966 to be assigned to a prime crew after 3 months of training he was nominated as flight engineer of the crew which, if Soyuz 1 had not encountered difficulties, would have been launched on board Soyuz 2 to perform a joint mission involving a docking and an external transfer. When this task was finally achieved in...

Expert In Space Rendezvous

Vladimir Aleksandrovich Shatalov, nicknamed Volodya, was a familiar face for the journalists. When they saw him at the Congress of Communist Party in Moscow a few weeks earlier they had asked him when he was going into space again, and he had replied that he was ready to fly and would launch the next day if permitted. The journalists had laughed, not suspecting that an important event in cosmonautics was imminent. If they had known that a space station was being prepared, they certainly could...

S

A Proton launch vehicle with the DOS-1 station on the pad at Baykonur. The wide part of the working compartment is exposed, but the narrower part and the transfer compartment are inside a shroud for the ascent through the atmosphere. The white support ring below is jettisoned after orbital insertion. The original name 'Zarya' is visible on the working compartment. Also visible is the white protective cover for the scientific equipment aperture. Valeriy Kubasov (36), flight engineer and...

Space Station Launch

Meanwhile, the crews were wrapping up their training programmes in Zvyozdniy and Kaliningrad. On 9 March Shatalov, Yeliseyev and Rukavishnikov spent more than 14 hours in the Soyuz simulator, rehearsing each major phase of the mission -launch, rendezvous and docking, undocking, re-entry and landing - in the process overcoming five simulated anomalies, including the failure of the main engine and an excessive rate of fuel consumption. Leonov's crew had a similar session the next day, and...

Final Preparations

As the cosmonauts were training for flights to the first space station, on 2 March 1971 the Council of Chief Designers met at the TsKBEM for its first session in relation to the DOS-1 work. The Council had been formed in late 1947 by Sergey Korolev to oversee the technical management of rocket and spacecraft development. It was chaired by Korolev, and originally comprised the six Chief Designers of the primary rocket design bureaus Valentin Glushko for rocket engines, Nikolay Pilyugin for...

The Dismissal Of Shonin

When the DOS programme started in early 1970, it was only one of several manned space projects. In addition to the 12 cosmonauts assigned to the DOS crews there was a group of ten cosmonauts in training at the TsPK for projects involving other versions of the Soyuz. Pavel Popovich led the 20 military cosmonauts in the Almaz group. Valeriy Bykovskiy led the now much reduced lunar group. There was also a team in training for the Spirala 'rocket plane' project. Because the facilities were in...

Revised Appointments

On 6 May 1970 revised crews were nominated. They were Crew 1 Georgiy Shonin, Aleksey Yeliseyev and Nikolay Rukavishnikov Crew 2 Aleksey Leonov, Valeriy Kubasov and Pyotr Kolodin Crew 3 Vladimir Shatalov, Vladislav Volkov and Viktor Patsayev Crew 4 Georgiy Dobrovolskiy, Vitaliy Sevastyanov and Anatoliy Voronov By this point, relations between Mishin and Kamanin were improving. Mishin had accepted most of Kamanin's criticisms. Splitting Shatalov from Yeliseyev led to Shatalov having an unpleasant...

Star Town

Zvyozdniy Gorodok (Star Town), home of the Cosmonaut Training Centre (TsPK) where Soviet military cosmonauts live and train for space missions, is located in a wood of 100-year-old birch trees in the Shchelkovo area about 40 km northeast of Moscow and 10 km east of Kaliningrad. In 1958 General Nikolay Kamanin became Deputy Chief of the Soviet Air Force. He was responsible for the selection of all military cosmonauts, their training and nomination for space missions. He was also on the military...

Dos Is Born

Although Mishin and Chelomey were united in their opposition to the plan to create a hybrid Long-Duration Orbital Station (DOS) by using Almaz and Soyuz systems, the Kremlin's directive was firm. Chelomey was satisfied to ensure that this project would not further delay Almaz, but Mishin was furious at what he referred to as the ''conspiracy''. In one meeting Mishin threatened ''If I hear that anybody else apart from these two - Bushuyev and Feoktistov - occupies himself with this DOS, I will...

The Conspiracy

In contrast to the low priority assigned to the military space station projects at the overcommitted TsKBEM, the Ministry of Defence encouraged the development of Chelomey's Almaz. Although this project suffered protracted delays, by 1969 it was the only real Soviet space station project. It is true that there were ideas for joint endeavours in space station development between Mishin's team in Kaliningrad and Chelomey's in Reutov, but owing to the poor relationship between the two Chief...

Almaz

The Almaz orbital complex had four major segments the manned spacecraft which formed the re-entry vehicle (VA) the compartment with the apparatus for taking long-focus photographs and As with the American MOL, in its original design the Almaz was to be launched with its crew riding in a spacecraft on top. This eliminated the task of developing a rendezvous and docking system. However, further analysis led to a revision of this concept. In particular, because the presence of the heavy manned...

Chelomey And The Kremlin

Mishin's TsKBEM was not the only design bureau in the USSR involved in the development of manned spacecraft. In Moscow's eastern suburb of Reutov, 30 km south of Kaliningrad, was the headquarters of OKB-52, which in 1966 changed its name to the Central Design Bureau of Machine Building (TsKBM). It was led by Vladimir Nikolayevich Chelomey. Although there was only one letter different in the titles of the two bureaus, namely the 'E', Chelomey, having a staff of only 8,000 employees, had much...

Acknowledgements

Writing this book involved extensive research, but it is a logical continuation of my interest in space flight which was sparked by the television series Star Trek when I was only 11 years of age. The idea for this book arose when the Serbian magazine Astronomija (Astronomy) published a series which I wrote detailing the disasters of the space programme, one of which was an account of the Soyuz 11 tragedy. Seeing in Spaceflight magazine of the British Interplanetary Society a short letter from...

The Dismissal Of Vasiliy Mishin

Set against the tremendous success that the Americans had with Skylab, the dismal losses of DOS-2, OPS-1 and DOS-3 severely disappointed the Kremlin. The case of DOS-3 was unforgivable. A special investigating Commission was formed, chaired by Vyacheslav Kovtunenko, who was a Deputy Chief Designer at KB Yuzhnoye. Its members included experts in guidance and control - most notably Academician Nikolay Pilyugin, who was a colleague of Sergey Korolev, a legendary member of the Council of Chief...

Ninety Millimetres From Salyut

Soyuz Ssvp

On the morning of their second day in space, the Soyuz 10 crew performed systems tests in preparation for the final manoeuvre, which was achieved as planned. When their trajectory brought them within 16 km of Salyut the Igla automatic rendezvous system was activated. When the radar had locked onto the station's transponder the Igla began to steer Soyuz 10 towards its target, with the crew as mere spectators. Just before midnight on 24 April the control room at the TsUP-E was so crowded that...

Space Astrophysics Day Friday June

The crew began multispectral observations, both of the optical characteristics of the atmosphere and of Soviet territory in order to provide scientists with unique data about certain locations, including lakes. In addition, the Anna-III gamma-ray telescope was used to make the first such astronomical studies from a manned spacecraft.7 Volkov aligned the station to point the telescope at its target and then activated the automatic stabilisation system. Then Dobrovolskiy activated the apparatus...

The Funeral

Vladislav Volkov Kremlin

The post-mortems were conducted in the Burdenko Military Hospital in Moscow by 17 physicians. All three cosmonauts had suffered brain haemorrhages, subcutaneous bleeding, damaged ear-drums and bleeding of the middle ear. Nitrogen was absent from the blood it, together with oxygen and carbon dioxide, had boiled and reached the heart and brain in the form of bubbles. The formation of gas in the blood was a symptom of rapid depressurisation. The blood of all three men contained enormous amounts of...

Vasiliy Pavlovich Mishin

Although Mishin's leadership of the TsKBEM was criticised in the aftermath of the Soyuz 11 tragedy, he retained his position owing to support by Sergey Afanasyev, the Minister of General Machine Building, and Andrey Kirilenko, who was a close colleague of Brezhnyev in the Politburo. Mishin's relationship with Ustinov is very interesting. At first sight it may appear that he was always backed by Ustinov (for how else could he have remained in post despite the deaths of four cosmonauts, the...

The Next Crews

As the resources of the station (propellant, air, food and water) were sufficient to continue manned operations until 20 August, the return of Soyuz 11 was set for the last day of June and the launch of Soyuz 12 for between 15 and 20 July. The second crew would depart from the station just before its resources expired. In addition, a review of the resources on Soyuz 11 determined that it was capable of 57 hours of autonomous flight after undocking from the station. Meanwhile, after a 10-day...

Shading On The Lung

After a brief rest, hunting near the town of Vladimir and fishing on the Bear Lakes to the west of Zvyozdniy, on 21 May both crews flew to Baykonur with Kamanin and Beregovoy. In the Assembly-Test Building (MIK) the engineers had installed a docking command panel to Soyuz 11, and the cosmonauts rehearsed using it - they now had control of all docking operations until the final stage. In the meantime, one of the Igla rendezvous system units failed during tests. It was replaced, but the TsKBEM...

Flight Control

The development of the Soviet space tracking network began in the early days of rocketry to facilitate the tracking of intercontinental ballistic missiles in test flights from Baykonur. The system was then expanded and increased in scope to deal with orbital flights. The relatively brief Vostok and Voskhod missions were managed at Baykonur by Sergey Korolev, as the technical director for space missions, with the support of the so-called Operation Group of the Strategic Rocket Forces. The first...

From Almaz to Salyut

Almaz And Salyut Series

Special Design Bureau 1, OKB-1,1 is situated some 25 km northeast of the centre of Moscow in Podlipok, Kaliningrad renamed Korolev in 1997 , and it played a key role in the Soviet manned space programme it designed the first satellites, the first lunar and interplanetary probes, and the Vostok spacecraft that carried the first man into orbit. In the years that followed those early achievements, it defined the major strands of the manned space programme. The leader of OKB-1, and the main driving...

It Is Intolerably Painful

As Kamanin, Yeliseyev, Shatalov, Mishin, Feoktistov, Afanasyev, Kerimov, Karas, Vorobyev, Severin and others travelled to the landing site, their route took them to Aktyubinsk, the hometown of Patsayev. On arriving at Dzhezkazgan's airport, they were told that General Goreglyad had already organised the transport of the bodies to Moscow. From Dzhezkazgan the group flew in two helicopters to the landing site on the steppe, arriving at 4.00 p.m., whereupon the members of the recovery team...

The Universe Was Alive

At the start of his autobiography Stepping into the Sky, Vladislav Nikolayevich Volkov,7 known as Vadim to his friends, wrote ''To be honest, I was not preparing to be a cosmonaut. In fact, I never dreamt or fantasised about space. As a boy, I had no idea about Tsiolkovskiy.'' Although the book was not published until 1972, he saw the page proofs several days before he set off on the Soyuz 11 mission. Standing 179 cm tall, broad shouldered and a real sportsman, Vadim was the most sympathetic of...

Nikolay Nikolayevich Rukavishnikov

Bulgarian Cosmonaut

After the mission of Soyuz 10 Rukavishnikov was nominated as the flight engineer on Leonov's Soyuz 12 crew, which was to make the second visit to the Salyut space station, but this crew was stood down when it became necessary to revise the design of the spacecraft after the deaths of the Soyuz 11 crew. He made two further space flights. The first occasion was on Soyuz 16, which was a six-day test in December 1974 in preparation for the joint mission with the Americans the following summer. The...

Soyuz life support

Risk assessment - Having decided that decompression was impossible, the designers of the spacecraft did not provide an efficient means of protecting against it. The TsKBEM neglected to conduct a full risk assessment of all the factors which could lead to the loss of the crew as a result of not wearing pressure suits. This was done only after the Soyuz 11 tragedy. Automation - As on all previous Soviet spacecraft, Soyuz was designed to have the maximum of automation. For example, all landing...

Pyotr Ivanovich Kolodin

Pyotr Kolodin

Seven years after losing his chance to fly to the first Salyut in 1971 with Leonov and Kubasov he was named as flight engineer for Soyuz 27. It would be commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Vladimir Dzhanibekov, who, like Kolodin, had not yet been in space. The objective of the mission, planned for launch on 28 January 1978, was to dock with Salyut 6 in order to exchange the ferry for the station's main crew. It would be a historic mission for the Soviet space...

Notes From The Station Day Sunday June

Oasis Plant Growth System Salyut

Salyut entered the communication zone at 0.34 a.m., during its 93rd orbit with the crew on board, but during the next seven orbits its path crossed only a subset of the tracking stations. With the cosmonauts on phased shifts, operations were continuing around the clock. Volkov, for example, had started his working day at 9.30 p.m. the previous evening, Dobrovolskiy joined him at 1.50 a.m., and Patsayev took over from Volkov at 6 a.m. Dobrovolskiy in Salyut's main working compartment....

Journalists And The New Crew

The final meeting of the State Commission started at 6.00 p.m. on 4 June. In the past these sessions had been fairly ceremonial in nature because all the details had already been resolved and the purpose was to confirm readiness for the launch. The most interesting part of the session was always the presentation of the cosmonauts. However, this occasion set a precedent. Dobrovolskiy, Volkov, Patsayev, Leonov, Kubasov and Kolodin were seated in a line behind a long table. The men who had been...

Memories

For more than 36 years the ashes of cosmonauts Georgiy Dobrovolskiy, Vladislav Volkov and Viktor Patsayev have rested in niches in the Kremlin's wall. In addition to their families, they were mourned by hundreds of engineers, technicians, officers, cosmonauts and politicians. Despite the tragedy, there was a determination that the DOS programme must continue. The programme would never have come about if it were not for the support of Dmitriy Ustinov and Sergey Afanasyev, the so-called 'Space...

Reminiscence And Legacies

But the real heroes of this outstanding epoch in the Soviet space programme are Georgiy Dobrovolskiy, Vladislav Volkov and Viktor Patsayev. In the towns of their births, Odessa, Moscow and Aktyubinsk, there are monuments to them at which colleagues, friends, relatives and ordinary people with a passion for space leave flowers. Every year, on the anniversary of their tragic deaths, members of the current cosmonaut corps pay their respects at the niches in the Kremlin's wall where the ashes of...

The First Crews

Soon after decree No. 105-41 was issued in February 1970 directing that work start on the DOS project, Kamanin asked Mishin to immediately assign crews for the first space station, and Mishin directed his subordinates who dealt with the selection and training of cosmonaut-engineers to do so. One of the first to be nominated was Aleksey Yeliseyev, who had flown two Soyuz missions in 1969 ''Deputy Chief Designer Yakov Tregub called and said that he would like to include Nikolay Rukavishnikov and...