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 guidance systems, Viktor Kuznetsov for gyroscopes, Vladimir Barmin for launch equipment and Mikhail Ryazanskiy for radio-control systems. After the death of Korolev in January 1966 Vasiliy Mishin took his place. He now chaired the meeting. The main presentation was by Yevgeniy Shabarov, Bushuyev's deputy for the testing of manned spacecraft, who said that all testing had been successfully completed and DOS-1 and the two Soyuz 7K-T ferries were ready to be sent to Baykonur. The preparations to launch the station - which was to be named Zarya ('Dawn') - were to begin on 9 March with a view to achieving a launch on 15 April. If all went well, the first crew would follow within five days. Mishin criticised the delays in vibration testing the DOS-1 mockup, and asked that this be completed by 29 March. There was also the issue of the warranty on the parachutes of the Soyuz, which would expire on 15 April. The Council also discussed the efficiency of the Igla rendezvous system. But the main concern was that the first phase of testing the station's life support system, which had only recently been completed, had revealed a number of faults and it would not be possible to start the second phase of testing until these issues had been resolved. Interestingly, although there were less than 45 days remaining to the station's planned launch, the question of how long the crews should occupy it remained undecided.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment