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 their fallen colleagues are interred.
Also, when the Apollo 15 astronauts David R. Scott and James B. Irwin landed on the Moon a month after the Soyuz 11 tragedy they left behind a plaque which bore the names of all the astronauts and cosmonauts then known to have died, including Dobrovolskiy, Volkov and Patsayev. In addition, they gave the name Salyut to one of the craters near their landing site, which was alongside the rim of Hadley Rille at the base of the Apennine mountain range. The International Astronomical Union has named craters on the far side of the Moon after the Soyuz 11 crew. The crater Dobrovolskiy is at 12.8°S, 129.7°E and is 39 km in diameter; Volkov is at 13.6°S, 131.7°E and is 35 km (or 40 km according to another source); and Patsayev is at 16.7°S, 133.4°E and is 55 km in diameter. They are all located near the large crater named after Konstantin Tsiolkovskiy, the 'father of cosmonautics', which was first seen in 1959 when a Soviet space probe took the first pictures of the far side of the Moon.
In June 1977 three small asteroids were named after the Soyuz 11 crew. Asteroid 1789 Dobrovolskiy (1966QC) was discovered in August 1966, orbits the Sun at an average distance of 1.79 AU and is 33 km in diameter.17 Asteroid 1790 Volkov (1967ER) was discovered in March 1967, orbits at 2.01 AU and with a diameter of
17 One Astronomical Unit (AU) is defined as the mean radius of the Earth's orbit of the Sun.
42 km is the largest of the trio. Asteroid 1791 Patsayev (1967RE) was discovered in September 1967, orbits at 2.35 AU and has a diameter of 29 km.
Tracking ships of the scientific research fleet that communicated with spacecraft were also named for the Soyuz 11 crew.18 Cosmonaut Vladislav Volkov was launched on 18 October 1977. It was joined by Cosmonaut Georgiy Dobrovolskiy on 14 October 1978 and Cosmonaut Viktor Patsayev on 19 June 1979. All three ships have a mass of 8,950 tonnes, are 122 metres in length, 17 metres wide, and are served by a crew of over 60 people. After the Soyuz 11 tragedy it was suggested that the old tracking ship Bezhitsa be renamed Cosmonaut Georgiy Dobrovolskiy but it was decided that a new vessel must be built. Cosmonaut Viktor Patsayev was based on a ship which was launched in 1968 and was modified in 1977/1978 to suit the new requirements. In addition to controlling automated satellites and interplanetary probes, these ships were used extensively in operating the Salyut 6 and Salyut 7 space stations. And in 1988 the Buran space-plane was controlled by Cosmonaut Vladislav Volkov in the Atlantic and Cosmonaut Georgiy Dobrovolskiy in the Pacific. Cosmonaut Vladislav Volkov made its 17th and final cruise in 1992, Cosmonaut Georgiy Dobrovolskiy its 17th in 1993 and Cosmonaut Viktor Patsayev its 14th in 1994. In 2001 Cosmonaut Georgiy Dobrovolskiy and Cosmonaut Viktor Patsayev, which were now owned by the Russian Space Agency, were docked at Kaliningrad on the Baltic and in 2005, against the opposition of veterans, Cosmonaut Georgiy Dobrovolskiy was sold to a foreign company and is still sailing the seas. Cosmonaut
18 Such ships had already been named after Sergey Korolev, Vladimir Komarov, Yuriy Gagarin and Pavel Belyeyev.
Three craters near the large crater Tsiolkovskiy on the far side of the Moon have been assigned the names Dobrovolskiy, Yolkov and Patsayev.
Viktor Patsayev remained in Kaliningrad, and in April 2001 opened as a permanent Space Odyssey exhibition. Although it never sails, occasionally its antennas link the TsUP with the crew of the International Space Station. All the other tracking ships were discarded in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union.19
Sports competitions are also associated with two of the Soyuz 11 crew. In 1972 a traditional cup in parachuting was named after Georgiy Dobrovolskiy. A year later, a cup in acrobatics was named in honour of Vladislav Volkov. Since 2002 this has been permanently celebrated at the town of Velikiy Novgorod, and it was recently opened to international participation. Interestingly, a solar observatory in Auckland in New Zealand was named Dobrovolskiy. A museum was opened in October 1974 on the grounds of the Aviation Institute in Moscow in honour of Vladislav Volkov, and a nearby street was named after him and a bust of him placed at its end. Streets in Vladivostok, Rostov-na-Donu and Mariupole in Ukraine were similarly named. Schools No. 10 in Odessa and No. 54 in Vladivostok were named in honour of Dobrovolskiy, as were streets in several Russian and Ukrainian cities and towns. A monument to him was placed in a square in Odessa, and a memorial plate was placed in the small town of Mogilyev.
Dobrovolskiy is an honoured citizen of Odessa, Volkov of Kaluga and Kirov, and Patsayev of Aktyubinsk. A monument to Patsayev was placed in the main square of Aktyubinsk and one of the main streets was named after him, as indeed was a street in Kaluga where Konstantin Tsiolkovskiy lived. The museum at Aktyubinsk has a collection of personal objects that belonged to Patsayev. His wife Vera donated the flight suit which he wore in preparing for his space flight. It bears
19 The fate of Cosmonaut Vladislav Volkov is uncertain. It was very likely sold to a private company and scrapped. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the largest tracking ships Academician Sergey Korolev and Cosmonaut Yuriy Gagarin were anchored in Odessa in Ukraine. Despite protests from Russia, both were sold to a private company that broke them up and sold the scrap to India in 1996.
the mission patch designed by Leonov. The museum also has two books from Patsayev's library, rare photographs, and a star map that Patsayev used on Salyut as the first man to work a telescope in space. A famous school for young pilots in Aktyubinsk was named in his honour. It became a tradition that at the conclusion of their studies the cadets were awarded their diplomas by Maria Sergeyevna, Patsayev's mother. She had been in Aktyubinsk paying her daughter a visit when the deaths of the Soyuz 11 crew were announced. She decided to spend the remainder of her life in the place where his monument was placed, and died there in August 2004 at the age of 91.
In the presence of Vera Patsayeva, a memorial was erected at the place where the Soyuz 11 capsule landed. Marina and Natalia Dobrovolskaya, Lyudmila Volkova and her granddaughter, and cosmonaut representatives visited it on the 20th anniversary. Marina recalls: ''Curiously, it was a dry June, it had not rained in a month, and then as we began the ceremony, suddenly, and right on the spot of the landing, it started to rain.''
However, perhaps the most commemorative tradition is the one that is performed at the Air Squadron in Sevastopol in which Georgiy Dobrovolskiy served as a pilot. Ever since September 1971 his name is called each evening during the roll call, as if he were still a member of the regiment. A pilot explains his absence: ''Hero of the Soviet Union Lieutenant-Colonel Georgiy Timofeyevich Dobrovolskiy has lost his life in service to his country, obeying his duty in testing space technology.'' On 30 June 2006 Marina Dobrovolskaya marked the 35th anniversary of her father's death by attending this roll call.
The wives of the fallen cosmonauts never truly recovered from the shocking news of the accidental and tragic deaths of their husbands.
Lyudmila Dobrovolskaya died in 1986. Marina Dobrovolskaya is a teacher of literature at Moscow State University (MGU). She is married and has one daughter. Natalia Dobrovolskiy is in Moscow and looks after her family. Lyudmila Volkova is retired, while Vladimir Volkov works abroad as a TV camera operator.
As an expert in atmospheric physics and remote-sensing of the Earth from space, Vera Patsayeva had an opportunity to access original materials relating to the flight of Soyuz 11. In 1973, with the aid of a group of enthusiasts, colleagues and friends, she published the book Salyut in Orbit, drawing extracts from the diaries written by the crew. Svetlana Patsayeva says: ''I can only now understand how much strength she needed to gain permission to publish the book, which presented information on the Soyuz and the Salyut station which, at that time, was highly confidential. At the same time, she was surviving her own tragic loss. Sadly, during those times it was impossible to write completely openly on the subject. The manuscript was censored and the most important part on the causes of the tragedy were deleted from the book. Later, she collected the designers' opinions, as well as the opinions of scientists and doctors, and interviewed eminent people whose names she could not reveal. She did this with the goal of determining whether the tragedy could have been avoided -and who was responsible for the accident. This is all in the manuscript, but it could not be published in the Soviet era. Later, unfortunately, her health deteriorated and she was unable to complete it.''
Monuments to the memories of Vladislav Volkov (top left) and Viktor Patsayev (top right). Bottom: Svetlana and Dmitriy Patsayev (second from the right) with their sons visiting Red Square on 30 June 2007. (Copyright Svetlana Patsayeva)
As mentioned earlier, Vera Patsayeva had kept a diary during the Soyuz 11 flight. Of this, Svetlana said: ''I dream about publishing mom's and dad's diaries in one book, as a day-by-day record of what was happening in space set alongside my mother's feelings about the things which she had to endure during that period.''
Vera Patsayeva died in 2002. Viktor Patsayev's children have finished studies at Moscow State University. Both have followed the interests of their parents. Dmitriy Patsayev works at the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences on the development of instruments to investigate the planets Mars and Venus. He is married and has two sons. Svetlana Patsayeva is married and has one son. She is an assistant professor at the Physics Department of Moscow State University, holds a master's degree in science, and is an expert in the application of spectral analysis in ecology.
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