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Voskhod 2 Airlock
Voskhod 2 Airlock - Voskhod 2 Airlock and space suit

Credit: © Mark Wade. 21,130 bytes. 325 x 443 pixels.

Manufacturer's Designation: 3KD. Code Name: Vykhod. Class: Manned. Type: Spacecraft. Nation: Russia. Manufacturer: OKB-1.

The Voskhods were adaptations of the single place Vostok spacecraft meant to conduct flights with up to three crew and for space walks in advance of US Gemini program. Work on the 3KV (three crew) and 3KD (two crew plus inflatable airlock) versions of the basic Vostok spacecraft began with the decree issued on 13 April 1964. In order to accommodate more than one crew, the seats were mounted perpendicular to the Vostok ejection seat position, so the crew had to crane their necks to read instruments, still mounted in their original orientation. The Elburs soft landing system replaced the ejection seat and allowed the crew to stay in the capsule. It consisted of probes that dangled from the parachute lines. Contact with the earth triggered a solid rocket engine in the parachute which resulted in a zero velocity landing.

The airlock of the two-crew 3KD version weighed 250 kg and was 700 mm in diameter and 770 mm high when stowed for launch. When inflated in orbit, it was 2.5 m long, with an internal diameter of 1.0 m and external diameter of 1.2 m.

The heavier Voskhods were launched by the 11A57 launch vehicle with a much larger third stage than that used for the Vostoks. This allowed installation of a backup solid propellant retrorocket package on the nose of the spacecraft.


Craft.Crew Size: 2. Design Life: 14 days. Total Length: 5.0 m. Maximum Diameter: 2.4 m. Total Mass: 5,682 kg. Electrical System: Batteries.

Voskhod 3KD Chronology

13 April 1964 Construction of nine Voskhod spacecraft approved.

Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On approval of work on four Voskhods and five EVA-equipped Vykhods' was issued. Work on the 3KV (three crew) and 3KD (two crew plus inflatable airlock) versions of the basic Vostok spacecraft began.

14 June 1964 Voskhod development approved.

Decree 'On approval of work on Voskhod and Vykhod' was issued.

03 August 1964 Voskhod state commission formed.

Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On formation of the State Commission for Voskhod' was issued.

22 February 1965 Cosmos 57 Program: Voskhod. Launch Site: Baikonur . Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57. Mass: 5,682 kg. Perigee: 159 km. Apogee: 708 km. Inclination: 64.8 deg. Duration: 0.22 days.

Unsuccessful mission. Voskhod 2 test. Immediately after orbital insertion airlock and spacesuit inflated normally. Then ground controllers sent commands to spacecraft simultaneously instead of sequentially as planned. Signal accidentally set off self destruct mechanism (designed to prevent falling into enemy hands). Blew up past Kamchatka on first orbit. No other test or backup spacecraft built with EVA port. Decision made to go ahead with Voskhod 2 anyway, due to one year leadtime to construct replacement. Planned follow-on Voskhod missions cancelled, including Air Force version, long endurance one man flight, flights by reporters, poets, and scientists.
Officially: Investigation of the upper atmosphere and outer space.

18 March 1965 Voskhod 2 Program: Voskhod. Flight Crew: Belyayev, Leonov. Manned flight: Voskhod 2. Launch Site: Baikonur . Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57. Mass: 5,682 kg. Perigee: 167 km. Apogee: 475 km. Inclination: 64.8 deg. Duration: 1.08 days.

First spacewalk, with a two man crew of Colonel Pavel Belyayev and Lt. Colonel Aleksey Leonov. During Voskhod 2's second orbit, Leonov stepped from the vehicle and performed mankind's first "walk in space." After 10 min of extravehicular activity, he returned safely to the spacecraft through an inflatable airlock.

This mission was the original raison d'etre of the Voskhod series, with the original name 'Advance'. It almost ended in disaster when Leonov was unable to reenter the airlock due to stiffness of the inflated spacesuit. He had to bleed air from the suit in order to get into the airlock. After Leonov finally managed to get back into the spacecraft cabin, the primary hatch would not seal completely. The environmental control system compensated by flooding the cabin with oxygen, creating a serious fire hazard in a craft only qualified for sea level nitrogen-oxygen gas mixes (Cosmonaut Bondarenko had burned to death in a ground accident in such circumstances, preceding the Apollo 204 disaster by many years). On re-entry the primary retrorockets failed. A manually controlled retrofire was accomplished one orbit later (perhaps with the backup solid rocket retropack on the nose of spacecraft - which did not exist on Vostok). The service module failed to separate completely, leading to wild gyrations of the joined reentry sphere - service module before connecting wires burned through. Vostok 2 finally landed near Perm in the Ural mountains in heavy forest at 59:34 N 55:28 E on March 19, 1965 9:02 GMT. The crew spent the night in the woods, surrounded by wolves, before being located. Recovery crew had to chop down trees to clear a landing zone for helicopter recovery of the crew, who had to ski to the clearing from the spacecraft. Only some days later could the capsule itself be removed. Additional Details: Voskhod 2.


Credit: © Mark Wade. 1,376 bytes. 157 x 159 pixels.

28 July 1965 Five further Voskhod spacecraft authorised.

Military-Industrial Commission (VPK) Decree 156 'On the Manufacture of 'Voskhod' Space Ship-Satellites-manufacture of five more Voskhod spacecraft' was issued.

01 August 1965 Development of military versions of Voskhod and Soyuz approved.

Military-Industrial Commission (VPK) Decree 'On creation of military Voskhod and Soyuz spacecraft' was issued.

01 December 1966 Voskhod 5 Program: Voskhod. Flight Crew: Ponomaryova, Solovyova.

Planned all-female ten day long-duration flight. Solovyova would have conducted the first female space walk. Cancelled in spring 1966, after death of Korolev, in order to concentrate on Soyuz and Lunar landing programs.

01 January 1967 Voskhod 6 Program: Voskhod. Flight Crew: Khrunov, Voronov.

Planned Voskhod flight that would include EVA with test of the UPMK 'jet belt'. Cancelled in spring 1966.


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Last update 12 March 2001.
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