|Interior of Voskhod |
Interior of Voskhod 1
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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 and 3KD 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. Major Events: .
|Voskhod 2 Icon|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 460 bytes. 81 x 49 pixels.
The U.S.S.R. launched the world's first multi-manned spacecraft, Voskhod I, the first to carry a scientist and a physician into space. The crew were Col. Vladimir Komarov, pilot; Konstantin Feoktistov, scientist; and Boris Yegorov, physician. Potentially dangerous modification of Vostok to upstage American Gemini flights; no spacesuits, ejection seats, or escape tower. One concession was backup solid retrorocket package mounted on nose of spacecraft. Seats mounted perpendicular to Vostok ejection seat position, so crew had to crane their necks to read instruments, still mounted in their original orientation. Tested the new multi-seat space ship; investigated the in-flight work potential and co-operation of a group of cosmonauts consisting of specialists in different branches of science and technology; conducted scientific physico-technical and medico-biological research. The mission featured television pictures of the crew from space.
Credit: © Mark Wade. 432 bytes. 81 x 49 pixels.
Coming before the two-man Gemini flights, Voskhod 1 had a significant worldwide impact. In the United States, the "space race" was again running under the green flag. NASA Administrator James E. Webb, commenting on the spectacular, called it a "significant space accomplishment." It was, he said, "a clear indication that the Russians are continuing a large space program for the achievement of national power and prestige."
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.
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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.
|Yastreb space suit - Yastreb space suit used by Leonov in first spacewalk|
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First walk in space.
Successfully recovered March 15, 1966 13:00 GMT. Biosat using Voskhod 3 hardware. 2 dogs carried into lower Van Allen radiation belts.
Officially: Biological research.
Planned duration 19 days. Biological endurance mission cancelled after near-disaster with Voskhod 2. Initial Orbit was to have been 175 km X 500 km at 65 deg. Follow-on missions with journalist, physician, and all-female crews also cancelled. Original Prime Crew was Katys, Volynov; Backup Crew: Beregovoi, Demin; Support Crew: Artyukhin, Shatalov. These assignments were reshuffled to those shown when Katys had to be dropped from the prime crew.
Planned second long-duration 20 day Voskhod flight. Cancelled in spring 1966 after near-disaster with Voskhod 2 and death of Korolev. A follow-on Voskhod 3V s/n 7 mission was also planned that would have conducted an artificial gravity experiment, unreeling a tether between the Voskhod spacecraft and the Block I final rocket stage.
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.
Planned Voskhod flight that would include EVA with test of the UPMK 'jet belt'. Cancelled in spring 1966.