[FPSPACE] Kislyakov: 108 Minutes That Changed The World
cliched at earthlink.net
Fri Apr 14 17:37:53 EDT 2006
At 4:02 PM -0500 4/14/06, Jim Oberg wrote:
>Does anything stand out as new and valuable?
Not really, although there are some errors here and there.
>they knew what a horrible tragedy was to delay the triumph for half a
>year. Compared to what happened at the Baikonur Space Center on
>October 24, the two unsuccessful automatic missions to Mars in late
>September, deplorable as they were, would seem child's play.
These Mars attempts were, of course in early October 1960.
>Five weeks later, the otherwise successful December 1 Pchyolka/Mushka
>re-entry was mispositioned in the high atmosphere due to a failure in
>the retropack. The capsule with, militarily speaking, "top-secret
>equipment" was going to land outside of the U.S.S.R. Some officer at a
>control center underground pushed the self-destruct button, hopefully
>not knowing what he was doing - smashing the capsule, killing both
>dogs, and driving the last nail into a plan to make a manned mission
It was an automatic destruct command, not a manual one, that killed
Pchelka and Mushka. Also, he misses the launch abort in late December
1960 with two other dogs.
>On the technical side, it all went smoothly. The return capsule re-
>entered as planned. Gagarin successfully ejected and parachuted safely
>from 1,500 m, opening the first great chapter in the space history of
On the technical side, all, of course, did not go smoothly. The author
misses the problems during reentry with the 10 minute delay
in the complete separation of the two modules. [The original story
came out in 1991 in the journal Izvestiya TsK KPPSS where full
transcripts of Gagarin's flight were first published]. A more detailed
story came out a few years back as a result of the folks at Novosti
kosmonavtiki (specifically Igor Lissov). From what I remember, there
was a problem with a valve that led to lower than expected thrust of
the reentry engine that caused the control system to not implement the
original command to separate the modules. Eventually, a temperature
sensor(s?) detected a rise in temperature and separated the two modules.
>Khrushchev who, frankly, rather liked to show off, poured more oil
>into the flames by warning the Americans of something they had never
>seen before. Hearing his boastful promises and backed by CIA reports
>and by evidence from an escaped Russian naval officer, the Americans
>were anticipating something in the space department on September 27,
>1960. TASS remained tight-lipped through the day, though, which
>immediately raised rumors of another tragedy - and another dead pilot.
>What really happened was that two Molniya launch vehicles with the
>first 1M automatic Mars exploration station onboard exploded in
>flight, a failure turned into a lesson that ultimately led to the
Once again, this was in early October, on two separate days.
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