Mar 09

Space Rocket History #152 – The Death of Yuri Gagarin

Hundreds of millions of people all over the planet had seen Gagarin smiling joyfully in person or on television. He was theirs, familiar to everyone, and at the same time a “Citizen of the Universe.”

Yuri Gagarin

Yuri Gagarin

Gagarin's plaque in the Kremlin Wall.

Gagarin’s plaque in the Kremlin Wall.

50th Anniversary stamp for Vostok 1

50th Anniversary stamp for Vostok 1

Mar 03

Space Rocket History #151 – Zond 4

When we left the Soviet Union they had somewhat successfully landed a probe on Venus and they had completed the automatic docking of two Soyuz 7K-OK spacecrafts.  However they did not reach their goal of a circumlunar flight in time for the 50th anniversary of the glorious revolution.

L1 - Zond

L1 – Zond

Mishin, Agadzhanov, & Chertok

Mishin, Agadzhanov, & Chertok

7K-L1 spacecraft on Proton booster

7K-L1 spacecraft on Proton booster

Jan 22

Space Rocket History #97 – Soyuz Test Flight No. 2

The first Soyuz test flight was a catastrophic failure.   Due to negligence, the attitude control system malfunctioned and used all of its fuel before a rendezvous could be attempted or even the second Soyuz rocket could be launched.  When the Soviets attempted to return the first Soyuz to earth, the vehicle’s self-destruct system activated because it was unable to make a landing in the Soviet Union.  OKB-1 was disgraced.

Soyuz Interior

Soyuz Interior

R7 Derivatives

R7 Derivatives

Kerimov

Kerimov

Ustinov

Ustinov

By Dave

By Dave

Jan 15

Space Rocket History #96 – Soyuz Test Flight No. 1 – Kosmos-133

After many delays in launching the first Soyuz due to design complications, equipment deliveries, the learning curve for testing new designs, unreasonable launch dates, persecution from the communist party, and the death of Chief Designer Korolev.  The first unmanned test flight is nearing launch.  Two Soyuz 7k-OK’s have made it through testing.  Both Soyuz have been attached to their carrier rocket and are nearly ready to launch.  The plan is to launch both vehicles 24 hours apart in order to perform a rendezvous.

By Dave

By Dave

7K-OK Diagram

7K-OK Diagram

7K-OK Interior

7K-OK Interior

Jan 08

Space Rocket History #95 – Soyuz Development – Part 4 – Politics and Testing

“In those days, the Party organizations in industry were not only involved with policy, ideology, and the “struggle against nonconformist thought,” but tried to get involved in technology and production engineering. Wielding real authority over people who were Party members, they had the opportunity to affect the production process. With few exceptions, every chief designer was a Party member. It was far more dangerous to receive a Party reprimand than a reprimand ordered by the head of an enterprise or even a minister.

The Communist Party of the Soviet Union was a party of power. This was a party that actively meddled in the production process not only from the top—through the Central Committee or Politburo—but also from the bottom. Things did not always turn out as planned, but as a rule, they had the best of intentions. The Party attempted to encompass all aspects of a person’s life with its ideological influence. Any job was supposed to be a “thing of virtue, honor, and heroism,” not for the sake of personal prosperity, but to strengthen the power of the state. “So long as our motherland lives, there are no other cares”—these words succinctly and rather accurately reflected the spirit of a myriad of Party propaganda campaigns. Any deviation from the Party line was punished mercilessly. The Party allowed no liberalism within its ranks.“ Boris Chertok.

Soyuz 7k-Ok Assembly

Soyuz 7k-Ok Assembly

Docking Simulators

Docking Simulators

Soyuz Panel

Soyuz Panel