Encyclopedia Astronautica
Mishin



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Mishin
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Mishin
Mishin, Vasili Pavlovich (1917-2001) Soviet Chief Designer, superseding Korolev, 1966-1974. Led the bureau in the flight test stages of the L1 and N1-L3 manned lunar programs, the Soyuz, and the Salyut space station. Replaced by Glushko after failures in all of these programs.

Mishin was Chief Designer of the Korolev design bureau in 1966-1974. He led the bureau in the flight test stages of the L1 and N1-L3 manned lunar programs, the Soyuz manned orbital program, and the Salyut space station program. All of these suffered substantial failures and resulted in the loss of the moon race and the deaths of four cosmonauts. Mishin was fired in 1974 and spent the rest of his years at the Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI). But was he given a bum rap?

Mishin was part of the engineering team sent to Germany in August 1945 to secure V-2 rocket technology. There his most famous exploit was the recovery in Prague of a special train used to support V-2 flight test. This train, with its sophisticated test equipment, comfortable accommodations, and huge supply of German ‘fizzie' soft drink packets, would play a prominent and fondly remembered part in the early flight tests of ballistic missiles from Kaputsin Yar. After the formation of OKB-1 in 1946 Mishin became Korolev's most trusted deputy and fully supported Korolev in his technical battles – particularly the use of the liquid oxygen/kerosene propellant combination instead of the toxic storable propellants favoured by other chief designers.

Mishin was assigned responsibility for development of the R-9 ICBM, which involved a titanic effort to prove that a usable silo-based weapon system could still use a cryogenic oxidiser. Methods of super-chilling liquid oxygen, storing it for long periods, and fast propellant allowed the R-9 to be readied for launch in 15 minutes – nearly as fast as its storable propellant competitors. But the development required to achieve this was long and the silo equipment considerably more expensive than the competing R-16. Relatively few R-9's were built.

In August 1964 Korolev finally obtained approval for a Soviet manned lunar landing program. Despite starting three years after the America, Korolev promised the leadership to beat the Americans to the moon. The overthrow of Khrushchev two months later allowed Korolev to gather into his hands all manned space projects, including Chelomei's L1 manned circumlunar project.

Korolev was diagnosed with cancer some time in 1965 but kept it a secret from his colleagues. In January 1966 he checked into a Moscow hospital and died on the operating table. His untimely death at 59 was a huge blow to the Soviet space program. He had committed his bureau to flying a Soviet man around the moon by 1966 and landing on the moon by 1968. Mishin as acting chief of OKB-1 was now responsible for meeting these goals. The position of head of OKB-1 was offered to at least one other Chief Designer (Kozlov) but none were interested in taking on the job. Mishin was finally named Chief Designer on 11 May 1966. But although he had the backing of the leadership, he did not have the motivational talent or aura of authority of Korolev. These were essential to obtain priority for one's projects within the Byzantine Soviet aerospace sector. Mishin was a bulldog, but bluster was not enough to ensure delivery of quality components.

The secret that Korolev took to his grave was that the weight specification for the L3 lunar spacecraft was impossible to meet. He had known this from the day the project was approved but was confident of his ability to improvise a solution. Mishin found that the L3 would have a weight of 95 tonnes versus the original 75 tonne design payload of the N1. Mishin used techniques developed for the R-9 to bridge the gap. The propellant mass was increased by super cooling the propellants prior to loading. Six engines were added to the first stage. The parking orbit was lowered. Theoretically all of this would allow the 95 tonne payload to be achieved on a good day. But it was marginal.

Mishin was faced with running several manned projects in parallel. The Soyuz project involved an earth-orbit version of the spacecraft to develop an automated docking system for earth orbit projects. The N1-L3 project would put a man on the moon using a drastic modification of the Soyuz as an orbiter, a new lunar lander, the new N1 super booster, and a completely different docking system. The L1 project would use Chelomei's Proton booster and the Block D stage of the N1 to put yet another Soyuz modification on a loop around the moon. At the same time the bureau was still supposed to be developing the higher priority RT-2 solid propellant ICBM, immense 75 tonne space station modules for the MKBS space station, and manned and unmanned Mars probes for launch by the N1 in the 1970's. It was as if one American company single-handedly tried to pull off the entire Gemini and Apollo projects in half the time. In fact it took six American aerospace corporate giants to achieve what Mishin was attempting – and they spent ten times the amount allocated to Mishin.

As if he did not have enough, Mishin insisted on following Korolev's policy of establishing a manned space monopoly. Efforts by Chelomei to take back the L1 circumlunar project were rebuffed. Mishin began a prolonged campaign to undermine Kozlov's Soyuz VI and Chelomei's Almaz manned military spacecraft projects and bring that work back to OKB-1. He also fought off attempts to cancel the entire N1 project and let Chelomei build his UR-700/LK-700 in its place.

It was not until the end of 1966 that the first Soyuz was finally ready for a test flight – and a series of fiascos began. Mishin was under intense pressure to achieve a manned circumlunar flight before the 50th Anniversary of the Soviet Revolution in October1967. Capsules self-destructed when they deviated from course, were lost in pad fires, depressurised in orbit, burned-through during re-entry, and were barely controllable in orbit. Mishin felt that a human crew could have sorted out the problems and Soyuz 1 was launched with cosmonaut Komarov aboard. The uncontrollable spacecraft survived re-entry but Komarov was killed when his parachute failed to deploy. As a result, conservative criteria were placed on having a series of completely successful test flights before risking a man again. These made it virtually impossible for Mishin to beat the Americans to the moon.

Nevertheless he kept plugging away, but he began to drink heavily, check himself into the hospital often, and miss crucial meetings. One can hardly blame him, but the leadership was not anxious to replace him. It was obvious that, failing another major US disaster, there was no way to beat them to the moon. No one was anxious to take his place and take the fall for the failure of the moon program.

Mishin almost managed to beat the Americans in flying a man around the moon, but intelligence of his intentions reached the CIA and a decision was taken to put the second manned Apollo on a risky mission into lunar orbit. Not wishing to be second, the leadership called off any manned L1 missions. Mishin pushed on and attempted to fly the N1 booster in January 1969. Unlike Von Braun's Saturn V team, he had not been given the budget for facilities to ground-test the enormous first stage before its first flight. It failed in flight and then blew up on the pad on the second launch attempt in July 1969. Apollo 11 landed on the moon weeks later and the race was over.

Behind Mishin's back some of his and Chelomei's engineers conceived a plot to build a cheaper-better-faster space station using an Almaz spaceframe fitted out with Soyuz functional equipment. Over the objections of both Mishin and Chelomei Brezhnev ordered a crash program to build the Salyut civilian space station and beat the American Skylab into orbit. The first station was orbited in April 1971 but the crew died when their Soyuz depressurised during the return to earth.

Still Mishin stayed in place and the N1 project continued. He conceived of creating a lunar base using two N1 launches and a new more capable lunar lander. Funds never developed for the L3M spacecraft but work on the N1 continued – it was in the five-year plan, after all, and the plan must be fulfilled. Furthermore some in the military had an interest in using it (eventually) to orbit space stations armed with neutral particle beam weapons.

The N1 exploded in its next two launch attempts. The next Salyut failed in orbit and the American Skylab became the first space station to have a crew visit it and return safely to earth. The Americans were doing something different and right in their method of developing space hardware. The Soviet methods that worked for Korolev obviously did not apply to large-scale projects. The American space shuttle looked like the wave of the future and the N1 was a dinosaur.

On May 2, 1974, before the next test flight of the N1, Mishin was removed. Mishin's old nemesis Glushko was appointed as head of the new NPO Energia and tasked with designing a completely new heavy launch vehicle using US technology and methods. Two fully assembled (serial numbers 8L and 9L), and four partially assembled N1 rockets were available at time of cancellation. These would have been the first to use the new modernized series NK-33/NK-39 engines. 8L was planned for launch in the fourth quarter of 1974. Confidence was high that, based on the massive telemetry received on the 7L flight, that all problems would have been rectified.

A total of 3.6 billion roubles were spent on the N1-L3 program, of which 2.4 billion roubles went into N1 development. Mishin felt that he was within months of finally providing the Soviet Union with a heavy-lift booster. Instead the work was discarded, and Glushko began design of a completely new launch vehicle. Thirteen years and another 14.5 billion roubles later, the Energia flew, only to be cancelled in turn with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The N1's themselves were broken up in 1975 and the payload shrouds and tank bulkheads used as carports, storage sheds, and sun shelters around the Baikonur cosmodrome. Mishin at age 57 found himself teaching at the Moscow Aviation Institute, sworn to secrecy about his moon project that officially had never happened. It was only in 1990, when Glasnost allowed the secret to be revealed, that Mishin finally was able to tell his story.

Born: 1917.01.18.
Died: 2001.10.10.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Korolev Russian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Korolev Design Bureau, Kaliningrad, Russia. More...

Associated Programs
  • Lunar L1 The Soviet program to put a man on a circumlunar flight around the moon. More...
  • Lunar L3 The Soviet program to land a man on the moon and return him safely to earth. More...
  • Soyuz The Soyuz spacecraft was designed in 1962 for rendezvous and docking operations in near earth orbit, leading to piloted circumlunar flight. Versions remained in production into the 21st Century as a space station ferry, resupply craft, and lifeboat. After the retirement of the American space shuttle in 2011, it became the only means for regular human access to space. More...

Bibliography
  • Semenov, Yuri P Editor, Raketno-kosmicheskaya korporatsiya 'Energia' imeni S P Koroleva, Moscow, Russia, 1996.
  • Tarasov, Andrey, "Space Flights: Fancy and Reality", Science in the USSR, 1991, No.2, p. 30.

Mishin Chronology


1964 July 19 - . LV Family: N1; Proton; R-56; UR-700.
  • Korolev obtains preliminary approval for a single-launch, lunar orbit rendezvous, manned landing. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Glushko; Yangel; Korolev; Smirnov; Feoktistov; Bushuyev; Mishin. Program: Lunar L3; Lunar L1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK; LK; L3-1963; LK-1. Work on the original N1-L3 had begun in 1963. This had been preceded by two years of working on a draft project for the LK lunar lander and its propulsion system. But there was no money for full scale development -- no code name from Gosplan against which to charge such work. It was annoying that Chelomei, Glushko, and Yangel were wasting resources on alternate designs at the same time. Additional Details: here....

1966 January 14 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Korolev's death - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Volynov; Shonin; Beregovoi; Shatalov; Ponomaryova; Solovyova; Yerkina; Kuznetsova; Tereshkova; Korolev; Kuznetsov, Nikolai Fedorovich; Mishin; Petrovskiy. Program: Voskhod; Soyuz; Lunar L1. Spacecraft: Voskhod; Soyuz 7K-OK. Korolev dies at age 59 during what was expected to be routine colon surgery in Moscow. The day began for Kamanin with firm plans finally in place for the next three Voskhod and first three Soyuz flights. Volynov and Shonin will be the crew for the first Voskhod flight, with Beregovoi and Shatalov as their back-ups. That will be followed by a female flight of 15-20 days, with the crew begin Ponomaryova and Solovyova, with their back-ups Sergeychik (nee Yerkina) and Pitskhelaura (nee Kuznetsova). Tereshkova will command the female training group. Training is to be completed by March 15. After this Kamanin goes to his dacha, only to be called by General Kuznetsov around 19:00, informing him that Korolev has died during surgery.

    Kamanin does not minimise Korolev's key role in creating the Soviet space program, but believes the collectives can continue the program without him. In truth, Kamanin feels Korolev has made many errors of judgment in the last three years that have hurt the program. Mishin, Korolev's first deputy, will take over management of Korolev's projects. Kamanin feels that Mishin is a clever and cultured engineer, but he is no Korolev. Over the next three days the cosmonauts console Korolev's widow.

    Korolev's surgery was done personally by Petrovskiy, the Minister of Health. Korolev was told the surgery would take only a few minutes, but after five hours on the operating table, his body could no longer endure the insult, and he passed away.


1966 January 28 - .
  • OKB-1 Program Review - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Kamanin; Gagarin; Komarov; Mishin. Program: Voskhod. Flight: Voskhod 3. Spacecraft: Voskhod. Kamanin, Gagarin, Komarov, and other VVS staff attend the first program review held since Korolev's death. Mishin reviews spacecraft build status. Voskhod s/n 5 is to be shipped to Tyuratam on 1 February and launched in the first half of February. This is the spacecraft fitted for the 30-day unmanned biosat mission with dogs. Kamanin had argued with Korolev over the last year that this flight was unnecessary, but Korolev did not want to expose the cosmonauts to the risk of a long-duration spaceflight with a heavily modified spacecraft without an unmanned precursor flight. The manned flight of Voskhod s/n 6 on an 18-day mission can only begin after the landing of s/n 5, e.g. launch in the period 10-20 March.

1966 February 10 - .
  • State Commission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tyulin; Mishin; Tsybin; Shabarov; Kerimov; Volynov; Shonin; Beregovoi; Shatalov; Pravetskiy; Katys; Keldysh. Program: Voskhod. Flight: Voskhod 3; Voskhod 4; Voskhod 5. Spacecraft: Voskhod. The commission, chaired by Tyulin, with attendance by Mishin, Tsybin, Shabarov, Kerimov, and others considers manned flight plans for 1966. The 20-day dog flight of Voskhod s/n 5 is expected to launch on 22-23 February. Kamanin notes that although he is not against the flight, it has no interest to the military. Launch of Voskhod 3 is set for 20-23 March. Kamanin names his crews for the flight - Volynov/Shonin and Beregovoi/Shatalov as back-ups. Only Pravetskiy objects to these selections, pushing Katys for the prime crew. This settled, Mishin announces he still intends to pursue the artificial gravity experiment on the flights of Voskhod s/n 7 and/or 8. Kamanin informs Mishin that he has requested for more than a year that this experiment be moved to a Soyuz flight - there are 700 kg of new military scientific equipment that has to be flown aboard Voskhod, leaving little room for nothing else.

    It is decided that the flights of Voskhod s/n 5 and 6 will be run from Moscow rather than from the cosmodrome. The state commission will return to Moscow immediately after launch for this purpose. Four groups of staff will follow the flight on four-hour shifts.

    Tyulin, Keldysh, and Mishin want engineer and scientist cosmonauts to be trained for early Soyuz flights. Kamanin agrees, telling them he will submit suitable candidates. The meeting goes well, possibly since in the absence of Korolev the commission is stacked with military representatives - of 17 members, 9 are military.


1966 February 14 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 redesign to increase payload to 95 tonnes - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L3. Following Korolev's death, Mishin discovered that growth of the mass of the L3 payload had taken the low earth orbit payload requirement to 95 tonnes, beyond the 75 tonne lifting capability of the N1. To achieve the 95 tonne payload, changes in plans and redesign of the N1 would be necessary. The measures taken were: reduction of the orbital inclination for the initial earth orbit from 65 degrees to 52 degrees; reduce the altitude of the lunar orbit from 300 km to 220 km; increase the propellant mass by supercooling the propellants prior to loading in the lunach vehicle (the kerosene to be at -15 to -20 degrees Centigrade, the liquid oxygen to -191 degrees centigrade); add six engines to the first stage; increase thrust of all the engines on the first, second, and third stages by 2%; add a fourth stabilizer. The result of all of these measures would increase the launch mass to 2800 tonnes and the payload to the required 95 tonnes.

1966 February 18 - .
  • Cosmos 110 State Commission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tkachev; Mishin. Program: Voskhod. Flight: Voskhod 3. Spacecraft: Voskhod. The first launch commission with Korolev's chair empty. The chief designers certify the full readiness of the booster, spacecraft, and the dogs that will crew the spacecraft. It is declared that the launch can proceed on 22-23 February. The only problem discussed is continued disquiet with the parachute system. Rips in the parachute have developed in the last four tests at Fedosiya. The system was designed for the original Vostok capsule mass of 2.6 tonnes, but the next Voskhods will have capsule landing weighs of 3.0 to 3.3 tonnes. Comrade Tkachev now refuses to guarantee the reliability of the system at landing weights over 2.9 to 3.0 tonnes. The Voronezhsk factory guarantees the reliability of the four third stage engines, despite the explosion of an engine on the test stand in December 1965.

    Launch of spacecraft s/n 6, Voskhod 3, is set for 22-23 March, with landing on 12 April. Afterwards the endless discussion of the role of IMBP in manned spaceflight, and especially military spaceflight is hashed over again in a bitter argument.


1966 March 6 - . LV Family: N1; R-9; RT-2.
  • Soviet design bureaux reorganised and renamed. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Okhapkin; Afanasyev, Sergei. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK; Soyuz 7K-OK; Soyuz 7K-L1. Decree 'On renaming OKB-1 as TsKBEM and OKB-52 as TsKBM' was issued. In 1966 Afanasyev reorganised the military industrial complex. OKB-1 was redesignated TsKBEM. Sergei Osipovich Opakhin was made First Deputy within the new organization.

    However within TsKBEM there were no relative priorities for the projects competing for resources. The R-9 and RT-2 ICBM's, the orbital, circumlunar, and lunar orbiter versions of Soyuz, the LK lunar lander, the N1 booster -- all were 'equal'. It seemed folly to be pursuing the orbital ferry version of the Soyuz when no space station had to be funded. But it was felt flying the spacecraft would solve reliability questions about the design, so it was pursued in parallel with the L1 and L3 versions.


1966 March 23 - .
  • Cosmos 110 review - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tyulin; Mishin; Tsybin; Volynov; Shonin; Beregovoi; Shatalov. Program: Voskhod. Flight: Voskhod 3. Spacecraft: Voskhod. An OKB-1 review is held, without Tyulin and Mishin, who are at Baikonur supervising launch of a Monlniya satellite and Luna 10. Tsybin leads the meeting. Although the Cosmos 110 flight was successful, there were several deviations: the Zarya antenna did not deploy, the Komar system did not 'digest' after landing, the ion flow sensors were unreliable, and the Signal radio system only functioned in the HF band within the zone of visibility of a tracking station. There was no detectable dangerous radiation at the 900 km apogee of the satellite. The dogs were alive, but uncoordinated in their movement after landing, and showed a loss of calcium in their bones. The flight also showed good functioning of the ECS - the problems seen on the ground could not be duplicated in flight. A new run at IMBP has reached its 16th day with no abnormalities, which clears the system for use on an 18-19 day manned flight. The Voskhod-3 spacecraft has been completed and shipped to Baikonur; the booster has also been delivered and is ready for flight. The crew has completed their flight plans and ship's logs. After completion of the ECS trials (planned for 10 April), Voskhod 3 will be cleared for launch.

    Work on the Svinets experiment continues. It was discovered that the device needs a night horizon, and the absence of a moon in the sky, in order to detect a rocket launch in the infrared band. The designer has been working with the cosmonauts for three months to fix this and problems in reliably operating the equipment. Kamanin estimates it will take 10 to 15 days to rectify these problems. Svinets is a crucial experiment, but in his view the development of the device by the PVO has been poorly managed.


1966 March 28 - .
  • Korolev tether projects cancelled - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Mishin. Flight: Voskhod 3; Voskhod 4. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK Tether; Voskhod. Korolev was always interested in application of artificial gravity for large space stations and interplanetary craft. After Korolev’s death, the projects to develop tether experiments to be flown aboard Voskhod and Soyuz spacecraft were closed by Mishin and not pursued further.

1966 May 10 - .
  • Voskhod 3 spiked - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tyulin; Mishin; Burnazyan; Smirnov. Program: Voskhod; Soyuz. Flight: Voskhod 3. Spacecraft: Voskhod; Soyuz 7K-OK. A meeting of the VPK Military Industrial Commission begins with Tyulin, Mishin, Burnazyan, and Kamanin certifying the readiness for launch of Voskhod 3 on 25-28 May. Then Smirnov drops a bombshell: Voskhod 3 should be cancelled because: an 18-day flight will be nothing new; further work on Voskhod 3 will only interfere with completion of the Soyuz 7K-OK spacecraft, which is to be the primary Soviet piloted spacecraft; and a new spaceflight without any manoeuvring of the spacecraft or a docking in orbit will only highlight the lead the Americans have. Kamanin argues that the long work of preparing for the flight is finally complete, and that it will set two new space records (in manned flight altitude and duration). Furthermore the flight will include important military experiments, which cannot be flown on early Soyuz flights. Smirnov and Pashkov appear not to be swayed by these arguments, but back down a bit. The State Commission for the flight may continue its work.

1966 May 11 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Mishin selected as Korolev's replacement after four-month delay - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Ustinov; Mishin; Okhapkin; Keldysh; Babakin; Mozzhorin; Khrushchev. Program: Lunar L3; Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK. From 1963-1965 Ustinov was both head of the Soviet for the National Economy and the First Secretary of the Presidium of Soviet Ministers. He supported civilian space projects and instructed the military to co-operate in them. But after Khrushchev was ousted, Ustinov had less influence with the Ministry of Defence.

    After the death of Korolev in January, a letter was sent to the Central Committee requesting that Mishin be appointed director of OKB-1. Ustinov tried to line up support for Mishin, but by the time of the first first Saturn IB orbital flight on 26 February 1966, no decision had been made. America was progressing on the path to the moon, but Russia was stalled. An alternate that had been considered was Sergei Okhapkin, another Deputy Chief Designer at TsKBEM. But Okhapkin knew only spacecraft, he had never developed complete launch-booster-spacecraft systems. By the time Mishin was appointed, it was clear that the race was lost. The American's planned their first Saturn V launch in September 1967 and their first manned flight in 1968. Mishin could not expect trials of the LK lunar lander until 1969 at the earliest. There were insufficient funds allocated, and the schedule had no allowance for test flight failures. Ustinov, Morozhin, and Keldysh pointed fingers as to who had presented such unrealistic schedules to the Politburo. Keldysh now supported unmanned robot lunar landers in development by Babakin. Even these would not land until 1970, allowing three years of flight trials to achieve reliability. Khrushchev, it seemed, was to blame for such enormous unaffordable projects. This in turn put Ustinov in danger, as Khrushchev's point man for space.


1966 June 21 - .
1966 July 2 - .
  • Soyuz crew manoeuvres - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Rudenko; Mishin; Tsybin; Tyulin; Dolgopolov; Yeliseyev; Volkov; Anokhin; Makarov; Grechko; Komarov; Gorbatko; Khrunov; Bykovsky; Voronov; Kolodin; Gagarin; Nikolayev; Smirnov; Ustinov; Malinovskiy. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A; Soyuz s/n 3/4. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Kamanin is back from leave and orients himself. VVS General Rudenko has been visited by Mishin, Tsybin, and Tyulin. They want to replace Kamanin's crews for the first Soyuz mission in September-October with a crew made up of OKB-1 engineers: Dolgopolov, Yeliseyev, and Volkov as the prime crew, Anokhin, Makarov, and Grechko as back-ups. Kamanin believes this absurd proposal, made only three months before the planned flight date, shows a complete lack of understanding on the part of OKB-1 management of the training and fitness required for spaceflight. Kamanin has had eight cosmonauts (Komarov, Gorbatko, Khrunov, Bykovsky, Voronov, Kolodin, Gagarin, and Nikolayev) training for this flight since September 1965. Yet Mishin and Tyulin have been shopping this absurd proposal to Smirnov, Ustinov, and Malinovskiy, who do not know enough to reject it.

1966 July 4 - .
  • Soyuz simulators - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Burnazyan; Keldysh. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A; Soyuz s/n 3/4. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. The 7K-OK simulator consists of a mock-up of the BO living compartment and SA re-entry capsule only. The interiors are not yet fitted out with equipment, and development of the optical equipment to allow the cosmonauts to train with simulated dockings is proceeding very slowly. Mishin has promised a dozen times to speed up the work on the trainers, but produced nothing. Meanwhile Mishin is proceeding to train his cosmonaut team for Soyuz flights in September. It is said that he has other leaders, including Burnazyan and Keldysh, on his side.

1966 July 6 - .
  • State Commission on Manned Spaceflight - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Komarov; Belyayev; Dolgopolov; Grechko; Makarov; Bugrov; Bykovsky; Nikolayev; Yeliseyev; Anokhin; Kubasov; Volkov; Mishin; Tyulin. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A; Soyuz s/n 3/4. Tyulin heads a meeting that brings the Soyuz crewing dispute into the open. The opposing crews are represented as follows:

    • Soyuz s/n 3: VVS: commander: Komarov; backup Belyayev. MOM: commander: Dolgopolov; backup Grechko. Flight engineer: VVS: open; MOM: Makarov, Backup: Bugrov.
    • Soyuz s/n 4: VVS: commander: Bykovsky; backup Nikolayev. MOM: commander: Yeliseyev; backup Anokhin. Flight engineer: VVS: open; MOM: Kubasov, Backup: Volkov.

    Kamanin is furious. Mishin and Tyulin think an engineer can be trained to be a spacecraft commander in three months, without passing a flight physical, without being a qualifed pilot, without screening and training on the centrifuge or zero-G aircraft, and without parachute training. They put no value in six years of VVS experience in cosmonaut training. They give no weight to the years of general training, spaceflight experience, and ten months of Soyuz-specific training his candidates have already had. He notes that the United States trains crews for a minimum of one to two years before a flight. Kamanin says this decision will not stand.


1966 July 12 - .
  • Soyuz crews - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tsybin; Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Yastreb. Kamanin meets with Tsybin (Mishin being unavailable on 'command' activities). For over two hours they argue about Soyuz crew plans. Kamanin finds it absurd that OKB-1 thinks they can turn engineers into spacecraft commanders with two to three months training, when it takes the VVS two to four years. He also declares himself categorically opposed to sending crew out on spacewalks with serious health defects. He tries to impress on Tsybin that it will be fatal to send men into space without medical screening, centrifuge and zero-gravity screening and training. It would be insane to send men out into open space to conduct work without training on representative equipment, dressed in a spacesuit, in a zero-G aircraft. He declares himself ready to train candidates selected by the Academy of Science and MOM as cosmonauts, but only on a sensible and professional basis, not a crash program. Kamanin senses that Tsybin realises the fallacy of MOM's position, but he is only following the orders of Mishin, Tyulin, and Korolev before them. He promises to discuss the matter again with Mishin.

1966 July 20 - .
  • Heated exchange with Mishin - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Severin; Darevskiy; Komarov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A; Soyuz s/n 3/4. Spacecraft: Yastreb. Kamanin and VVS officers spend more than two hours in a heated exchange with Mishin and his staff at OKB-1. Mishin is attacked for delays in completion of Soyuz; his demand that OKB-1 cosmonauts be trained in VVS zero-G aircraft without any agreement on this having been reached; the lack of work on spacesuits for the Soyuz flights by Severin; and above all his "illegal" training of his own cosmonauts. Mishin responds with wild attacks against the competence of Kamanin's cosmonauts, saying that his engineers could better guide a spacecraft to a docking than Kamanin's pilots. Finally things cool down, and Mishin agrees to submit to Kamanin a list of OKB-1 candidates for cosmonaut training within two to three days. Kamanin agrees to consider how they may be prepared for flight on a two-month schedule.

    Later Kamanin's group visits Darevskiy at MAP and reviews the status of Soyuz trainer completion. He promises to have them completed by the end of August. Finally Kamanin confronts Komarov over statements he made in Japan. Komarov admits telling the world press that the Soviet Union will, at the scheduled time, fly an automated spacecraft around the moon and return it to earth, to be followed by a dog flight, then a manned circumlunar flight. Kamanin has already had the Central Committee and Soviet Ministers calling him about this unauthorised disclosure.


1966 July 21 - .
  • Soyuz crews - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Malinovskiy; Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Summary: Malinovskiy agrees to support Kamanin's objections to the attempt by Mishin to take over manned spaceflight, and documents are to be prepared for the General Staff and Central Committee staking out the Ministry of Defence's position..

1966 July 25 - .
  • VVS Victory on Soyuz crew issue - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tyulin; Mishin; Malinovskiy; Khrunov; Gorbatko; Voronov; Kolodin; Severin. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A; Soyuz s/n 3/4. Spacecraft: Yastreb. Tyulin advises Kamanin that Ustinov has instructed Mishin to accept that Soyuz spacecraft will be commanded by a VVS pilot cosmonaut, with OKB-1 providing cosmonauts for the engineering support role. Mishin is to immediately send four candidates from OKB-1 to Kamanin for cosmonaut training. Kamanin feels this is only a 50% victory, and vows to accelerate submission of the letter from Malinovskiy to the Central Committee, demanding that the support cosmonaut seats also be filled by trained VVS engineer cosmonauts (e.g. Khrunov, Gorbatko, Voronov, and Kolodin). Meanwhile spacesuit designer Severin informs Kamanin that OKB-1 has insisted that the outer hatch of Soyuz will remain at 660 mm diameter, even though he has told them for a long time that the minimum diameter for a cosmonaut in spacesuit with a life support system backpack is 700 mm. Kamanin agrees to support him, but notes the change can only be made in later spacecraft; it is too late to change the first production run.

1966 July 26 - .
  • Soyuz hatch problem - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Sharafutdinov; Shcheglov; Skvortsov; Komarov; Khrunov; Gorbatko; Mishin; Tsybin; Severin; Alekseyev, Semyon; Anokhin; Yeliseyev; Smirnov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A; Soyuz s/n 3/4. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK; Yastreb. Training of the new cosmonaut cadre is reviewed. English language courses are proving to be a particular problem. There have been some potential washouts - Sharafutdinov has done poorly in astronomy, Shcheglov suffered an injury at the beach, Skvortsov damaged his landing gear on a MiG-21 flight.

    At 15:00 a major review is conducted, with Komarov, Khrunov, Gorbatko, Kamanin, and other VVS officer meeting with OKB-1 leaders Mishin, Tsybin, Severin, Alekseyev, Anokhin, and other engineers. Film is shown of the difficulties in the zero-G aircraft of cosmonauts attempting to exit from the 660 mm diameter hatch. In four sets of ten attempts, the cosmonaut was only to get out of the hatch half the time, and then only with acrobatic contortions - the inflated suit has a diameter of 650 mm, only 10 mm less than the hatch. Mishin finally concedes the point. But installation of the hatch in Soyuz s/n 3 and 4 is not possible - the spacecraft are essentially complete, and to add the hatch would delay their flight 6 to 8 months. Then Mishin makes the astounding assertion that Gorbatko and Khrunov are not adequately trained to be engineer-cosmonauts, and without this he will not allow them into space. He suggests OKB-1 engineers Anokhin and Yeliseyev instead. After outraged response, Severin finally sinks this suggestion by pointing out that no space suit has been prepared for Anokhin, and that it will take two to three months to make one. Kamanin is astounded that Mishin has pushed Anokhin all the way up to Smirnov and the VPK without even knowing he could not possibly fly due to this restriction. It again points out their poor management. Finally Mishin agrees that spacecraft s/n 5 and 6 and on will have 720 mm hatches. The ECS for the suits for those missions will have to be changed from a backpack configuration, with the equipment rearranged around the waist of the cosmonaut. The crews for the flight will be an experienced VVS pilot cosmonaut as commander, and (Kamanin realizes he may have to concede) a VVS engineer as flight engineer cosmonaut. They will have to complete training by 1 October 1966.


1966 July 27 - .
  • VPK Meeting - L1 delays - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Vershinin; Chelomei; Mishin; Voronin; Severin. Program: Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. Marshal Vershinin attends the meeting, where it is revealed that all systems in development - Chelomei's, Mishin's, Voronin's, Severin's, and others - are seriously behind schedule. The first unmanned circumlunar test of the L1 was to be made by 15 April 1967, but it seems unlikely it will even be completed by the end of 1967.

1966 July 30 - .
  • Beregovoi pushed for Soyuz mission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Rudenko; Beregovoi; Gagarin; Anokhin; Khrunov; Volynov; Shonin; Tsybin; Tyulin; Burnazyan; Keldysh; Malinovskiy; Zakharov; Krylov; Vershinin. Program: Soyuz; Voskhod. Flight: Voskhod 3; Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A; Soyuz s/n 3/4. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK; Yastreb. Mishin, Rudenko, and others have met with Beregovoi and support his selection as commander for the first Soyuz mission. Kamanin does not believe he is fit for the assignment, due to his age, his height and weight (that are the limit of the acceptable for the Soyuz). Gagarin reports that during a visit to OKB-1 the day before, he discovered that they were still going all out to prepare their own crews and train their own cosmonauts for Soyuz flights. Kamanin reassures him that the full power of the VVS, the General Staff, and the Ministry of Defence is behind the position that only VVS pilots will command the missions. Mishin is gloating over the latest spacesuit tests. Khrunov tried exiting from the Soyuz hatch in the Tu-104 zero-G aircraft. Using his full dexterity and strength, he had more success than in earlier tests. But Kamanin notes that designing a spacecraft hatch only 10 mm wider than the cosmonaut is hardly the basis for practical spaceflight or training. Later Kamanin plays tennis with Volynov and Shonin. Their Voskhod 3 flight is still not officially cancelled. They have been fully trained for the flight for months now, but no go-ahead is given. On Saturday, Tsybin presents to the General Staff OKB-1's concept for training of engineer cosmonauts. Tyulin, Burnazyan, and Keldysh have approved the plan, except they have substituted VVS engineer cosmonauts for those from OKB-1 for the first Soyuz flights. So this is the result of months of controversy - a position that there is no fundamental opposition to cosmonaut candidates from OKB-1. Kamanin sees the absolute need for his draft letter to be sent from the four Marshals (Malinovskiy, Zakharov, Krylov, and Vershinin) to the Central Committee. Mishin continues to "assist" the situation - it has been two weeks since he promised to submit the names and documentation for his candidates to the VVS, and he has done nothing.

1966 August 3 - .
  • Sea tests of Soyuz - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Gagarin; Brezhnev; Ustinov; Smirnov; Anokhin; Yeliseyev; Volkov; Kubasov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A; Soyuz s/n 3/4. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Mishin sends a letter to Kamanin, linking acceptance of his eight cosmonaut candidates from OKB-1 to continuation of sea recovery tests of the Soyuz capsule at Fedosiya. Kamanin's early hopes for Mishin have been dashed - not only is he no Korolev, but his erratic management style and constant attempts to work outside of accepted channels and methods, are ruining the space program. Later Gagarin briefs Kamanin on the impossibility of meeting Brezhnev, who has flown south for vacation without reacting to Gagarin's letter. Most likely, the letter will be referred to Ustinov, who will pass it to Smirnov, with instructions to suppress this "revolt of the military". Gagarin requests permission to resume flight and parachute training in preparation for a space mission assignment. Kamanin agrees to allow him to begin three months before the mission to space. This will be no earlier than 1967, as Gagarin will not be assigned to the first Soyuz flights.

    Kamanin decides to smooth over matters with OKB-1. He calls Mishin, and then Tsybin, and agrees to begin processing of Anokhin, Yeliseyev, Volkov, and Kubasov as soon as he receives their personnel files and security clearances. Mishin promises to deliver the Soyuz mock-up of the Tu-104 zero-G aircraft soon - it slid from 20 July, then from 7 August.


1966 August 5 - .
  • Showdown on spacesuits - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Litvinov; Mishin; Tsybin; Bushuyev; Severin; Komarov; Bykovsky; Nikolayev; Gagarin; Khrunov; Gorbatko; Anokhin; Yeliseyev; Alekseyev, Semyon. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A; Soyuz s/n 3/4. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK; Yastreb. At a meeting at LII MAP Zazakov, Litvinov, Mishin, Tsybin, Bushuev, Severin, Alekseyev, and Komarov spar over the hatch and spacesuit problem. Severin only agrees to modifying the ECS under immense pressure, but the modified suit will not be ready until November. Severin could not get Mishin to agree to an increased hatch diameter from Soyuz s/n 8 - Mishin will only "study the problem". An arrangement of the ECS around the waist of the cosmonaut is finally agreed. Mishin and Litvinov categorically rejected any modification of the hatch in the first production run of Soyuz.

    In turn, Factory 918 insisted on a final decision on Soyuz crews. They cannot build 16 of the custom-built spacesuits for all possible candidates for the flights (8 from VVS and 8 from OKB-1). It was therefore agreed that the commanders of the first two missions would be Komarov and Bykovsky, with Nikolayev and Gagarin as their backups. It was finally decided to assume that the other crew members would be either Khrunov and Gorbatko from the VVS, or Anokhin and Yeliseyev from OKB-1.


1966 August 10 - .
  • Soyuz schedule has been delayed again - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Demin; Tereshkova; Gagarin; Tyulin. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A; Soyuz s/n 3/4; Soyuz s/n 5/6. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Soyuz s/n 1 and 2 will be flown unpiloted by October 1966 Manned flights aboard Soyuz s/n 3, 4, 5, 6 will not take place until the first quarter of 1967. Later Mishin tours the cosmonaut training centre - the first time in his life he has visited the place. Mishin admires the new construction from Demin's balcony on the 11th floor of cosmonaut dormitory, then goes to Tereshkova's apartment on the seventh floor, and then Gagarin's apartment. Mishin insists on drinking a toast of cognac on each visit. Tyulin reveals this is a peace mission - they want to normalize relations and get on with cosmonaut training. At Fedosiya the auxiliary parachute of a Soyuz capsule failed to open during a drop test. Kamanin believes that the Soyuz parachute system is even worse than that of Vostok. His overall impression of the Soyuz is poor: the entire spacecraft looks unimpressive. The small dimensions of hatch, antiquated communication equipment, and inadequate emergency recovery systems are only the most noticeable of many discrepancies. If the automatic docking system does not function, then the entire Soviet space program will collapse in failure.

1966 August 11 - .
  • Lunar cosmonaut training - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Tyulin; Burnazyan; Keldysh. Program: Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. Kamanin receives a document, signed by Mishin, Tyulin, Burnazyan and Keldysh, which declares that OKB-1 will be solely responsible for training of cosmonauts for L1 circumlunar missions. Only OKB-1 engineers and Academy of Science researchers will be considered for such missions, and no assistance is needed from VVS cosmonauts or its training centre.

1966 August 29 - .
  • VVS - OKB-1 relations at low ebb - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Nikolayev; Bykovsky; Gagarin. Program: Soyuz. Mishin invites Kamanin and his cosmonauts to the 20th Anniversary Party of OKB-1. Kamanin is so alienated he refuses to go, and sends only Nikolayev and Bykovsky as cosmonaut representatives. OKB-1 has wasted three months arguing about Soyuz crewing, and essential work to prepare for the flights has either not been done or kept from the VVS. No list of scientific experiments and procedures for the flights, adequate trainers, or information that would allow preparation of flight plans and log books has been provided. A minimum of four months will be required to prepare for flight after all these materials are delivered. Gagarin reports on the farce in sea recovery training at Fedosiya. It took eight days instead of the three planned to train 16 cosmonauts. Only after the VVS cosmonauts had left did Mishin sent 8 OKB-1 cosmonaut candidates, who were prohibited from training together with the VVS cosmonauts.

1966 September 29 - .
  • Cosmonaut leave cancelled to support Soyuz missions in December - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Gagarin. Program: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Mishin claims he will be ready to fly two piloted 7K-OK spacecraft in the second-half of December 1966. No one but Mishin believes this is possible. The tests of many subsystems are not finished, with the parachutes and ECS far from completion of qualification tests. However in order not to give Mishin any excuses, Kamanin orders Gagarin to cancel all cosmonaut leave for the rest of the year, and to accelerate training to be ready for Soyuz flights by 1 December.

1966 October 12 - .
  • Voskhod 3 resurfaces - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Ustinov; Gagarin; Komarov; Leonov; Mishin; Kuznetsov, Nikolai Fedorovich. Program: Voskhod. Flight: Voskhod 3. Spacecraft: Voskhod. Ustinov calls Gagarin, Komarov, and Leonov to his office to discuss their long-unanswered letter to Brezhnev. He asks about cosmonaut training for Soyuz flights, and surprisingly, Voskhod 3 (long buried by Mishin, though no resolution or decision ever cancelled the mission). He urges the cosmonauts to stop quarrelling and work more closely with OKB-1. Kamanin judges from the report of this strange conversation that Ustinov has a completely distorted view of affairs, as a result of falsehoods fed to him by Mishin and Smirnov. Shortly after this debriefing General Kuznetsov calls with the surprising news that Mishin has issued orders for work to resume in preparing Voskhod 3 for flight. But this is the last that is ever heard of the Voskhod 3 mission...

1966 October 27 - .
  • Soyuz launch plans - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Ustinov; Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A. Ustinov chairs a VPK meeting on the readiness of the Soyuz spacecraft for flight. The first unmanned launch of the spacecraft will not be possible until 20 November. Mishin considers a manned flight impossible before 10 January 1967, but Ustinov orders preparations for a 20 December 1966 launch date. Mishin attempts to blame the delay on crew training. But it is OKB-1 and Mishin who failed to deliver the necessary training equipment for the TBK-60 chamber, Tu-104 aircraft, and the Volga docking simulator.

1966 November 3 - .
  • Soyuz parachute fails in drop test. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Komarov; Bykovsky; Khrunov; Gorbatko; Tyulin; Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. In a test of the reserve parachute at Fedosiya, the Soyuz capsule was dropped from the aircraft at 10,500 m. The drogue chute deployed normally, as did the main parachute. They were then jettisoned and the reserve parachute deployed normally. However descent on both main and auxiliary chutes occurs only with noticeable pulsations of their cupolas, with the capsule revolving at one RPM. In this case it finally led to failure of the lines of the reserve chute at 1500 m, after which it crashed to earth. Contributing to the problem was the jettison of the remaining hydrogen peroxide reaction control system fuel from the capsule during the descent. It is normally expected that 30 kg of the 70 kg load of propellant will remain after re-entry. When this was vented, it burned the parachute lines. Each line will normally carry a load of 450 kg, but after being burnt by the peroxide, they can be torn apart by hand. Meanwhile there is still no agreement on crew composition. Komarov, Bykovsky, Khrunov and Gorbatko can be ready for flight by10 December. However the VPK representatives, Tyulin and Mishin insist that their OKB-1 candidates be flown in stead of Khrunov and Gorbatko.

1966 November 11 - .
  • Soyuz crew dispute drags on - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Yeliseyev; Kubasov; Volkov; Makarov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Kamanin visits OKB-1. Mishin certifies that unmanned Soyuz s/n 1 and 2 will fly by 26 November, and the manned spacecraft s/n 3 and 4 by the end of December. The departure of cosmonauts for the range must take place not later than 12-15 December. There remains only 30 days for training of the crews, the member of which have still have not been agreed. Mishin ignores common sense and still insists on the preparation of only his own engineers (Yeliseyev, Kubasov, Volkov, Makarov). The argument over the Soyuz crews continues without resolution up to the Central Committee level, then back down through the VPK and State Commission, over the next week.

1966 November 16 - . LV Family: N1; UR-700.
  • Government go-ahead for N-1 use in lunar program - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Keldysh; Mishin. Program: Lunar L3. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK; LK-700. Mishin's draft plan for the Soviet lunar landing was approved by an expert commission headed by Keldysh. The first N-1 launch was set for March 1968. At same meeting, Chelomei made a last ditch attempt to get his revised UR-700/LK-700 direct landing approach approved in its place. Although Chelomei had lined up the support of Glushko, and Mishin was in a weak position after Korolev's death, Keldysh managed to ensure that the N1-L3 continued. However continued design work on the LK-700, the UR-700 booster, and development of the RD-270 engine were authorised.

1966 November 17 - .
  • VVS told to surrender on crew assignments issue. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Rudenko; Kerimov; Kirillov; Kuznetsov; Bykovsky; Komarov; Khrunov; Yeliseyev; Zakharov; Mishin. Program: Soyuz; Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A; Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1. Kamanin is at Tyuratam for the first Soyuz launch. He and Rudenko are accommodated in the new hotel at Area 2. It has all conveniences - a local telephone, radio and television with Moscow programs, even a promise to install an HF telephone that will allow secure communications with Moscow. Also there for the launch are Kerimov, Kirillov, Kuznetsov, Bykovsky, Komarov, Khrunov, amd Yeliseyev. Rudenko reports that he has been chewed out by Marshal Zakharov. Zakharov told him "What are you and Kamanin doing, blocking OKB-1 candidates from flight? If Mishin wants to send his people to the Moon, let him do it and do not interefere!"

1966 November 18 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 facilities tour - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Rudenko; Mishin; Komarov; Bykovsky; Khrunov; Yeliseyev; Gagarin; Nikolayev; Gorbatko; Kubasov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Rudenko and Kamanin meet with Mishin at Area 31 (18-20 kilometers east of Area 2). Launch preparations are reviewed, and Mishin satisfies them that the two Soyuz will be launched on 26-27 November. The State Commission will meet officially tomorrow at 16:00. For today, they tour the N1 horizontal assembly building at Area 13. Korolev planned the N1 as early as 1960-1961. It will have a takeoff mass of 2700-3000 tonnes and will be able to orbit 90-110 tonnes. The first stage of rocket has 30 engines, and the booster's overall height is114 m. The construction of the assembly plant, considered a branch of the Kuibyshev factory, began in 1963 but is still not finished. Two factory shops are in use, and the adjacent main assembly hall is truly impressive - more than 100 m in length, 60 m high, and 200 wide. Work on assembly of the ground test version of the rocket is underway. Assembly will be completed in 1967, and it will be used to test the systems for transport to the pad, erection of the booster, servicing, and launch preparations. The booster is to be ready for manned lunar launches in 1968. The construction site of the N1 launch pads occupies more than one square kilometre. Two pads are located 500 meter from each other. Between and around them is a mutli-storied underground city with hundreds of rooms and special equipment installations.

    Only late in the night Rudenko and Mishin finally agree that the crews for the first manned Soyuz flights will be: Basic crews: Komarov, Bykovsky, Khrunov, Yeliseyev; Back-up crews: Gagarin, Nikolayev, Gorbatko, Kubasov. Meanwhile poor weather in Moscow is delaying zero-G training for the flight. In the last week only one weightless flight on the Tu-104 was possible - and a minimum of 24 flights need to be flown before the launch. It was therefore decided to ferry one Tu-104 to Tyuratam and train the cosmonauts here - it made its first flight today.


1966 November 19 - .
1966 November 21 - .
  • Soyuz crews agreed officially - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Kerimov; Mishin; Rudenko; Kamanin; Yeliseyev; Anokhin; Feoktistov; Komarov; Bykovsky; Khrunov; Gagarin; Nikolayev; Gorbatko; Kubasov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK; Soyuz 7K-L1; Soyuz 7K-LOK. The weather continues to deteriorate, and Kamanin considers moving the Tu-104 and cosmonauts to Krasnovodsk in order to get the 24 necessary zero-G flights before launch. At 11:00 the State Commission meets at Area 31. Present are Kerimov, Mishin, Rudenko, Kamanin, Komarov, Bykovsky, Khrunov, Yeliseyev, Anokhin and others. Mishin describes the status of preparations of Soyuz s/n 1, 2, 3, 4 for launch. He notes that the L1 and L3 lunar spacecraft are derived from the 7K-OK, and that these flights will prove the spacecraft technology as well as the rendezvous and docking techniques necessary for subsequent manned lunar missions. Feoktistov and the OKB-1 engineers say a launch cannot occur before 15 January, but Mishin insists on 25 December. That will leave only 20 days for cosmonaut training for the mission, including the spacewalk to 10 m away from the docked spacecraft. Faced with the necessity for the crews to train together as a team prior to flight, Mishin at long last officially agrees to the crew composition for the flights: Komarov, Bykovsky, Khrunov, and Yeliseyev as prime crews, with Gagarin, Nikolayev, Gorbatko, and Kubasov as back-ups. However a new obstacle appears. KGB Colonel Dushin reports that Yeliseyev goes by his mother's surname. His father, Stanislav Adamovich Kureytis , was a Lithuanian sentenced to five years in 1935 for anti-Soviet agitation. He currently works in Moscow as Chief of the laboratory of the Central Scientific Research Institute of the Shoe Industry. Furthermore Yeliseyev had a daughter in 1960, but subsequently annulled the marriage in 1966.

    Later Feoktistov works with the crews on spacecraft s/n 1 to determine the feasibility of the 10-m EVA. The cosmonauts suggest a telescoping pole rather than a line be used to enable the cosmonaut to be in position to film the joined spacecraft. Bushuyev is tasked with developing the new hardware.


1966 November 22 - .
  • Crash efforts to make manned Soyuz flight by end of December - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Yeliseyev; Mishin; Kubasov; Rudenko; Khrunov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A. Faced with the possibility Yeliseyev will be bumped from the crew, Mishin requests accelerated training of Kubasov as a substitute. Kamanin asks the KGB for a definitive ruling on Yeliseyev's fitness. It will only be possible to meet a 25-29 December manned flight date by curtailing certain tests and supplementing the existing preparation and test staff with about 100 military staff from the Tyuratam range and 50 additional industrial technicians. Rudenko and Mishin have backed away from the agreement on the "final" crew compositions. Now they propose to assign as second cosmonauts the best two of Khrunov, Yeliseyev, and Kubasov. Kamanin adamantly opposes this latest deviation to plan.

1966 November 25 - .
  • Soyuz launch commission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Gagarin; Nikolayev; Gorbatko; Kolodin; Belousov; Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK; Yastreb. Gagarin, Nikolayev, Gorbatko, Kolodin and Belousov arrive at Tyuratam for Tu-104 zero-G training, while the prime crews successfully arrive at Moscow for simulator training. The State Commission meets. After extensive detailed reports, Mishin certifies that the boosters and spacecraft at 09:00 on 26 November. S/N 2 would be launched first, on 28 November at 14:00, followed by s/n 2 24 hours later. The go-ahead is given for launch. In zero-G tests, the reserve cosmonauts find it is necessary to grip the handrail from above with both hands to move easily with the ECS strapped to the leg. The previously approved method, with one hand on top, the other below the handrail, was only good with the ECS configured as a backpack. The hardest part of the EVA will be getting on the spacesuits beforehand, especially in achieving a seal between the gloves and the suit

1966 November 26 - .
  • Soyuz vehicles rolled out to pads for dual launch - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Vershinin; Rudenko. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. The boosters were rolled out to the pads over eight hours late, at 17:30. There were delays in integrating the spacecraft in its fairing with the rocket, due to the much greater length of the Soyuz fairing and SAS abort tower (making the whole vehicle 46 m long). There was even concern that the assembled rocket would topple over in its horizontal carriage due to the forward centre of gravity. Mishin is getting out of control - publicly screaming at his staff. He demeans the competence of the cosmonauts and extols the quality of his own engineer-cosmonauts in front of the leadership. He yet again insists on crew changes. Kamanin discusses Mishin's public hysterics and tantrums with Rudenko. Rudenko agrees that the man is unstable and unsuitable, but says that he has powerful forces behind him on the Central Committee and Council of Ministers. No one except Vershinin dares oppose him. Rudenko's only course is to let the State Commission and government decide who will fly.

1966 November 28 - .
  • Cosmos 133 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Rudenko; Kerimov; Gagarin; Nikolayev; Belyayev; Yegorov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Four years behind Korolev's original promised schedule, the countdown is underway for the first Soyuz spacecraft. A new closed circuit television system allows the rocket to be observed from several angles during the final minutes. Mishin, as per tradition, personally stays with the rocket until the last moment. Rudenko, Kerimov, and Kamanin observe the launch from the bunker, while Gagarin, Nikolayev, Belyayev and Yegorov observe from the observation post. The launch is perfect, within 0.2 seconds of the 16:00 launch time. The separation of the first stage strap-ons can be seen with the naked eye in the clear sky. The spacecraft is given the cover designation Cosmos 133 after launch. By 22:00 the spacecraft is in deep trouble. For unknown reasons the spacecraft consumed its entire load of propellant for the DPO approach and orientation thrusters within a 15-minute period, leaving the spacecraft in a 2 rpm spin. At the insertion orbital perigee of 179 kilometres, the spacecraft will have a life of only 39 orbits. It is decided to attempt to stop the spin on the 13th orbit using other thrusters and the ion flow sensors to determine attitude. Then the re-entry sequence will be commanded on the 16th orbit, with the spacecraft to use solar sensors to orient itself for retrofire on the 17th orbit.

1966 December 1 - .
  • No sign of Cosmos 133 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Kerimov; Gagarin. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. The search for the wreckage of Cosmos 133 continues without success. Mishin and Kerimov agree with Kamanin's opinion that if a cosmonaut had been aboard instead of a mannequin, the mission could have been successful. Kamanin has temporarily removed Gagarin from flight status after he missed a Tu-104 flight debriefing, then a 22:30 curfew, and did not show up at the Cosmonaut Dormitory at Tyuratam until 14:00 the next day. While on his escapade he also was found to have driven an automobile while intoxicated.

1966 December 7 - .
  • Soyuz and L1 crew assignments. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Rudenko; Mishin; Kerimov; Komarov; Bykovsky; Khrunov; Yeliseyev; Gagarin; Nikolayev; Gorbatko; Beregovoi; Shatalov; Leonov; Volynov; Kubasov; Makarov; Volkov; Grechko; Yershov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1; Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 2; Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 3; Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A; Soyuz s/n 3/4; Soyuz s/n 5/6; Soyuz s/n 7. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK; Soyuz 7K-L1. Rudenko, Mishin, Kerimov and Kamanin agree on crews for upcoming flights. Komarov, Bykovsky, Khrunov, and Yeliseyev are assigned to Soyuz s/n 3 and 4; Gagarin, Nikolayev, Gorbatko, and Kubasov to Soyuz s/n 5 and 6, with Beregovoi, Shatalov, Volkov, and Makarov trained as back-ups. For Soyuz s/n 7, which will conduct space welding experiments with the Vulkan furnace, the commander will be either Komarov, Bykovsky, Gagarin, Nikolayev, Beregovoi, or Shatalov. The other two crewmembers will be either Lankin and Fartushniy from the Paton Institute, VVS cosmonaut Kolodin, or an engineer from OKB-1.

    Crews for the L1 must be named in order to complete the five-month training program in time. Eight L1's are being completed to the manned configuration, but Mishin believes it is necessary to plan for only six manned missions. It is decided to train nine crews. Spacecraft commanders will be Komarov, Bykovsky, Nikolayev, Gagarin, Leonov, Khrunov, Volynov, Beregovoi, and Shatalov. Flight engineers will be Yeliseyev, Kubasov, Makarov, Volkov, and Grechko. Komarov, Bykovsky or Nikolayev will command the first circumlunar flight. Mishin promises to name the OKB-1 candidates for that flight by 8 December. Mishin and Kerimov agree that training of cosmonaut- researchers from the Academy of Sciences may begin, although both Mishin and Rudenko expressed doubts about cosmonaut candidate Yershov.

    The failures of Cosmos 133 have been narrowed to entangled thrust vector vanes in the main engines and a single defective approach and orientation thruster. It is agreed to set the unmanned launch of Soyuz s/n 1 for 18 December as a final functional check of all systems. If this is successful, the date will then be set for the manned launch of Soyuz s/n 3 and 4. Flight control will be conducted from Yevpatoria.


1966 December 8 - .
  • Soyuz parachute problems unresolved - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Beregovoi; Shatalov; Volkov; Makarov; Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. The newly named crew for Soyuz s/n 7 begin zero-G training on the Tu-104 (Beregovoi, Shatalov, Volkov and Makarov). A review will be held of the SAS emergency recovery system in Vladimirovka tomorrow. VVS engineers are worried about the hydrogen peroxide venting which has burned parachute lines on two occasions. It is not believed that Soyuz s/n 1 can complete all tests to verify the systems that failed on s/n 2 before 18 December. It is clear that Mishin cannot resist the pressure from the leadership to hurry, and is cutting out pre-launch tests, with an inevitable decrease in the chances for mission success. TsNII-30 has been given until the end of December complete plans for search and recovery of returning lunar spacecraft. But Mishin and OKB-1 have not provided the necessary trajectory data for such planning.

1966 December 9 - .
  • Soyuz State Commission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mnatsakanian; Tsybin; Mishin; Smirnov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Voskhod 3; Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. The investigative committees unanimously concluded that the problems with Cosmos 133 were not due to any fundamental design defects, but rather poor pre-launch quality control and testing which did not reveal the problems. All Soyuz 7K-OK spacecraft will be reworked to remove the problems by 15 December. The go-ahead is given to launch Soyuz s/n 1 between 15-18 December. Only Mnatsakanyan, designer of the automatic docking system, objects to the idea of a single spacecraft test flight. Tsybin reports that over four hundred system and subsystem qualification tests have been completed on Soyuz. However some vacuum tests in the TBK-60 chamber, and tests of the back-up parachute system and emergency recovery system will not be completed until 10 January 1967. Tsybin is ordered to accelerate the work so that the entire spacecraft is qualified for manned flight by 5 January. Mishin states that, assuming the flight of s/n 1 is successful, the manned flight of Soyuz s/n 3 and 4 can begin by 29 January 1967. Kamanin is reminded that Smirnov's cancellation of the Voskhod 3 launch in June, based on the promise that Soyuz would fly by October, has instead resulted in almost two years without a Soviet manned spaceflight.

    Later Kamanin learns that Malinovskiy is dying of cancer and will not return to work. Kamanin prays for his own health in the remaining five to seven years until his retirement. He will be able to retire peacefully only once Soviet voyages to the lunar surface have become routine.


1966 December 10 - .
  • L1 production and flight plans - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Ustinov; Smirnov. Program: Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1; Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 2; Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. Mishin briefs the production plan for the L1 circumlunar spacecraft. Two spacecraft, s/n 1 and 2, have already been shipped to Tyuratam. These prototypes are not equipped with heat shields, and will be used to perfect orbital operation of the spacecraft without recovery of the capsule. L1 s/n 3 and 4 will be used for unmanned flights around the moon, with recovery on earth, in March to May 1967. The first manned flight around the moon is set for 25 June. All present, after examining the detailed production and training plans, object that they cannot be met. Mishin advises that Ustinov and Smirnov dictated the schedules and they are not subject to revision.

1966 December 12 - .
  • Second Soyuz rolled out to pad - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Smirnov; Kerimov; Tyulin; Rudenko. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A. At Tyuratam, the staff views American films on the Gemini program. Kamanin notes the use of manual methods for rendezvous and docking, and the use of an umbilical cord to supply oxygen to the spacewalker as opposed to an autonomous backpack. Despite over a hundred training sessions, American astronauts have experienced pulse rates of over 160 per minute, immense fatigue and overwhelming perspiration on their spacewalks. Three of their four EVA's were curtailed because of these and other unforeseen complications. This clearly indicates how Mishin, Smirnov, Kerimov, Tyulin, and Rudenko have underestimated the danger and difficulty of this work. The booster for Soyuz s/n 1 has been erected at Area 31 and the missile crews have gone home for the weekend. Kamanin credits Mishin for being ahead of schedule for the first time ever - he believes he can launch on 14 December.

1966 December 15 - .
  • Soyuz failure in detail - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Kerimov; Mishin; Kirillov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Kerimov, Mishin, and Kirillov were nearly scared to death but escaped unharmed. A fuller account of yesterday's events is available. At the command "ignition", only the second stage engines of the core vehicle ignited; the first stage strap-ons did not, therefore the rocket did not develop enough thrust to move an inch. On the order to flood the pad, all power was cut off to the rocket and equipment. 35-40 minutes after shutdown of the booster and the flooding, only steam and oxygen vapour were rising from the pad. Mishin and Kirillov emerged from the bunker and approached the rocket. They decided the danger was past, and gave the command for the service gantries to be raised, to protect the rocket from wind gusts. As the gantry arms reached the upper stage, and personnel were climbing up to service the rocket, one arm tilted the dislocated rocket more than seven degrees from the vertical. At such an angle the SAS abort sequence was activated. The solid rockets of the SAS abort motor suddenly ignited, pulling the Soyuz capsule 600 m into the sky, but also setting the third stage of the rocket on fire. This immediately alerted Mishin, Kerimov, and Kirillov to take cover in the bunker, while others were able to run to 100 to 200 m from the pad in the two minutes before the first stage exploded. A Major Korostylev and a group of soldiers decided instead to take cover behind the concrete wall of the pad, and paid for this decision with their lives or severe injuries. A preliminary accident commission meeting was convened at 09:00 at Area 2. An oxygen bypass valve failure several seconds after the ignition command is blamed for the shutdown of the first-stage engines. Although final acceptance tests of the SAS tower only began at Vladimirovka on 10 December, it is noted that the SAS system has actually just passed its most realistic test - it saved the Soyuz capsule, which landed 300 meters from the pad. Examining the blackened and smoking pad later, it is estimated it will take at least six months to get it back into operation.

1966 December 16 - .
  • Soyuz post-mortem - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Afanasyev, Sergei; Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Kamanin views film of the Soyuz SAS failure and subsequent first stage explosion. The film is of little help, being taken from far away and the camera jiggling. Afanasyev arrives in Tyuratam that evening and is domiciled in the house in Area 17 used by Khrushchev and DeGaulle during their stay. Kamanin leaves for Moscow, but ends up having to take the train from Kuibyshev due to sustained poor weather. Meanwhile Afanasyev heads the State Commission at Tyuratam. Mishin bravely confesses that OKB-1's design of the SAS system had fundamental errors in logic. It was found that after power was removed from the SAS during the booster deactivation process, the gyroscopes would slowly rise to the stops of their supports, which in turn would trigger firing of the abort rocket. It had previously been thought there were only three ways to fire the SAS: by command from the flight director, when the flight angle of the rocket dropped below seven degrees, or when the combustion chamber pressure dropped below a specific level. The subsequent fire in the booster was inevitable since the separation of the descent module of Soyuz from the instrument compartment was accomplished by firing 32 squib charges. The commission hears with alarm that a test of the SAS on 11 December at Vladimirovka also started a small fire for about a minute, but it was restricted to the Soyuz instrument module since the dummy third stage was not fuelled. This was considered insignificant at the time, but the failure to report it prior to the launch attempt of 14 December is now seen as a major failure of communications. Mishin's resolve to accept the blame does not last long - he soon tries to blame the engine manufacturer. However Glushko's representative proves that the first stage shut down because of a failed oxygen valve in the Block G strap-on. Normally this could be repaired and the launch reattempted within three days. The reason for the catastrophe was the defective logic of Mishin's SAS system.

1966 December 22 - .
  • Recent failures blamed on Mishin - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Vershinin; Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Summary: Vershinin has explained to the General Staff that recent Soviet space failures were due to poor development and testing by industry, and the personal deficiencies of Mishin..

1966 December 24 - . LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K.
  • First session of State Commission for the L1 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tyulin; Mishin; Chelomei; Barmin. Program: Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1; Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 2; Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK; Soyuz 7K-L1. Tyulin chairs the meeting. Mishin, Chelomei and Barmin brief the status of the spacecraft, booster, and launch site. There is much to be done in order to fly cosmonauts around the moon by 7 November 1967 - the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution. The first manned flight around the moon is planned for 26 June 1967. To achieve this, four flights of the L1 without a crew have to be completed first. The UR-500K booster should be capable of launching the L1 on a direct flight around the Moon and back to the earth. But since the UR-500K has not yet flown, and its 19-tonne low earth payload has not bee verified, Mishin plans to follow the podsadka scenario. The UR-500K will place in low earth orbit an L1 without a crew, and then a Soyuz booster will place a manned Soyuz 7K-OK Soyuz in orbit. The Soyuz crew will rendezvous and dock with the L1, and the crew for the circumlunar mission will spacewalk through open space from the 7K-OK into the L1. The spacecraft will then separate. The 7K-OK returns to earth, while the L1 is boosted on a circumlunar trajectory. After 4 to 6 launches of the UR-500K to verify its reliability and payload margins, it should be possible to make the direct flight to the moon on subsequent versions. For the time being it is necessary to develop both versions in parallel.

1966 December 31 - .
  • Second session of the L1 State Commission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Chelomei; Barmin; Ryazanskiy; Spitsa; Zakharov. Program: Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1; Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 2; Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. Mishin, Chelomei and Barmin report that the spacecraft, booster, and launch facilities are ready. The first unmanned launch of the L1 is set for the end of January, with the arrival of the members of state commission at Tyuratam on 10-12 January.

    The commission then considers reports on improvements needed for command, control, and recovery of manned lunar spacecraft. General Spitsa and Chief Designer Ryazanskiy list needed improvements to tracking and communications stations. These will cost more than 100 million roubles, including 50 million to equipment tracking ships. Tracking stations at Yevpatoria and Ussuriysk will require extensive new equipment for control of lunar spacecraft. Officers from TsNII-30 report on enhancements required for search and recovery forces. Due to the worldwide requirement, this can no longer be handled by the VVS alone - naval, long-range aviation, and communications forces need to be involved. Returning lunar ships will be targeted for landing on Soviet territory, but there is a great probability in the event of guidance problems of a splashdown in the Indian Ocean or a landing in Iran, Pakistan, or India. The VVS only has very limited capability for sea search and rescue. On 21 December Marshal Zakharov split manned spacecraft recovery responsibility between the VVS and VMF. To enable search and recovery of spacecraft at sea or on land outside of Soviet territory will require 12,000 to 15,000 personnel and dozens of ships, aircraft, and helicopters. A new net of ground-based radio stations and direction finders will also be needed. This will cost hundreds of millions of roubles to implement. The cost must be borne - it is clearly unacceptable that a Soviet crew fly to the moon and back, only to perish on return to earth due to inadequate recovery forces. A special subcommittee under Marshal Rudenko is named to handle the matter. Kamanin reports on training plans for lunar spacecraft. Crew training will have to begin in January 1967 for crews to complete the five-month syllabus in time for the planned flight dates. L1 commanders must be pilots with prior spaceflight experience. The second cosmonaut need not have flown before. Training of L1 and 7K-LOK crews must be carried out in parallel and separately in order to meet schedules. Mishin, the Ministry of Public Health, and Kamanin should name the crews for thee flights within five days in order to make schedule.


1967 March - .
  • USSR Defence Ministry issued a requirement for an "Orbital Research Station" (OIS) - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Kozlov; Mishin. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-S; Soyuz VI. The Chief Designer of OKB-1, Vasiliy Pavlovich Mishin, strongly disagreed with the Zvezda design. In the place of Kozlov’s 7K-VI Mishin proposed an OIS consisting of a separately-launched orbital block and a transport Soyuz. This was the exact same concept as Kozlov’s cancelled Soyuz-R system, but using Kaliningrad spacecraft in the place of Samara spacecraft.

1967 March 16 - .
  • Soyuz state commission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Gagarin; Smirnov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. The Soyuz 1/2 crews had planned to depart for Baikonur on 30 March, but Mishin wants to push this forward to the night of 17/18 March. This disrupts all of Kamanin's training plans and shows the poor planning and work of Mishin and his followers. A Soyuz state commission is held. Kamanin doesn't trust Mishin. The spacecraft is unreliable and incompletely tested. But it is decided all the conditions exist for a launch of the mission on 20-25 April. The question of Gagarin flying on the mission is brought up. The Communist Party says he is too valuable to risk on further spaceflights. Kamanin is against making him a living 'museum exhibit'. Smirnov agrees to raise the matter with the Politburo.

1967 March 20 - .
  • Soyuz 1 preparations - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. The cosmonauts have given up on further training at Baikonur due to the incomplete state of the spacecraft and returned to Moscow. Kamanin wanted to confront Mishin on the issue - this was all his fault, six days wasted - but Mishin never even showed up on the plane for the flight to Baikonur.

1967 March 22 - .
  • L1 flight scenario undecided - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Kerimov; Mishin; Gagarin; Leonov; Volynov; Makarov. Program: Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. Kerimov argued with Mishin that without any logical reason his demand that the cosmonauts go to the cosmodrome for training has disrupted their preparation schedule. Later Kamanin met with Gagarin, Leonov, Volynov, and Makarov, all selected as pilots for L1 lunar flybys. The L1 flight scenario was still open. Variant 1 would involve launch of two spacecraft, with transfer of one to two crew to the translunar spacecraft in earth orbit. Variant 2 would be a direct flight to the moon. Additional Details: here....

1967 April 8 - . 09:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/23. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D. LV Configuration: Proton-K/D 228-01. FAILURE: Block D ullage rocket failure; no restart.. Failed Stage: 4.
  • Cosmos 154 - . Payload: Soyuz 7K-L1P s/n 3P. Mass: 5,020 kg (11,060 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Mishin; Tsybin. Agency: RVSN. Program: Lunar L1; Soyuz. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. Duration: 1.98 days. Decay Date: 1967-04-10 . USAF Sat Cat: 2745 . COSPAR: 1967-032A. Apogee: 203 km (126 mi). Perigee: 187 km (116 mi). Inclination: 51.5000 deg. Period: 88.30 min. Protoype Soyuz 7K-L1 manned circumlunar spacecraft. There are high winds for the L1 launch, 15-17 m/s. The official limit is 20 m/s, but Chelomei wants to scrub the launch if winds go over 15 m/s. Nevertheless the launch proceeds in 17-18 m/s winds and the L1 reached earth orbit. However the Block D translunar injection stage failed to fire (ullage rockets, which had to fire to settle propellants in tanks before main engine fired, were jettisoned prematurely). The failure is blamed on Mishin and has Tsybin seething in anger. Mishin is disorganised and has made many mistakes. Spacecraft burned up two days later when orbit decayed. Later in the day comes the news the RTS has to be replaced on one of the Soyuz 1/2 spacecraft. This will have a 3 to 4 day schedule impact, and push the launch back to 15-20 April. The crews arrive the same day for the upcoming Soyuz launch.

1967 April 12 - .
  • Chaos at Area 31. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Kerimov; Mishin; Grechko, Andrei. Program: Soyuz; Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. The cosmonauts began work at 10:30 in the morning, and didn't complete work until 23:30 at night. They spent 16 hours working on Cosmonaut's Day, due to the criminally chaotic performance of TsKBEM. The cosmonauts have to train simultaneously for the Soyuz and L1 missions. Kamanin warns Kerimov about the unacceptable situation. Grechko arrives to head the state commission. The launch of Soyuz 1 is set for 24-25 April - there will be only eight days to fix all of the problems. The energy and optimism of Korolev is sorely missed. Mishin was a poor deputy, and a worse leader - his constant mistakes and stupidity delay work and aggravate people. The cosmonauts have to keep in shape by playing tennis, but there is only one court at Tyuratam - a second court is to be built eventually (!)

1967 April 14 - .
  • Huge blow-up at Tyuratam. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Ustinov; Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. The cosmonauts are completely trained, ready for launch at any time with four hours notice. Then Mishin calls Ustinov and tells him that their training is what is holding up the Soyuz 1 launch! From the point of view of the military quality assurance inspectors, there are 100 unresolved discrepancies on Soyuz 1 - the spacecraft is a piece of shit.

1967 April 20 - .
  • Soyuz 1/2 State Commission. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. 150 people attend. The readiness of the spacecraft and launch vehicles are confirmed. The final responsibilities and schedule are approved. Everything is go. Afterwards there is a meeting with Mishin. He is mainly worried about two things that could cause them to scrub the launch of the second Soyuz: a failure of the Igla automatic docking system or the solar panels on Soyuz 1.

1967 April 29 - .
  • L1 trainer review. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Darevskiy; Tyulin; Mishin. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. Review of progress on the L1 trainer MN-17, consisting of the SA and NO of the spacecraft It was built by the Factory Brigade headed by Darevskiy and was finished three to four weeks ago. But there is still the question of the cosmonauts conducting autonomous navigation. Tyulin and Mishin promised a solution long ago, but nothing has been delivered to date.

1967 May 5 - .
  • Gagarin and Leonov want Mishin cited in Soyuz crash report. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Gagarin; Leonov; Mishin. Program: Soyuz; Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 1. Gagarin and Leonov meet with Kamanin. They discuss the complete inadequacy of Mishin - his excitability, poor knowledge of the Soyuz spacecraft and the details of its operation, his lack of cooperation in working with the cosmonauts in flight and training activities. They urge that these facts be documented in the Komarov crash commission report. Problems are discussed with getting an additional Tu-104 for zero-G/one sixth-G training. Three are needed, and only two have been made available. Even these two can only be used for 23 flights up to 10 August, after which they must be sent away for ejection seat modifications.

1967 May 7 - .
  • Soyuz return-to-flight plans. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Feoktistov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Aboard Mishin's aircraft, he discusses his plans with Kamanin. He plans to launch two unmanned Soyuz spacecraft in the second half of July. An automated docking will be attempted, but the mission will be considered successful if the spacecraft rendezvous in space and approach to within 50 to 70 m of each other. He expects to follow this in August with a manned rendezvous, docking, and crew transfer mission. Two further pairs of spacecraft will be available by November 1967. This means a total of eight crews, including back-up crews, will have to be trained. He wants Feoktistov to fly on one of these missions. Kamanin tells Mishin that it will take two to three months to prepare Feoktistov for flight and will be too disruptive to flight training. After arriving at Fedosiya they attend a Soyuz 1 State Commission meeting from 10:00 to 13:00. Tests of the Soyuz parachute system are to be conducted beginning 14 May, on two mass models and one Soyuz mock-up.

1967 May 22 - .
  • LII Soyuz parachute recommendations impractical. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Soyuz; Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK; Soyuz 7K-L1. The conclusions of the LII study are found to be sound, but it would take months or even years to implement such an extensive spacecraft redesign. Mishin is still under orders to fly a manned mission around the moon by the 50th Anniversary of the Russian Revolution in October.

1967 July 16 - .
1967 July 24 - .
  • Cosmonaut group meeting. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Feoktistov. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. Mishin is seen as jeopardising Soviet manned lunar plans. He has no understanding of the necessity of providing proper training simulators to prepare the cosmonauts for flight. He is coarse, rude, doesn't listen to critics, and ignores the comments of those who will have to fly aboard his spacecraft. The cosmonauts agree they should request a meeting with Brezhnev and tell him flat out - there will be no moon landing as long as Mishin is in charge. Additional Details: here....

1967 July 29 - .
  • Review of Soyuz trainer status. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Feoktistov; Tsybin. Program: Lunar L1; Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK; Soyuz 7K-L1. The Soyuz simulator has not been functional for three months -- entirely the fault of Mishin and Tsybin. The L1 trainer has not been finished, and the autonomous navigation system has not completed development. There are two prototype electronic computers at TsKBEM, but they are not complete and don't work. The first L1 spacecraft was to fly in May, but it is now clear it won't be ready until September at the earliest. There will be no manned lunar flyby for the fiftieth anniversary of the October Revolution as was ordered by the Party. Additional Details: here....

1967 September 8 - .
  • L1 Expert Commission. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L1. Summary: Mishin certifies that the spacecraft will be delivered on 13-14 September, so launch is set for the window of 25-27 September. There are two recovery zones: Baikonur is the prime, with the Indian Ocean as secondary in case of a ballistic re-entry..

1967 September 20 - . LV Family: N1; UR-700.
  • Review of N1 progress. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Pashkov; Smirnov; Ustinov. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Spiral OS; LK-700. The booster was supposed to be launched by 1966, but there is no way it will be finished this year, and it is highly questionable it will even get off the ground in 1968. The N1 tanks are pressurised to 2 atmospheres, and can go up to three atmospheres in an emergency. In the enormous MIK assembly hall are three N1's - one 'iron bird' ground test model and two flight vehicles. The first roll out of the mock-up will take place in 1967, and the first launch attempt is still expected in 1968 (the first launch will not be attempted until the second and third stages complete stand tests. There is no test stand for the first stage, it will be fired for the first time in flight). An explosion would destroy the pad, requiring several years of repairs. There are two pads, but even that would not be a guarantee of the availability of the rocket due to the poor expected initial reliability. The N1 project is costing 10 billion roubles, not including considerable investment required by the military. To Kamanin the whole thing is a boondoggle, showing the necessity for development of lighter air-launched boosters. He believes there are many mistakes in design and construction, but Mishin, Pashkov, Smirnov, and Ustinov support these doubtful projects of Korolev and Mishin, instead of technically sound projects such as Chelomei's UR-700 or MiG's air-launched spacecraft. If Mishin thinks the current Proton/L1 reliability is only 0.6, then that of the completely unproved N1/L3 must be even less...

1967 September 27 - . 22:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/23. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D. LV Configuration: Proton-K/D 229-01. FAILURE: First stage -1 RD-253 failed, resulting at T+67 sec in deviation from flight path.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Soyuz 7K-L1 s/n 4L - . Payload: Soyuz 7K-L1 s/n 4L. Mass: 5,390 kg (11,880 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Barmin. Agency: RVSN. Program: Lunar L1. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. Decay Date: 1967-09-28 . COSPAR: F670927B. First attempted circumlunar flight. The UR-500K failed, crashing 50 to 60 km from the launch pad. The L1 radio beacon was detected 65 km north of the Baikonur aerodrome by an Il-14 search aircraft. An Mi-6 helicopter recovered the capsule and had it back to the cosmodrome by 13:30. Mishin's record: of seven launches of the Soyuz and L1, only one has been successful. Film of the launch shows that one engine of the first stage failed. Mishin still wants to launch the next L1 by 28 October. The other chief designers oppose the move. Barmin says at least five months are needed to diagnose the cause of the failures and makes fixes to ensure they don't happen again. Nevertheless the leadership sides with Mishin, and Barmin is ordered to prepare the left Proton pad for a launch within 30 to 40 days.

1967 October 3 - .
  • Mishin's errors means Kamanin will not see a Soviet man on the moon in his lifetime. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L1; Lunar L3. Summary: The moon landing has already been delayed three to four years due to the mistakes of Mishin. Kamanin feels his mortality, the limited number of years remaining in his life, and is furious that Mishin is wasting time when life is so short for everyone..

1967 October 6 - .
  • Soyuz parachute trials at Fedosiya. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L1; Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK; Soyuz 7K-L1. They need to complete 70 drops, which normally would take five to six months. Mishin still insists that they be completed by 1 November. Three tests are made in one day, a record, including the drop of a Soyuz mock-up at 17:55 from an An-12. The parachute deployed correctly, but the soft landing system fired at 2000 m instead of 1.2 m. The spacecraft hit the ground on its side at 8 m/s. Because of the angle of impact the crew seat shock absorbers couldn't function. If any cosmonauts had been aboard, they would have suffered serious trauma.

1967 October 7 - . LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K.
  • Soviet of Chief Designers - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Mishin; Glushko; Ustinov; Dementiev. Program: Lunar L1; Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK; Soyuz 7K-L1. In Moscow, Mishin heads a meeting of all the Chief Designers (including Chelomei, Mishin, and Glushko). Glushko says that the last UR-500K failure was due to errors made during manufacture of an engine in 1965 at Factory 19 at Perm. Ustinov notes that the failure has cost the state 100 million roubles and has delayed the program two to three months. He brutally attacks Dementiev, Minister of Aviation Industry, for the poor work of his factories on the space program. Another issue is continued delays in the Salyut computer for the L1. Ustinov orders an alternate technical solution to be developed in parallel with the digital computer development. The next Soyuz flight is set for the end of December, the next L1 attempt for 21-22 November.

1967 October 10 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Lunar Soviet - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Afanasyev, Sergei; Keldysh; Chelomei; Mishin; Kuznetsov. Program: Lunar L1; Lunar L3. Spacecraft: L5-1967. The meeting is headed by Afanasyev. The first N1 will have a payload of only 76 tonnes, versus the 95 tonnes required for the L3 lunar landing complex. In order to land two cosmonauts on the moon, as the Americans are planning, a 105 tonne low earth orbit payload would be needed. This would require new engines in the first and second stages. Kuznetsov says that his 153 tonne engine could be uprated to 170 tonnes without any basic changes. Lox/LH2 engines would be needed for the upper stages. Keldysh questions the safety of the current plan of landing only one cosmonaut on the moon. Mishin replies that putting two cosmonauts on the moon simply is not possible with the N1. Chelomei raises a question - How is it possible that the Americans have built he Saturn V, which can put 130 tonnes in low earth orbit, in order to land two men on the moon, and Mishin says he can do the same mission with 105 tonnes? Mishin claims that this is due to the lighter design and construction of the L3. The following decisions are made:
    • The first Soviet flight to he moon will use the current plan - one N1 launch, one cosmonaut on the moon.
    • Special measures must be taken to ensure the safety of that single cosmonaut
    • A new N1 model is to be developed to land the new L5 spacecraft (which will be able to handle 4 to 5 crew, 1.5 to 2.0 tonnes of scientific equipment, and spend three months on the lunar surface). This is to be ready two to three years after the first landing.
    • The Academy of Sciences, the Ministry of Defence, and MOM are to develop a program of military and scientific experiments to be carried aboard the L3
    • The next meeting of the lunar soviet will be in November/December 1967

1967 October 13 - .
  • Mishin seeks cancellation of 7K-VI. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Afanasyev, Sergei; Smirnov. Spacecraft: Soyuz VI. Mishin sends a letter to Afanasyev and Smirnov, proposing to cancel the Kozlov's 7K-VI military version of Soyuz. It is an unnecessary new spacecraft design, he says. As an alternative Mishin proposes to double to 8 to 10 the number of flights of the existing Soyuz design planned for 1968. Kamanin is astounded. Mishin was never opposed to Kozlov's 7K-VI before. No one had ever indicated that the VI had to be a precise copy of the Soyuz. The military is opposed to the move. On another matter, Kamanin sends a letter to Mishin, complaining about the L1 trainer provided - the simulator is not representative of the actual spacecraft. Meanwhile the second test of a Soyuz mock-up is made at the parachute trials at Fedosiya. It proceeds normally, and the test clears the way for an unmanned space flight of the redesigned Soyuz.

1967 October 15 - .
  • Meeting on crew selections for the L3 program. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Kuznetsov, Nikolai Fedorovich; Gagarin; Leonov; Bykovsky; Nikolayev; Popovich; Voronov; Khrunov; Gorbatko; Artyukhin; Kubasov; Makarov; Rukavishnikov; Mishin. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK. Attending are Kuznetsov, Gagarin, Khlebnikov. There are three training groups: Soyuz, L1, and L3. Mishin and the MOM are holding up further training of cosmonauts until the VVS agrees to accept Mishin's candidates from TsKBEM. In any case, Mishin's attitude is that 'automation in space is everything. Humans in space are only supposed to monitor the operation of automated systems'. L3 cosmonauts selected by the VVS are: Leonov, Bykovsky, Nikolayev, Popovich, Voronov, Khrunov, Gorbatko, Artyukhin, Kubasov, Makarov, and Rukavishnikov. The official requirements: balanced composition of a crew according to mass requirements (no more than 70 kg weight per cosmonaut), and the ability to monitor fully automated function of the L3. According to official documents, the crew's primary function is to guide the flight, but now Mishin intends that their primary role will be as subjects of psychological and physical observations to establish the adaptation of the human organism to space flight).

1967 October 16 - .
  • Continued problems with Soyuz landing system tests. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Tkachev. Program: Lunar L1; Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK; Soyuz 7K-L1. A further test of the Soyuz landing system went all right, if you don't consider the fact that the 'Tor' altimeter triggered the braking system 3.3 seconds early. One certainly couldn't say, as a result of only these two successful tests, that the system was reliable. The system uses a gamma altimeter, with redundant verification using pulses from HF and UHF antennae. The system has been approved for unmanned flights, but needs additional tests before it can be certified for manned flights. Kholdokov wants the VVS to take over not just trials, but all further development of the landing system, since Mishin and Tkachev are unable to deliver a reliable product. But such a decision can only be taken jointly by the VVS and RVSN.

1967 October 17 - .
  • The return to flight of Soyuz is approved. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Soyuz; Lunar L1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK; Soyuz 7K-L1. There have been many improvements and additional qualification tests conducted since the Soyuz 1 crash, notably to the parachute system. MAP, TsAGI, LII, and the VVS want the L1 to have a reserve parachute as well, but Mishin rejects the recommendation -- it would cost 200 kg extra mass, and there are absolutely no reserves in the L1.

1967 October 21 - .
  • Lunar crew controversy rages. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Anokhin; Feoktistov; Tyulin; Kerimov. Program: Lunar L3; Lunar L1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK. First Mishin was pushing the 60-year-old Anokhin for spaceflight, now the invalid Feoktistov. Feoktistiov suffers from gastrointestinal ulcers. Tyulin and Kerimov are of one voice in the matter - this is not even a question that can be raised - sick is sick, period. The L1 and L3 crews will have to endure eight to ten days of orbital flight. They can only be between 170 and 175 cm tall, and can have a maximum weight of 70 kg. Mishin insists that he doesn't even need military pilots for the L1 and L3, and therefore doesn't need to decide crew compositions until the middle of 1968, and then only 'his' engineer cosmonauts from TsKBEM should be considered. The Marshal interrupts Mishin, angrily reminding him that the space program is a national enterprise, not something being accomplished by 'your' spacecraft or 'your' cosmonauts. A three hour-long bitter debate ensues, with no resolution on crew selections. The final conclusions are only that the crews will consist of one pilot, and one engineer, and that Feoktistov will never be allowed to go into space.

1967 October 30 - . 08:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511.
  • Cosmos 188 - . Payload: Soyuz 7K-OK (P) s/n 5. Mass: 6,530 kg (14,390 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Mnatsakanian. Agency: MOM. Program: Soyuz. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Duration: 3.04 days. Decay Date: 1967-11-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 3020 . COSPAR: 1967-107A. Apogee: 247 km (153 mi). Perigee: 180 km (110 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 88.70 min. Docking target craft for Cosmos 186, which achieved world's first automatic rendezvous on second attempt. Hard docking achieved but electric connections unsuccessful due to misallignment of spacecraft. Ion flow sensor failed and Cosmos 188 had to make a high-G uncontrolled re-entry. When it deviated too far off course, it was destroyed by the on-board self-destruct system,. However officially the Soviet Union reported that it landed succesfully on November 2, 1967 at 09:10 GMT, and that its mission was 'investigation of outer space, development of new systems and elements to be used in the construction of space devices'. Additional Details: here....

1967 October 31 - .
  • Cosmos 186 landing. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Rudenko; Ustinov; Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Due to failure of a star tracker a guided lifting re-entry of 3-4 G was not accomplished. A ballistic re-entry of 7-8 G however resulted in a successful soft landing in the target zone. Rudenko's recovery crews demonstrated a lack of training. Ustinov and Mishin were anxious to release a proclamation of total mission success, but they needed confirmation that the soft landing rockets had functioned correctly. It was only after 2.5 hours that the recovery teams arrived aboard an Mi-6 helicopter that the correct function of the landing system is verified and the leadership notified.

1967 November 1 - .
  • Cosmos 188 self-destructs during re-entry. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Afanasyev, Sergei; Kerimov; Tyulin; Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Mishin is drunk again at a critical mission phase. Afanasyev, Kerimov, and Tyulin all know about Mishin's drinking problem but do nothing. Meanwhile in orbit Soyuz-B's stellar navigation system has not functioned correctly (it hasn't worked on any Soyuz, Kamanin notes). The decision is made to use the ion orientation system. The TDU braking rocket fires at 10:03 on 2 November. But the spacecraft is not oriented correctly, and the landing will take place 2000 to 3000 km from the recovery area. The APO destruct system determines that the landing point will be 300 to 400 km east of Ulan-Ude, and automatically blows up the capsule during re-entry at an altitude of 60 to 70 km above Irkutsk. This was completely unnecessary, since the capsule would have landed on Soviet territory, or in Mongolian territory close to the border. The orientation problem is found to be due to incorrect functioning of the ion orientation system.

1967 November 4 - .
  • Manned Soyuz flight by May 1968? - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Summary: Discussion on the Il-18 on the way back to Moscow from Tyuratam. Mishin thinks that a manned flight aboard Soyuz will be possible by April-May of 1968; the others don't think it can happen until the second half of the year..

1967 November 13 - . LV Family: N1; Saturn V.
  • Kamanin's thoughts on first Saturn V launch. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Ustinov; Smirnov; Pashkov; Malinovskiy; Grechko, Andrei. Program: Lunar L3; Apollo. The first Saturn V and Surveyor 6 have been launched by the Americans. Kamanin catalogues why the Americans are beating them: bad organisation, on the parts of Ustinov, Smirnov, Pashkov, Malinovskiy, and Grechko; technical errors and an undisciplined approach to the fulfilment of government decrees concerning the Soyuz and N1 on the parts of Chief Designers Korolev and Mishin; lack of coordination between the institutes and design bureaux compared to the United States; and finally, the Americans are spending several times more money than has been dedicated to the Soviet space program.

1967 November 18 - .
  • L1 launch weather delays. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L1. Summary: Bad weather at Baikonur. Low visibility and snow may delay the L1 launch. Kamanin rails against Mishin - he's a drunk, an authoritarian, etc. etc..

1967 November 22 - . 19:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/24. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D. LV Configuration: Proton-K/D 230-01. FAILURE: Second stage - 1 x RD-0210 failure, shutoff of stage 4 seconds after ignition. Launcher crashed downrange.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Soyuz 7K-L1 s/n 5L - . Payload: Soyuz 7K-L1 s/n 5L. Mass: 5,390 kg (11,880 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Glushko; Chelomei; Mishin; Leonov. Agency: RVSN. Program: Lunar L1. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. Decay Date: 1967-11-21 . COSPAR: F671122A. The launch takes place at 00:07 local time (22:07 on 22 November Moscow time). Glushko, Chelomei, and Kamanin observe the launch from an observation point in -5 deg C weather. Three to four seconds after second stage ignition, the SAS pulls the spacecraft away from the booster. Telemetry shows that engine number 4 of stage 2 never ignited, and after 3.9 seconds the remaining three engines were shut dwon by the SBN (Booster Safety System) and the SAS abort tower fired. The capsule's radio beacon was detected and the spacecraft was found 80 km southwest of Dzhezkazgan, 285 km down range. The Proton problems are maddening. Over 100 rocket launches have used engines from this factory, with no previous failure. Of ten of the last launches under Mishin's direction (6 Soyuz and 4 L1) only two have went well - an 80% failure rate! Mishin is totally without luck. Kamanin and Leonov take an An-12 to see the L1 at its landing point. Leonov wants to see proof that the cosmonauts would be saved in any conditions. The capsule landed in -17 deg C and 12 m/s winds. The parachute pulled the capsule along the ground for 550 m, and the soft landing rockets fired somewhere above the 1.2 m design height. After safing of the APO self-destruct package, the capsule is lifted to an airfield by a Mi-4.

1967 November 30 - .
  • Almaz program review. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Pashkov; Afanasyev, Sergei; Chelomei; Gagarin; Mishin. Program: Almaz. Spacecraft: Almaz OPS. Kamanin attends an Almaz program review with Pashkov, Afanasyev, and Chelomei. The resolution of June 1967 required space trials to begin in 1968, and entry of the system into military service in 1969. But this schedule was flawed from the beginning. The project plan required design, qualification, and delivery of completely new complex systems from ten different ministries. The Ministry of Radio Equipment was to deliver 66 items, but the ministry refused, saying they could handle two at most. Similar responses were received from other ministries. The result is that six months into the program, the first flight schedule has already slid 24 months, to 1970. The VVS has been dealing with Chelomei for two years, and find him much better to work with than Mishin. Chelomei's deputies are highly cultured men, pleasant to work with (unlike Mishin and his circle). The VVS is to handle the following on the Almaz program:
    • Development of crew safety items, cockpit indicators on the function of the landing system, and controls for manual landing by the astronaut
    • Development of the HAZ complex for training of crew members
    • Review and approval of station systems for water generation, medical observation of the crew, and atmosphere indicators and controls
    • Development of a manned manoeuvring unit to allow the cosmonauts to manoeuvre up to 300 m from the station
    Gagarin is at the Chkalov Airfield, in preparation for his solo flight in a MiG-17. This will be his first solo aircraft flight in seven years. Kuznetsov tried to keep this day from coming.

1967 December 2 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Lunar Soviet. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Afanasyev, Sergei; Mishin; Ustinov; Smirnov. Program: Lunar L3; Apollo. A panel headed by Afanasyev and Mishin reviews the readiness of the N1. The mock-up booster is to complete pad compatibility tests by 30 March 1968. The first launch is still supposed to take place in the second half of 1968. The launch of the American Saturn V in November has reenergized the workers at Tyuratam. Kamanin is impressed - he was less sure of success, knowing all the problems of a project that requires the labour of thousands of persons. Afanasyev then turns to crew selection issues. The original resolution said that a cosmonaut was to be launched by an N1-L3 by April 1968. Mishin says he will be able to make two launches in the second half of 1968. It will take 18 to 24 months to train crews. But to date, Mishin still won't agree to crew selections, despite dozens of contacts and letters from Kamanin to Ustinov and Smirnov. There are still no simulators for the L3. Mishin wants to launch to the moon only engineers from TsKBEM. He is given an ultimatum: either the VVS will leave the space program, requiring Mishin to take over all training and crew responsibilities, or reach an agreement on crew composition in the next few days. Afansyev orders the commission to convene again in two to three days.

1967 December 3 - .
  • L3 trainer controversy. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK; LK. Mishin wants only his organisation to build L3 trainers, not the VVS. A whole series of previously-unmentioned trainers and simulators are mentioned, included the Turbolet, a V-10 helicopter with a lunar cabin, etc. For the L3 simulator Mishin wants to develop the specification documents without inputs from the VVS and have it built only to Mishin's requirements. This is rejected by Kamanin, who insists on a decision by 20 December, with issuance of the specifications for the L3 trainers with the input of VVS. If two simulators are buit, one must be installed at TsPK and the other at TsKBEM. If only one is built, it will have to be at TsPK.

1967 December 6 - .
  • 7K-VI cancelled. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Ustinov; Smirnov; Pashkov; Serbin; Stroganov; Keldysh. Spacecraft: Soyuz VI. Kamanin is dumbfounded. The leadership has decided to accept Mishin's recommendations, scrap the 7K-VI project, and replace it with a Soyuz variant! Mishin is an egotist, but he is supported by highly-placed leaders - Ustinov, Smirnov, Pashkov, Serbin, Stroganov, Keldysh, and others. So everyone in the space program has to dance in the service of this 'engineer-performer', who is not a credible chief designer.

1967 December 8 - .
  • TsKBEM confirms Mishin's decision to cancel Soyuz VI - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Bushuyev; Okhapkin; Feoktistov; Karas; Shcheulov; Gaidukov; Chelomei; Kerimov. Program: Almaz. Spacecraft: Soyuz VI; LK-1; Almaz OPS; Soyuz 7K-S; Soyuz OB-VI. Mishin is away on 'cure' for his drinking problem. A 'Podlipki Soviet' is held at TsKBEM. The issue is cancellation of Kozlov's 7K-VI military Soyuz. Bushuyev, Chertok, Okhapkin, Feoktistov are in favour of cancelling it. Opposed are Karas, Shcheulov, Kostonin, Gaidukov, and the various military representatives at the meeting. It was now six years since OKB-1 was required to put a military manned spacecraft into space - and, factually speaking, nothing has been done. Military experiments proposed for each manned flight by OKB-1 to date had been rejected on various grounds - no weight, no space aboard the spacecraft. Good progress has been made with Kozlov's VI and Chelomei's Almaz - now they've managed to kill the VI, and Mishin and Kerimov are constantly denigrating Almaz (saying it is too heavy, and unsuited for the purpose). The whole thing is a replay of the LK-1 situation. In 1963, a resolution was issued to send a Soviet man around the moon. Instead, after two years of development, Korolev managed to get Chelomei's LK-1 lunar spacecraft cancelled, and started all over with his own L1. Additional Details: here....

1967 December 27 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Mishin to remain in charge until first L3 launches. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Feoktistov; Afanasyev, Sergei; Mishin; Ustinov. Program: Lunar L3. Afanasyev holds meetings on the L3 lunar expedition program. Kamanin recites Mishin's failings. Afanasyev replies that he has talked to Ustinov about it, but Ustinov will leave the current management in charge until N1 flight tests begin. If they are unsuccessful, then Mishin alone will have to answer for it. Afansyev also assures Kamanin that although Feoktistov should be allowed to train for a space flight, he and Ustinov will make sure he never flies.

1968 January 17 - .
  • Afanasyev inspects the TsPK. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Afanasyev, Sergei; Mishin. Program: Lunar L1; Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1; Soyuz 7K-LOK. He is shown the Volga and L1 trainers, takes a seat in the trainer, and is given a simulated space flight. At the air base he reviews the aircraft and the TBK-60 altitude chamber. Throughout the tour, Mishin constantly wore a soft expression and used coarse language. Afanasyev was briefed on and recognised problems with development and delivery of the Salyut digital computer needed for the L1 guidance system. But he was not told that cooperation had broken down totally on the L3 simulator development and crew selection.

1968 January 23 - . LV Family: MR-UR-100; N1; RT-2; UR-100N.
1968 January 27 - .
  • Cosmonauts take case against Mishin to VVS high command. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Gagarin; Titov; Popovich; Belyayev; Leonov; Chelomei; Mishin; Ustinov; Afanasyev, Sergei. Program: Lunar L1; Almaz. Spacecraft: Soyuz VI; Almaz OPS. Kamanin, Gagarin, Titov, Popovich, Belyayev, and Leonov meet with Marshal Yakabovskiy. They inform him that Mishin is blocking further development of the 7K-VI military manned spacecraft and also trying to kill Chelomei's Almaz military space station. They get nowhere. The Marshal says that while he doesn't understand much about space himself, Ustinov had assured him that Mishin and Afanasyev were taking all measures necessary to correct the necessary material...

1968 January 28 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Sergei Osipovich Okhapkin put in charge of the N1 at TsKBEM - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Okhapkin. Program: Lunar L3. Summary: This decision led to one of Mishin's famous 'illnesses', putting him out of action for a period..

1968 February 6 - .
  • L1 commander assignments agreed. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Feoktistov; Leonov; Bykovsky; Popovich; Voloshin. Program: Lunar L1; Soyuz. The final medical report rejects Feoktistov's fitness to be a cosmonaut. Mishin accepts the findings of the report, but in classic manner ignores it and advocates Feoktistov be appointed as commander of the active spacecraft in the first Soyuz docking mission after return to flight. Kamanin is livid. Feoktistov has had years of training for EVA, but he has not had one day of training as a spacecraft commander, and now he wants him to command a mission due to launch in only two to three months! However agreement is finally reached on L1 commander assignments: Leonov, Bykovskiy, Popovich, Voloshin. Agreement is not reached on the second (civilian) crew member position for the flights. According to Mishin, the Soyuz and L1 flights planned from March 1 to the end of 1968 will require 16 to 18 crew members total.

1968 February 17 - .
  • Soyuz VI cancellation approved. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Kozlov; Afanasyev, Sergei. Spacecraft: Soyuz VI. Summary: The NTK General Staff approves Mishin's cancellation fo the 7K-VI. Kozlov has agreed only under duress. The military is opposed to the cancellation, but Afanasyev won't listen to them..

1968 February 21 - . LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D.
  • L1 Launch Commission. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Glushko; Konopatov; Mishin. Program: Lunar L1; Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1; Soyuz 7K-OK. The booster failure on the previous launch was found to be due to premature fuel injection during engine start, causing initial chamber temperatures to rise 200 degrees above normal. Glushko and Konopatov both guarantee their engines for the next launch. The next L1 flight will use the 'Kruga' landing predictor. This will predict the landing point to within a 150 x 150 km area two to three hours before re-entry. Landing points on the three previous flights would have been 2000 km from Madagascar and India, Novosibirsk, and the North Pole... Mishin plans the next dual Soyuz flight for 5-10 April. Kamanin protests that the parachute and sea trials of the redesigned capsule are not yet complete. Mishin, as usual, dismisses his concerns.

1968 March 7 - .
  • Soyuz parachute recertification holding up all manned programs. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Tkachev. Program: Soyuz; Lunar L1; Lunar L3; Almaz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1; Soyuz 7K-LOK; Soyuz 7K-OK; Almaz OPS. Mishin certified to MAP on 5 March that the Soyuz parachute system development is complete, but Tkachayev has dissented, saying that the system was unreliable and overweight (this from the same chief designer that certified the previous design as having an 0.999 reliability!). The parachute trials will not be finished until May - meaning there will be no manned Soyuz launch in April. This problem is holding up the L1, L3, and Almaz projects as well.

1968 March 20 - .
  • Lunar spacesuit review. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Severin; Mishin. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Krechet; Orlan; LK; Luna Ye-8. Meeting with Gay Ilyich Severin. Two spacesuits are being developed for the L3 program: the Krechet-94 and Orlan. Both have been in development for two years. The Krechet-94 will allow six hours of lunar surface activity, the Orlan, 2.5 hours. Both weigh about 90 kg. There are consumables for a total of 52 hours of life support in the LK and the LT Lunar Cart. Kamanin feels the suits are too heavy, due to Mishin's demand for a 5 km range from the LK over a three day traverse with the LT. Severin could have instead developed the spacesuit used by Leonov to have a four hour autonomous operation, but Mishin insisted on doubling of the capacity.

1968 April 21 - .
  • L1 on schedule; N1 in trouble. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L1; Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. This was a reserve day in the L1 countdown, in case of problems in preparation. However all is on schedule for the launch. The same cannot be said for the N1. There are many delays. Mishin promised the first N1 rollout in the first half of March, but it is still in the assembly building, with no end in sight of preparations. The weather at the cosmodrome is -5 deg at night, clear pleasant days. The Hotel Kosmonavt was finished on 15 April. Although it has all of its furniture, it was not completely painted before the furniture was moved in!

1968 April 22 - .
  • The L1 State Commission meets and the launch is set for the next day. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. However the Commission did not agree to disarm the APO destruct system aboard the capsule. They don't want any chance of 'Soviet electronic secrets' falling into the hands of the Americans. Kamanin disagrees - he thinks they should conduct one fully ballistic re-entry and landing of an L1 to see if the landing system would function and the crew would survive. What's the point of deploying recovery ships to the Indian Ocean if they are only going to blow up the capsule anyway if the SUS fails and it reverts to ballistic mode? Mishin's answer: 'I was always against having those forces in the Indian Ocean!' Yet he had demanded those 7 to 9 recovery ships in February!

1968 April 23 - .
  • L1 launch failure - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. The cosmonauts and VVS staff will watch the Proton launch from Area 130. Kamanin observes from Area 81, near the pads. It is a warm, starry night and the booster heads toward space on pillars of fire. Up until T+260 seconds all proceeds normally, then the stage 2 shuts down 79 seconds into its burn. At 02:50 it is reported that the capsule separated successfully from the inert booster and has landed 520 km from the launch pad, 110 km east of Dzhezkazgan. Two Il-14 search aircraft and one Mi-4 helicopter fly over the recovery zone, but no signal is received from the capsule. Mishin immediately blames Chelomei's TsKBEM for the booster failure -- later it is shown that Mishin's L1 spacecraft sent an erroneous abort command to the rocket, which then shut down it engines! The capsule is sighted after dawn and picked up by a Mi-6 helicopter and delivered to Dzhezkazgan airfield at 15:00. It is then taken to Moscow for examination. The SAS abort and capsule landing systems have certainly been proven reliable! They have worked perfectly on the last three launches!

1968 April 29 - .
  • Mishin '2+2' scenario for the next manned Soyuz flight. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Titov. Program: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Mishin calls Kamanin and asks what he would think of a revised scenario for the next manned Soyuz flight. Mishin's '2+2' concept would call for four, instead of five cosmonauts, aboard two Soyuz capsules with transfer of only one cosmonaut by EVA. He gives Kamanin until 6 May to give his opinion on the change of plan. Titov is planning on selling his Volga automobile and buying a Moskovich.

1968 April 30 - .
  • Soyuz program review. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Summary: Mishin's 'corps de ballet' dance the dance and walk the walk in a Soyuz program review..

1968 May 7 - .
  • Soyuz manned flights delayed 2 to 3 more months - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Feoktistov. Program: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Kamanin reviews the ongoing controversy with Mishin over assignment of Feoktistov to spaceflights. He then turns to the trials of the revised parachute system for Soyuz. The new design has been proven in three landings of spacecraft and 23 tests of mock-ups from aircraft. The SAS abort system has not been retested -- Korolev took full responsibility for its design, and the VVS accepted that in the old days. In any case the likelihood of having to use the SAS or the reserve parachute was not great. Yet still Mishin refuses to recommend going ahead with manned flights. 'I will only proceed when the Central Committee orders me!' he has said. Nevertheless he does declare that Soyuz is now ready to resume manned flights, except for the reserve parachute system, which needs two to three months more development. Based on successful completion of these tests, a manned flight will be possible in the first half of August.

1968 May 15 - .
  • Soyuz parachute problems will limit crew size. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. One engineer has resigned in the belief that the Gagarin crash was due to a hydraulic accumulator failure. The reason Mishin has been pushing for a reduced Soyuz crew is revealed when the reserve parachute will burst when subjected to forces greater than 1300 kgf/square metre. This implies that the Soyuz SA has to be reduced by 150 to 200 kg mass to allow safe functoning of the reserve parachute in an emergency. A reserve parachute system redesign is not an alternative due to the schedule requirements. Mishin's solution is to fly only two crew in each Soyuz. So he is proposing that the two-Soyuz manned flight carry only two crew in each capsule. No crew transfer will take place, but the BO living module will be depressurised to check its function as an airlock. Kamanin is furious -- this conclusion is reached now, when two years ago crews were standing by for launch on what is now believed to be an unsafe mission! The cosmonauts are also against Mishin's concept - such a flight proves nothing new.

1968 May 21 - .
  • L1/Soyuz program review. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Keldysh. Program: Lunar L1; Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK; Soyuz 7K-L1. Summary: The next L1 launch is set for 17 July. Mishin wants an L1 crew ready for an around-the-moon flight by June. He also wants to fly a 2+2 Soyuz mission in August. Keldysh insists that the Soyuz be proven in another unmanned flight first..

1968 May 22 - .
  • Mishin pushes for '1+2' Soyuz mission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Titov; Mishin; Khrunov. Program: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Titov is to tour. He will spend the next two days in Semipalatinsk, then go to Italy in the first week of June. He has been offered command of the second unit at TsPK, but says he doesn't want to be an administrator. He would rather pursue a career as a test pilot, at either OKB MiG or GNIKI VVS. Mishin is now pushing for a 1+2 Soyuz mission in August on safety grounds. He is also still pushing Khrunov as a spacecraft commander, even though Khrunov has no training in manual docking and it would take at least two months to train and qualify him.

1968 May 29 - .
  • Further tests to evaluate feasibility of '1+2' Soyuz mission profile. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Khrunov; Ustinov; Yeliseyev; Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK; Yastreb. Khrunov tries to don the Yastreb space suit unassisted, in another test of the feasibility of a 1+2 Soyuz mission. He simply cannot accomplish the task in the four minute maximum time required. Mishin now has Ustinov interested in his 1+2 mission, with Yeliseyev to make a solo EVA from one Soyuz to another.

1968 May 30 - .
  • Soviet of the Chief Designers. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Feoktistov; Ustinov; Mishin; Beregovoi; Volynov; Shatalov. Program: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Mishin still wants to eventually conduct a 2+2 mission, but now wants the flight in August to be a 0+1 test flight. In this he is supported by Keldysh and Ustinov. He wants Feoktistov to be the pilot. Kamanin is adamantly opposed and offers him Beregovoi, Volynov, or Shatalov.

1968 July 10 - .
  • L3 recovery controversy. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Zakharov; Ryabikov; Grechko, Andrei; Mishin. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK. Marshal Zakharov has consulted with Ryabikov at Gosplan on what commitments Grechko has made from Ministry of Defence funds for L3 recovery forces. Gosplan advised him that 800 million roubles and 21,000 staff were committed, but the justification for these amounts were not methodically developed. Mishin is now saying that hundreds, not thousands of cadres will be required, see he can set the return capsule down in within the confines of the cosmodrome.

1968 July 12 - .
  • L3 recovery controversy. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK. VVS has been charged with arranging for ocean recovery of the L3 capsule in case it splashes down in the Indian Ocean since 1966. TsNII-30 did the research work under project 'Ellips', resulting in the recommendation that the VVS and VMF jointly develop the air and naval forces to recover the capsule at sea, at a cost of 800 million roubles. The Ellips concept requires that the L3 capsule be equipped with radio beacons and dye markers. Despite knowing this for two years, Mishin has done nothing to implement these features into the spacecraft.

1968 July 29 - .
  • Reduced L3 recovery forces. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Smirnov; Vershinin. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK. Vershinin looks bad after his surgery. His loss would be a blow for Kamanin's cause - Vershinin was steadfast against the unobjective positions of Mishin and Smirnov. Vershinin had just sent yet another letter about the procurement of the 16 m centrifuge for the TsPK. This is a six-year long story. The VVS has been trying to procure this essential piece of cosmonaut training equipment since 1962, but it still has not been delivered. Vershinin also has issued a letter on the L3 recovery force issue. He points out that the resolution of the Central Committee ordered the expenditure of 600 million roubles and the commitment of 9,000 men for recovery services. Another 400 million roubles and 12,000 men were earmarked by the Rocket Forces. Despite this huge commitment, Mishin now says he doesn't need any of them, that he can bring his L1 and L3 spacecraft to precision landings within the confines of the cosmodrome, eliminating the need for any Indian Ocean recoveries. This optimism is not accepted, but it is agreed the total requirement can be reduced to 400 million roubles and 7,000 men, through use of lighter recovery ships of the Leninskiy Komsomol class, and the use of three airborne relay stations instead of nine.

1968 August 8 - .
  • Further Soyuz delays - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. The next flight of an unmanned Soyuz has been delayed yet again. It had been set for 27 July, then 10 August, and now 20 August. The problem is qualification of the reserve parachute system. The test at Fedosiya on 3 August was a failure - the SA capsule's parachute hatch didn't jettison, the parachute system couldn't operate, and the capsule was destroyed on impact with the ground. The system needed 3 to 5 final tests for qualification. The first test in the series was successful, but this second test was a disaster. Another setback for Mishin. The same parachute hatch mechanism had never failed before in 200 flights of Vostok, Zenit, and Soyuz spacecraft. Meanwhile the invasion of Czechoslovakia is underway…

1968 September 12 - .
  • L1 Training. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. Summary: The cosmonauts have been well trained on the L1 spacecraft at TsKBEM, but not on the real thing at the test area at Baikonur. Mishin is opposed to their doing this training at the cosmodrome..

1968 September 13 - .
  • L1 recovery plans - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. 200 aircraft and helicopters are ready for the L1 launch, as well as eight ships in the Indian Ocean. The latter are spaced at 300 km intervals in an area 2500 km long x 400 km wide along the re-entry trajectory. There are Ka-25 helicopters aboard only three of the ships. For manned flights, a minimum of nine ships, all equipped with helicopters, plus a long range Tu-95 search aircraft will be required. But this has been recommended 20 times by Kamanin, and rejected 20 times by the Ministry of Defence. Later the L1 State Commission meets in the new three-story building at Area 81. Launch is set for 15 September at 00:42:10.6, which will mean a night landing at 19:00 on 21 September. The capsule has no visual lights or beacons, which will make it very hard to locate. But Mishin is adamant he cannot change the landing time.

1968 September 23 - .
  • L1 lunar crew selections - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Leonov; Voronov; Bykovsky; Rukavishnikov; Popovich; Makarov. Program: Lunar L1; Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1; Soyuz 7K-OK. Meeting of VVS, Mishin, and other designers at Fedosiya to review trials of the improved Soyuz parachute system. The Soyuz is cleared for manned flights. Mishin tells Leonov he will not support him in his bid to make the first lunar flight. Kamanin tells Leonov that of the three crews - Leonov-Voronov, Bykovsky-Rukavishnikov, Popovich-Makarov - the Bykovsky crew is favoured.

1968 October 9 - .
  • Soyuz 3 preparations. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Beregovoi. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Kamanin is at Tyuratam. There is a Soyuz review - the preparation of the spacecraft is on schedule. Mishin is 'sick' (drunk) again and does not attend. Beregovoi weighs in at 80.4 kg and his opponents are using this against him, saying he is too fat for the mission. He had been up to 86 kg, but had already lost weight on Kamanin's recommendation.

1968 October 18 - .
  • Birthdays at the cosmodrome. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Beregovoi. Flight: Soyuz 3. Summary: It is Kamanin's 60th birthday, and Beregovoi is 47. Many birthday greetings received. In the evening, at a gala dinner, Mishin makes a very warm speech honouring Kamanin and presents him with a model of the Soyuz spacecraft..

1968 October 24 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 - lost opportunity in 1961 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Glushko; Korolev; Isayev; Mishin. Program: Lunar L3. Flight: Soyuz 3. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK. Glushko has a private conversation with Isayev at the N1 MIK during the Soyuz 3 launch preparations. Glushko revealed to Isayev that in 1961 he had offered Korolev a compromise - if Korolev would use the same 'packet' scheme for the N1 that he had used on the R-7, so that the individual engine modules could be individually tested on the ground before flight, Glushko would give up his insistence on the use of storable propellants. However, after checking with Mishin, Korolev would not compromise. Additional Details: here....

1968 November 13 - .
  • Zond 6 midcourse correction. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Ustinov; Mishin; Tyulin; Korolev. Program: Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. Tracking of the L1 shows it will hit the earth on return, but without a further midcourse correction the perigee will be 200 km instead of the 45 km required. Therefore another correction will be needed on the way back from the moon. Ustinov calls a meeting and asks 'How do we answer Apollo 8?'. The reply of Mishin and Tyulin is that 'we are not ready to answer Apollo 8. Apollo 8 is a high-risk adventure. The Americans have not accomplished any unmanned lunar flybys to demonstrate that their systems will function correctly; and of only two Saturn V flight tests to date, the second was a failure. We need to make the L1 program public to show the seriousness and completeness of Soviet readiness'. Ustinov orders the following plan be carried out in the next two months: in December, one unmanned L1 flight, and the first launch of the N1 with an L3 mock-up. In January 1969, a lunar flyby with two cosmonauts; a Lunokhod robot rover will be placed on the lunar surface; and a dual Soyuz manned flight with 1+3 crewmembers. Kamanin notes that the problem with the technical approach of Korolev and Mishin is that cosmonauts are seen only as observers and back-ups to automated systems. Therefore the whole manned space program is based on a false assumption. Because of this the Soviets have lost 2-3 years in the space race, which would have been saved if they had followed the Gemini/Apollo 'pilot in the loop' approach. Afterwards Mishin meets with the L1 cosmonaut group. He wants to get rid of the on-board flight plan and reduce the manual for operation of the spacecraft to one page. 'Don't want to bring bureaucracy aboard the spacecraft' he says. This completely absurd idea again demonstrates his belief in total reliance on automated systems.

1968 November 14 - .
  • Zond 6 passes behind moon. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Leonov; Sevastyanov. Program: Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. The L1 went behind the moon at 05:49:37, and emerges at 06:21:11. At the time of the next orientation session it is 390,000 km from the earth and moving at 0.6 km/s. All orientations have been made on Sirius so far. Two more are needed: one for the midcourse correction, and then the second for the guided re-entry. The 100K sensor has proven itself despite Kamanin's doubts. Mishin's grumbly voice was grating on everyone, and finally he was put to bed. Kamanin despairs that the Soviet space program is dependent on this poorly organised, capricious, shortsighted man. Discussions are held with Moscow. If Apollo 8 succeeds, the next L1 test in January and the manned flight in April are probably not worth the risk. Some of the scientists want to discuss the inclusion of new medical experiments on pending manned spaceflights, but Kamanin is opposed to it. He does not want anything interfering with the primary mission. What to name the manned L1 spacecraft is discussed. Leonov wants to call it Rodina, Sevastyanov Ural, and Kamanin - 'Academician Korolev'.

1968 November 15 - .
  • Zond 6 hydrogen peroxide temperature falls to dangerous level - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. Overnight a serious situation has developed. The hydrogen peroxide temperature aboard the L1 capsule has fallen from +20 deg C to -2 deg C. By the following morning it was down to -5 deg C. At such temperatures it will disassociate into oxygen and water, and the capsule's orientation thrusters will not be able to function for re-entry. A colour television camera was supposed to have been included in the cabin. If it was there it could be turned on and warm the capsule, but Mishin had insisted to the State Commission that it be deleted. The spacecraft could be oriented so that the sun would shine directly over the peroxide tank and warm it, but this might damage the 100K star sensor, which was mounted right next to it. A proposal is made that an attempt is made to orient the spacecraft using the ONA gyroscope package as flywheels, but Mishin and his deputies don't want to try anything. Mishin suddenly says that the next L1 will not be ready until February or later (before the date was January). This was seen by Kamanin as a typical 180-degree turn for him. Mishin looks bad - probably he's been drinking again. Kamanin sees no solution but a complete reorganisation of the space program, moving the manned program to the VVS.

1968 November 16 - .
  • Zond 6 depressurises - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. Mishin is comatose, pulse 88, blood pressure 160 over 90. The doctors want to put him in the hospital, but he stays. The side of the L1 where the tanks were mounted finally comes into the sun, and the temperature rises to -1 deg C, a safer temperature than before. But now there is a new problem -- the cabin pressure fell from 718 mm at 05:13 to 610 mm by 05:20. By 08:30 it was down to 350 mm - essentially a situation of a depressurised cabin as far as the landing instruments are concerned. By 18:00 the temperature and pressure in the capsule have stabilised and Mishin is in the hospital. Meanwhile Kosygin is visiting the TsPK.

1968 November 20 - .
  • Soyuz spacesuit review - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Beregovoi. Program: Lunar L1; Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 3; Soyuz 4; Soyuz 5; Soyuz 4/5. Spacecraft: Yastreb; Soyuz 7K-L1. Kamanin attends an Yastreb spacesuit review with VVS doctors. The suit removes 200 cal/hour, but when the cosmonaut is exerting himself, he will generate 3 to 4 times more than this. So the cabin is chilled to 18 deg C prior to the EVA, and there will be lots of pauses during preparations to exit the spacecraft. The L1 cosmonaut-engineers at the meeting have little zero-G experience, and need to get a lot more. The new oxygen generating system for the L1 is still not complete. It will be 6 to 8 kg lighter than the old system (using calcium instead of the old material). Mishin insists that the new system should be completed and installed. Ground qualification testing will be completed on 1 January, but the system will not be flight-proven - Kamanin believes it needs test on low earth orbit missions before being adopted for lunar flights. Beregovoi's experience on Soyuz 3 is reviewed. He needed more time to adapt to zero-G before being required to attempt a docking. He had the impression he was upside-down and had intestinal tract problems.

1968 December 16 - .
  • Lunar Soviet. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Severin. Program: Lunar L1; Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1; Krechet. In a four-hour meeting, a number of issues are dealt with. First point was military control of the KIK control centre for lunar missions. A civilian mission control centre is requested. Next, the issue of recovery of L1 and L3 capsules in the Indian Ocean. The re-entry corridor within which landings might occur is 6000 km long and 100 km wide, stretching from Antarctica to India. To cover it will require 20 naval vessels, each with a helicopter, and 10 An-22 or Tu-95 long-range maritime reconnaissance and relay aircraft. Total cost: 600 million roubles. As Kamanin sees it, all this is due to Mishin's inability to design spacecraft capable of precision landing that also incorporates the landing and recovery aids requested by the VVS. Kamanin notes in his diary violent criticism of Mishin's disregard for the safety of the cosmonaut crews, development of crew-associated items at the last minute, unrealistic schedules and expectations, etc. etc. Severin reports that the lunar space suit he is designing will support the cosmonaut for three days, during walks extending 5 km. To do this requires a bulky suit weighing 100 kg. Kamanin disagrees, saying what is needed is to develop a simple and safe approach for the first landing, with a minimum programme for the cosmonaut - not the fantastic schemes of Mishin.

1968 December 23 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
1968 December 25 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Soviets consider lunar landing alternatives - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Pilyugin. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK; L3M-1970. A 'small Soviet' of designers was held to review whether to continue pursuing the N1 launch vehicle or not. Although a first manned lunar landing was not achievable, the N1 could still be used to establish a lunar base by the beginning of the 21st Century. Additional Details: here....

1968 December 25 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • L3 lunar lander behind schedule - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Malinovskiy; Smirnov; Ustinov; Brezhnev; Keldysh; Mishin. Program: Lunar L3; Apollo; Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1; Luna Ye-8. The L3 spacecraft still does not even exist in mock-up form. All of the leadership are responsible for this farce - Malinovskiy, Smirnov, Ustinov, Brezhnev. There is no single manager of the space program. The VPK and Central Committee operate on rumours. The Interagency Soviet headed by Keldysh was supposed to coordinate space activities, but in fact has not functioned in the last four to five years. There is no single military space organisation in the Ministry of Defence. Piloted flight tests are being run by former artillery officers in the RSVN. Various organizations of MAP and VVS coordinate ground and flight tests poorly. These are the reasons for the failure of the Soviet Union in space. Today in the Central Committee Ustinov asked - 'how to answer Apollo 8?' Ustinov relies on Keldysh, Keldysh supports Mishin, and Mishin is unfit for his duties. But Mishin is not even there! The program they come up with: In January 1969, 2 Venera probes will be launched, two manned Soyuz missions, and L1 s/n 13 will be sent around the moon. In February the first N1 will be launched. By the end of March the first Ye-8 robot will land on the moon and return lunar soil to the earth. This meeting is followed by a session of the VPK at 16:00. The crews are named for the Soyuz 4 and 5 flights.

1968 December 26 - .
  • Heated arguments over technical approach of Soviet space systems - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Shatalov; Beregovoi; Severin; Mnatsakanian; Mishin. Program: Lunar L1; Soyuz; Almaz. Flight: Apollo 8. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK; Soyuz 7K-L1; Soyuz 7K-LOK; Soyuz 7K-S; Almaz OPS; Soyuz OB-VI; Soyuz VI. The training for the Soyuz 4 and 5 flights was completed last night. Today the crews undergo medical tests and start preparation of their flight logs/flight plans. On the return flight to Moscow Shatalov, Beregovoi, Severin, Kamanin, and Mnatsakanian get into a heated argument. The cosmonauts attack Mnatsakanian's Igla automated docking system. It limits docking manoeuvres to periods when the spacecraft are flying over the Soviet Union due to the requirement for ground stations to receive live television. The Americans worked only on the Apollo spacecraft for the last two to three years, while the Soviets have divided their efforts on no less than five spacecraft types: the L1, L3, Soyuz, Soyuz VI, and Almaz. This is all Mishin's fault...

1968 December 27 - .
  • Apollo 8 and L1 plans - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L1. Flight: Apollo 8. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. A State Commission investigating the crash of Zond 6 determined that the coronal discharge effect which caused the parachute to jettison would only occur at the 25 mm capsule pressure. If the capsule had been completely depressurised to a high vacuum, the accident would not have occurred. A discussion was conducted on when to conduct the next L1 test. The next capsule in line was s/n 13 - an unlucky omen. It was even proposed not to fly the capsule with such an unlucky number. That evening, the Soviet engineers could watch live video from the moon from aboard Apollo 8 via Eurovision from Western Europe. They had in any case lost the race to fly a man around the moon. The flight of further L1's, and sending a Soviet man on a lunar flyby, seemed a moot point.

1968 December 27 - .
  • Americans win the race to be first around the moon - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Vershinin; Mishin; Tyulin; Bushuyev. Program: Apollo; Lunar L1. Flight: Apollo 8; Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1; Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 2; Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 3. The General Staff considers the impending Soyuz 4 and 5 flights. Vershinin asks - what is the likelihood of Apollo 8 being successful? Kamanin tells him it is very good now; the final midcourse correction was made successfully. A State Commission convenes to consider the Zond 6 failure. Mishin and Tyulin do not attend - they send Bushuyev to represent them. It has been found that 70 km from the cosmodrome, as the spacecraft deployed its parachute, the parachute lines were pyrotechnically severed at 3 km altitude and the capsule crashed into the plain. This in turn was found to be due to an ONA landing antenna failure; and this in turn caused by the SUS going down to temperatures of -5 deg C during the flight and the depressurisation of the cabin. The hydrogen peroxide, due to the low temperature, put the spcecraft at a 45 degree attitude instead of the 18 degree maximum (?). There are five L1's left. Number 13 is at Tyuratam begin prepared for an unmanned flight due for launch on 20 or 21 January, number 11 is being readied for a March 1969 manned launch, to be followed by numbers 14, 15, and 16 in April, May, June. At 19:15 the successful splashdown of Apollo 8 is reported. The race to be first around the moon is over.

1968 December 30 - . LV Family: N1; Proton.
  • Meeting of the VPK Military-Industrial Commission to discuss how to beat the Americans to the lunar landing - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Ustinov; Chelomei; Okhapkin; Keldysh; Pilyugin; Babakin. Program: Lunar L3; Lunar L1; Luna. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1; Luna Ye-8-5; LK-1. Ustinov called the meeting to order. Mishin was 'sick' again -- Okhapkin represented TsKBEM and gave a summary of the programme to that date:

    • The project had only been authorised on 3 August 1964. It consisted of two parts, circumlunar flights using Chelomei's UR-500K booster and LK-1 spacecraft, and a lunar landing using Korolev's N1 booster and L3 spacecraft.
    • On 25 October 1965 the programme was redirected. Military support was ordered and the decision was made to cancel Chelomei's LK-1 spacecraft and instead use the L1 version of Korolev's Soyuz for the circumlunar flights. This was ordered by the resolution 'On organisation of construction units for support of rocket-space systems for the lunar flyby'. That resolution ordered a manned L1 flight by the end of 1967 or early 1968.
    • The program actually took three years to implement rather than the two planned. Nine launches of he L1 had been made since March 1967, but it had not been possible to man-rate the UR-500K/L1 booster/spacecraft combination due to failures in both the launch vehicle and spacecraft. Flight trials of the N1 booster had not even begun yet.

    Keldysh proposed that further work on the L1 be abandoned, and Proton boosters instead be used to launch the Ye-8-5 lunar soil return robot spacecraft being developed by Babakin. Babakin had been accelerating this programme since the beginning of 1968 with the support of Keldysh, even though it would only return around 100 g of lunar soil, versus the tens of kilograms the Apollo manned flights would return. However it now offered an interesting possibility - he proposed obtaining lunar soil and returning it to earth before an American manned landing. The government's organs of mass communication would say that the Soviet Union's lunar program only consisted of robot probes, emphasising that his was much safer and that Russia would never risk it's citizen's lives for mere political sensation. Additional Details: here....


1969 January 12 - .
  • Soyuz 4/5 profile still not settled - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Ustinov; Afanasyev, Sergei. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 4; Soyuz 5; Soyuz 4/5. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. At Baikonur, Ustinov and Afanasyev get into an argument with Mishin. They want Soyuz 4 and 5 to accomplish a completely automatic docking, as was done successfully by Cosmos 186/188 and Cosmos 212/213. Mishin categorically rejects this. He wants a manual docking, which was unsuccessful when attempted by Beregovoi on Soyuz 2/3. Meanwhile the Soyuz 4/5 crews hold a news conference.

1969 January 13 - .
  • Soyuz 4 launch scrubbed - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Shatalov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 4; Soyuz 4/5. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. The 'unlucky' Shatalov entered the spacecraft at 10:30. But the -24 deg C weather was below the limits of the booster's gyroscopes. The launch was scrubbed. The launch was made successfully the next day. Later in the day Mishin discussed the N1/L3 project with Afanasyev.

1969 January 18 - .
  • Volynov's survival celebrated - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Volynov; Babakin. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 4; Soyuz 5; Soyuz 4/5. The engineering team at Yevpatoriya celebrated Mishin's birthday and Volynov's survival after his re-entry. These were four stressful days -- aside from the Soyuz missions, Babakin was commanding the Venera 5 and 6 probes to Venus, which had been launched on 5 and 10 January.

1969 January 18 - .
  • Landing of Soyuz 5 - . Return Crew: Volynov. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Brezhnev; Belyayev; Volynov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 5; Soyuz 4/5. After Shatalov and Yeliseyev transferred to Soyuz 4, Volynov remained behind to live through the most unbelievable re-entry in the history of spaceflight. The service module of the Soyuz failed to separate after retrofire. Once the Soyuz started reaching the tendrils of the atmosphere, the combined spacecraft sought the most aerodynamically stable position - nose forward, with the heavy descent module with its light metal entry hatch at the front, the less dense service module with its flared base to the back. Luckily the struts between the descent and service modules broke off or burned through before the hatch melted through and the descent module righted itself, with the heat shield to the rear, before being consumed. Due to a failure of the soft-landing rockets the landing was harder than usual and Volynov broke his teeth. The landing came at 7:58 GMT. Additional Details: here....

1969 January 20 - . 04:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/23. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D. LV Configuration: Proton-K/D 237-01. FAILURE: Second stage - One RD-0210 engine fails at T+510 sec, resulting in flight path deviation, automatic shutoff of launch vehicle.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Soyuz 7K-L1 s/n 13L - . Payload: Soyuz 7K-L1 s/n 13L. Mass: 5,390 kg (11,880 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Smirnov; Ustinov; Mishin. Agency: RVSN. Program: Lunar L1. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. Decay Date: 1969-01-19 . COSPAR: F690120A. Launch failure - but the abort system again functioned perfectly, taking the capsule to a safe landing (in Mongolia!). At 501 seconds into the flight one of the four engines of the second stage shut down, and remained shut down for 25 seconds. The ever-reliable SAS abort system detected the failure, and separated the capsule from the failed booster. Yet again a successful capsule recovery after a booster failure. Additional Details: here....

1969 January 22 - .
  • American looks likely to win moon race - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Smirnov; Ustinov; Mishin; Gagarin; Korolev; Khrunov; Volynov; Yeliseyev; Shatalov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 4; Soyuz 5; Soyuz 4/5; Apollo 8. Kamanin and four cosmonauts return to Moscow from Tyuratam aboard an Il-18. It has been nearly nine years since Gagarin's flight, and now America looks like the winner of the space race, with the successful flight of Apollo 8 around the moon. Kamanin attributes the loss to the mistakes made by Ustinov and Smirnov in the erratic management of the Soviet program, coupled with the insistence of Korolev and Mishin to develop completely automated spacecraft that do not require intervention by the cosmonaut.

1969 January 22 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Soyuz 4/5 celebrations - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L3; Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 4; Soyuz 5; Soyuz 4/5. Summary: TsKBEM closed down for the day, due to celebrations at Kaliningrad and at the Kremlin with the four cosmonauts from the Soyuz 4 /5 mission. Meanwhile, work at Tyuratam preparing the N1 for its first flight continued..

1969 January 23 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 stormclouds - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Afanasyev, Sergei. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK. Summary: In the morning Mishin advised his staff of comments made by Afanasyev at the Kremlin reception the previous evening. He had called a Soviet of the chief designers for 27 January to discuss the fate of the N1 programme..

1969 January 27 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Soviet of Chief Designers considers N1 cancellation - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Afanasyev, Sergei; Keldysh; Chelomei; Serbin; Barmin; Tyulin. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK; Mars 5NM; Aelita. Afanasyev and Keldysh chaired the unusual and extraordinary Soviet of the chief designers. Mishin opened with an emotional plea not to cancel the N1. He justified the delays and failures by saying that he had not been given sufficient budget to conduct necessary experimental and qualification tests of systems before flight. Additional Details: here....

1969 January 30 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1/Ye-8-5 launch preparations - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tyulin; Mishin. Program: Lunar L3; Luna. Spacecraft: Luna Ye-8-5. Summary: Mishin agrees with Tyulin that he will fly to Tyuratam on 3 February to supervise launch of the Ye-8 on 18 February and the first N1 on 21 February. .

1969 January 31 - .
  • Kamanin meets with Vershinin. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Vershinin; Leonov; Bykovsky; Mishin; Volynov. Program: Lunar L1; Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 5; Soyuz 4/5. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK; Soyuz 7K-L1; Spiral OS. Plans for purchase of ten Soyuz spacecraft for the VVS are discussed. They next turn to Volynov's problems during the Soyuz 5 re-entry. The fault can be attributed entirely to the modular design of the spacecraft, requiring that two modules be jettisoned before re-entry. Vershinin declares that what was needed was a true KLA space flight craft, which would be winged, set toward orbit by aircraft-type booster stages, and could be recovered at a conventional air base borne on wings or rotor blades. Additional Details: here....

1969 January 31 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Preparations for the first N1 launch. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Afanasyev, Sergei. Program: Lunar L3. Mishin was staying in Korolev's cottage at the launch centre. The other chief designers were staying at the cosmodrome's hotel, while the technicians and workers were at the new apartments at Area 113. Afanasyev headed the 'Little Soviet', the State Commission, that would oversee the launch. The commission met in the conference hall in the huge horizontal assembly building for the N1 at Area 112. The commission gave the approval, and the first flight-ready N1 was rolled out of its assembly building over the 4 km of track to the launch pad. The huge dimensions of the booster had required a new method of building the booster at the launch site. Simulators were able to check all of he booster functions up to the point of engine ignition.

1969 February 9 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Final meeting held to review the N1 before the launch. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Krylov; Kurushin; Barmin. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK. Marshal Krylov, Commander of the Strategic Rocket Forces, headed the meeting. The conference room was mobbed - many unfamiliar faces were in attendance - everyone wanted to witness the historic event. General Kurushin, Commander of Baikonur, stated that he was against proceeding with the launch, due to the many unresolved technical issues, unless he could somehow be persuaded otherwise. He pointed out that Mishin had made a large number of changes to the N1 to increase its payload. However these at the same time negatively impacted the booster's reliability. Additional Details: here....

1969 February 21 - . 09:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC110R. LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1. LV Configuration: N-1 11A52 3L. FAILURE: First stage failure.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • N1 3L launch - . Payload: Soyuz 7K-L1S s/n 3. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Kirillov; Dorofeyev; Afanasyev, Sergei; Mishin. Agency: RVSN. Program: Lunar L3. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1A. Decay Date: 1969-02-21 . COSPAR: F690221A. Apogee: 30 km (18 mi). N-1 serial number 3L was the first N-1 launched. The vehicle ran into trouble immediately at lift-off. A fire developed in the tail compartment. The engine monitoring system detected the fire, but then gave an incorrect signal, shutting down all engines at 68.7 seconds into the flight. British intelligence detected the launch attempt, but the CIA's technical means for some reason missed it and they denied for years that it had ever occurred. In retrospect the launch team at Baikonur pointed to a grave mistake - at the christening of the first N1, the champagne bottle broke against the crawler-transporter rather than the hull of the rocket. After the 3L failure everyone knew there was no chance at all of beating the Americans to the moon. Additional Details: here....

1969 May 8 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Russian only hope is major Apollo failure - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Keldysh; Pashkov; Smirnov; Serbin. Program: Lunar L3. Flight: Apollo 11. Mishin, Keldysh, Pashkov, Smirnov, and Serbin meet. Some of them are still expecting a big failure in the Apollo programme that will set the Americans back and still make it possible for Russia to be first on the moon. These are black days in the Soviet programme - it is clear to Kamanin that the Americans will successfully land on the moon in July, and the Russians are 2 to 3 years behind.

1969 May 29 - . LV Family: MR-UR-100; N1; Proton; UR-100N; UR-700.
  • N1 State Commission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Barmin; Afanasyev, Sergei; Smirnov; Tyulin; Bushuyev; Pashkov; Okhapkin; Yangel; Chelomei; Nadiradze; Keldysh. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-L1A; Soyuz 7K-LOK; Aelita. Over two days a State Commission reviewed all of the conclusions of the N1 3L failure investigation and the readiness of N1 5L for flight. All of the fixes identified to remedy the 3L failure had been incorporated into 5L. It was felt that the behaviour of the systems in fire conditions were understood and appropriate measures had been taken. The wiring had been rerouted and insulated. Barmin wanted the system not to shut down any engines under any conditions during the first 15-20 seconds of flight, so that the booster would clear the pad and there would be no risk of the pad's destruction. But there was no time to develop such measures before the 5L launch; it could only be added in vehicle 6L. Additional Details: here....

1969 June 1 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Soviet lunar plans - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L3; Lunar L1. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-L1A. Despite having no stand testing of the N1 first stage, Mishin still expected the first Soviet lunar landing to take place by the end of 1970. He began pushing Kamanin to assign L3 flight crews for the missions. Mishin's staff did not believe he had the necessary discipline to pull it off, but supported him out of solidarity. Mishin accepted the resolution to use 5L to conduct a lunar flyby. The payload consisted of the L3-S. This spacecraft used the new unified guidance system developed for the LOK by NIIAP, replacing the 7K-L1 guidance system, and functional rocket stages G and D, plus the payload bay of the LK. The only functional spacecraft system was the SAS abort tower. Although unthinkable in Korolev's time, lunar launch window constraints meant the launch had to be made at precisely 23:18 on 3 June 1969.

1969 June 18 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Mishin and Kamanin select candidates for the lunar landing mission. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Leonov; Bykovsky; Voronov; Khrunov; Yeliseyev; Makarov; Rukavishnikov; Patsayev; Afanasyev, Sergei. Program: Lunar L3. They are Leonov, Bykovsky, Voronov, Khrunov, Yeliseyev, Makarov, Rukavishnikov, and Patsayev. Mishin expects a landing by the end of 1970; Kamanin thinks this is impossible. Afanasyev and Mishin propose modernisation of the N1, but this will take three to four years, by which time the booster will be essentially obsolete. The second launch of the N1 is set for 3 July. It would be a welcome miracle if it flew, but it still would not be enough to erase the American lead in the moon race.

1969 July 21 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Soviet engineers view moonwalk - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Tyulin; von Braun. Program: Lunar L3. Flight: Apollo 11. At the same time the reconstruction schedule for the destroyed N1 launch complex was being laid out, Apollo 11 landed on the moon and the Americans won the moon race. Mishin's engineers watched the live television at TsNIIMASH. Afterwards Tyulin declared, "this is all Chertok's fault. In 1945 he should have thought of stealing Von Braun from the Americans - but he never considered that solution". "True", Chertok replied, "my adventure with Vasiliy Kharchev didn't turn out too well".

1969 July 22 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Soviet post-mortems after Apollo 11 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Afanasyev, Sergei; Keldysh; Glushko; Ustinov; Kuznetsov. Program: Lunar L3. Two sequential N1 failures could not just be blamed on the poor reliability of the first stage. It was apparent that, compared to the Americans, both the management and the development practices of the Soviet space programme were inferior to the Americans. Politically there was no consensus within the Soviet state of the need for a space programme. Glushko and Ustinov waged a perpetual struggle against Afanasyev, Keldysh, and Mishin. RVSN Commander Kirillov wrote a letter to Smirnov on behalf of Afanasyev on the root causes of the failures. His faction believed these were the continued use of artillery/military rocket development practices for large, complex systems. These outdated practices required 20 to 60 flight tests to achieve reliability before a rocket could be put into production. Additional Details: here....

1969 August 1 - . LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D.
  • The DOS Conspiracy begins - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Chelomei. Program: Lunar L3; Almaz; Salyut. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK; Almaz OPS; MKBS. With the collapse of the work on the N1, the whole reason for Mishin's design bureau's existence simply vanished in the air. A new high-priority project was needed. Korolev had begun development of a Multi-Module Space Base (MKBS) before 1966. However MKBS was to be launched by the N1; as long as this was not available, there would be no MKBS. Almaz on the other hand did not require a new launch vehicle, although the UR-500 was in a period of intense 'baby sickness'. So while TsKBEM was in a period of analysis and instability, Chelomei's Reutov and Fili facilities were building space stations for the Ministry of Defence.

    On one of these August 1969 days, three of Chelomei's TsKBM engineers came to the office of Mishin's deputy, Chertok, with a plan to get a space station orbited before the American Skylab. They wanted a collaboration between the two competing design bureaux. Their plan was to take an Almaz spaceframe, install Soyuz systems, add a new docking tunnel with a hatch to reach the interior, and presto - a space station was finished. Tentative discussions with potential allies within Chelomei's design bureau found support there as well. The DOS 'long-duration orbiting station' was the result of this 'conspiracy'.


1969 August 1 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • VPK hearing on N1 improvements - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Brezhnev; Kuznetsov. Program: Lunar L3. The VPK Military-Industrial Commission and the Central Committee of he Party discussed the matter of delaying further N1 tests until completely redesigned engines became available. Back came the ritual reply -- a Soviet manned lunar landing must be achieved by the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Lenin (April 22, 1970). On that date a Soviet man would plant the Red Banner and unveil a bust of Lenin on the lunar surface. Unlike the US President, Brezhnev would never get to see a manned launch to the moon. Additional Details: here....

1969 September 1 - . LV Family: N1; UR-700.
  • Kamanin lists the reasons the Soviets have lost the moon race. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Ustinov; Smirnov; Korolev; Keldysh; Feoktistov; Gagarin. Program: Apollo; Lunar L1; Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK; Soyuz 7K-LOK; Soyuz 7K-L1. The Americans were able to pull equal in the race during their Gemini programme, then ahead with Apollo. The Soviet Union is now four to five years behind. Kamanin's accounting:

    • No qualified Soviet government leadership in space research (Ustinov and Smirnov are a parody of proper management). They operate without rhyme or reason or plan. There is no single direction, no disciplined execution when a decision is finally made
    • Korolev, Keldysh, Mishin, and Feoktistov are all dedicated to automated spacecraft - 'over-automation'
    • Korolev and MIshin's rejection of Glushko's engines, and the leadership's rejection of the UR-700 as an alternative
    • Ustinov and Smirnov's cancellation of the 18 day Voskhod 3 mission, even though the crews had been trained, and the associated pressure on development of Soyuz. This resulted in Soyuz being flown before it was mature, resulting in the death of Komarov and an 18 month delay in manned flights
    • Death of Korolev and Gagarin both badly affected morale
    • Making Mishin head of TsKBEM was a huge mistake. Mishin cannot cope with the huge number of space and missile projects assigned to his bureau

1969 September 18 - .
  • Soyuz 6/7/8 go-ahead - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Smirnov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 6; Soyuz 7; Soyuz 8. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Smirnov recommended to the VPK Military-Industrial Commission that the flights go ahead in October. The triple Soyuz flight would make heavy demands on the Soviet tracking system. The problems were worked out in simulations and worldwide exercises conducted from the Baikonur cosmodrome.

1969 September 19 - . LV Family: N1; Proton.
  • L1 state commission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Tyulin; Brezhnev. Program: Lunar L3; Lunar L1; Luna. Spacecraft: Luna Ye-8-5; Soyuz 7K-L1. VPK Deputy Chairman Tyulin headed a state commission on the L1 programme. Mishin pushed for a manned L1 circumlunar flight in 1970. This meeting was only five days before a Ye-8-5 robot spacecraft was to have returned lunar soil from the earth. The Block D stage failed in earth orbit, and the flight was given the cover name Cosmos 300. This indicated the L1 system still did not have the necessary reliability for manned flight. Furthermore, politically, Brezhnev and the Politburo did not want to see a Khrushchev-originated project like the L1 succeed.

1969 September 20 - .
  • The success of Zond 7 has emboldened Mishin and Tyulin. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Tyulin. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. They want to fly Zond 8 unpiloted in December 1969, to be followed by a two-man L1 lunar flyby in April 1970. This would look bad compared to the Apollo moon landings, but there was no other manned space mission they could offer the leadership in 1970. Of the 15 L1 spacecraft built, only three remain.

1969 September 23 - . LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D.
  • Two Volga buses transport the cosmonauts and VVS specialists to Area 31. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Beregovoi; Chelomei. Program: Luna. Flight: Soyuz 6; Soyuz 7; Soyuz 8. Spacecraft: Luna Ye-8-5. To ensure the buses do not exceed 60 km/hour checkpoints are manned along the roads. The readiness review is conducted form 10:00 to 13:00. The crews, and spacecraft are ready. Mishin is away 'sick' again. General Pushkin and Beregovoi are at Area 81 to view the Ye-8-5 launch. Kamanin likes Chelomei's UR-500K rocket. He blames its series of failures on its engines and Block D upper stage, not on the fundamental booster design. If it had been more successful, the Russians would have beaten the Americans in a lunar flyby. The launch proceeds as planned at 15:00, but the Block D fails to restart in parking orbit, and is given the cover name 'Cosmos 300'.

1969 September 24 - .
  • Soyuz 6-7-8 readiness review is made by Ustinov, Kerimov (for Afanasyev), Mishin, and Karas - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Ustinov; Kerimov; Mishin; Karas; Smirnov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 6; Soyuz 7; Soyuz 8. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. The members do not believe the three spacecraft and crews are ready for flight. They rate the availability of the actual spacecraft for training before the flight at 20 to 30%, while the trainers are being used at 200% of their rated capacity. The result is the cosmonauts can only train on the technical systems of the actual spacecraft after they have been delivered to the cosmodrome. The situation is even worse with the experimental equipment for the flights, which in some cases they do not see until they are at the cosmodrome. Unwilling to commit themselves, the commission bumps the decision whether to proceed up to the Politburo. Ustinov and Smirnov badly guide the whole space program, in Kamanin's view. The Politburo won't meet until 29 September -- he hopes the Russian bureaucracy can complete all the steps to approve the flights before the scheduled launch day!

1969 September 30 - .
  • Politburo approves Soyuz 6/7/8 flight. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Ustinov; Smirnov; Afanasyev, Sergei; Mishin; Kutakhov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 6; Soyuz 7; Soyuz 8. Summary: Ustinov, Smirnov, Afanasyev, Mishin, and Kutakhov appear before the Politburo and affirm the readiness of the spacecraft, boosters, and crews of Soyuz 6/7/8 for flight. Approval is given to proceed..

1969 October 3 - .
  • Mishin arrives at Tyuratam. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 6; Soyuz 7; Soyuz 8. Summary: Kamanin notes he now always shows up only after the State Commission has met..

1969 October 5 - .
  • DOS Conspiracy briefed to Ustinov - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Afanasyev, Sergei; Tyulin; Feoktistov; Ustinov. Program: Lunar L3; Almaz; Salyut. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK. Mishin was opposed to the DOS space station concept - he wanted to pursue the N1-launched MKBS. Afanasyev and Deputy Minister Tyulin wouldn't support the idea either. None of them wanted to take the risk. The only chance was to get to VPK Chairman Ustinov through Communist party channels. The opportunity came on the flight of engineers and management to Baikonur for the Soyuz 6/7/8 flight. Feoktistov had prepared a briefing on DOS, which he presented to Ustinov.

1969 October 6 - .
  • Soyuz 6/7/8 experiment review - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Shatalov; Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 6; Soyuz 7; Soyuz 8. Meeting between the Soyuz 6/7/8 crews and engineers. Shatalov pushes his idea for a manually flown spacecraft rendezvous, provided that Soyuz 7 and 8 visually acquire each other immediately after Soyuz 8 is put into orbit. He believes this would not only save time and fuel, but also provide the chance to develop procedures for interception of non-cooperative enemy satellites. Mishin rejects the idea, seeing a doubling of risk of an unsuccessful flight. The fact is, the Soyuz is only equipped for automatic docking. There are no on-board indicators of range and range-rate to target - necessary inputs for any manual docking. The view through the periscope is the only forward-looking view available to the crew, and it is inadequate for manual docking. Additional Details: here....

1969 October 8 - .
  • Soyuz 6/7/8 State Commission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Shatalov; Mishin; Grechko; Volkov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 6; Soyuz 7; Soyuz 8. Kamanin takes General Efimov to see the roll-out of the Soyuz 6 booster. Mishin calls during the tour to ask that Volkov be switched with TsKBEM engineer Grechko on the Soyuz 7 crew. Kamanin refuses at this late date, noting in disgust Mishin is always pushing his staff for flight regardless of how it might affect the mission. Efimov is then taken to see the N1 MIK assembly building, the largest building in Europe. They view the construction of the 104-m-long booster's three stages. Next they go out to the pad, surveying the facility from 120 m up in one of the gantries. Kamanin muses that unless the N1 can be made reliable, the Russians will be 7 to 8 years behind the Americans in planetary and lunar exploration. Later the State Commission meets and fixes the launch schedule for the upcoming flights. Mishin does not raise the issue of Grechko flying to the commission. Shatalov is named commander of the entire three-spacecraft group flight.

1969 October 12 - . 10:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511.
  • Soyuz 7 - . Call Sign: Buran (Snowstorm ). Crew: Filipchenko; Gorbatko; Volkov. Backup Crew: Kolodin; Shatalov; Yeliseyev. Payload: Soyuz 7K-OK s/n 15. Mass: 6,570 kg (14,480 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Shonin; Kubasov; Mishin; Filipchenko; Gorbatko; Volkov; Kolodin; Shatalov; Yeliseyev. Agency: MOM. Program: Soyuz. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Soyuz 6; Soyuz 7; Soyuz 8. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Duration: 4.94 days. Decay Date: 1969-10-17 . USAF Sat Cat: 4124 . COSPAR: 1969-086A. Apogee: 223 km (138 mi). Perigee: 210 km (130 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 88.80 min. Tested spacecraft systems and designs, manoeuvring of space craft with respect to each other in orbit, conducted scientific, technical and medico-biological experiments in group flight. Was to have docked with Soyuz 8 and transferred crew while Soyuz 6 took film from nearby. However failure of rendezvous electronics in all three craft due to a new helium pressurization integrity test prior to the mission did not permit successful rendezvous and dockings. Additional Details: here....

1969 October 18 - .
  • Landing of Soyuz 8 - . Return Crew: Shatalov; Yeliseyev. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Afanasyev, Sergei; Kerimov; Mishin; Karas; Shatalov; Yeliseyev. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 6; Soyuz 7; Soyuz 8. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Kamanin's 61st birthday begins with a communications session with Soyuz 8. Yells come from the spacecraft. What's wrong? the ground nervously inquires. They reply they are only celebrating the successful closing of the hatch, and the glowing 'SA hermetic' indication on the panel. This ends fears they had all during the flight of not being able to get the hatch closed with the broken wheel spoke. The 145 second long retrofire begins at 11:29. It looks OK on the telemetry, but Shatalov reports on UHF that the indication aboard the spacecraft was that there was a 4 second underburn. Nevertheless the landing proceeds normally, and there is a loud 'Ura!' at the command point once word of a safe crew recovery is received - the mission is completed. Soyuz 8 landed at 09:10 GMT. At 16:40 the teams head back toward Moscow aboard an Il-18. Kamanin discusses the necessity to complete an extra 8 to 10 Soyuz spacecraft. He is supported by Afanasyev and Kerimov, but Mishin and Karas are opposed now. Kamanin thinks it is insane how Soviet space progress is blocked by these kinds of politics.

1969 October 19 - .
  • DOS Conspiracy briefed to wide circle of space planners - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Ustinov; Feoktistov; Keldysh; Afanasyev, Sergei; Tyulin; Serbin; Bushuyev; Semenov; Chelomei. Program: Lunar L3; Almaz; Salyut. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK; Almaz OPS; Salyut 1. In the euphoria after the return of the Soyuz 6/7/8 crews, the problem was how to get Ustinov to meet further with the DOS 'conspirators'. Mishin had prohibited any meetings by TsKBEM staff with the Communist Party Secretary unless Mishin was also present. Another obstacle was that Feoktistov was not a party member; how could his presence at a party meeting be explained to Mishin later?

    In any event these consideations were simply ignored. Feoktistov was present at a party meeting with Keldysh, Afanasyev, Tyulin, Serbin, and the Ministry of Defence's party cell: Strogonov, Kravtsev, and Popov. Keldysh was mainly worried how the project would affect the N1, but was reassured that the N1 had a dedicated work force, and the L3 lunar lander spacecraft engineers and workers that would work on DOS were currently idle and had no part of that work. It was finally decided to go ahead with the DOS no earlier than January, to allow time for Ministry Decrees, approval of a work plan by the VPK, preparation of a decree for signature by the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the Soviet Ministers. Work began on the project in December 1969 under the initial auspices of the Academy of Sciences. Additional Details: here....


1969 October 23 - .
  • Cosmonauts feted at TsKBEM - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Shatalov; Shonin; Kubasov; Filipchenko; Gorbatko; Volkov; Yeliseyev. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 6; Soyuz 7; Soyuz 8. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Traditional meeting between the cosmonauts and the engineers and workers at TsKBEM. They are quizzed on the flight failures, followed by dinner and toasts. Kamanin tells Afanasyev that instead of messing about with the N1-L3, they should build 8 to 10 more Soyuz and fly, fly, fly -- it is the only way to develop reliable systems. The Ministry of Defence needs a long-range plan of sustained flights of 5 to 6 spacecraft per year. All 300 present applaud the speech, except Mishin, who is against a new series of Soyuz spacecraft.

1969 November 3 - .
  • Press conference preparations - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Keldysh. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 6; Soyuz 7; Soyuz 8. Summary: A meeting is held with Mishin and Keldysh to prepare the cosmonauts and other participants for an upcoming press conference. Kamanin notes a huge amount of time is spent in such preparations..

1969 November 5 - .
  • Press conference - lunar project raised. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Keldysh. Program: Soyuz; Lunar L3. Flight: Soyuz 6; Soyuz 7; Soyuz 8. Major press conference. Keldysh dodges questions from American reporters on the Soviet lunar landing program. The cosmonauts perform all right, no mistakes. Kamanin views Keldysh as a braking force on the space programme. He attributes the loss of the moon race to bad managers like Keldysh and Mishin.

1969 December 1 - .
  • Final L1 State Commission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Semenov; Tyulin. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. Yuri Semenov proved his management abilities in the successful unmanned launches and recoveries of Zond 7 and 8 on circumlunar missions. At the final state commission on the L1 program, VPK Deputy Chairman Tyulin said that if had been in charge instead of Mishin, the N1 would have succeeded. Semenov proved himself skilful in coordinating the work of four major, often hostile organizations -- TskBEM, NIIAP, TsKBM, and ZIKh. This would lead to his assignment to head the DOS/Salyut space station programme, and ultimately, head RKK Energia.

1969 December 6 - .
  • The DOS Conspiracy in the open - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Afanasyev, Sergei; Pilyugin; Ryazanskiy; Kuznetsov, Viktor; Chelomei; Ustinov. Program: Almaz; Salyut. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-S; Almaz OPS; Salyut 1; Soyuz 7KT-OK. Afanasyev met with the Chief Designers - Pilyugin, Ryazanskiy, V Kuznetsov, and Chelomei's Deputy, Eydis. Mishin was 'sick' and Chelomei had sent his deputy, as usual, to avoid having to meet Mishin. Afanasyev started with the demand that an Almaz flight take place within less than two years, before the end of the Eighth Five Year Plan. He asked Eydis to install an Igla passive docking system to permit docking with the station of the existing Soyuz 7K-OK as opposed to the planned 7K-S. If Chelomei's bureau could not meet this requirement, then the 'conspirator's' DOS project could be authorised in its place. Additional Details: here....

1969 December 26 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • DOS formally authorised - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Ustinov; Chelomei; Glushko; Kuznetsov. Program: Lunar L3; Almaz; Salyut. Spacecraft: Almaz OPS; Salyut 1. Ustinov called the DOS 'conspirators' to Kuibyshev Street. Mishin was sent away to Kslovodsk and Chelomei and Glushko were not invited. No one wanted to listen to any more of Glushko's diatribes about Kuznetsov's engines.

    Ustinov supported presentation of the DOS concept to the Central Committee. Chelomei categorically opposed DOS and was trying to kill it through military channels. But the allure of an '18 month' station - one which would not only beat the American Skylab, but be in space in time for the 24th Party Congress - seemed too alluring. Mishin also rejected DOS, but deputies at both design bureaux supported the concept and were eager to proceed.

    DOS was therefore created only when the moon project failed. Chelomei was forced to work on DOS, and it severely impacted Almaz schedules. The Salyut name was later applied to both the DOS and Almaz stations, creating the impression in the outside world that they were built by one designer.


1969 December 30 - .
  • Soyuz 9 planned - Belyayev seriously ill. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Nikolayev; Sevastyanov; Kolodin; Grechko; Mishin; Shatalov; Belyayev. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 9. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. The leadership suddenly announces that a solo Soyuz mission of 17 to 20 days is to be flown for Lenin's 100th birthday (April 22). This will seize the space endurance record from the Americans and provide biomedical information for the DOS station, to be flown by the end of the year. Nikolayev and Sevastyanov are being pushed for the job. Kamanin objects, he would prefer Kolodin or Grechko, but Mishin won't hear of it. During December Kamanin, the Shatalov Soyuz 7 crew, Sevastyanov, and their wives vacation at Sochi on the Black Sea. Meanwhile Belyayev becomes serious ill. Surgeons operate to remove 2/3 of his stomach, part of his long intestine, and his appendix.

1969 December 31 - .
  • 1969 in retrospect. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tereshkova; Mishin; Keldysh; Smirnov; Ustinov; Grechko, Andrei; Kutakhov. Program: Soyuz; Lunar L3. Tereshkova is on a tour of Jordan and Syria. Kamanin muses over the year 1969. He is able to rationalise that it wasn't a bad year -- they flew 9 cosmonauts on five space missions. But of course they lost the moon to the Americans. He blames Mishin, Keldysh, Smirnov, and Ustinov for this. But he also blames the attitude of the Ministry of Defence and VVS. This is indicated by the total indifference to civilian space projects of Grechko and Kutakhov. They don't support the Gagarin Centre, or Kamanin's request for 10 additional Soyuz flights in earth orbit. Kamanin views the L3 spacecraft and mission scenario as unsafe. What is needed is a new spacecraft, launched by two N1 boosters, that will take a crew of 3 to 5 to the moon.

1970 January 19 - .
  • Soviet leadership interest in manned spaceflight has collapsed. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Belyayev; Brezhnev; Mishin; Chelomei; Popovich; Bykovsky. Program: Salyut; Almaz; Skylab. Spacecraft: Almaz OPS; Salyut 1; Soyuz 7K-S. Kamanin notes that interest of the leadership in manned spaceflight has collapsed with the end of the moon race. Brezhnev has declared that his primary interest is in earth orbital space stations. Both Mishin and Chelomei have stations in development, but the work is progressing slowly. There will be no launch of either of their projects until 1972 - which means the Soviets will be beaten by the US Skylab. Kamanin believes the Americans can never be beaten in space unless all space projects are guided firmly by a single Ministry of Defence and Civilian Space office. Meanwhile the Hong Kong flu epidemic is hitting many at the cosmodrome - Moroz, Popovich, and Bykovsky are all seriously ill.

1970 February 1 - . LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K. LV Configuration: Proton 8K82K.
  • Space station programs rationalised. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Mishin. Program: Almaz. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Spacecraft: Almaz OPS; Soyuz 7K-S; Soyuz OB-VI; Salyut 1. Brezhnev orders a cooperative crash program to build a civilian space station to beat Skylab into orbit. The civilian station (later named Salyut) will use the Almaz spaceframe fitted out with Soyuz functional equipment. Mishin's OIS military station was cancelled and Chelomei's Almaz would continue, but as second priority to the civilian station. The Soyuz 7K-S station ferry, the 7K-ST, would be revised to be a more conservative modification of the Soyuz 7K-OK. The OIS cosmonaut group was incorporated into the Almaz group.

1970 February 8 - .
  • Leonov wants to send letter to Brezhnev - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Leonov; Brezhnev; Mishin; Keldysh; Smirnov; Serbin; Ustinov; Krylov; Zakharov; Grechko, Andrei. Work continues at the Gagarin Centre even on Sundays. Kamanin studies the reorganization of space units within the Ministry of Defence. Leonov wants to write a letter to Brezhnev, complaining about the management of the space programme. He wants to finger Mishin, Keldysh, Sminrov, Serbin, Ustinov, Krylov, Zakharov, and Grechko by name. Kamanin asks him -- can all the cosmonauts write to the head of state whenever they want? Who will protect them from the inferno of backlash that would result? He doesn't support Leonov's idea.

1970 February 18 - .
  • Kamanin opposes DOS - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Belyayev; Mishin; Ustinov; Smirnov; Kozlov. Program: Soyuz; Salyut; Almaz. Flight: Soyuz 10; Soyuz 11. Spacecraft: Salyut 1; Soyuz 7KT-OK; Almaz OPS; Soyuz OB-VI; Soyuz VI. Kamanin recommends the death benefit to be awarded to Belyayev's family. There is to be a one-time payment of 2,000 roubles to his wife; 1,100 roubles to his daughter; 180 roubles/month pension to the wife; 75 roubles/month to the daughter; access to cosmonaut centre sanatoriums; and a seven-room apartment in Moscow.

    Kamanin also reviews the government decree on the DOS-7K space station program. The Ministry of Defence is against it - they want to continue with the Almaz and Soyuz VI projects already underway. DOS will bring both of these to a halt. This is a repeat of the situation in 1967. Kozlov was making good progress on the original Soyuz VI, when it was killed by Mishin. Now three years later Mishin's Soyuz VI is put on the back burner. The Soyuz 7K-OK is still the only manned program brought to completion. Kamanin blames all this on Ustinov and Smirnov's stupid political manoeuvring. The DOS decree has not one word on the training of cosmonauts for these space station missions...


1970 February 25 - .
  • Soyuz 9 decision preempts Soyuz Kontakt flights - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Afanasyev, Sergei; Kerimov. Program: Soyuz; Lunar L3. Flight: Soyuz 9; Soyuz n 17; Soyuz n 18; Soyuz n 19; Soyuz n 20. Spacecraft: Soyuz Kontakt. Meeting with Mishin. It is clear that he wanted to continue with the original plan for a dual Soyuz flight in August. It was Afanasyev and Kerimov who were pushing for a single long-duration flight in May. There is no action by the Ministry of Defence to provide rational decision making in regard to manned spaceflight.

1970 February 26 - .
  • Kamanin views DOS, continuation of N1-L3 with dismay - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Soyuz; Salyut; Lunar L3; Almaz. Flight: Soyuz 10; Soyuz 11. Spacecraft: Salyut 1; Soyuz 7K-LOK; LK; Almaz OPS; Soyuz OB-VI; Soyuz VI. The Ministry of Defence and VVS approve the draft DOS resolution. Kamanin has fought against it. He would prefer to develop a single reliable Soyuz spacecraft model by building and flying ten more (there are only four left of the original production lot in assembly). Instead the space leadership keep dreaming up new projects. In Kamanin's view, the DOS and its new Soyuz ferry design join Almaz, Soyuz VI, and the L3 as 'paper spacecraft'. Mishin still thinks he will 'teach the N1 to fly' and complete the L3, but Kamanin thinks the chances of this are nil. There is no coherent plan for Soviet spaceflight.

1970 February 27 - .
  • DOS schedules, Soyuz Kontakt flights still in play - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Bogomolov. Program: Soyuz; Salyut; Lunar L3; Almaz. Flight: Soyuz 10; Soyuz 11; Soyuz n 17; Soyuz n 18; Soyuz n 19; Soyuz n 20. Spacecraft: Soyuz Kontakt; Almaz OPS; Soyuz OB-VI; Soyuz VI. A meeting is held on the DOS project. The Central Committee and Soviet Ministers have directed that two DOS space stations be completed by the end of 1970. TsNIIMASH thinks this is impossible - the task can be accomplished in no less than 18 to 24 months. Mishin insists it can be done in ten months, as directed. Kamanin believes he won't even have it ready by the second half of 1971. It took five to seven years to just bring the Almaz, Soyuz VI, and L1 to flight status. This DOS will stop work on all other projects. Mishin still wants to fly two Soyuz spacecraft to test Bogomolov's Kontakt docking system for the L3.

1970 April 9 - .
  • State Commission is held to review issues of the Soyuz 9 flight. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 9. All is ready for a flight in April, but the Communist Party resolution says the flight has to wait for May. The Soyuz ECS is designed to only operate for five days, but will have to operate 3 to 4 times longer for this mission. Various problems are identified and reviewed. Mishin wants to accept a carbon dioxide level in the cabin atmosphere double the percentage considered acceptable earlier. Plans are made for a quick flight of the crew after the long duration mission to Moscow for extensive physical examinations.

1970 April 23 - .
  • Mishin proposes crews for Soyuz 10 and 11. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Shatalov; Yeliseyev; Rukavishnikov; Shonin; Kubasov; Kolodin; Volynov; Feoktistov; Patsayev; Khrunov; Volkov; Sevastyanov. Program: Salyut. Flight: Soyuz 10; Soyuz 11. Two months after first raising the issue, Mishin has proposed crews for the flights to the DOS station, still planned to occur before the end of the year. Mishin is still pushing Feoktistov, who Kamanin believes is not only seriously ill, but immoral, being on his second wife. Kamanin now has 20 spacecraft crews, but they will have to wait six years or more for a trip to space at the current mission rate. Mishin's proposed DOS crews are as follows: 1 - Shatalov, Yeliseyev, Rukavishnikov; 2 - Shonin, Kubasov, Kolodin; 3 - Volynov, Feoktistov, Patsayev; 4 - Khrunov, Volkov, Sevastyanov.

1970 May 6 - .
1970 May 13 - .
  • DOS crew assignments - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Salyut. Flight: Soyuz 10; Soyuz 11. Summary: Mishin and Kamanin sign a decree setting out the DOS crew assignments. The first DOS will not be orbited earlier than May-June 1971, probably even later. Kamanin played tennis with the Soyuz 9 crew..

1970 May 18 - .
  • VPK reviews Soyuz 9 readiness. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Serbin; Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 9. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Launch is set for 31 May with an 18 day mission duration. Afterwards Serbin asks why the Soviet Union is not conducting more manned spaceflights. Kamanin tells him, because no more spacecraft have been built. And why no spacecraft, Serbin asks. Kamanin replies that GUKOS, the General Staff, and Mishin were all opposed to production of 10 additional Soyuz ships for military flights.

1970 May 22 - .
  • Delays in Soyuz 9 preparation. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 9. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. The diet for the long-duration flight is reviewed. The cosmonauts will have four meals a day, totalling 2800 kcal, with 105 g of protein, 102 g fat, 342 g carbohydrates, and 847 g water. Meanwhile problems have been found with Soyuz 9's electrical system - the launch will have to be delayed. Some points in the electrical harnesses, which should have a 38 V capacity, are measuring greater than 60 V. This will have to be fixed, then the spacecraft put through its vacuum chamber test, then fuelling, and finally integration with the booster. Mishin is still not at the cosmodrome - he is managing the launch from Moscow. The result: neither the spacecraft or the booster are ready for an April launch, perhaps not even by the end of May. Of 20 members of the State Commission, only Kamanin and two others are actually at the launch site. This never would have happened in Korolev's time...

1970 May 30 - .
  • Soyuz 9 final inspection. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Nikolayev; Sevastyanov; Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 9. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. The backup crews were to train in the Soyuz 9 spacecraft from 10:00, followed by the prime crew at 12:00, but Mishin didn't allow the backups to start until 11:00. Inspectors have found 15 discrepancies in the spacecraft, 3 to 4 of them serious (including incorrect mounting of the crew head rests, unusable photographic equipment).

1970 June 4 - .
  • Soyuz 9 Day 4 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Nikolayev; Sevastyanov; Tereshkova; Mishin; Tregub. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 9. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. There are a total of 500 staff at Yevpatoriya for the mission, including 53 representatives from the VVS, 6 military cosmonauts, and 3 civilian cosmonauts. Mishin returns to Moscow, leaving Tregub in his place. In the afternoon there is a problem with the control of the spacecraft's solar cells. On the 47th orbit Sevastyanov reports that one solar panel is energised, but only generating 26 amps. This could only mean that the automatic control of the solar panels was not working. On the second day the crew had to engage and disengage the solar batteries 12 times manually. After the 15th manual session it became clear that the mission could last only eight days before the batteries would run down. In the orbit of Soyuz 9 in June, the night lasts 40 minutes. On the previous flight, in October, it lasted only 10 minutes and this would not have been a problem. The crew is told to revolve the spacecraft at 0.5 deg/sec around the long axis. By this method the spacecraft remains fully oriented towards the sun, and the batteries don't have to work so long on the night passes. The cosmonauts do not report any unpleasant sensations from the rotation. At the 23:25 communications sessions the cosmonauts report that their appetites are good and they are sleeping well.

1970 June 15 - .
  • Soyuz 9 Day 15 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Nikolayev; Sevastyanov; Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 9. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. The first communications session begins alarmingly - contact could not be made with the crew for the first three minutes they were in radio range. But then they came through, and said everything was all right and their condition was excellent. At 12:00 Sevastyanov accidentally engages the ASP automatic landing system. This removes the first lock on the system, which is then armed so that it will be activated by a signal from the barometer at an altitude of 11 km above the earth. It is said not to be dangerous, but Filipchenko made the same mistake on Soyuz 7. Kamanin had asked Mishin to put a lock on the ASP switch to prevent this from happening, but he did nothing. At 12:30 the State Commission arrives. At 17:30 Mishin has his first communications session with the crew. There are problems with the environmental control system - the carbon dioxide level is up to 8.5 mm, and the oxygen level down to 160 mm. The crew is told to turn off ECS cartridge number 2 and use number 3. By 23:00 it is clear that cartridge 2 was working badly - oxygen pressure is up to 170 mm, carbon dioxide down to 4. 5 mm. Nikolayev hints to Mishin that he would like to use the two day reserve of consumables aboard to extend the mission to 20 days. Kamanin is opposed to the idea - this would be a dangerous adventure. The whole point of a reserve is that it is never used except in case of an emergency.

1970 June 16 - .
  • Soyuz 9 Day 16 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Nikolayev; Sevastyanov; Mishin; Ryazanskiy. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 9. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. All is normal aboard Soyuz 9, except that one of the local telemetry commutators in Ryazanskiy's system has failed. The telemetry data involved is not critical to the flight, and Mishin and Ryazanskiy allow the flight to continue. Mishin is considering extending the flight to 19 or 20 days. To do this the crew will have to stretch their rations. Kamanin finds himself out of the decision loop, 'as usual'. The landing commission wants to complete the flight as scheduled on the 287th orbit.

1970 June 17 - .
  • Soyuz 9 Day 17 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Kerimov; Grechko, Andrei; Nikolayev; Sevastyanov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 9. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Today the Soyuz 9 crew set a new space endurance record. Everything is normal aboard the spacecraft, except for the failed telemetry commutator and the engaged ASP switch. What would now be needed, notes Kamanin, are new Soyuz spacecraft to extend the duration in space gradualy to 30, 40, 50, and then 60 days. But there are no new spacecraft - Kamanin's plan for construction of an additional ten Soyuz was blocked. Grechko and others in the leadership want a big greeting ceremony for the crew in Moscow, but Kamanin only wants the crew in the hands of the doctors for the first 10 to 12 days after the flight. At 15:00, Mishin and Kerimov, following their bosses' orders from Moscow, announce that they want to extend the flight to 20 days.

1970 June 18 - .
  • Soyuz 9 Day 18 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Nikolayev; Sevastyanov; Kerimov; Afanasyev, Sergei; Karas; Bushuyev; Tsybin. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 9. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Final Landing Commission meeting is held. The primary landing site is 50 km west of Karaganda. Visibility there is 10 km, winds 6-10 m/s. Mishin wants to land 50 km further wesst, near a city with passenger train service. It is finally agreed to land there, at 71 deg 31' E, but that will mean that an emergency ballistic re-entry (in the event of a guidance system failure) would bring the capsule down in the Aral Sea. That in turn means additional recovery forces, consisting of three amphibious vehicles, three helicopters, five naval cutters, and 15 scuba divers have to be alerted and prepared. The Politburo approves the landing, and the plan to fly the cosmonauts to Chkalovsky Airfield, followed by ten days in the hospital. Mishin and Kerimov discussed having the traditional cosmonaut greeting at Vnukovo Airport, but they'll have to forget such extravaganzas in the years to come, when only long-duration missions are planned. Meanwhile the crew is well, preparing for landing. They secure the BO living module, stow items in the SA re-entry vehicle that are to be returned to earth. There is a communications pass at 08:00 to 08:30. Afanasyev, Karas, Chertok, Bushuyev, Tsybin, and other members of the State Commission now arrive at Yevpatoriya.

1970 June 19 - .
  • Landing of Soyuz 9 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Goreglyad; Mishin; Nikolayev; Sevastyanov; Shatalov; Yeliseyev; Leonov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 9. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. At 13:00 it was reported that the landing site was ready, 12 to 15 km visibility, 5-7 m/s winds. At 14:00 it is officially ordered that the landing commence. There are 150 technicians in the hall of mission control for the landing. Nikolayev reports the start of the retrofire burn of the TDU. Retrofire and seperation of the spacecraft modules is normal. The PVO radar at Turtsiy picks up the Soyuz at 83 km altitude and follows it down to the point of parachute deployment. Two helicopters sight the parachute and follow the capsule to landing. Within a minute after the capsule has landed General Goreglyad and Colonel Popov are already at the hatch. Following landing Leonov advises that the crew is all right. However the cosmonauts' condition after landing is awful. It is painful and difficult for them to get up. They fall down in their first tortured attempts at walking. They have to be dragged along by the arms. At 16:30 an Il-18 leaves from Saki for Moscow with the cosmonauts aboard. Both of the cosmonauts looked very ill aboard the plane. They had to be supported by Shatalov and Yeliseyev to get down the stairs in Moscow. Nikolayev departs from his prepared speech to the Sate Commission, and says 'Comrade Chairman! The orders for flight aboard the spacecraft Soyuz 9 were fulfilled and we await further orders!' After the report hey are rushed to the doctors.

    It is obvious to the Soviets that they were seriously mistaken about the effects of zero-G on human beings (Mishin thought flights of three to four months would be no problem). Kamanin recites again his belief in the need for more long solo Soyuz flights, how the leadership has blocked such flights, and the general lack of support for manned space. He even had to fight to allow the Soyuz 9 crew to go straight to the hospital and their loved ones, rather than attending ceremonies.


1970 June 22 - .
  • Grechko meets with the cosmonauts. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Grechko, Andrei; Mishin; Nikolayev; Sevastyanov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 9. Summary: They push for production of ten additional Soyuz spacecraft, necessary trainers for the L1 and L3, more female-crew flights, and complain of lack of support from GUKOS (who agree with Mishin's approach of total automation of spacecraft)..

1970 July 6 - .
  • Soyuz 9 press conference preparations. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Nikolayev; Sevastyanov; Keldysh; Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 9. Summary: Kamanin and the Soyuz 9 cosmonauts meet with Keldysh and Mishin to prepare for a press conference, to be carried live on television..

1970 July 30 - .
  • Soyuz 9 crew debrefing. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Nikolayev; Sevastyanov; Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 9. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Nikolayev and Sevastyanov fly to Sochi to write out their post-flight debriefing. Mishin won't accept that there are problems with sustained zero-G flight, since that would wreck the assumptions on which he has based his DOS station plans. Kamanin believes a series of 30, 50, then 50-plus day flights are needed to investigate and prove human adaptation to space.

1970 September 23 - .
  • Cosmonaut training plans. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Bogomolov; Popovich; Bykovsky. Program: Salyut; Almaz; Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Spiral OS; Soyuz Kontakt; Almaz OPS. The training plan for DOS#1 is reviewed. The station is to be launched by February 1971. Soyuz 10 and Soyuz 11 will dock with it and crew the station for two to three months, according to Mishin's plan. This however will slow down flight test of Bogomolov's Kontakt docking system for the L3. This was to have been ready by January 1970, but it is still not ready for flight. On the other hand, the completion of the DOS station within four to five months is not possible. There are currently 12 cosmonauts in training for DOS, and ten for Soyuz flights. Popovich heads a group of 22 cosmonauts training for Almaz; and Bykovsky heads a group on lunar issues. The new trainers and simulators are on schedule; the existing ones are being heavily used.

1970 September 24 - .
  • Luna 16 returns lunar soil to earth. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Luna. Spacecraft: Luna Ye-8-5. Summary: Luna 16 lands only 30 km from its aim point, 80 km southeast of Dzhezkazgan. There was ideal weather in the recovery area, the radio beacon worked well, and a helicopter picked up the capsule only a few minutes after landing..

1970 September 24 - .
  • Mishin has new landing scenario for L3 missions. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK. Mishin's latest plan is land the L3 in the Indian Ocean after return from the moon, but Soyuz is not rated for swells over 3 to 4 balls. Also there is no money for the needed recovery forces. By comparison the Americans have made the sea their home. Their aircraft carriers give them control over 300 times more ocean area than the Soviet Union.

1970 October 16 - .
  • Mishin seems to have lost his fight for a water landing on L3 missions. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Shatalov; Grechko, Andrei. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK. All will have to be on dry land. 500 million roubles would have been necessary to fund the sea forces, and the risk to the crews would have been greater. Kamanin sees the whole bogus controversy as a diversionary tactic of Mishin's to take attention away from the fact that the L3 spacecraft is in fact nonexistent - as is its N1 rocket. An additional 300 million roubles are needed to achieve a 'flying' N1. A completely new solution to the lunar landing problem needs to be worked out. Shatalov worked today with Grechko to lay out the program for French President Pompidou's visit to the Baikonur cosmodrome. Pompidou wants to see two live rocket launches, and Shatalov will show him the Soyuz spacecraft.

1970 October 23 - .
  • Mishin still fighting for an ocean landing for the L3. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK. Summary: He has recruited some cosmonauts and admirals to fight for the concept..

1970 October 24 - .
  • Cosmonauts oppose ocean landing for the L3. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Afanasyev, Sergei. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK. Summary: 18 VVS officers and cosmonauts meet to discuss the L3 water landing issue. Kamanin is to draft a letter against the concept to Mishin and Afanaseyev..

1970 October 28 - .
  • Chelomei's 'war' with Korolev and Mishin - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Mishin; Serbin; Smirnov; Afanasyev, Sergei. Program: Almaz; Salyut; Lunar L1. Spacecraft: Almaz OPS; Salyut 1; LK-1; Soyuz 7K-L1. Kamanin meets with Chelomei. Chelomei discusses his 'war' with Korolev and Mishin. Korolev interfered with, and then finally took the manned lunar flyby project from Chelomei. Now Mishin is doing the same thing with Almaz. Chelomei had already invested five years in development of Almaz, and was on the way to producing a good space station. Then Mishin pushes him out of the way and seizes his production line to build the DOS-7K. DOS#1 is actually Almaz#5, nothing more than a bad copy of Chelomei's station. Serbin and Smirnov do not trust Mishin, which is why they have only authorised him to build four DOS stations. Serbin, Smirnov, and Afanasyev have visited Chelomei, and told him to accelerate work on the Almaz, using three shifts 24 hours a day.

    Kamanin notes the second hijacking in Turkey of a Soviet airliner in the last two weeks.


1970 October 28 - .
  • Zond 8 recovered, demonstrates Mishin's L3 ocean landing trajectory. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L1; Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK; Soyuz 7K-L1. Zond 8 is recovered only 15 minutes after splashdown by the vessel Taman. Of five Zonds recovered, this was the only one to fly over the north pole. The remainder re-entered over the south pole. The reason for this was the need to fly over tracking stations on Soviet territory in order to get trajectory updates that allowed a precise landing after the second plunge into the atmosphere. This was the reason Mishin now wants a water landing for the L3. The dilemma is that after a first dip into the atmosphere over the North Pole, tracking for a precision landing is possible, but then the spacecraft cannot land on Soviet territory. Re-entering first over the South Pole means that no trajectory updates are available, but then the spacecraft can land only imprecisely somewhere on Soviet territory.

    15 L1's were completed, of which only five ever returned to earth. With this successful final recovery, the programme is cancelled. The main cause of the project's failure was the unreliability of the UR-500K rocket.


1970 November 17 - .
  • Indecision on DOS profile; Almaz station accelerated. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Volynov; Khrunov; Shatalov; Yeliseyev; Kutakhov; Mishin. Program: Almaz; Salyut. Spacecraft: Salyut 1; Almaz OPS. It is decided to send only Volynov and Khrunov to the FAI Congress in India. Shatalov and Yeliseyev are too busy with training on the DOS-7K simulator. Luna 17 has landed on the moon with the Lunokhod lunar rover, another success. DOS#1 is behind schedule for the planned 5 February 1971 launch. It still has not been decided, which will launch first - Soyuz 10 or the DOS station. Such indecision makes it very difficult to train the crews! The simulators for Soyuz, L3, DOS, and Almaz are all now in full use for crew training. Kamanin discusses with engineers construction of a pool for EVA training (25 m wide and 12 m deep). Kutakahov is opposed to the project. Chelomei has been ordered to accelerate the first Almaz launch to 1972, if he can resist the continuous attacks by Mishin. Mishin has become very accomplished, on the N1/L3 program, in spending huge amounts of money with no result.

1970 December 17 - .
  • Public information policy for DOS/Almaz discussed. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Almaz; Salyut. Spacecraft: Almaz OPS. Summary: Plans for secrecy, public information policy, and arrangements for the upcoming DOS and Almaz space station flights are discussed..

1970 December 19 - .
  • Differences between VVS and Mishin enumerated. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Smirnov; Ustinov; Stroganov. Program: Salyut; Lunar L3. Flight: Soyuz 10. Lunokhod-1 and Venera-7 missions continue well. The NIITsPK conference is completed, final total 88 papers. The conference has recommended a cautious build-up in manned flight durations - the next mission should be 22 days long, then 26, then 30. But Ustinov has ordered Mishin to ensure that the first flight to DOS will be 30 days long. Kamanin is categorically opposed to this. Kamanin runs through the principal differences between himself and Mishin:
    • Mishin wants to continue work on the N1-L3 moon project. Kamanin thinks the whole thing should be cancelled
    • Kamanin wants the L3 to land on Soviet territory. Mishin wants it to land in the Indian Ocean
    • Mishin wants to make the next manned flight 30 days long. Kamanin wants to limit it to 18 days
    Mishin has the Soviet Ministers (Smirnov), and the Central Committee (Ustinov, Stroganov, etc) behind him. Kamanin has only shaky support from the VVS...

1970 December 23 - .
  • DOS launch moved to March. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Salyut. A new DOS schedule is agreed by the Chief Designers. DOS#1 launch is delayed 40 days to 15 March 1971. Kamanin thinks the first half of April is more likely. He is still arguing the Soyuz 10 flight duration with Mishin - Kamanin won't accept more than 20-25 days, Mishin has been ordered to fly 30 days.

1971 January 5 - .
  • VVS Reviews TsKBEM Facilities and Programs - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Kutakhov. Program: Salyut; Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Salyut 1; Soyuz 7K-LOK. Two hour meeting between the VVS leadership and Mishin at TsKBEM. Mishin claims he will fly the N1 to orbit this year, and that it will have a payload of 95 to 100 tonnes to low earth orbit. He wants to make 4 to 5 unmanned launches in 1971-1972, followed by one unmanned lunar flyby, culminating in the first Soviet cosmonaut landing on the moon in March 1973. Afterwards the VVS leaders tour the L3 and DOS-7K mock-ups. Mishin asks - Why won't the VVS support his plan for an Indian Ocean landing for the L3? Why is the VVS against a 30-day duration for the first DOS flight? Why isn't the VVS training engineer-cosmonauts as pilots? Kutakhov replies that these are decisions that have to be made by aviation specialists, not by engineers or chief designers. The General Staff supports the VVS position.

1971 January 9 - .
  • VVS Reviews TsKBM Facilities and Programs - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Ustinov; Mishin. Program: Almaz; Salyut. Spacecraft: Salyut 1; Almaz OPS. The VVS leadership visits Chelomei's facility at Reutov. Kamanin recalls first seeting the Almaz mock-up five years earlier - it was already fully defined then. But it was only in August 1970 that a resolution was issued setting a firm schedule: Chelomei was to start flight trails in the second half of 1971, and the station was to enter service in 1972. Mishin is proposing to cancel Almaz and build 10 DOS stations instead. Mishin currently supervises five design bureaux, 60,000 workers, and is working on Soyuz, 7K-S, L3, DOS-7K, and a very few other projects. Chelomei has only one design bureau and 8,000 workers. Yet he has produced well-designed, mass-produced cruise missiles for the Navy, over 1,000 ICBM's for the RVSN, and the high-quality UR-500 Proton launch vehicle. Almaz could have flown on time if Ustinov had allowed Chelomei just 10% of the resources he has let Mishin squander on DOS. Chelomei easily agrees with the VVS to a mutual schedule for Almaz crew training, crew composition, etc. The contrast with the argumentative Mishin couldn't be greater.

1971 January 14 - .
  • VVS should support Almaz and Spiral. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Kutakhov; Mishin; Dementiev; Afanasyev, Sergei; Kalmykov; Grechko, Andrei; Zverev. Program: Almaz; Salyut. Spacecraft: Salyut 1; Spiral OS. Kamanin discusses with Kutakhov the need for the VVS to back Chelomei rather than Mishin. As for the Spiral, the support of Dementiev, Afanasyev, Kalmykov, and Zverev have been lined up for the program. But Grechko is still blocking it. And Kutakhov is unwilling to challenge Grechko on the issue.

1971 January 20 - .
  • Mishin pushing 'Big Orbital Station'. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Chelomei; Kozlov. Program: Almaz; Salyut. Spacecraft: Almaz OPS; MKBS. Mishin is attempting to set up a separate training centre for civilian cosmonauts at the Moscow Aviation Institute. Mishin and the civilian cosmonauts come to view the TsPK premises to get ideas. This is a new attack by Mishin, in Kamanin's eyes. Mishin has been ill for a long time, but it doesn't stop him from meddling in the details of work of his deputies. Now they are working on a Big Orbital Station (BOS) for 9-12 crew. This amounts to nothing more than a new move against Chelomei. Mishin is intent on monopolising manned spaceflight at any cost. He attempts to take over any other such projects allocated to Chelomei or Kozlov.

1971 January 27 - .
  • DOS training conflicts. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Beregovoi; Leonov; Shatalov; Mishin. Program: Salyut. Spacecraft: Salyut 1; Soyuz 7KT-OK. Beregovoi, Leonov, and Shatalov go to TsKBEM to review the training plan for the DOS-7K station at the KIS (Experimental Control Station) facility. Mishin wants the crew of Soyuz s/n 32 to be working aboard the 'live' spacecraft on 3-4 February, but they need to be at the cosmodrome on those dates for training on the Svinets ICBM detector experiment. This conflicts with Mishin's schedule for availability of a 'live' Soyuz for training. Mishin still wants, completely unrealistically, to launch on the day of the 24th Party Conference.

1971 February 1 - .
  • Salyut shipped to Baikonur - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Semenov; Chelomei; Bugayskiy. Program: Salyut. Spacecraft: Salyut 1. The first DOS station was shipped in to Baikonur in an incomplete state. Work continued to complete it day and night without break. The old MIK at Baikonur was used to prepare the Soyuz launch vehicle and 7K-TOK ferry spacecraft. The station was to be called Zarya, or 'Dawn', but the name was changed just before launch to prevent confusion with the secret Chinese manned spacecraft of the same name. Additional Details: here....

1971 February 5 - .
  • Soviet view of Apollo 14. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Keldysh; Smirnov; Ustinov; Shonin. Program: Apollo; Lunar L3. Summary: Apollo 14 successfully lands on the moon. Kamanin notes that the Soviet Union is now five to six years behind, due to the mistakes of Mishin, Keldysh, Smirnov, and Ustinov. Shonin is training on Soyuz s/n 32 at the KIS of TsKBEM..

1971 February 8 - .
  • Repercussions of Shonin incident. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Khrunov; Shonin; Yeliseyev; Kubasov; Rukavishnikov. Program: Salyut. Kamanin has a meeting with Leonov and Shonin on the KIS incident. Shonin claims he was sober. Mishin calls. He says Khrunov and Shonin were not ready for training anyway; they had to be led by the nose the whole time. He would prefer that Yeliseyev, Kubasov, and Rukavishnikov be assigned to the mission.

1971 February 17 - .
  • Management plans for Gagarin Cosmonaut Centre jeopardised. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Belyayev; Leonov. Summary: Management of TsPK is in question due to intrigues by Mishin and his allies within the VVS. After the death of Belyayev it was committed that Leonov would become head of the First Directorate of TsPK. This is now in doubt..

1971 February 27 - .
  • Mishin plans to get Almaz cancelled. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Kutakhov; Karas; Mishin; Chelomei. Program: Almaz; Salyut. Spacecraft: Salyut 1; Almaz OPS; Spiral OS. Kamanin has a meeting scheduled with Chelomei, but this is cancelled and he is called to another meeting with Mishin -- all to advance Mishin's agenda. Mishin complains that he doesn't know what the Almaz project is about. He claims Chelomei has spent half a billion roubles so far, and has nothing to show for it. Mishin, on the other hand, has two DOS stations ready to fly, done at a cost of only 80 million roubles. But Kamanin knows very well who has really wasted hundreds of millions of roubles - Mishin. Mishin produces his plans for DOS#3 and DOS#4 follow-on stations. These are to be copies of Almaz, delivered in 18 months. Mishin says he is building ten 7K-S for the spacecraft, despite the fact that Karas at GUKOS is not interested in manned spaceflight. Afterwards Kamanin tells Kutakhov to warn Chelomei that he must support the VVS' 7K-S and Spiral projects, if he wants VVS support for Almaz.

1971 March 1 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1-L3 loses remaining priority - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L3. Flight: Apollo 13; Apollo 14. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK. The Soviet leadership regained some interest in the N1-L3, after the near-tragedy of Apollo 13. It was felt that the Americans might cancel the remainder of the Apollo programme, leaving the road to the moon clear for the Soviet Union. However the successful flight of Apollo 14 redeemed the project, and the Central Committee lost all interest in the N1-L3. Additional Details: here....

1971 March 3 - .
  • Soviet of Chief Designers. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Glushko. Program: Salyut. Flight: Soyuz 10; Soyuz 11; Soyuz 12 / DOS 1. Spacecraft: Salyut 1; Soyuz 7KT-OK. DOS-7K #1 completed its factory testing on 3 March. Checkout at Baikonur is to be completed by 9 April, and launch is scheduled for 15 April. The first crew to the station will be launched aboard a Soyuz on 18-20 April. Remaining items to be cleared:
    • Vibration qualification test of the station test article are not complete. They will only begin on 5 March and will take two months using 3-shift work. Mishin wants the preliminary results on 20 March.
    • Four complete Igla systems are required. Five have been completed and are working satisfactorily.
    • The expiration date on the parachute installed in the Soyuz 10 capsule is 15 April. It will have to be repacked before the flight.
    • There were numerous failures in the first phase of environmental control system qualification tests. They have to be repaired before the second phase can even be started.
    • Mishin wants the first crew to stay on the station for 30 days, the second crew 45 days. Glushko and the doctors say this is a grave risk.

1971 March 4 - . LV Family: N1; UR-700.
  • N1/L3 Expert Commission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tereshkova; Keldysh; Mishin; Kuznetsov, Nikolai Fedorovich. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7KT-OK; LK-700; Krechet. Pushkin and Kuznetsov brief Kamanin on the results of the N1/L3 expert commission. They found that the N1/L3 is unreliable and that the design needs to be fundamentally re-examined. Therefore the Soviet Ministers and Central Committee passed a decree that the commission must determine by 1 May 1971 what to do with the lunar project. Kamanin's opinion: abandon the N1-L3, modify Chelomei's UR-700 design to replace it, and design a new lunar landing spacecraft for missions in 1974-1975. Mishin is afraid of such a solution. Kamanin believes that the commission, headed by Keldysh, will finally recommend continued development and flight of Mishin's bad booster and even worse spacecraft. It is true that the N1 design has been substantially reworked in the last 18 months, but Kamanin believes it to be fundamentally flawed and that nothing can make it reliable.

    After Mishin pushed his Indian Ocean recovery plan for the L3, the VVS insisted on sea trials of the capsule. These showed the cosmonauts had to get out within 30 to 35 minutes before the valves to the interior started leaking seawater. The L3 is also unsafe due to the EVA method of transfer to the LK of a single unassisted cosmonaut. The Krechet spacesuit is very bulky and unmanoeuvrable.

    Prague wanted Gagarin's widow for International Women's Day.since Tereshkkova couldn't go, but she wants no part of public appearances.


1971 March 5 - .
  • Launch of DOS#1 is set for 15 April. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Smirnov; Serbin; Mishin; Shonin. Program: Salyut. Flight: Soyuz 10; Soyuz 11; Soyuz 12 / DOS 1. Spacecraft: Salyut 1. Kamanin is still fighting the issue of mission length - he doesn't want to risk lives. Soyuz 9 landed virtually in the laps of the doctors, but what if they had made an emergency landing in the ocean, or taiga? They were in no condition to save themselves before assistance arrived. Every day over 20-22 days is a risk to the life of the crew, in Kamanin's view. Smirnov, Serbin, Mishin - they don't care about this.

    Meanwhile the doctor's verdict is in on Shonin. He is to be sent to a sanatorium for rehabilitation.


1971 March 19 - .
  • State Commission for Launch of DOS#1. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Salyut. Flight: Soyuz 10; Soyuz 11; Soyuz 12 / DOS 1. Spacecraft: Salyut 1. Summary: The VVS insists that the Soyuz 10 crew land in daylight. Mishin says that in order that the crew can land in daylight at the end of the 30-day mission, the spacecraft must be launched at 03:00 at night. Kamanin believes this also to be unsafe..

1971 March 22 - .
  • Problems with Igla system on DOS. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Shabarov; Mishin. Program: Salyut. Flight: Soyuz 10; Soyuz 11; Soyuz 12 / DOS 1. Spacecraft: Salyut 1. There are problems with the Igla rendezvous system and also the stabilisation systems aboard DOS#1. The April 15 launch date is not realistic, according to Shabarov's deputies, although he himself says he can still meet the schedule. From 12:00 to 16:00 the cosmonauts participate in communications tests between the Soyuz spacecraft and the station. They go all right, but there are many problems with the ground segment. Mishin arrives in the evening. He has to give the VPK the final word on 27 March as to the launch date for the station. Shabarov is afraid to tell Mishin about the problems they are having with the Igla system.

1971 April 5 - .
  • Plans for launch of DOS#1. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Salyut. Spacecraft: Salyut 1. Summary: Mishin says they are right on schedule..

1971 April 14 - .
  • Salyut 1 cleared for roll-out. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Beregovoi; Mishin; Chelomei; Grechko, Andrei. Program: Salyut. Flight: Soyuz 10; Soyuz 11; Soyuz 12 / DOS 1. Spacecraft: Salyut 1. Marshal Grechko has sent a telegram to Kamanin, informing him that the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre has received the Order of Lenin. The UR-500K booster is mated to space station DOS-7K#1. Chelomei is ill. Mishin takes the opportunity to insult him by replacing Chelomei with Mishin's man on the commission that will judge the UR-500's readiness for launch. Nevertheless, the commission clears the booster to be moved out to the pad on 15 April, with launch set for 19 April at 06:40. In the evening Beregovoi's 50th birthday is celebrated.

1971 April 14 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 threatened again - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Keldysh; Babakin; Afanasyev, Sergei; Ustinov. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK. An expert commission met to consider the N1-L3. Keldysh made several categorical demands:

    • the laser-based Kontakt rendezvous and docking system had to either be backed up with redundancy throughout, or an independent back-up system had to be developed
    • the L3 had to be designed with an internal transfer compartment, as was being done for the DOS/7K-T space station system
    • each stage of the N1 had to undergo flammability tests
    • the mission scenario had to be reformulated to provide support by more than one cosmonaut on the moon at a time, and use of automated landers and rovers from Babakin at Lavochkin
    • landings of the capsule in the equatorial oceans of the world had to be eliminated. The capsules had to land on the territory of the USSR
    Additional Details: here....

1971 April 15 - .
  • Salyut 1 erected on pad. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Shatalov; Yeliseyev; Rukavishnikov; Mishin. Program: Salyut. Flight: Soyuz 10; Soyuz 11; Soyuz 12 / DOS 1. Spacecraft: Salyut 1. The Proton booster is erected on the pad. The decision is made to proceed despite a prediction of 15 m/s winds -- the prediction turns out to be wrong. All of the big brass are present for the rollout. Afterwards Mishin visits the cosmonauts. He says all is ready for the first space station mission, and promises them the N1-L3 will be available soon for lunar missions.

1971 April 15 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Salyut preparations - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Chelomei. Program: Lunar L3; Salyut; Almaz. Spacecraft: Salyut 1; Almaz OPS; MKBS. The Salyut station was prepared in a huge two story bunker built for launch vehicle / payload processing. The contrast between the money lavished by the military on this facility for Chelomei's projects and the limited funds available for a proper N1 preparation and test facilities was enormous. Here funds were available without limit. The air was controlled by a self-contained environmental control system with its own independent electrical-diesel generators. The facility was a miracle. It was shocking that this was made available for Almaz, while the military told Mishin that he would have to prepare the immense MKBS station in the uncontrolled environment, subject to frequent power blackouts, of the N1 facility. At Chelomei's facility, everything was completely checked out on earth prior to launch.

1971 April 23 - .
  • Soyuz 10 docking failure. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Shatalov; Yeliseyev; Rukavishnikov; Mishin. Program: Salyut. Flight: Soyuz 10. Spacecraft: Salyut 1. Soyuz 10 approached to 180 m from Salyut 1 automatically. It was hand docked after faillure of the automatic system, but hard docking could not be achieved because of the angle of approach. Post-flight analysis indicated that the cosmonauts had no instrument to proivde the angle and range rate data necessary for a successful manual docking. Soyuz 10 was connected to the station for 5 hours and 30 minutes. Despite the lack of hard dock, it was said that the crew were unable to enter the station due to a faulty hatch on their own spacecraft. When Shatalov tried to undock from the Salyut, the jammed hatch impeded the docking mechanism, preventing undocking. After several attempts he was unable to undock and land. Additional Details: here....

1971 April 24 - .
  • Landing of Soyuz 10 - . Return Crew: Rukavishnikov; Shatalov; Yeliseyev. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chertok; Mishin; Rukavishnikov; Shatalov; Yeliseyev. Program: Salyut. Flight: Soyuz 10. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7KT-OK. Only a night landing on Soviet territory was possible, which meant the spacecraft could not be oriented for retrofire. The landing commission started planning for an emergency landing in South America, Africa, or Australia. But Shatalov reported the gyroscopes and orientation sensors were functioning well. He proposed that he orient on the dayside, spin up the gyro platform, and let the gyros orient the spacecraft on the nightside for retrofire. The plan is followed and the spacecraft was targeted for a landing area 80-100 km southwest of Karaganda.

    PVO radars pick up the capsule as it soars over the Caspian Sea, and a Mi-4 helicopter sights the parachute even before it thumps down, upright, on the steppes. During the landing, the Soyuz air supply became toxic, and Rukavishnikov was overcome and became unconscious. Nevertheless the crew safely landed at 23:40 GMT, 120 km NW of Karaganda. At the cosmodrome, Chertok is assigned to head a special commission to find the cause of the docking failure and correct it before the next mission can be launched. The VVS aircraft leaves at 07:00 for Moscow. Mishin was to accompany the VPK on their aircraft back, but he is drunk and has to go separately at 15:00. The Soyuz 10 crew reaches Chkalovsky Air Base at 14:00 on 26 April and proceed to Star City for further debriefings. Film and photos indicated that the docking system on the Salyut was not damaged, setting the stage for the Soyuz 11 mission.


1971 May 3 - .
  • EVA to Salyut discussed. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Shatalov; Yeliseyev; Rukavishnikov; Mishin. Program: Salyut. Flight: Soyuz 10; Soyuz 11. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7KT-OK; Salyut 1. The Soyuz 10 crew receive awards at the Kremlin. Rukavishnikov is made a Hero of the Soviet Union, which means he will receive 5,000 roubles, a Volga automobile, and other privileges. Kamanin calls Mishin later in the day. Mishin wants to send up a two-man crew in Soyuz 11, in space suits. One of them will make a spacewalk to examine the docking collar on the Salyut station prior to docking and remove the cover from the scientific sensor bay. Kamanin is infuriated. Seven to eight months ago the VVS had asked Mishin about the possibility of carrying at least one spacesuit aboard the Soyuz or Salyut and the possibility of making an EVA. He categorically rejected the idea. At that time he said it was practically impossible. There are insufficient oxygen reserves aboard the station for a full depressurisation. It would reduce the oxygen to a 75-day supply, and 45 to 50 days worth of reserves are required by mission rules. A cosmonaut meeting is called to discuss the matter. This reveals that DOS#2 is planned to have spacesuits and all of the equipment necessary for an EVA. But an EVA on Soyuz 11 is not possible. There EVA equipment and have not been manufactured. Two to three months would be required to fabricate the suits and equipment and to train for the EVA. Salyut 1 can only last 60 to 70 days. A Soyuz 12 mission in the first part of June could not be ready for an EVA. All in all it would be better to incorporate the EVA hardware into the first mission to a new DOS#2 station.

1971 May 4 - .
  • Soyuz 11 EVA pushed. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Shatalov; Yeliseyev; Rukavishnikov; Mishin. Program: Salyut. Flight: Soyuz 10; Soyuz 11. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7KT-OK; Salyut 1. At 10:00 the Soyuz 10 crew has the traditional post-flight meeting with the Central Committee, followed by speeches at 15:00 before the workers and engineers at TsKBEM. The truth about the flight is not revealed. Mishin is still pushing for an EVA on Soyuz 11; Kamanin tells him the idea is absurd. Kamanin fumes that Mishin still hasn't reliable solved the problem of automated space docking, on which he began work in 1962.

1971 May 8 - .
  • Soyuz 11 / Soyuz 12 plans. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Salyut. Flight: Soyuz 10; Soyuz 11; Soyuz 12 / DOS 1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7KT-OK; Salyut 1. Frolov reports to Kamanin on a meeting of the general designers. Mishin has planned the Soyuz 11 launch for June, to be followed by Soyuz 12 in July. The reworked docking mechanism will be ready for installation on Soyuz 11 by 18 May. Mishin recommends a full automated docking for the next mission.

1971 May 12 - .
  • VPK Meeting on Soyuz 11/12. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Smirnov; Mishin; Kutakhov. Program: Salyut. Flight: Soyuz 11; Soyuz 12 / DOS 1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7KT-OK; Salyut 1. Mishin guarantees to Smirnov that Soyuz 11 will be able to dock to Salyut 1. He also promises thirty-day missions for both Soyuz 11 and Soyuz 12. But there is a problem with this last promise -- Soyuz 12 won't launch until 15-18 July, which will be after the guaranteed life of the Salyut 1 station. Kamanin protests the decision. Smirnov points out that they must fulfil the resolutions of the Communist Party without question. But he reassures Kamanin that they will take everything one step at a time, keeping the safety of the crew in mind. Kutakhov also does not support the decision, but orders must be followed.

1971 May 14 - .
  • Soyuz 11 launch considerations argued. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Feoktistov; Ustinov. Program: Salyut. Flight: Soyuz 11. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7KT-OK; Salyut 1. The crews are continuing training for Soyuz 11. Mishin expects launch on 6 June. He is not opposed to limiting the flight duration to 25 days, necessary in order to make a landing in daytime at the end of the mission. Kamanin doesn't trust this change of heart - he asks the VVS ballistics section to confirm Mishin's calculations. Feoktistov visits Kamanin. He wants to be on the fourth crew to fly to DOS#2. VVS ballistics calls back. A launch as late as 11-12 June would still allow a daytime landing after 25 days. However from day 6 to 24 of the flight retrofire would be on the night side, and could only be accomplished using the technique of Soyuz 10 - aligning the spacecraft on the day side, spinning up the gyro platform, and using the gyros for night-side orientation during retrofire. At a meeting of the Central Committee, Kamanin fights with Ustinov for the safety of the crew. After a three-hour debate the majority of those present are still worried about the reliability of the docking system. But nevertheless the decision is made to proceed with Soyuz 11.

1971 June 1 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1-6L launch commission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Pilyugin; Isayev. Program: Lunar L3. Flight: Soyuz 11. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK; Almaz OPS; Salyut 1; MKBS. The review of launch preparations veers off into a discussion of what the booster was now for. Pilyugin questioned the seriousness of intent of the TsKBEM staff. The digital control system priorities within the bureau were with DOS and Almaz -- why wasn't the N1-L3 the priority? Mishin had never been told that the N1-L3 development was lagging. It had no priority with the leadership. Top priority at TsKBEM was Nadiradze's solid propellant ICBM's, followed by the DOS Salyut station, and now Soyuz-Apollo preparations. Meanwhile it was finally recognised that a single-launch scenario was simply impossible, and two N1 launches would be needed to accomplish the lunar landing. But there was no political will to tell the Politburo the bad news -- that two N1's would be needed to be launched to accomplish the landing. The final conclusion was that the bureau needed a new direction, a project with national priority, like the DOS station. Strategic rocket work could be ruled out, as there were already too many players in that field. Additional Details: here....

1971 June 3 - .
  • Kubasov found not fit to fly aboard Soyuz 11. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Dobrovolsky; Patsayev; Volkov; Kolodin; Leonov; Rukavishnikov; Mishin. Program: Salyut. Flight: Soyuz 11; Soyuz 12 / DOS 1. The cosmonauts play tennis in the morning. There are two dysentery cases in the staff at Area 2. Contact between the officers and workers at the centre is minimised. The Soyuz 11 crew undergoes their final medical checkups. A spot is found on Kubasov's lung in the x-ray. The doctors say it is the beginning of tuberculosis, and prohibit him from flying in space! Mishin, backed by Moscow, says that under mission rules, this means the Dobrovolsky back-up crew will have to fly in place of Leonov's crew. Kamanin feels uncomfortable with the decision, but can make no good argument for his preference - just replacing Kubasov on Leonov's crew with Volkov. The Launch Commission decides that Soyuz 11 is to be rolled out to the pad at 06:00 on 4 June, with launch at 07:39 on 6 June, with Dobrovolsky's crew aboard.

1971 June 4 - .
  • Backup crew named to fly Soyuz 11 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Dobrovolsky; Patsayev; Volkov; Kolodin; Leonov; Rukavishnikov; Mishin. Program: Salyut. Flight: Soyuz 11; Soyuz 12 / DOS 1. Soyuz 11 is on the launch pad, and which crew will fly is still being argued. Kamanin wants to simply have Volkov replace Kubasov on Leonov's crew. Mishin wants the complete backup crew to replace Leonov's crew. Others on the launch commission support Mishin. At 15:30 a team of physicians arrive from Moscow to verify the diagnosis of Kubasov. At 18:00 the final state commission meeting confirms the Dobrovolsky crew. At 19:00 a press conference is held - Dobrovolsky, Patsayev, and Volkov are publicly presented as the crew of Soyuz 11.

1971 June 11 - .
  • Soyuz 11 Day 6 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Dobrovolsky; Patsayev; Volkov; Mishin; Nikolayev. Program: Salyut. Flight: Soyuz 11. Summary: All is normal aboard the station. Mishin, Kamanin, and most of the high-ranking military officers return to Moscow. Nikolayev will lead the cosmonaut contingent at Yevpatoriya for five days. Then Kamanin will return..

1971 June 16 - .
  • Soyuz 11 Day 11 - fire aboard the station. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Mishin; Popovich; Sevastyanov; Khrunov; Volynov; Shatalov; Dobrovolsky; Patsayev; Volkov; Nikolayev; Bykovsky. Program: Salyut; Almaz. Flight: Soyuz 11. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7KT-OK; Salyut 1; Almaz OPS; Soyuz OB-VI; Soyuz VI. Kamanin is to fly back to Yevpatoriya in the afternoon. Chelomei is often ill lately -- Mishin is using the opportunity to lobby Ustinov and Smirnov to kill Almaz, and increase the DOS-7K order from four to ten. Mishin killed Kozlov's Soyuz VI in a similar manner. Prior to his departure, the cosmonauts brief Kamanin on the results of the visits of Popovich and Sevastyanov to France, and Khrunov to the USA. Kamanin is having trouble with the leadership in allowing Volynov to be assigned to another crew.

    As Kamanin is on the way to the airport, a serious situation develops aboard the station. At 13:00 the cosmonauts report a strong burning smell, and smoke in the station. The crew evacuates the station and retreat to the Soyuz lifeboat. Forty minutes later, just as Kamanin is boarding the Tu-104, Shatalov reports that the mission will continue, but the situation aboard the station is not comfortable. The crew has turned off the primary oxygen regenerator and exchanged the filters of the oxygen supply and reserve regenerator. At 14:05 Kamanin finally boards the aircraft, which takes off and sets course for the Crimea. At 14:30 they are ordered to turn around and land at Chkalovksy Airfield outside Moscow. The whole thing turns out to be a banal mistake by one of the officers at an air traffic control station! They lose two hours in the process. No information is available when the Tu-104 finally lands at Saki, since Nikolayev and the other cosmonauts who attended the emergency meetings had taken off to return to Moscow three hours earlier. Kamanin finally arrives at Yevpatoriya at 23:00, in time for a comms session with Dobrovolsky and Patsayev (Volkov is sleeping). The Soyuz 11 crew reports that the training suits are very tiring. Dobrovolsky reports all is now normal otherwise. He requests permission to continue the flight. Bykovsky reports that the situation on the station is now stable. There is no more smoke or burning smell, but the crew has been overloaded in the last six hours. They have done a lot of work with no food or rest. The situation was so bad at one point that preparations had been made for undocking the Soyuz for an emergency return to earth.


1971 June 17 - .
  • Soyuz 11 Day 12 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Dobrovolsky; Patsayev; Volkov; Mishin. Program: Salyut. Flight: Soyuz 11. Spacecraft: Salyut 1. At the 08:00 comms session Volkov is on duty, while Dobrovolsky and Patsayev sleep. Kamanin notes that to Volkov everything in his account of the previous day's emergency is 'I' - 'I' decided, 'I' did, etc. Mishin expresses his opinion that the flight commander must make all the decisions; to which Volkov answers 'the whole crew decides things together'. The tracking team, however, considers him too independent and emotional, a person who won't recognise or acknowledge his errors. The State Commission meets at 11:00 and decides there is nothing to prevent the mission continuing. However it is decided to shut down all scientific equipment. They will be turned back on one by one in an attempt to find the origin of the burning.

1971 June 18 - .
  • Soyuz 11 Day 13 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Dobrovolsky; Patsayev; Volkov; Mishin. Program: Salyut. Flight: Soyuz 11; Soyuz 12 / DOS 1. Spacecraft: Salyut 1. The crew makes a five minute television transmission. The telescope in the background produces dissonance in the image. Kamanin calls Mishin at Tyuratam, where the N1 is being prepared for launch. There are delays, and the launch must be moved back two days to 22 June. Kamanin tells the crews that this means there will be no good opportunity for them to observe the launch from the station with the Svinets apparatus, as was planned. Meanwhile the electrical specialists and Chertok in Moscow cannot localise the electrical problem. All of the equipment aboard has been turned off and on, and the burning simply does not occur again. Meanwhile there are concerns that Soyuz 11 may be able to reach the desired mission length, but that Soyuz 12 may not be safe to fly by its launch date. The mission is still planned for the full 30 days, but the physical training program has not been followed due to the problems and breakdowns aboard the station, requiring the cosmonauts to spend a lot of time in unplanned repair activities. The physicians are not in favour of prolonging the flight.

1971 June 27 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Soyuz 11 Day 22 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Dobrovolsky; Patsayev; Volkov; Isayev; Ustinov; Smirnov; Keldysh; Mishin. Program: Salyut; Lunar L3. Flight: Soyuz 11. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7KT-OK; Salyut 1. The shocking news of rocket engine designer Isayev's premature death is received at the Soyuz 11 control point at Yevpatoriya. This is followed by the news that the third N1 failed 57 seconds into its flight. A total of 13 N1's were built, and all three launched so far have exploded. Kamanin agreed to cancellation of the entire project three years ago, but Ustinov, Smirnov, Keldysh, and Mishin continued in their grandiose charade, wasting billions of roubles in the process. Meanwhile on the 22nd day of Soyuz 11's flight, the crew is up and about. Volkov is especially active, which should improve his readaptation when he returns to earth.

1971 June 28 - .
  • Soyuz 11 Day 23 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Dobrovolsky; Patsayev; Volkov; Afanasyev; Keldysh; Mishin; Karas. Program: Salyut. Flight: Soyuz 11. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7KT-OK; Salyut 1. The cosmonauts have to be extremely careful in putting Salyut in storage mode. They go through the checklist together with the ground to make sure no errors are made. The Salyut station is much more comfortable than the Soyuz, but the mission has revealed it needs many improvements, including: a unit for ejecting liquids from the station; solar panels, and scientific instruments, that can be automatically pointed at the sun or their target and stabilised; an improved control section; better crew rest provisions. Only with such improvements will it be possible to make flights of two months or longer. And such flights will take ten years to work up to, not by the end of the year, as Mishin claims. Kamanin thinks it will be possible to prolong flights to 40 to 60 days in 1972, but that this will then be a long-standing record. Any longer would be equivalent to running 100 km but then collapsing and dying - the Soviet Union doesn't need those kind of records!

    The bigwigs arrive from Moscow to be in on the landing. But Afanasyev, Keldysh, Mishin, and Karas all remain at the cosmodrome for the investigation into the N1 failure.


1971 June 29 - .
  • Soyuz 11 day 24 - final preparations for landing. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Dobrovolsky; Patsayev; Volkov; Mishin; Yeliseyev. Program: Salyut; Lunar L3. Flight: Soyuz 11. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7KT-OK; Salyut 1. Big dramas are being played out at the cosmodrome over the N1 failure, but Mishin seems protected by someone very high up and is untouchable in the blame game. This is the last full day aloft of the Soyuz 11 crew. At 19:30 the State Commission at the command point authorises the Soyuz 11 crew to undock from the Salyut space station. A communications session begins on the 15th orbit of the day at 19:45. Dobrovolsky and Volkov confirmed that the station was completely mothballed, all material to be returned was stowed in the Soyuz capsule, the crew was wearing their anti-G suits, and had completed shut-down of the station. Yeliseyev advised the crew that ground telemetry showed that they had not turned on the noxious gas filters in the station. Volkov argues that this must be a ground control error, but after checking admits the crew made a mistake.

    After the crew has left the station, taken their seats in the capsule, and closed the hatch between the Soyuz BO orbital module and SA re-entry capsule, the strained voice of Volkov comes from space: 'Hatch not hermetically sealed? What's happening? What's going on?'. All this response to the fact that the caution and warning panel 'Hatch open' light has not gone out. Yeliseyev calmly advises the crew, 'Don't panic. Open the hatch, and move the wheel to the left to open. Close the hatch, and then move the wheel to the right six turns with full force'. The crew does this several times, but the light still won't go out. On a final attempt, with 6.5 turns of the wheel, the light goes out. On the second half of he 15th orbit, the crew lowers the pressure in the BO to 160 mm, and the hatch proves to be air-tight.

    On the 16th orbit the crew separates their Soyuz from the Salyut station. At 21:35 they report normal separation and that they 'can see how the station moves away from the spacecraft'. They have enough propellant to stop the separation velocity, and take photographs of the station from 10 to 15 m away. They then back away to 30-40 m, and Patsayev takes another set of photographs documenting the condition of the station.


1971 July 5 - .
  • Soyuz 11 crew deaths preventable. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Dobrovolsky; Patsayev; Volkov; Mishin. Program: Salyut. Flight: Soyuz 11. So many kinds of failures were simulated during Soyuz training - but never the failure that killed the Soyuz 11 crew. Yet the deaths were preventable. The VVS and the cosmonauts had been writing letters for eight years on the necessity of wearing suits aboard the spacecraft. Mishin's reply: 'I don't want to fly cowards on my spacecraft'. It would have been possible to fly Soyuz with a crew of two, in suits, or at least adequate reserve oxygen tanks to flood the compartment and maintain pressure in the situation of a capsule leak. The VVS protested the decision not to fly with such measures, but Mishin simply rejected the protests.

1971 July 7 - .
  • Kamanin's last diary entry in service. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Dobrovolsky; Patsayev; Volkov; Ustinov; Smirnov; Mishin; Afanasyev; Bushuyev; Serbin; Khrushchev; Brezhnev. Program: Salyut. Flight: Soyuz 11. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7KT-OK. Kamanin is furious. Of 25 cosmonauts that have flown, five are buried in the Kremlin Wall, one in Novdevich cemetery, and 19 are still in service. These deaths are due to the incompetent management of Ustinov, Serbin, Smirnov, Mishin, Afanasyev, Bushuyev, and Serbin. Some people are trying to blame Kamanin or the cosmonauts, saying the vent could have been plugged with a finger if the crew was properly trained. Others blame the crew in other ways. But the main problem was already brought up early over and over and over by the VVS and Kutakhov - the crew should never have flown without spacesuits! This has been going on for seven years. Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Ustinov, Smirnov, all wrote of their fear of allowing dangerous spaceflights. But these were the same leaders who supported the categorical rejection of the need for the crew to fly in spacesuits. The need for the suits was rejected first by Korolev, then Mishin. They kept saying that hundreds of manned and unmanned spacecraft had flown without depressurisation ever occurring.

    The idea of plugging the vent with a finger is absurd. Had they done so, they would have had only 15 to 17 minutes to work the problem before the onset of G-forces. Imagine the real situation - retrofire was normal - the BO module jettisoned - suddenly the depress light on the caution warning panel is on! Dobrovolsky checks the hatch, but it's not the hatch -- and there are only 25 to 30 seconds until they all become unconscious. Volkov and Patsayev undo their straps and turn on the radio. The whistling of the air can only be heard at the commander's seat - where the vent valve is located. Kamanin discontinues diary entries for two years after this date.


1972 January 1 - . LV Family: N1; RT-2.
  • TsKBEM reorganised - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Dorofeyev; Bushuyev; Semenov; Shabarov. Program: Lunar L3; Soyuz; Almaz. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK; Soyuz 7K-TM; Soyuz 7K-T; Soyuz 7K-S; Soyuz 7K-OK; MKBS; Mars 5NM. TsKBEM was given a completely new structure as a result of the findings of the expert commissions on the disasters for the previous year, Mishin remained as the Chief Designer for the organisation, but each programme now had its own chief designer:

    • N1: Boris Dorofeyev
    • 8K98P solid propellant ICBM: Igor Sadovskiy
    • N1 payloads: Vladimir Brorov [check]
    • Soyuz 7K-TM, or Soyuz M, for Soyuz-Apollo: Konstantin Bushuyev
    • Soyuz 7K-T: Yuri Semenov
    • Soyuz 7K-S or Soyuz VI: Yevgeni Shabarov
    Additional Details: here....

1972 August 15 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 7L launch readiness review - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L3. Summary: Mishin held a Soviet of N1 chief designers to confirm launch readiness..

1972 August 21 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 7L State Commission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Okhapkin; Afanasyev, Sergei; Lapygin; Kuznetsov. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK. The State Commission was held to verify readiness of N1 7L for launch. Mishin was 'sick' the whole week of the hearings and had to be represented by his deputies. However neither Mishin or his first deputy Okhapkin were available - both were in the hospital. The commission nearly ruled that until Mishin was available, no launch could be approved. However the review continued. Additional Details: here....

1974 May 1 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 cancellation imminent - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Ustinov; Keldysh. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK; MKBS; Mars 5NM; L3M-1972. Ustinov achieved a leadership consensus to kill the N1 by the beginning of May 1974. He achieved the agreement of the other Ministers on the Military-Industrial Commission, and finally Keldysh. Projects that were ongoing that were linked with the N1 included: the lunar base, MKBS space station, Mars robotic soil return spacecraft and manned expedition, a space radio telescope with a 100 m antenna, and multiple channel communications satellites. All of these died with the cancellation. If 8L had been successful, then after 1 or 2 further test launches, the N1-L3M could begin flying. That meant that the Soviet Union was within 3 to 4 years of establishing long-term lunar expeditions and a moon base. The Americans would have been leapfrogged. Instead, the leadership decided to develop a completely new heavy-lift launch vehicle, which never became operational before the Soviet Union collapsed.

1974 May 2 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1-L3 program is cancelled - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Glushko; Kozlov; Mishin. Program: Lunar L3. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. The N1 program was cancelled before the next test flight. Mishin was removed as head of NPO Energia. Kozlov is first asked to replace him, but he prefers to stay in Samara. Glushko is appointed as the second choice. Two fully assembled (serial numbers 8L and 9L), and four partially assembled rockets were available at time of cancellation. These would have been the first to use the new modernized series NK-33/NK-39 engines. 8L was planned for launch in the fourth quarter of 1974. Confidence was high that, based on the massive telemetry received on the 7L flight, that all problems would have been rectified. A total of 3.6 billion rubles was spent on the N1-L3 program, of which 2.4 billion rubles went into N1 development. Those on the project felt that they were within months of finally providing the Soviet Union with a heavy-lift booster. Instead the work was discarded, and Glushko began design of the RLA/Vulkan with entirely new configuration and engines.

1974 July 30 - .
  • Kozlov given own design bureau in Samara. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Glushko; Kozlov; Mishin. Military-Industrial Commission (VPK) Decree 'On separation of TsSKB from NPO Energia and creation of the Volzhkiy Branch' was issued. After the fall of Mishin, Kozlov was offered the Chief Designer job. He rejected it and Glushko was made head of a reorganised NPO Energia. KB Kozlov itself was made a separate entity with the name of Central Specialised Construction Bureau.

1974 August 1 - . LV Family: Energia; RLA.
  • New heavy-lift vehicle - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Glushko; Ustinov; Keldysh; Brezhnev. Spacecraft: Buran. Glushko's first action was to implement a decision of the leadership to develop a completely new heavy-lift launch vehicle. This work started in 1974, with a planned first flight in 1984, at a total estimated cost of 5 to 6 billion roubles. One factor in the decision was the fact that Keldysh was greatly disturbed by the manoeuvrability of the space shuttle. He talked the matter up until he managed to get Ustinov and Brezhnev worked as well. He told them a US shuttle could manoeuvre around Soviet PVO and PKO anti-missile and satellite defences and deliver a 25 tonne nuclear bomb of greater than 25 megatons force directly on Moscow.

    Keldysh was convinced that the US planned to use the shuttle for a pre-emptive nuclear strike on Russia. Therefore the USSR needed an analogous capability to maintain the strategic balance. While this discussion was going on, the energies of TsKBEM were completely absorbed in the Apollo-Soyuz program, on which the prestige of the Soviet Union depended. Additional Details: here....


1974 August 13 - . LV Family: Energia; N1.
  • N1 work cancelled - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Kuznetsov; Korolev; Glushko; Keldysh; Ustinov. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK; Buran. Glushko formally cancelled the N1 within the new NPO Energia on 13 August 1974 with the support of Ustinov, even though he had no decree of the VPK Military-Industrial Commission or the Central Committee authorising such an act. The N1-L3 itself was not officially closed down until the resolution of February 1976 starting work on the Energia/Buran boosters. By that time 6 billion roubles had been spent on the N1 over 17 years. Additional Details: here....

1974 August 31 - .
  • Cosmonaut reunion as Soyuz 15 crew arrives in Moscow. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Demin; Glushko; Mishin; Keldysh; Smirnov; Ustinov. Program: Salyut. Flight: Soyuz 15. Kamanin attends a reunion of cosmonauts on the occasion of the arrival of the Soyuz 15 crew at Chkalovsky Airfield. Demin has flown at the age of 48, the oldest astronaut ever, until Slayton makes his flight. Kamanin talks to Glushko and learns that the N1 has finally been cancelled. The misbegotten project went for eight years only because of the unconditional support of Mishin by Keldysh, Smirnov, and Ustinov. The earliest Soviet lunar landing cannot occur earlier than the Tenth Five Year Plan (e.g. 1980). Kamanin learns that Soyuz 15 was supposed to be a thirty-day flight, but the Igla automatic docking system failed yet again.

1975 January 1 - . LV Family: N1; RLA.
  • Vulkan Lunar Base - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Barmin; Glushko; Bushuyev. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LZhM; LZM; Lunokhod LEK; LEK. Mishin and Barmin, using budget provided by the Ministry of Defence, had designed a lunar base for launch by the N1 in 1969-1974. After the cancellation of the N1, Glushko pleaded with the Military-Industrial Commission for the work to be taken from Barmin and be given to NPO Energia. Glushko's alternative, Vulkan-launched base was elaborated within his bureau. Bushuyev developed spacecraft for the base. Prudnikova developed a modular lunar city, with living modules, factory modules, a nuclear reactor power module, and a lunar crawler with a 200 km radius of action. The project work was only finally cancelled after the Apollo-Soyuz flights.

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