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Mnatsakanian, Armen Sergeyevich
Armenian-Russian engineer. Chief Designer 1953-1969 of Nll-648. Specialized in spacecraft telemetry and radar systems.

Born: 1918-11-07. Died: 1992-01-01. Birth Place: Armenian.

Country: Armenia, Russia. Bibliography: 474.

1918 November 7 - .
  • Birth of Armen Sergeyevich Mnatsakanian - . Nation: Armenia, Russia. Related Persons: Mnatsakanian. Armenian-Russian engineer. Chief Designer 1953-1969 of Nll-648. Specialised in spacecraft telemetry and radar systems..

1965 February 25 - .
  • Cosmos 57 failure analysis - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Korolev, Malinovskiy, Mnatsakanian. Program: Voskhod. Flight: Voskhod 2. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Voskhod.

    The tapes finally arrive from all concerned tracking stations by 11 am. Korolev is ill, and his deputies work in his place. At 16:00 the accident commission meets. They find that at precisely the same time, IP-6 and IP-7 transmitted command 42 (decompress airlock) to the spacecraft. In such a case, the command could have been received and interpreted by the spacecraft as a single command 5 (retrofire). IP-6 was supposed to have transmitted the command at this point in the mission, with IP-7 to retransmit them as a backup only on command from Moscow. However IP-7 thought at the time that they were responsible for sending commands to the spacecraft. Accordingly, the spacecraft itself has been fully exonerated.

    However it is found that of the 45 commands that can be sent to the spacecraft, four of them, including the command of the re-entry sequence, are unprotected from this kind of error. In Kamanin's opinion, in the last five years, Mnatsakanian's bureau has done nothing to ensure security of commands to spacecraft or the exploitation of this major weakness by the United States.

    It is decided that the launch of Voskhod-2 can go ahead in the second half of mine. However Korolev calls Kamanin and others to be briefed at his bedside. His temperature is down to 37 deg C, normal, but yesterday it was 40 deg C - diagnosis: "unknown cause". Korolev does not want to launch Voskhod-2 until a Zenit spy satellite has flown with its re-entry capsule fitted with the same airlock ring as Voskhod-2. This will prove that the re-entry capsule is stable during descent with the airlock ring, something that could not be demonstrated by Cosmos 57. Kamanin agrees that this will be proposed to the State Commission.

    However they do not part without sharp words being exchanged over the quality of VVS doctors and military versus civilian cosmonauts. Korolev notes that due to the military's complete lack of interest in space, the only military cosmonaut that will ever be needed is Gagarin.... Kamanin is wounded but realises the truth of Korolev's words, attributing the issue to Malinovskiy, who has blocked all proposals for a military role in manned spaceflight, let alone a VVS role.

1965 November 30 - .
  • Problems with the Igla system for Soyuz - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Gagarin, Korolev, Mnatsakanian. Program: Voskhod, Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1, Soyuz 2A, Voskhod 3, Voskhod 4, Voskhod 5, Voskhod 6. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK, Voskhod.

    After a meeting with Kamanin, Korolev tells Chertok in confidence that Gagarin is training for a flight on a Soyuz mission. Chertok responds that it will take him at least a year to complete training, but that doesn't matter, since Mnatsakanian's Igla docking system will not be ready than any earlier than that. Korolev explodes on hearing this. "I allowed all work on Voskhod stopped so that the staff can be completely dedicated to Soyuz. I will not allow the Soyuz schedule to slip a day further". Turkov had been completing further Voskhods only on direct orders from the VPK and on the insistence of the VVS. Aside from military experiments, further Voskhod flights were meant to take back the space endurance record from the Americans. Korolev has derailed those plans without openly telling anyone in order to get the Soyuz flying.

1966 November 19 - .
1966 December 9 - .
  • Soyuz State Commission - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Mishin, Mnatsakanian, Smirnov, Tsybin. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1, Soyuz 2A, Voskhod 3. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. 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.

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: Russia. Related Persons: Mishin, Mnatsakanian. Agency: MOM. Program: Soyuz. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. 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....

1968 December 26 - .
  • Heated arguments over technical approach of Soviet space systems - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Beregovoi, Mishin, Mnatsakanian, Severin, Shatalov. Program: Lunar L1, Soyuz, Almaz. Flight: Apollo 8. Spacecraft: Almaz OPS, Soyuz 7K-L1, Soyuz 7K-LOK, Soyuz 7K-OK, Soyuz 7K-S, 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...

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