Cutaway of Soyuz 7K
Credit: © Mark Wade
AKA: 11F615;7K-OK. Status: Operational 1966. First Launch: 1966-11-28. Last Launch: 1970-06-01. Number: 17 . Thrust: 4.09 kN (919 lbf). Gross mass: 6,560 kg (14,460 lb). Unfuelled mass: 6,060 kg (13,360 lb). Specific impulse: 282 s. Height: 7.95 m (26.08 ft). Span: 9.80 m (32.10 ft).
The manned spacecraft became the first to complete automated orbital rendezvous, docking and crew transfer. It served as the basis for the Soyuz ferry used with the Salyut and Almaz space stations.
In the second quarter of 1963, when Korolev had begun design of the Voskhod multi-manned spacecraft, he instructed his bureau to begin design of a three-manned orbital version of the Soyuz, the 7K-OK. Korolev finally obtained approval for this spacecraft in the decree of 3 December 1963.
The 7K-OK earth-orbit version of Soyuz as developed in accordance with the decrees of 16 April 1962 and 3 December 1963 was to be capable of the following:
The 7K Soyuz spacecraft was initially designed for rendezvous and docking operations in near earth orbit. In the definitive December 1962 Soyuz draft project, the Soyuz-A appeared as a two-place spacecraft. The Soyuz would have been launched on a lunar flyby after successive launches of 11K tanker spacecraft with a 9K translunar injection stage.
Korolev understood very well that financing for a project of this scale would only be forthcoming from the Ministry of Defense. Therefore his draft project proposed two additional modifications of the 7K: the Soyuz-P (Perekhvatchik, Interceptor) space interceptor and the Soyuz-R (Razvedki, intelligence) command-reconnaissance spacecraft. The VVS and the rocket forces supported these improved variants of the Soyuz. But Korolev had no time to work on what he considered a Soyuz 'side-line'. Therefore it was decided that OKB-1 would concentrate only on development of the Soyuz-A spacecraft, while the military projects Soyuz-P and Soyuz-R were 'subcontracted' to OKB-1 Filial number 3, based in Samara.
To Korolev's frustration, while Filial 3 received budget to develop the military Soyuz versions, his own Soyuz-A did not receive the support of the leadership for inclusion in the space program of the USSR. The 7K-9K-11K plan would have required five successful automatic dockings to succeed. This seemed impossible at the time. Instead Chelomei's LK-1 single-manned spacecraft, to be placed on a translunar trajectory in a single launch of his UR-500K rocket, was the preferred approach.
Korolev finally obtained approval for development of the 7K-OK earth orbital version of the Soyuz spacecraft in the decree of 3 December 1963.
The landing capsule could accommodate a crew of up to three. It was 2.16 m long and had a diameter of 2.2 m. On re-entry it produced a hypersonic L/D ratio of 0.2 to 0.3. It was equipped with 14 translation/orientation engines; 16 orientation engines; 6 re-entry orientation engines; 4 small correction engines; and 2 rendezvous and correction engines. The 11A511 launch vehicle designed for the spacecraft had a gross lift-off mass of 308 metric tons, was 45.6 m long, 10.3 m maximum span, and had a total burn time of 538.5 seconds. The design orbit was 205 km circular at 51.68 degrees inclination. The first flight took place on 28 November 1966 and the program was completed on 31 December 1971. Spacecraft used for space station operations had indexes 7KT.
On 25 October 1965, less than three months before his death, Korolev regained the project for manned circumlunar flight. This would use a derivative of the 7K-OK, the 7K-L1, launched by Chelomei's UR-500K, but with a Block D translunar injection stage from the N1. Originally Korolev considered that the 7K-L1, for either safety or mass reasons, could not be boosted directly by the UR-500K toward the moon. He envisioned launch of the unmanned 7K-L1 into low earth orbit, followed by launch and docking of a 7K-OK with the 7K-L1. The crew would then transfer to the L1, which would then be boosted toward the moon. This was the reason for the development of the 7K-OK.
After the death of Korolev's OKB-1 was headed by his assistant, Vasiliy Pavlovich Mishin. Kozlov considered work on his military versions of Soyuz in Samara.
In June 1965 Gemini 4 began the first American experiments in military space. In August 1965, the Soviet military ordered that urgent measures be taken to test manned military techniques in orbit at the earliest possible date. Modifications were to be made by Kozlov to the Soyuz 7K-OK spacecraft for this purpose. However the first orbital launch of the 7K-OK in November 1966 a large number of failures occurred, indicating many errors in construction. The spacecraft was uncontrollable and was finally destroyed by the on-board APO destruct system.
On the second launch attempt on 14 December, the Soyuz incorrectly detected a failure of the launch vehicle at 27 minutes after an aborted launch attempt. The launch escape system activated while the vehicle was still fuelled on the pad, pulling the capsule away from the vehicle but exploding the launch vehicle and killing and injuring several people. Analysis of the failure indicated numerous problems in the escape system. In order not to inherit the problems of the 7K-OK, Kozlov's 7K-VI was completely redesigned. The final design owed little to the 7K-OK. After many twists and turns the Soyuz VI project was eventually cancelled.
As for the 7K-OK itself, after sinking to the bottom of the Aral Sea after a trouble-ridden third flight, it was taken into space by cosmonaut Komarov in April 1967. This disastrous flight ended in the cosmonaut being killed. The 7K-OK was redesigned to the extent possible and went on to accomplish 13 relatively successful manned and unmanned earth orbital flights. The 7K-OK was later modified to the space station ferry configuration 7KT with the addition of a docking tunnel. This configuration killed three cosmonauts aboard Soyuz 11 in 1971. Thereafter the spacecraft underwent a complete redesign, resulting in the substantially safer 7K-T, which flew dozens of times to Salyut and Almaz space stations until replaced by the Soyuz T in 1981.
Soyuz Guidance and Controls
The re-entry maneuver was normally handled automatically by radio command. Spacecraft attitude in relation to the local motion along the orbit was determined by sun sensors, infrared horizon sensors and ion gauges, which could detect the spacecraft's direction of motion by the greater velocity of ions impacting the spacecraft in the direction of motion.
The cosmonaut could however take manual control of the spacecraft and manually re-enter. This was done by using the ingenious Vzor periscope device. This had a central view and eight ports arranged in a circle around the center. When the spacecraft was perfectly centered in respect to the horizon, all eight of the ports would be lit up. Alignment along the orbit was judged by getting lines on the main scope to be aligned with the landscape flowing by below. In this way, the spacecraft could be oriented correctly for the re-entry maneuver.
To decide when to re-enter, in the event of loss of communications with ground control, the cosmonaut had a little clockwork globe that showed current position over the earth. By pushing a button to the right of the globe, it would be advanced to the landing position assuming a standard re-entry at that moment.
This manual system would obviously only be used during daylight portions of the orbit. At night the dark mass of the earth could not have been lined up with the optical Vzor device. The automatic system would work day or night. However problems were found on Soyuz 1 when the ion gauges would not function in ion 'pockets' of low density in the re-entry maneuver portion of the orbit.
The Soyuz kept (to this day) the little globe and Vzor system. The Soyuz 7K-OK had no on-board inertial navigation system. To perform an orbital maneuver, the parameters for an orbital maneuver would be transmitted from the ground. When the time came for a maneuver, the spacecraft would align itself to the local vertical and direction of motion by the methods mentioned above (automatic or manual). Then three gyros would be spun up, the spacecraft maneuvered automatically or manually to the required attitude for the maneuver, and the main engine would fire automatically at the prescribed time to make the orbit change. There was a simple delta-v gauge showing the velocity change. Since the Soyuz thrust to weight was so low (around 0.06, or only half a meter per second) this meant the maneuvers could be handled manually without much error (on re-entry burns the practice was to count to five after the engine was supposed to shut off before overriding it!)
The Soyuz had a very limited maneuver capability, a source of some embarrassment during the ASTP joint flight where the Apollo did most of the maneuvering. The basic Soyuz was limited to being actively controlled for only 1 to 3 hours per day; the rest of the time was spent in a passive mode.
Crew Size: 3. Orbital Storage: 35 days. Habitable Volume: 9.00 m3. Spacecraft delta v: 390 m/s (1,270 ft/sec). Electric System: 0.50 average kW.
Credit: © Mark Wade
Heavily dented model of Soyuz capsule used in test of rotor recovery system.
Credit: Jakob Terweij
|Panel Soyuz 7K-OK|
Control panel of the initial earth orbit version of Soyuz.
Credit: © Mark Wade
|Soyuz OK panel|
Detail of left command panel of Soyuz OK
Credit: © Mark Wade
|Soyuz 7K-OK probe|
Soyuz 7K-OK docking probe
Credit: © Mark Wade
|Soyuz 4 and 5|
Soyuz 4 and 5 in docked configuration
Credit: © Mark Wade
|Soyuz 7K-OK Icon|
Credit: © Mark Wade
|Soyuz 7K-OK Bottom|
Credit: © Mark Wade
|Soyuz 7K-OK Top|
Credit: © Mark Wade
|Soyuz OM panel|
Detail of orbital module command panel of Soyuz OK
Credit: © Mark Wade
Credit: © Mark Wade
|Soyuz escape tower|
Soyuz launch escape system - air tunnel test model
Credit: © Mark Wade
|Gas dynamic tunnel|
Gas dynamic tunnel tests
Credit: © Mark Wade
|Soyuz OM interior|
Interior view of Soyuz 4 orbital module (through open side hatch)
Credit: Andy Salmon
Soyuz escape tower (as used on early Soyuz launches)
Credit: Andy Salmon
|Soyuz 7K-OK Side|
Credit: © Mark Wade
|Soyuz orbital module|
Soyuz 7K-OKS passive docking orbital module
Credit: Andy Salmon
|Soyuz control panel|
Soyuz orbital module control panel
Credit: © Mark Wade
|Soyuz 7K-OK BO|
Soyuz 7K-OK Orbital Module with female docking unit
Credit: © Mark Wade
Credit: Manufacturer Image
Credit: Manufacturer Image
Credit: Manufacturer Image
Credit: Manufacturer Image
Soyuz spacecraft being mated to the booster upper stage.
Credit: RKK Energia
|Soyuz OK Panel|
Final design approval for Soyuz A spacecraft for earth orbit and circumlunar flight using orbital rendezvous, docking, and refuelling technques. Except for change of orbital module from cylindrical to spherical design, and changes to rendezvous radar tower arrangement, this design was essentially identical to the Soyuz 7K-OK that flew three years later. Additional Details: here....
The expert commission report on Soyuz is reviewed by the Chief Designers from 10:00 to 14:00. The primary objective of the Soyuz project is to develop the technology for docking in orbit. This will allow the spacecraft to make flights of many months duration and allow manned flyby of the moon. Using docking of 70 tonne components launched by the N1 booster will allow manned flight to the Moon, Venus, and Mars. Keldysh, Chelomei and Glushko all support the main objective of Soyuz, to obtain and perfect docking technology. But Chelomei and Glushko warn of the unknowns of the project. Korolev agrees with the assessment that not all the components of the system - the 7K, 9K, and 11K spacecraft - will fly by the end of 1964. But he does argue that the first 7K will fly in 1964, and the first manned 7K flight will come in 1965.
Decree 'On approval of work on the Soyuz 7K-9K-11K circumlunar complex' was issued. This elaborated on the Soyuz design made under the prior decree of 16 April 1962. Initial design work was authorised on the Soyuz 7K earth orbit basic version - capable of automatic rendezvous and docking with other spacecraft; and the 9K and 11K tanker / refuelable rocket blocks to put the 7K in high altitude or circumlunar orbits.
After the triumph of the Voskhod-1 flight, Korolev gathers a group of his closest associates in his small office - Chertok, Bushuyev, Okhapkin, and Turkov. Firm plans do not exist yet for further manned spaceflights. Following the traditional Kremlin celebrations after the return of the Voskhod 1 crew, he has heard no more from the new political management. Khrushchev's old enthusiasm for space does not exist in the new leadership. Korolev is angry. "The Americans have unified their forces into a single thrust, and make no secret of their plans to dominate outer space. But we keep our plans secret even to ourselves. No one has agreed on our future space plans - the opinion of OKB-1 differs from that of the Minister of Defense, which differs from that of the VVS, which differs from that of the VPK. Some want us to build more Vostoks, others more Voskhods, while within this bureau our priority is to get on with the Soyuz. Brezhnev's only concern is to launch something soon, to show that space affairs will go better under his rule than Khruschev's." Korolev however does not think the new leadership will support continuation of Chelomei's parallel lunar project. Okhapkin speaks up. "Do not underestimate Chelomei. He is of the same design school as Tupolev and Myasishchev. If we give him the will and the means, his products will equal those of the Americans. Now is the right moment to combine forces with Chelomei".
Military-Industrial Commission (VPK) Decree 180 'On the Order of Work on the Soyuz Complex--approval of the schedule of work for Soyuz spacecraft' was issued. It set the following schedule for the new Soyuz 7K-OK version: two spacecraft to be completed in fourth quarter 1965, two in first quarter 1966, and three in second quarter 1966. Air-drop and sea trails of the 7K-OK spacecraft are to be completed in the third and fourth quarters 1965, and first automated docking of two unmanned Soyuz spacecraft in space in the first quarter of 1966. Korolev insists the automated docking system will be completely reliable, but Kamanin wishes that the potential of the cosmonauts to accomplish a manual rendezvous and docking had been considered in the design. With this decree the mission of the first Soyuz missions has been changed from a docking with unmanned Soyuz B and V tanker spacecraft, to docking of two Soyuz A-type spacecraft. It is also evident that although nothing is official, Korolev is confident he has killed off Chelomei's LK-1 circumlunar spacecraft, and that a Soyuz variant will be launched in its place.
It is becoming clear that in order to ever get Soyuz into space it is necessary to clear all decks at OKB-1. After Voskhod-2 the Soviet manned space plans are in confusion. The Americans have flown Gemini 5, setting a new 8-day manned space endurance record - the first time the Americans are ahead in the space race. They rubbed salt into the Soviet wound by sending astronauts Cooper and Conrad on a triumphal world tour. This American success is very painful to Korolev, and contributes to his visibly deteriorating health. In the absence of any coherent instructions from the Soviet leadership, Korolev makes a final personal decision between the competing manned spacecraft priorities. Work on completing a new series of Voskhod spacecraft and conducting experiments with artificial gravity are unofficially dropped and development and construction of the new Soyuz spacecraft is accelerated. The decision is shared only with the OKB-1 shop managers. One of Korolev's "conspirators" lays on Chertok's table the resulting new Soyuz master schedule. The upper left of the drawing has the single word "Agreed" with Korolev's signature. The only other signatures are those of Gherman Semenov, Turkov and Topol - Korolev has ordered all other signature blocks removed. Chertok is enraged. The plan provides for the production of thirteen spacecraft articles for development and qualification tests by December 1965! These include articles for thermal chamber runs, aircraft drop tests, water recovery tests, SAS abort systems tests, static and vibration tests, docking system development rigs, mock-ups for zero-G EVA tests aboard the Tu-104 flying laboratory, and a full-scale mock-up to be delivered to Sergei Darevskiy for conversion to a simulator. Chertok is enraged because the plan does not include dedicating one spaceframe to use as an 'iron bird' hot mock-up on which the electrical and avionics systems can be integrated and tested. Instead two completed Soyuz spacecraft are to be delivered to OKB-1's KIS facility in December and a third in January 1966. These will have to be used for systems integrations tests there before being shipped to Tyuratam for spaceflights.
Tereshkova confides to Kamanin that Ponomaryova is not ready for her scheduled spaceflight. Kamanin does not believe it - he has heard it from no other cosmonauts, and he has spoken to Ponomaryova often over the years. Flight plans for 1965-1966 are reviewed. The pluses and minuses of each cosmonaut in advanced training for Voskhod flights is reviewed. The latest plan for the Voskhod-3 flight is for a 20-day flight with two cosmonauts (in an attempt to upstage the planned Gemini 7 14-day flight). This is followed by another tense phone call from Korolev, then Feoktistov complaining about inadequate VVS support for the Soyuz landing system trials at Fedosiya (no Mi-6 helicopter as promised; incorrect type of sounding rockets for atmospheric profiles; insufficient data processing capacity; inadequate motor transport). When Kamanin appeals to Finogenov on the matter, he is simply told that if "Korolev is unhappy with out facilities, let him conduct his trials elsewhere". Without the support of the VVS leadership, it is up to Kamanin to try to improve the situation using only his own cajoling and contacts.
Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On the Concentration of Forces of Industrial Design Organisations for the Creation of Rocket-Space Complex Means for Circling the Moon--work on the UR-500K-L1 program' was issued. As a result of a presentation to the Military Industrial Commission, Afanasyev backed Korolev in wresting control of the manned circumlunar project from Chelomei. The Chelomei LK-1 circumlunar spacecraft was cancelled. In its place, Korolev would use a derivative of the Soyuz 7K-OK, the 7K-L1, launched by Chelomei's UR-500K, but with a Block D translunar injection stage from the N1. He envisioned launch of the unmanned 7K-L1 into low earth orbit, followed by launch and docking of a 7K-OK with the 7K-L1. The crew would then transfer to the L1, which would then be boosted toward the moon. This was the original reason for the development of the 7K-OK.
Kamanin has his first face-to-face meeting with Korolev in 3 months - the longest delay in three years of working together. Their relationship is at low ebb. Despite having last talked about the next Voskhod flight by the end of November, Korolev now reveals that the spacecraft are still incomplete, and that he has abandoned plans to finish the last two (s/n 8 and 9), since these would overlap with planned Soyuz flights. By the first quarter of 1966 OKB-1 expects to be completing two Soyuz spacecraft per quarter, and by the end of 1966, one per month. Voskhod s/n 5, 6, and 7 will only be completed in January-February 1966. Korolev has decided to delete the artificial gravity experiment from s/n 6 and instead fly this spacecraft with two crew for a 20-day mission. The artificial gravity experiment will be moved to s/n 7. Completion of any of the Voskhods for spacewalks has been given up; future EVA experiments will be conducted from Soyuz spacecraft. Korolev says he has supported VVS leadership of manned spaceflight in conversations with Tyulin, Afanasyev, Pashkov, and Smirnov.
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.
At LII Kamanin reviews progress on the Voskhod trainer. It should be completed by 15 December, and Volynov and Gorbatko can then begin training for their specific mission tasks. The Volga docking trainer is also coming around. Popovich is having marital problems due to his wife's career as a pilot. Popovich will see if she can be assigned to non-flight duties.
Kamanin looks ahead to the very difficult tasks scheduled for 1966. There are to be 5 to 6 Soyuz flights, the first tests of the N1 heavy booster, the first docking in space. Preparations will have to intensify for the first manned flyby of the moon in 1967, following by the planned first Soviet moon landing in 1967-1969. Kamanin does not see how it can all be done on schedule, especially without a reorganization of the management of the Soviet space program.
Kamanin reviews the American and Soviet space plans as known to him. In 1965 the Americans flew five manned Gemini missions, and the Soviets, a single Voskhod. In 1966, the Americans plan to accomplish the first space docking with Gemini 8, demonstrate a first-orbit rendezvous and docking with Gemini 10, demonstrate powered flight using a docked Agena booster stage with Gemini 11, and rendezvous with an enormous Pegasus satellite. Against this, the Soviets have no program, no flight schedule. Kamanin can only hope that during the year 2-3 Voskhod flights and 2-3 Soyuz flights may be conducted.
Tyulin and Mozzhorin review space simulators at TsPK. The 3KV and Volga trainers are examined. Tyulin believes the simulators need to be finished much earlier, to be used not just to train cosmonauts, but as tools for the spacecraft engineers to work together with the cosmonauts in establishing the cabin arrangement. This was already done on the 3KV trainer, to establish the new, more rational Voskhod cockpit layout. Tyulin reveals that the female Voskhod flight now has the support of the Central Committee and Soviet Ministers. He also reveals that MOM has promised to accelerate things so that four Voskhod and five Soyuz flights will be conducted in 1966. For 1967, 14 manned flights are planned, followed by 21 in 1968, 14 in 1969, and 20 in 1970. This adds up to 80 spaceflights, each with a crew of 2 to 3 aboard. Tyulin also supports the Kamanin position on other issues - the Voskhod ECS should be tested at the VVS' IAKM or Voronin's factory, not the IMBP. The artificial gravity experiment should be removed from Voskhod and replaced by military experiments. He promises to take up these matters with Korolev.
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.
The VVS General Staff reviews a range of documents, authored by Korolev before his death, and supported by ministers Afanasyev and Petrovskiy. The schedules for the projects for flying around and landing on the moon are to be delayed from 1966-1967 to 1968-1969. A range of other space programs will similarly be delayed by 18 to 24 months. An institute for tests of space technology will be established at Chelomei's facility at Reutov. The IMBP will be made the lead organization for space medicine. Responsibility for space technology development will be moved from MOM to 10 other ministries. 100 million roubles have been allocated for the establishment of new research institutes. Kamanin is appalled, but Malinovskiy favours getting rid of the responsibility for these projects. The arguments over these changes - which reduce the VVS role in spaceflight - will be the subject of much of Kamanin's diary over the following weeks.
A meeting is held with the Deputy Minister of MAP, OKB-1 leaders, and 20 developers of subsystems to nail down completion of the Soyuz trainer. It was supposed to be completed by 31 March, with cosmonaut training to start 15 April. In fact OKB-1 has not even begun work on it, and they only consider it long-term work. MOM in fact has insisted that the trainers be finished early, so that they can be used as development tools by the engineers in cooperation with the cosmonauts. OKB-1 engineers don't see it that way.
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.
Acting director Mishin held a brainstorming session with this top managers to address "...our inconsistent lunar program". He noted then-current contradictory approaches: 1. Return to a two-launch scheme (podsadka, as baseline); 2. Keep with direct landing; 3. Use a Block D with storable propellants; 4. Use the 7K-OK as the designated return spacecraft. He noted that the L1 program was a diversion for the bureau to the core objective of landing a cosmonaut on the moon (the L3 program). Among the advantages of continuing with the L1, he noted that it "Utilizes the 7K-OK" - evidently there was no purpose for the spacecraft beyond the L1 mission in the podsadka scenario. He asks for frank opinions from his managers. V Rauschenbach noted that they "..have to do the L-1 … and therefore we will have to use a 2-launch scheme based on the L1-S". BE Chertok: discussed the rendezvous and docking systems for the various spacecraft: L1-S - "Igla"; LOK - "Kontakt" (since "Igla" cannot be used on the LOK (due to mass considerations); or a new system for the LOK. (Mishin Diaries 1-226) Here we have an indication that the L1 podsadka version did use the Igla system, which makes complete sense, since the Soyuz 7K-OK missions conducted dress rehearsals for podsadka using this system to rendezvous and dock two 7K-OK spacecraft in earth orbit.
Ministry of Defense directive laid out the production rate for both the L1, Block D, and 7K-OK for the podsadka program. Ministry of Defense directive (Mishin Diaries 1-234) laid out the production rate for both the L1, Block D, and 7K-OK for the podsadka program:
7K-L1: one unit per month beginning 15 Sept 66
7K-OK for podsadka delivery of crews to L1: 1 unit per month beginning Oct 66
Block D deliveries: 1 unit 15 Sept; 1 unit 15 Oct; 1 further unit in October; and 1 unit per month thereafter.(Mishin Diaries 1-234)
A VPK Military-Industrial Commission resolution on the L1 program plan was issued and included the total accelerated program for build of 14 L1 and 6 7K-OK podsadka spacecraft. The schedule:
1 unit 3rd quarter 66
4 units 4th quarter 66
3 units 1st quarter 67
3 units 2nd quarter 67
3 units 3rd quarter 67
7K-OK for delivery of crews to L1:
3 units 4th quarter 66
3 units 1st quarter 67. (Mishin Diaries 1-234)
The simulators and partial-task trainers continue very much behind schedule. There is talk of moving responsibility for them from Darevskiy's bureau to OKB-1. Popovich's fitness for future flight and command assignments is questionable. Nevertheless, he will join Titov, Leonov, Volynov, Shonin, Zaikin, Gagarin, and Solovyova at the Zhukovskiy Academy, from which they will be expected to graduate with advanced degrees in engineering in October 1967. Nikolayev, Bykovsky, and Gorbatko will finish one or two years later, since they will be preoccupied with flight assignments on the 7K-OK.
No 1 - August - Proton-2 (this may refer to the Proton / Block D full-mass mockup that was tested in October 1966 but then abandoned for safety reasons).
2-4: Flyby of the moon with the unpiloted version:
No 2 - October
No 3 - November
No 4 - December
No 5 - No 9: 7K-L1 flyby of the moon at intervals of one month with crew delivery by 7K-OK
No 10 - No 14: Direct flyby of the moon at one month intervals.
This indicates that podsadka was the baseline approach for early missions, for both safety and launch mass considerations. Only the last five missions would be direct flights. It was probably anticipated that by then the Proton booster would be reliable enough and that improvements to the Block D and the weight reduction on the L1 would make the single-launch approach feasible. (Mishin Diaries 1-266)
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.
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.
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.
As a result of the review two days earlier (Mishin Diaries 1-266), a revised L1 flight schedule is released. No 1P - For 1M1 (N1 functional mockup) - 15 September
No 2P - 15 October & No 3P - October: Orbital flights with 2x (indecipherable) (1P, 2P and 3P were prototype L1's without heat shields and recovery possibilities).
Number 4 and 5: 2 units:Direct unpiloted flight with return to earth (November-December)
Numbers 6 to 10: 5 units: Flyby of the moon; 7K-L1 with crew transfer from 7K-OK (January to May 1967)
Numbers 11 to 14 (15): 4 units: Direct flyby of the moon by 7K-L1 (June-September) - launches every 1 to 1.5 months until completion (Mishin Diaries 1-266)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nikolayev, Bykovsky, Komarov, Khrunov, Gorbatko, Kolodin, and Voronov complete two parachute jumps each, with landing at sea. Training in sea-recovery by helicopter, with the cosmonauts in spacesuits, will be completed over the next two days. Smirnov is ready to sign a letter from Afanasyev, Burnazyan and Keldysh creating a new civilian cosmonaut training centre under the Ministry of Medium Machine Building, separate from the VVS centre. The letter is not coordinated with the Defence Ministry, and contradicts the letter sent by the four marshals to the Central Committee. Kamanin prepares a vigorous refutation of the letter's position. The physicians' board on OKB-1 candidates has only cleared Yeliseyev for flight - they could not agree on Volkov, Kubasov, and Grechko. OKB-1 only submitted four candidates for review, not the eight promised.
Bushuyev proposed a two launch variation on Korolev's single-launch scheme. The increased-payload version of the N1 with six additional engines was not planned to fly until vehicle 3L. 1L and 2L were to be technology articles for ground test with only the original 24 engine configuration. At that time the first Apollo test flight was planned by the end of 1966, and the US moon landing no later than 1969. The Soviets expected the first test of their LK lander in 1969, and concluded they could not expect to land a Soviet man on the moon until 1972. Additional Details: here....
Kamanin organises the cosmonauts into the following training groups:
Rudenko agrees with Kamanin's plan, except he urges him to assign more cosmonauts to the Soyuz 7K-OK group, and include OKB-1 cosmonauts in the 7K-OK, L1, and L3 groups, and Academy of Science cosmonauts in the L1 and L3 groups.
These cosmonaut assignments were in constant flux, and many cosmonauts were assigned to train for more than one program - resulting in multiple claims in later years that 'I was being trained for the first moon flight'.
Darevskiy now reports that the 7K-OK will not be finished until the end of October at the earliest. Poor quality optic systems and unreliable equipment from OKB-1 are blamed. Tsybin promises to resolve all issues, with OKB-1-providing equipment within a week
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rudenko has reached agreement with Mishin that L1 and L3 crews will also consist of a VVS pilot as commander, and an OKB-1 flight engineer. Kamanin is depressed. Despite the support six marshals (Malinovskiy, Grechko, Zakharov, Krylov, Vershinin and Rudenko), Mishin has won this argument with the support of Ustinov, Serbin, Smirnov, Pashkov, Keldysh, Afanasyev, and Petrovskiy. Later the State Commission meets, for the first time in a long time at Tyuratam. Kerimov chairs the session, with more than 100 attendees, including Mishin, Rudenko, Krylov, Pravetskiy, Kurushin, Ryazanskiy, Mnatsakanian, and Tkachev. All is certified ready,. Launch of the active spacecraft is set for 26 November, and the passive vehicle on 27 November.
Feoktistov briefs the State Commission on the flight plan for the upcoming mission at 10:00. Each spacecraft will be in space for four days, and will demonstrate orbital manoeuvre, rendezvous and automatic spacecraft docking. If the passive vehicle can be placed in orbit within 20 kilometres of the previously launched active spacecraft, then docking can be accomplished on the first or second orbit of passive vehicle. If they are more than 20 kilometres apart, then 24 hours will be needed to manoeuvre the spacecraft to a rendezvous. Kamanin and Rudenko take a zero-G flight aboard the Tu-104 (Pravetskiy was bumped at the airfield "due to space limitations"). The Tu-104 needs good visibility of the horizon in order to fly the zero-G parabola. The aircraft is accelerated to maximum speed and then pulls up into a sharp climb (going from 7,000 to 10,000 m). At the end of the climb 20-25 seconds of weightlessness is available for training the cosmonauts. Komarov, Bykovsky, Khrunov and Yeliseyev are aboard today. Khrunov practiced moving from the BO living module of the passive vehicle to that of the active spacecraft. Yeliseyev practiced exiting and entering the BO hatches with his bulky spacesuit and 50- kilogram ECS system strapped to his leg.
Mishin receives an encrypted telegram from Okhapkin and Tsybin. They propose that one of the cosmonauts on the first mission will back away from the docked spacecraft on a 10-m long safety line and film the other cosmonaut moving from one spacecraft to the other. Kamanin believes only Khrunov (with more than 50 Tu-104 weightless flights), has enough training to accomplish the task. After a sauna with Rudenko and an attempt to watch a film (aborted due to projector failure), Kamanin takes a walk in a drizzly, evocative night. He visits the cottages used by Korolev and the cosmonauts for the first missions. A light burns in Korolev's cottage - Mishin is working late. Kamanin recalls his many confrontations with Korolev, but also remembers how well he managed people compared to Mishin. Even if he had already decided personally what to do, he took the time to listen to other opinions and everyone felt their views had been considered.
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.
Komarov, Bykovsky, Khrunov, and Yeliseyev have completed zero-G training in the Tu-104 at Tyuratam, and need to get back to Moscow to complete simulator training. But continued bad weather at Moscow means that they will have to be flown by Il-14 to Gorkiy, and then get to Moscow by train. Kamanin notes reports on NASA's reorganised flight program for the Apollo program. Under the new schedule, the first attempt at a manned lunar landing will be possible in the first half of 1968. The first manned flight of the Apollo CSM has slipped from December 1966 to the first quarter of 1967. This makes it possible that the Soviets can make 3 to 5 manned spaceflights before the first Apollo flight - the flights of Soyuz s/n 3 and 4 in December 1966, Voskhod 3 in January 1967, and Soyuz s/n 3 and 4 in February 1967.
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
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.
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.
First test flight of Soyuz 7K-OK earth orbit spacecraft. A planned 'all up' test, with a second Soyuz to be launched the following day and automatically dock with Kosmos 133. This was to be followed by a manned link-up in December 1966. However Kosmos 133's attitude control system malfunctioned, resulting in rapid consumption of orientation fuel, leaving it spinning at 2 rpm. After heroic efforts by ground control and five attempts at retrofire over two days, the craft was finally brought down for a landing on its 33rd revolution. However due to the inaccuracy of the reentry burn, it was determined that the capsule would land in China. The APO self destruct system detected the course deviation and the destruct charge of several dozen kilogrammes of explosive was thought to have destroyed the ship on November 30, 1966 at 10:21 GMT. But stories persisted over the years of the Chinese having a Soyuz capsule in their possession....
At 10:00 the re-entry command sequence is transmitted, but there is some doubt if the sequence was correct. Mishin decides to abort the landing attempt. Later telemetry shows that the command sequence was indeed correct. Attempts are made on orbits 18 and 19 to orient the spacecraft using data from the ion flow sensors, but these were not successful. After orbit 20 the spacecraft's orbital track no longer passed over Soviet ground stations, and another attempt for a solar-oriented re-entry would have to wait for orbit 32. But the spacecraft would possibly decay out of orbit before that time. Commands were transmitted to the spacecraft to raise its orbit, but from orbits 20 to 29 there was no tracking that allowed verification if the manoeuvres had been made. After an uncertain night, telemetry was received in the morning that showed the spacecraft had accepted all three commands for firing of the engines using the ion flow sensors for orientation. However on the first manoeuvre, the engines cut off after 10 seconds, after 13 seconds on the second, and 20 seconds on the third. In all three cases the spacecraft became unstable as soon as the engine firing began, developing large angular oscillations, which resulted in the engines being automatically shut down prior to delivering the total planned total impulse.
At 09:00 Cosmos 133 appears above the horizon of tracking stations on Soviet territory, but does not respond. On the next orbit, the 30th, it accepted and acknowledged receipt of a command sequence. On the 32nd orbit the retrofire command sequence was transmitted to the spacecraft and accepted. The sequence began on the 33rd orbit, but the engine again cut out after a few seconds firing. The sequence was transmitted for a re-entry with orientation using the ion flow sensors on the 34th orbit, and the spacecraft finally headed to earth. PVO radars tracked the capsule during re-entry from stations at Krasnodar, Gurevym, and Aktyubinsk, with the final track being 200 kilometres southeast of Orsk. Landing should have been at 14:32 Moscow time. There are reports of reception of the homing beacon and sightings of the parachute from areas around Orsk, but by nightfall the capsule has not been found. It is possible the capsule was destroyed by its APO self-destruct system. It is decided the search will be resumed in the morning. Four State Commissions are formed and charged with determining the causes of the failures by 6 December. Meanwhile preparation of spacecraft s/n 3 and 4; will continue, and s/n 1 will be removed from the pad and stored in readiness in the MIK for a possible launch in mid-December.
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.
The wreckage of Cosmos 133 has not been found. NII-4 has calculated, based on PVO tracking data that the re-entry capsule probably passed over Orsk at 70 to 100 kilometres altitude. The APO self-destruct system sensed the overshoot and exploded. The fragments would have fallen into the Pacific Ocean east of the Marianas Islands. Further searching is called off. Meanwhile, with only three months to go before the first flight of the L1 circumlunar spacecraft, the VPK has finally woken up to the total lack of preparation for location and recovery of the returning space capsule if it comes down outside of Soviet territory.
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.
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.
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.
The second attempt to launch a Soyuz spacecraft ends tragically. The State Commission had met at Area 31 at 11:00. Mishin reported complete readiness for launching, which was set for 16:00 local time. Fifteen minutes before launch the observers move to the observation post 300 metres from the pad. At the ignition command, a smaller-than-usual amount of flame and smoke appeared, and the rocket did not rise. Several seconds later orders to flood the pad with water were given. The fire subsided, and the rocket remained on the pad, steaming more than usual. Over a half hour later, the order to clear the area is given, and Kamanin goes to phone the airfield from the Cosmonaut Dormitory to cancel the planned takeoff of the aircraft that was to take the flight control team to Yevpatoriya. As Kamanin ascends the staircase to the dormitory's second floor, he hears a muffled explosion, runs outside, and sees a large parachute descending 600 to 700 m beyond the MIK assembly building. He understands immediately that the booster has exploded and the capsule has been hurled away from the pad by the SAS escape tower. From the third floor of the dormitory the burning rocket could be seen on the pad. Kamanin orders everyone away from the windows before the first stage blows, and two seconds later there is a flash, and a series of powerful explosions blow out all the windows and shower everyone with plaster from the ceiling. The dormitory was 700 m from the pad, but buildings even a kilometre from the pad were damaged. Telephone communications with the bunker and pad were cut, and the fate of Mishin, Kerimov, and Kirillov, and others near the pad was unknown. It is clear further Soyuz flights will be delayed by several months, especially due to the need to repair the pad for the two-spacecraft mission. In fact, the entire Soviet lunar flight schedule is questionable now.
Second attempted flight of Soyuz 7K-OK (the spacecraft planned for the linkup with Ksomos 133). An analogue to Mercury Redstone's 'day we launched the tower' but with more disastorous consequences. The core stage ignited, but the strap-ons did not. A booster shutdown was commanded. The service towers were brought back around the booster, and ground crew began work to defuel the launch vehicle. At 27 minutes after the original launch attempt, the Soyuz launch escape system, having received the signal that liftoff had occurred, detected that the booster was not on course (either because a tower arm nudged the booster or because the earth's rotation as detected by the gyros had moved the spacecraft out of limits relative to its original inertial position). The launch escape system ignited, pulling the Soyuz away from the booster, igniting the third stage fuel tanks, leading to an explosion that severely damaged the pad and killed at least one person (the Soviet Rocket Forces major supervising the launch team) and injured many others.
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.
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.
The State Commission sets a new schedule, with the launch of a single unmanned Soyuz planned for 15 January 1967. Spacecraft s/n 3 and 5 will be prepared in parallel for this flight. The booster will be prepared at Area 2, and the spacecraft at Area 31. Launch of two manned Soyuz spacecraft will take place in March at the earliest.
Kamanin meets with key personnel of the TsPK and explains the reasons for the Soyuz incident, noting inadequate understanding of the abort systems. Kamanin orders improved medical examination of cosmonauts immediately after flight at the recovery site. Gagarin and Nikolayev request that the Soyuz crews now be allowed to take leave. Reports in the American press show that their experts have correctly interpreted the true nature of Cosmos 133 as a manned precursor mission. The American press alleges that there were two other explosions of the spacecraft in the USSR during September and October.
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.
Crews are in training for Voskhod, Soyuz, Lunar L-1, Almaz, and 7K-VI missions. There will be 100 cosmonauts in training by February. Meanwhile the Americans have conducted 10 manned flights since the last Soviet manned flight in March 1965. The cosmonauts want Kamanin to be training 8 crews for L-1 translunar flights, but he only has 4 in training. He doesn't think it is worth to train more, since if one successful L-1 flight is conducted before the 50th Anniversary of the Soviet Union in November 1957, all subsequent flights will be cancelled. Additional Details: here....
After the self-destruction of the first Soyuz 7K-OK on re-entry, and the loss of the second one on the pad fire in December, the state commission ruled that the third 7K-OK model would be flown unpiloted on a solo mission. If this was successful then the fourth and fifth Soyuz would be flown on a manned docking mission. Once in orbit Cosmos 140 experienced attitude control problems due to a faulty star sensor resulting in excessive fuel consumption. The spacecraft couldn't keep the required orientation towards the sun to keep the solar panels illuminated, and the batteries discharged. Despite all of these problems the spacecraft remained controllable. An attempted manoeuvre on the 22nd revolution still showed problems with the control system. It malfunctioned yet again during retrofire, leading to a steeper than planned uncontrolled ballistic re-entry. The re-entry capsule itself had depressurised on separation from the service module due to a fault in the base of the capsule. A 300 mm hole burned through in the heat shield during re-entry. Although such events would have been lethal to any human occupants, the capsule's recovery systems operated and the capsule crashed through the ice of the frozen Aral Sea, 3 km from shore and 500 kilometres short of the intended landing zone. The spacecraft finally sank in 10 meters of water and had to be retrieved by divers. Still, the mission was deemed 'good enough' for the next mission to be a manned two-craft docking and crew transfer space spectacular. Mishin and Kamanin felt that a human crew could have sorted out the problems. They were also under intense pressure to achieve a manned circumlunar flight before the 50th Anniversary of the Soviet Revolution in October.
Titov visits Kamanin on leave from test pilot duties at Vladimirovka. Titov will spend a year training as a test pilot on MiG-21, Su-7, and Su-9 aircraft. He flies well, and has matured and changed for the better over the last two years. Kamanin has talked to him 3 or 4 times about his future plans. Titov has bound his future with the Spiral spaceplane programme. Additional Details: here....
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.
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.
A State Commission is held on the impending L1 translunar flights. A major issue is the L1 tracking/recovery radio beacon and the Zarya-3 deep space communications system. Launches of prototype L1P spacecraft are planned for April and May, with the first all-up L1 in June. All commission members are confident a Soviet man will the first around the moon by the end of the year. The State Commission also considers the pending Soyuz 1 / Soyuz 2 flight.
Ustinov reviews the cosmonauts. Kamanin urges that a manual docking be allowed on the Soyuz 1/2 mission - he had argued the same point with Korolev before his death. Komarov say he can accomplish a manual docking from 350 km range (once the Igla automatic system has brought him there from 23 km range). There follows a discussion of an all-female flight. Four female cosmonauts would be assigned to the mission, and Kamanin would need 5 to 6 months to complete there training. The mission is designated 'Voskhod-6'.
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 (!)
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.
The Soyuz 2 crew trains from 15:00 to 20:00 - they had to wait due to problems with the spacecraft, but then the training went all right. The argument continues on whether to do an automatic or a manual docking. The design bureau wants to use the Igla automatic system; the cosmonauts want to do it manually. They have done 800 dockings in the simulator, so they should know best, in Kamanin's opinion. They want to let the automatic system take the spacecraft up to 50 to 70 m from the target, then use manual maneuvering to proceed to dock. The number two valve on the Soyuz 1 spacecraft's nitrogen tank was inadvertently opened during preparation. It was said not to be serious, but the problems are getting on everyone's nerves.
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.
Space disaster that put back Soviet lunar program 18 months. Soyuz 1 as active spacecraft was launched first. Soyuz 2, with a 3 man crew would launch the following day, with 2 cosmonauts spacewalking to Soyuz 1. However immediately after orbital insertion Komarov's problems started. One of the solar panels failed to deploy, staying wrapped around the service module. Although only receiving half of the planned solar power, an attempt was made to manoeuvre the spacecraft. This failed because of interference of the reaction control system exhaust with the ion flow sensors that were one of the Soyuz' main methods of orientation. Additional Details: here....
The first manned Soyuz flights were an attempt at an 'all up' manned rendezvous, docking, and crew transfer spectacular (eventually accomplished by Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5). Komarov was the pilot for the Soyuz 1 active spacecraft, which would be launched first. Soyuz 2, with the crew of Bykovsky, Khrunov, and Yeliseyev would launch the following day, with Khrunov and Yeliseyev space-walking to Soyuz 1 and returning to earth with Komarov. Komarov's spacecraft developed serious problems after launch, including the failure of one of the spacecraft's solar panels to deploy. The Soyuz 2 crew were given the order to rendezvous with Soyuz 1 and to try during the planned EVA to unfold the undeployed solar panel. But the launch of Soyuz 2 was cancelled due to heavy rain at the cosmodrome. Low on power and battery reserves, Komarov made an attempt to land the following day. Parachute failure led to the crash of Soyuz 1 and the death of Komarov. After the disaster the Soyuz 2 spacecraft was checked, and the parachute system had the same technical failure. If Soyuz 2 had launched, the docking may have been successful, but then both spacecraft would have crashed on landing, killing four cosmonauts instead of one.
Ustinov convened the commission at noon. The work was to be completed by 15 May, and the final report issued by 25 May. The members of the commission would be Ustinov, Smirnov, Serbin, Afanasyev, the Chief Designers, and Gagarin. 22 members would work in seven subcommittees that would:
The Soviet of Chief Designers met with the Civil Chief Designer UR500K-L1 and recommended that podsadka be dropped and direct flight become the baseline. This was evidently to make possible the objective of a Soviet man around the moon before 4 October 1967. The reasons given were:
a) The successful flights of the UR-500K and Block D on the L1 2P and 3P and the further 4 separate UR-500 launches provided confidence in the launch vehicle's reliability.
b) The main delays with L1 development will be in relation to development by BTsVM of the Argon-11 digital computer for its control system.
c) The failure of 7K-OK number 4 (Soyuz 1) indicated a delay in development of docking in earth orbit.
It was recommended that the 7K-L1 launch sequence be revised to two missions per month as follows:
- 4L - "Zond" unmanned 17 - 29 June 1966
- 5L - unmanned, circumlunar, 27 June - 5 July
- 6L - "Zond", unmanned, 12 - 17 July
- 7L - unmanned, circumlunar, 25 July - 3 August
Followed by manned launches according to astronomical constraints (which would mean 23 August, 21 September, 19 October). (Mishin Diaries 2-22)
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.
In the first drop, the reserve parachute didn't open. In the second test, it did inflate, but only after a delay of twenty seconds. TsAGI studies show the drogue chute is creating an area of turbulence in the wake of the capsule, and the reserve chute is deploying right into that zone of chaotic air, preventing it from inflating. Tests on the parachute show that while it was designed to deploy with 1.8 tonnes of drag force from the drogue chute, it actually requires 3-4 tonnes of force to pull the packed parachute out of the container and allow parachute deployment. The parachute fails at 8 tonne load. The Soyuz parachute system is supposed to have a reliability of 95% ... and this essential problem was unknown...
The drop of the Soyuz 1 mock-up at Fedosiya was cancelled due to the great likelihood of loss of the spacecraft and the low likelihood of obtaining any new data as a result. The LII assessment of the parachute system has been completed:
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.
Afanasyev, Kerimov, and Tyulin object to Kamanin's conclusion that problems exist with the automated landing system and that a manual backup is needed. They want to find fault only with the parachute. The findings of VVS LII, and TsAGI are discussed. Later Kamanin has an unpleasant conversation with Gagarin. He wants to remove control of the manned flight control centre away from the MOM. Kamanin believes this is contrary to the interests of the Ministry of Defence.
Tkachev, chief designer of parachute systems, rejects the findings of the Soyuz 1 state commission. His objections are overruled. The final decision is to adopt the conclusions of the commission in their entirety. Two unmanned Soyuz flights will take place in August, followed by manned flight in September. However the manned flights will go ahead only if the unmanned flights are entirely 'clean' - without any deviations. Beregovoi and Volynov are to head the first two crews.
(Mishin Diaries 2-2)..
VII VIII IX X XI XII
7K-OK 2 2 2 2 -
7K-L1 1 1 2 1 1 -
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....
Over 200 recommendations were made for revision of the parachute system, and all of these had to be made over the last two to three months. There have been 30 drops of the FAB-3000 Soyuz capsule mass simulator and two drops of capsule mock-ups. The entire series of tests is due to be completed by 20 September. This will allow flight of the first two manned spacecraft on 15 to 20 October. The commission is split over the selection of Feoktistov for the flight. It has to be referred to Smirnov and Ustinov for a final decision.
Proton s/n 229 and L1 s/n 4L are ready for launch. There remain communications problems, including the 3-channel telemetry and the SAS abort system. Launch is set for 28 September, landing after return from the moon on 4 October at 19:52, 200 to 300 km north of Dzhezkazgan. At Area 31 there is a problem with the solar cells on the Soyuz. They have to be replaced, which means acceptance tests will have to start all over. At Fedosiya parachute trials are still experiencing delays.
Consider the shortfall in his request compared with the challenge of beating the Americans to the moon!
Review with Company Management on Occasion of Tenth Anniversary of Sputnik 1
Plan for 1968.
R&D - 7.5 million Rubles. (26 million requested).
including YaRD nuclear rocket engine- 6 million., MKBS - 0.5 million., L-5 - 0.5 mln., Yantar - 0.5 million.
Experimental design work - 266 million. (Requested 333 million).
Funded 3 sets N1-L3 instead of 6 sets.
For 7K-OK - 11, 12, 13, 14 (shortfall 20%).
N1-L3 (3 sets - 207 million., Including 38 million experimental work. Stages A, B, V, G - 22.8 million. Payloads (LOK, LK, Block D, GO) - 9.5 million. Blocks E and I - free of charge. (under direct contract with Isayev).
2. Plan - does not meet the 5-year plan. Not included at all:
- Modernization of the N1-L3.
- In R&D - Modernization of the RT-2M (in full).
- EYaRD (nuclear electric propulsion)- instead of in R&D - to search for funding.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Docked with Cosmos 188; first automated rendezvous and docking of two spacecraft. The dockings were timed to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the October Revolution (in lieu of a succession of manned space feats that all had to be cancelled due to schedule delays). Achieved automatic rendezvous on second attempt. Capture achieved but hard docking and electric connections unsuccessful due to misallignment of spacecraft. Star tracker failed and had to make a high-G ballistic re-entry. Recovered October 31, 1967 08:20 GMT.
The Soyuz-B ('Baikal') launch was delayed to 30 October due to problems with the celestial navigation system aboard Cosmos 186. Later that day an N1-L3 review is held. The first launch vehicle will be completed in two to three weeks, but the launch complex will not be ready until next January. The first trials of the booster on the pad will begin in February-March 1968, with the first launch in the second half of the year.
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....
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.
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.
Problems on the mission included excessive firing of the manoeuvring engine during rendezvous and docking, and failure of the stellar navigation systems. The systems still need work before a man's life can be risked. It is decided to conduct another unmanned dual docking mission in March-April 1968; with a manned flight in May-June 1968. As for the L1, the simulator was still 'raw' and had many problems. Four to six successful unmanned flights are needed to prove the L1 before a manned flight can be made.
The parachute failed to inflate after the capsule separated from the escape tower. The recovery apparatus on both the Soyuz and L1 versions of the capsule continue to perform badly. The soft landing engines have ignited at altitudes of 2000 to 4000 m instead of the 1.2 m required for a soft landing. On the first UR-500K abort the SAS functioned, but the parachute failed to separate after landing, dragging the capsule for 600 m across the steppes. On the second UR-500K abort, there was a premature opening of the parachute, and reaction control system venting led to burn-through of some of the parachute lines.
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.
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.
Hours are spent arguing over flying Feoktistov as a cosmonaut. Finally the matter is referred to the VPK. Kamanin briefs Ustinov's deputy on his position against Feoktistov. The L1 is reviewed. The star sensor only operated on Zond-4 on the fourth day of flight. However when it worked, it provided a 2 km positional accuracy at re-entry versus the 10 km required. The next L1 is to be launched on 23 April. If that date cannot be met, it will be launched on 25-30 April on a deep-space trajectory (not aimed at the moon).
Cosmos 213 was the target for Cosmos 212 in a successful test of Soyuz 7K-OK rendezvous and docking systems. The Cosmos 213 launch was the most accurate yet. The spacecraft was placed in orbit only 4 km from Cosmos 212, ready for a first-orbit docking. Both spacecraft were recovered, but Cosmos 213 was dragged by heavy wind across the steppes when the parachute lines didn't jettison at touchdown. This failure caused the upcoming Soyuz 2/3 manned docking mission to be scaled back.
Officially: Investigation of outer space, development of new systems and elements to be used in the construction of space devices. Additional Details: here....
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.
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.
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.
Volynov conducts tests in a pressurised suit to see if it is possible to go from the SA capsule to the BO living module in a two-man crew transfer scenario. He shows it is not possible - exit from the SA to the BO is very unsafe, there is a good chance of getting stuck in the hatch. This shows it would be difficult or impossible for the spacecraft commander in the SA to go to the assistance of a single cosmonaut attempting to transfer from one Soyuz to another. Feoktistov proposes another alternative - launch of 3 cosmonauts in one Soyuz, one cosmonaut in another. After docking, a single cosmonaut would transfer from one Soyuz to another, but at least a second cosmonaut would be in the BO to assist him in case of difficulties. Two cosmonauts would return in each Soyuz capsule, meeting the reserve parachute mass limitations. This solution also takes care of a problem with the 1+2 scenario, in that it implied a crew consisting of Khrunov and Yeliseyev, but neither has been trained as a spacecraft commander. A crew could consist of Volynov and one of these, but then the problem is that no spacesuit has been fabricated for Volynov, and it requires two months to make one.
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.
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.
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.
Mishin wants one more unpiloted Soyuz launch, resulting in a 0+1 unmanned/manned test flight in September, to be followed by the design 1+3 mission with crew transfer in November/December. The reserve chute failed in tests at an SA re-entry capsule mass of 2800 kg. Therefore, Mishin feels the 0+1 mission would be safe, resulting in a mass for the manned capsule of 2650 kg. But Ustinov insists on the 1+3 mission, meaning an SA mass of 2750 kg. Another consideration is that the capsule may need ballast anyway in order to obtain the correct centre of gravity location for the lifting re-entry manoeuvres. It must be balanced in such a way so that it can re-enter the atmosphere at its maximum 23 degree angle of attack.
The VPK confirms the Soyuz flight plan - a 0+1 mission to be followed by a 1+3 mission with crew transfer. Chiefs of the cosmonaut detachments are confirmed and announced. Nikolayev will be Deputy Chief of TsPK; Bykovsky, Commander of the First Detachment of Cosmonauts; Titov, Commander of the Second Detachment, and Popovich, Deputy Commander of the Second Detachment. Kuznetsov, Belyayev, and Leonov are not happy with these appointments. The General Staff also approves creation of a fourth training detachment at TsPK, charged with flight, engineering, and experiment development - requiring an additional 200 staff.
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…
At the Fedosiya test range a Soyuz parachute test failed when the parachute hatch wouldn't jettison. This was due to an incorrectly inserted safing pin - it was not a spacecraft problem. So the Soyuz was still cleared for manned flight. Aboard Zond 5, the star tracker has completely failed. So the spacecraft will have to make a ballistic re-entry with splashdown in the Indian Ocean planned at 31 deg 58' S, 65 deg 21' E.
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.
The results will establish the order in which they will fly as Soyuz commanders. A 25-person board, consisting of spacecraft designers and cosmonauts, conduct the oral examinations. Each cosmonaut must answer five mandatory essay questions and select two two-part questions. All three are certified for flight and have a complete mastery of the Soyuz systems.
Mishin and Kamanin meet and decide on L1 crews: Leonov-Makarov (with Kuklin as back-up); Bykovsky-Rukavishnikov (Klimuk back-up); and Popovich-Sevastyanov (Voloshin back-up). But that evening Leonov has yet another automobile accident. He hit a bus with his Volga at kilometre 24 near Shchelkovsky. This was his second accident in four months. Kamanin decides to prohibit him from driving automobiles for six months.
The L1 cosmonauts are doing training in autonomous navigation, zero-G training, and TBK-60 simulator training. Due to the continuing L1 failures, there would probably be no manned L1 flight until April-May 1969. As for Soyuz, a 0+1 (docking of one unmanned spacecraft and a manned spacecraft with a single cosmonaut aboard) is planned for 25 October, to be followed by a 1+3 mission with a crew transfer by December at the earliest - possibly not until February-March of the following year. Kamanin reassured Beregovoi that he will indeed fly following his excellent exam results -- but Beregovoi still has doubts. Later Kamanin confronts Leonov over his driving. Leonov has had three auto accidents in four months - simply too much. If he is such a bad driver on earth, how will be in space? Kamanin tells him to take two to three days off work and seriously consider his attitude and position. Next there are commissions to attend in charge of selecting monument designs for Gagarin memorials. There are to be obelisks at the Gagarin crash site, at the Vostok 1 landing site, and in Star City. These commissions are taking up a lot of the cosmonauts' time. Kuznetsov meets with Kamanin and tells him that cosmonauts Belyayev and Nikolayev rated Beregovoi poorly in the exam, giving him only a 5 and citing errors in his logic.
Shonin, Khrunov, and Yeliseyev are in zero-G training aboard the Tu-104 aircraft. The cabin is outfitted with two partial Soyuz mock-ups. In space their EVA between two spacecraft is expected to take one hour and forty minutes, but they can only experience 20 to 25 seconds of weightlessness at a time in the aircraft. The 18 staff aboard the Tu-104 have parachutes in case of a serious problem with the aircraft, but it would take 32 seconds for all of them to jump from the three hatches on the aircraft. Meanwhile the pilot cosmonauts are only flying 50 to 60 hours per year, instead of the 150 to 200 hours that Kamanin had requested.
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.
At Area 31 one of the Soyuz has thermoregulation system problems and is in repair - it can't be used for flight training. Kamanin notes that Apollo 7 has been launched - the Americans are back in space after almost two years and on the schedule announced a month ago.
Soyuz 3 has 18 deficiencies remaining of a total of 55 originally identified. 11 have been cleared, the balance will not affect the flight or reduce redundancy in emergencies. It is decided that Beregovoi and his back-ups will not stay at the traditional cosmonaut cottage at Area 2 but rather at the Hotel Kosmonavt at Area 17.
Coordination problems between the ministries in preparation of the Soyuz spacecraft. VVS and MAP have managers assigned for quality control of each system, while MOM (Afanasyev) counterpart staff are disorganised. Yet again conflicts have to be appealed to 'Cardinal' Ustinov.
Unmanned docking target for Soyuz 3. Soyuz 2 launched on time at 12:00 local time, in 0 deg C temperatures and 5 m/s winds. Launch was on time 'as in Korolev's time', notes Kamanin. Docking with Soyuz 3 a failure. Recovered October 28, 1968 7:51 GMT, 5 km from its aim point. Maneuver Summary:
177km X 196km orbit to 184km X 230km orbit. Delta V: 12 m/s.
Officially: Complex testing of spaceship systems in conditions of space flight.
Second manned Soyuz flight. Rendezvoused with the unmanned Soyuz 2 but failed to dock. Complex testing of spaceship systems; development, in joint flight with space ship Soyuz 2 of processes of space ship manoeuvring and docking in artificial earth satellite orbit; development of elements of celestial navigation; conduct of research under space flight conditions. The failed docking was blamed on manual control of the Soyuz by Beregovoi, who repeatedly put the spacecraft in an orientation that nulled the automatic docking system. Beregovoi used nearly all of his orientation fuel in his first attempt to dock - of 80 kg allocated, only 8 to 10 kg was remaining. Additional Details: here....
He can't understand why Beregovoi couldn't dock. Beregovoi seems garbled. The cabin atmosphere is all right. He is ordered to orient the spacecraft to the sun - which he accomplishes readily with minimum propellant expenditure. The Soyuz 2 45K star sensor is not functioning - 'as usual' notes Kamanin.
Meanwhile Beregovoi was instructed to conduct experiments with the 45K stellar sensor on Soyuz 3. He would quickly disengage the 45K, then orient the spacecraft to the sun. He would then reengage the sensor and the automatic orientation system. This did two complete turns of the spacecraft searching for the star, but not acquiring it. To Kamanin this shows the uselessness of the system, and the wastage of propellant it causes.
Telemetry analysis has shown Soyuz 3 used 30 kg of propellant during 20 minutes of manoeuvring in the automatic regime during docking, followed by 40 kg consumed in two minutes of manual manoeuvring. Essentially Beregovoi was trying to dock the spacecraft upside down. This was either due to incorrect configuration of the running lights or cosmonaut error. Soyuz 2 had two continuously illuminated lights on its upper side and two blinking lights on the lower side. Evidently Beregovoi didn't identify these correctly in weightlessness.
In case Beregovoi has to do a ballistic re-entry, Be-2 seaplanes are in the air in case of a splashdown in the Aral Sea. On his 81st revolution, Beregovoi manually oriented the spacecraft for retrofire, then engaged the vertical sensor and ion orientation system. But the spacecraft hit on ion pocket and it took two to three minutes for the automated system to engage. Retrofire started 3 seconds late, coming at 9:45:05 and continuing for 149 seconds, producing a delta V of 95 m/s. The main parachute deployed at 10:12:24 at 7000 m altitude. Beregovoi spent 13 minutes under the main parachute, descending at 4 to 5 m/s. Soyuz 3 landed 10 km from the aimpoint at 07:25 GMT.
The post-flight debriefing of Beregovoi reveals that the automated docking sequence from 11,000 to 200 m range from the Soyuz 2 target was normal. At 200 m Beregovoi took over manual control of the spacecraft. At a range of 30 to 40 m he observed the running lights on Soyuz 2 were inverted. He stopped his approach and waited until the spacecraft moved into daylight. By that time the spacecraft were still 30 to 40 m away, but had drifted so that he was 30 degrees off-angle from Soyuz 2. It was in attempting to bring the spacecraft back on axis that he used 30 kg of propellant. He then gave up and hand-flew the spacecraft around Soyuz 2 to take photographs. On the first day of his flight he constantly felt like he was hanging upside-down. This feeling only disappeared on the last day of the flight.
Titov still would prefer to be a test pilot, not a cosmonaut. The Soyuz group is scheduled to complete their training and to depart for the cosmodrome on 20 December for final preparations. Leonov's L1 group is to complete their training on 20 January 1969, then depart to the cosmodrome for a flight to the moon in February.
The primary issue in the next 3 to 4 months will be how to answer the impending American Apollo 8 flight. The Soviet Union needs to fly a manned L1 in the 8 to 12 December lunar launch window. But the spacecraft is still considered too unsafe for manned flight. The Apollo 8 mission is risky, but the US can't fly the Apollo spacecraft to the moon unmanned...
Beregovoi is to be named commander of the Gagarin Centre. Gagarin himself was being prepared for the job, but his death in a plane crash ended that plan. The other cosmonauts are not ready for command. The centre desperately needs the two planned L3 trainers: the TBK-150 and Volchuk. Kamanin has been jerked around for four months on the issue. Even if the simulators were delivered, he would still need 2 million roubles and an additional 30 to 40 staff to install and operate them.
Soyuz spacecraft 12 and 13 have begun their 45 day preparation cycle at Baikonur, which implies a 15 January 1969 launch for he Soyuz 4/5 mission. The crews will be ready by 25 December.
Kamanin compares the results of Soyuz capsule re-entries to date:
Soyuz s/n 7 8 9 10 11 Max G's 3.15 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 SA Propellant, kg 40.0 40.0 40.0 38.0 38.0 Propellant usage: Used Pre-reentry, kg 8.5 10.0 2.0 3.0 5.3 Used in Re-entry, kg 17.5 29.0 3.7 9.5 12.5 Total 26.0 39.0 5.7 12.5 17.8 Left at chute opening, kg 14.0 0.0 34.3 25.8 20.2 Miss distance, km 157 55 40 15 42
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...
The head of the launch commission for Venera-5 and 6 says that will work on the Ye-8 and Ye-8-5 robot moon landers was making progress, it would be fantasy to believe that a moon landing and return to earth could be successfully accomplished in 1969. Venera was 'no answer' to Apollo at all. Meanwhile, he was worried about Soyuz landing in the Aral Sea in the event of problems during re-entry. Kustanin remembers times in the past when supposedly 'waterproof' spacecraft had landed in water. One Soyuz had splashed down in the Aral Sea, and one Zenit spysat in the Volga River. Both sank easily. But the chances of either Soyuz 4 or 5 landing in the Aral Sea were assessed as only 0.003. In any cases 5 helicopters and 3 Be-12 seaplanes were on standby to recover the crew in such an eventuality.
An Il-14 is sent on a flight to reconnoitre. It reports 12 to 50 cm ice over the entire surface. Mishin, Chertok, and the rest of he OKB-1 entourage arrive. An argument immediately ensures over provisions and planning for emergency landings. It is decided to make a review of emergency landing and recovery plans as the first agenda item every day of he flights.
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.
In the evening Afanasyev hosts 100 guests - the leadership of the space program - to watch the big Army-Dinamo football game. Space plans are discussed. The State Commission still needs to confirm the crews for Soyuz 4/5. The issue of automatic versus manual rendezvous is again argued. Kamanin believes this reliance on automated systems has cost the Soviet Union the moon race.
The launch of the 13th Soviet cosmonaut into space aboard Soyuz 4 is scrubbed - the first launch scrub in the history of Soviet manned launch attempts. Despite -24 deg C temperatures and 8 to 10 m/s winds, the fuelling of the rocket proceeds successfully. Voice communications are lost with Shatalov whenever the television camera is turned on, but it is decided just to leave the camera off and proceed with the launch. Then at T - 9 minutes a problem is detected with the gyro platform of the rocket. It takes three hours to fix, pushing the launch back to 15:00, meaning the landing will have to be in darkness at the end of the mission. It is decided this is too risky, and the launch is cancelled. As Shatalov exits from the spacecraft, he jokes that he has set a new record: shortest space flight, and first to return to its exact point of lift-off. The engineers are concerned with the internal temperature of the SAS abort system solid rockets if left on the pad for 24 hours in these temperatures. The internal temperature of the fuel cannot go below -2 deg C at night. Any lower, the loss of specific impulse of the fuel would reduce the thrust by more than 5%, the limit established for safe operation.
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.
Soyuz 4 is launched with Vladimir Shatalov aboard without further problems at 10:30. This time the rockets gyroscopes, the capsule communications, and the television camera all functioned perfectly. Volynov and his crew for Soyuz 5 watched the launch from Area 17. Later Soyuz 4 would dock with Soyuz 5, and following a transfer of two cosmonauts, return with Shatalov, Yevgeni Khrunov and Alexsei Yeliseyev from Soyuz 5. Official purpose: scientific, technical and medico-biological research, checking and testing of onboard systems and design elements of space craft, docking of piloted space craft and construction of an experimental space station, transfer of cosmonauts from one craft to another in orbit. This mission finally successfully completed the simulated lunar orbit docking and crew transfer mission attempted by Soyuz 1 in April 1967. In making the transfer Khrunov and Yeliseyev avoided the most spectacular survivable incident of the space age - the nose-first reentry of Soyuz 5, still attached to its service module.
At 3 am an An-12 arrives from Moscow with ten newspapers, and letters for Shatalov, to be delivered by the Soyuz 5 crew to him as the first 'space mail'. At 05:15 the State Commission convened and approved launch at 10:04:30. The countdown proceeds normally; meanwhile communications sessions are held with Shatalov on Soyuz 4. The commission is taken by automobile convoy from Area 2, to Area 17, where the Soyuz 5 crew declares itself ready for flight. At T-25 minutes, with the crew already aboard the spacecraft, a piece of electrical equipment fails and needs to be replaced. Engineer-Captain Viktor Vasilyevich Alyeshin goes to the fuelled booster and replaces it. While doing this he notices that the access hatch has been secured with only three bolts, instead of the four required. Nevertheless the launch proceeds successfully. After Soyuz 5 is in orbit, it and Soyuz 4 begin their mutual series of manoeuvres for rendezvous and docking. Officially the flight conducted scientific, technical and medico-biological research, checking and testing of onboard systems and design elements of space craft, docking of piloted space craft and construction of an experimental space station, transfer of cosmonauts from one craft to another in orbit.
The space leadership board planes to depart Tyuratam. During the flight to Moscow, Kamanin discusses with Mishin the possibility of purchase of 10 to 15 Soyuz spacecraft by the Ministry of Defence for military experiments. Mishin is very interested in the possibility.
A day after the launch of Soyuz 5, Soyuz 4 docked with it. The Soyuz 4 active spacecraft was equipped with a long docking probe, designated 'Shtir'. The Soyuz 5 target spacecraft was equipped with the 'Konus' receptacle. The symbology lead Volynov to joke that he 'was being raped' when the hard docking was accomplished. Khrunov and Yeliseyev transferred to and returned in Soyuz 4, the feat they had hoped to accomplish in the cancelled Soyuz 2 flight almost two years earlier. The external crew transfer was also a test of the technique needed for the Soviet lunar landing.
At 10:00 a State Commission convenes at Area 17. The mistakes made during the Soyuz 4/5 flight are reviewed. The EVA began with a closed valve on Khrunov's suit. The film camera was not activated, resulting in loss of one of the key propaganda points of the exercise.
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....
Meeting with TsKBEM Deputy Chief Designer Tregub on manned space flight plans. Soyuz s/n 14 is set for a solo seven day mission in April-May. 15 and 16 with 5 cosmonauts aboard will fly a 7 day mission in August-September, remaining docked for three days. Soyuz s/n 17 through 20 will not fly until after May 1970 - there are no definite plans for them at this time. Additional Details: here....
A 50 minute presentation is given on space plans. Russia plans to fly no less than six different types of manned spacecraft in 1969-1970 - the Soyuz, L1, L3, Almaz, Soyuz VI, and Spiral. This will result in a decisive answer to the American Apollo programme within two to three years. No N1 launch with the complete L3 lunar landing spacecraft is planned until 1970. Approval is sought for the VVS to buy 10 Soyuz spacecraft for continued manned military flights in low earth orbit. Otherwise between the second half of 1970 and during all of 1971 there will be no spacecraft available for manned flights Additional Details: here....
Kutakhov is having trouble selling Kamanin's plans for military spaceflights and the appointment of Beregovoi to the General Staff. Marshal Zakharov has rejected the plan for ten military Soyuz, as he had done with similar earlier plans for Vostok and Voskhod. As far as he is concerned, manned spaceflight has no significant military potential.
The commission considers plans for the rest of the Soyuz production. Spacecraft s/n 14, 15, and 16 are to fly in August 1969, 17 and 18 in November 1969, and 19 and 20 in February-March 1970. Crews selected for the August flights are: for spacecraft 14, Shonin and Kubasov; for 15, Filipchenko, Volkov, and Gorbatko; for 16, Nikolayev and Sevastyanov. Back-ups will be Kuklin, Grechko, and Kolodin. All of the spacecraft will fly 4 to 5 day missions. Spacecraft 15 and 16 will dock and remain together 2 or 3 days to form an 'orbital station'. Experiments planned for the flight are:
Spacecraft 17 through 20 will fly 15 to 16 day missions to demonstrate the new SZhO life support system for the L3, and conduct rendezvous and docking operations using the L3's Kontakt system. Additional Details: here....
Kamanin makes a speech to the VVS Soviet, setting forth again plans for military research in space. His presentation shows how far the USSR is behind the Americans, and the need to regain the lead. He again proposes 10 to 12 military Soyuz flights beginning in the first quarter 1970. This will fill the gap until Soyuz VI and Almaz will begin flying in 1972. Kutakhov is categorically against these Soyuz flights but, under pressure from others, still agrees to form a commission to study the matter. Reference is made to a Ministry of Defence decree of 7 January 1969.
Tests of the spacecraft at Baikonur showed 40 to 60 defects, requiring replacement of 17 to 25 equipment items. This demonstrates the poor quality of final assembly and test at TsKBEM and inadequate measures to protect the spacecraft during storage and transport to the launch site. Soyuz 6 is to launch on 4-6 October, followed by another spacecraft each day thereafter. Nixon has invited two cosmonauts to visit the USA in November -- this is seen by Kamanin as the work of Borman to reciprocate for his visit to the USSR in February.
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:
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.
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!
V A Smirnov and other specialists again go over the near-disaster with Soyuz 5. The true cause of the failure of the re-entry capsule to separate has never been established, but the separation systems have been fully reworked (latches, pyrotechnics, etc) and fundamentally improved. The improved system was used on Zond 7, but no flights have yet been flown with the new system on a Soyuz.
A deadly spider is found at the sport hall. Many cosmonauts saw it for the first time, and it led to a discussion of the dangers of Central Asia. - poisonous spiders and scorpions. Kamanin also makes a pilgrimage to Area 2, visiting the Korolev cottage and Gagarin museum.
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. Carried Vulkan welding furnace for vacuum welding experiments in depressurized orbital module. Was to have taken spectacular motion pictures of Soyuz 7 - Soyuz 8 docking but failure of rendezvous electronics in all three craft due to new helium pressurization integrity test prior to mission did not permit successful rendezvous and dockings. Additional Details: here....
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....
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 7 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. Recovered October 18, 1969 10:19 GMT. Additional Details: here....
Orbital manoeuvres for the Soyuz 7-8 docking have proceeded normally. The automated rendezvous system is supposed to kick in when the spacecraft are 250 km apart. The plan is that Soyuz 7 and 8 will dock while Soyuz 6 observes from only 50 m away. However when Soyuz 7 and 8 are only a kilometre apart, the Igla automated docking system fails. The crews could conduct a manual rendezvous, but the this is not allowed by the technical flight controller. Additional Details: here....
Following an orbital correction during the night, Soyuz 7 and 8 are expected to be less than 1 km from each other when communications are regained at 9 am. Instead they are 40 km apart. It will require two more orbits over Soviet territory to refine the tracking of the spacecraft and recalculate the necessary rendezvous manoeuvres. By 12:40 they are 1700 m apart and the crews begin the manual rendezvous manoeuvre. Shatalov fires his engines four times, but in the absence of any indication to the pilot of range to the target, he could not get into a position for a safe docking. He withdraws to a safe distance. Additional Details: here....
Soyuz 6 lands successfully at 09:52 GM, coming to rest in a vertical position. A recovery helicopter lands 10 minutes later, finding the cosmonauts have already emerged from the capsule. After the landing of Soyuz 6 there are two further attempts to dock Soyuz 7 and Soyuz 8, but they fail due to large errors in the ballistic calculations of the manoeuvres necessary to correct their orbits.
The landing commission meets at the command post at 08:00. Soyuz 7 is to land on orbit 97, beginning a 95 m/s retrofire impulse at 11:44:11. The main parachute is to deploy at 12:12:34. All is reported normal aboard the spacecraft, except that the Soyuz 7 warning light panel shows 'ASP' - automatic landing sequence. Despite this, Soyuz 7 landed successfully at 09:26 GMT. Additional Details: here....
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.
State commission meets to do a post mortem on the Soyuz 6-7-8 mission. Kamanin gives a 15-minute briefing on the readiness of the crews for flight. He pointed to the need for more information and training on manual flight and navigation of the spacecraft, and more active use of the pilots throughout the mission. Then the commission acts out a few scenes of their meting for the press, television, and a documentary filmmaker. The Soyuz crews are undergoing medical exams at Area 17 at Baikonur.
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.
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.
Kamanin meets with TsKBEM (Tregub, Anokhin) to review issues for the Soyuz 9 mission. These include post-flight care of the cosmonauts, the fact the centrifuge is not available for training, storage of rations and the possibility of spoilage during the long flight.
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.
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...
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).
Soyuz 9 State Commission meets at Area 31 at 11:00. That evening the spacecraft will be integrated with the booster, with roll-out to the pad scheduled for the following morning at 05:00. At 17:00 the cosmonauts give a formal interview to the Russian 'Parade' magazine. After that they hold a general press conference.
At 09:00 the State Commission members and 36 military officers board an aircraft to return to Moscow. Kamanin, the Soyuz 9 back-up crews, Kuznetsov, Shatalov, and 14 other officers board an Il-18 for the flight to mission control at Yevpatoriya. Conversation aboard the flight is about the weather, football - nothing about space. After four hours the plane arrives at Saki. The first communications session with Soyuz 9 is with Issuriysk at 15:40. In a three-minute conversation the crew confirms that all is normal. At 19:00 the first of the daily landing commission meetings takes place. This commission's role is to assess the flight status and to establish contingency plans for the next day in case an emergency return to earth is required.
In the evening Kamanin calls Tereshkova, and promises to tell Nikolayev that she and Aleuka were fine, worried, to kiss him, and the looked forward to meeting him on his return. On 8 June Aleuka will be six years old, and Tereshkova would like to fly to Yevpatoriya to give her a surprise communications session with her father. At 21:25 Kamanin relays the news from his family to Nikolayev during a pass over Yevpatoriya. Kamanin observes that the tracking station is not suited to serve as mission control over a long spaceflight. There is no transport, and no recreational facilities. The only diversions are gymnastics, chess, and billiards. Furthermore there seem to be a lot of unnecessary staff at the command point.
All is normal aboard Soyuz 9. At 10:00 there is an operational management meeting. There are worries the crew did not engage and disengage the orientation engines at the time scheduled for an engine burn. Kamanin defends the crew -- this was not a mistake, it took the crew 50 minutes to go through the same exercises that took 30 minutes on the ground, and therefore they were delayed in being able to conduct the manoeuvre. There is a television communications session in the evening. The crew looks all right, but Sevastyanov's face is visibly swollen.
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.
At 08:40 Kamanin discusses the solar battery problem in a communications section with the cosmonauts. Telemetry shows the system is generating 25.6 to 26.0 V. There will be an emergency situation if the voltage drops to 23 to 24 V - in that case the crew must land within 1.5 orbits of the earth, or two hours. They would likely have to land out of tracking range of Soviet units. The crew gets the spacecraft back into its solar orientation roll on the sixth attempt. At 18:00 clear communications are again obtained with the capsule via Vesna (Khabarovsk and Alma Alta). Nikolayev reports that when oriented to the sun, the system generates 26 V instead of the 31 V it should be generating. A long technical discussion ensues. It is finally decided that the automatic system is actually working correctly, but that Sevastyanov is confusing the ammeter and voltmeter readings (which are displayed on one instrument). Later Kamanin talks to Tereshkova. She will fly via An-24 to Yevpatoriya on 7 June with her daughter.
At an 08:30 communications session Filipchenko reports to the tracking vessel Komarov that all is OK, everything normal, they are eating well. At 22:15 alarming telemetry is received that indicates that the temperatures in the fuel tanks are getting high due to the extended time of continuous exposure to the sun. They drop slightly after two minutes in shadow.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
"1. Klyucharev VM: Omsk plant (Director Kolupaev) - Delayed production of 7KS living compartments. ZEM - develop work and schedules to recover schedule for completion of 7KS modules. 2. Chertok: 7K-OK number 18 - rework using the proulsion system from number 36. Work on "Kontakt" to continue, as it can be used in the MKBS'.
The reason for continuing with development of the L3 Kontakt docking system even after the L3 was cancelled was that it was to be used in MKBS. The note reads: Chertok - 7K-OK number 18 - rework using the propulsion system from number 36. Work on "Kontakt" to continue, as it can be used in the MKBS).