Encyclopedia Astronautica
Grachev


Grachev (-1961) Russian phantom cosmonaut, one of two that allegedly disappeared aboard 'Vostok 3' on a circumlunar mission in 1961. In reality multimanned Vostok would be flown until 1964, and no circumlunar missions until 1968.

The October 1959 edition of Ogonyok carried an article 'Flights to High Altitudes' illustrating three men testing life support equipment. Among them was a comrade Grachev. An Associated Press journalist concluded that these men were likely cosmonauts in training. Grachev appeared in later lists of 'dead cosmonauts' but was not later associated with any specific flight date. However on 16 February 1962 the Italian news bureau Continentale announced that two Soviet cosmonauts - no. 3 and 4 - had disappeared during a space journey, which commenced during the 22nd Party Congress in Moscow during autumn 1961. The bureau cited "high-ranking individuals" in Prague as the source. The two spacemen were said to have been launched aboard "Vostok III", and it was the intention that the space vehicle should have carried out one round trip around the moon and one around the earth, such that at the end of the experiment it would have traversed an orbit resembling the digit 8. However, the space vehicle disappeared in the heavens, and nobody had been able to explain the mishap. The Italian bureau claimed that two Soviet cosmonauts were being trained for another moon shot 'in the near future'. However it is now known that Russia had no rocket powerful enough to launch a manned capsule toward the moon until 1968. A multi-man version of the Vostok capsule was not launched until 1964.

Died: 1961.09.15.

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Associated Countries
See also
  • Phantom Cosmonaut Over the years the Western press named a number of cosmonauts that were never acknowledged by the Soviet Union. Most were said to have died in space. More...

Grachev Chronology


1961 September 15 - .
  • Death of Grachev. Reported killed in an orbital flight sometime in 1960/1961. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Grachev. Summary: Russian phantom cosmonaut, one of two that allegedly disappeared aboard 'Vostok 3' on a circumlunar mission in 1961. In reality multimanned Vostok would be flown until 1964, and no circumlunar missions until 1968..

1967 May 4 - .
  • Kamanin view on Phantom Cosmonauts. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Dolgov; Mikhailov; Grachev. Summary: According to a Tass report, 11 cosmonauts have died - Dolgov, Mikhailov, Grachev, etc. However these men were not cosmonauts, though Kamanin notes that they did work in 1961-1963 at the Institute of Aviation and Space Medicine..

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