Encyclopedia Astronautica

Ivan Ivanovich Dummy
Ivanovich, Ivan Russian phantom cosmonaut. Two Vostok test flights used a mannequin, dubbed 'Ivan Ivanovich'. To prevent confusion by peasants who might think he was a dead cosmonaut or alien, a sign reading 'MAKET' ('dummy') was placed under his visor.

The Vostok spacecraft had no soft-landing system. After the main parachute had opened and the capsule was descending toward the ground, the cosmonaut had to use an ejection seat to rocket away from the capsule and then land on earth under his own parachute. To test the system a mannequin, dubbed 'Ivan Ivanovich' was flown on two Vostok test flights. On the Korabl-Sputnik 4 flight of 9 March 1961 Ivanovich was ejected from the capsule and successfully recovered by parachute. His companion, the dog, Chernsuhka was successfully recovered with the capsule. Ivan flew again successfully on 25 March 1961 aboard Korabl-Sputnik 5 with the dog Zvezdochka. These test flights cleared the way for Yuri Gagarin's first flight around the earth on 12 April 1961. To prevent any confusion by peasants who might recover Ivan and think he was a dead cosmonaut or an alien, a sign reading 'MAKET' ('dummy' in Russian) was placed under his visor.

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  • 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...

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