Encyclopedia Astronautica
Vostok



kavos1.jpg
Vostok spacecraft
Vostok spacecraft view 1
Credit: © Mark Wade
vost1kp.jpg
Vostok 1KP
Vostok 1KP Energia Museum
Credit: © Mark Wade
vostok.jpg
Vostok Moscow 1981
Credit: © Mark Wade
vosintk.jpg
Vostok Interior
Credit: © Mark Wade
voscomm.jpg
Vostok commu system
Vostok communications systems schematic
Credit: © Mark Wade
vospanlb.jpg
Vostok control panel
Credit: © Mark Wade
vostokdw.gif
Vostok
Credit: © Mark Wade
kavos2.jpg
Vostok spacecraft
Vostok spacecraft view 2
Credit: © Mark Wade
voskal1.jpg
Vostok closeup
Close-up view of Vostok spacecraft
Credit: © Mark Wade
vost1lo.jpg
Vostok LV
Lift-off of Vostok 1 on the first manned spaceflight.
Credit: RKK Energia
vostkalu.jpg
Vostok Kaluga Museum
Credit: © Mark Wade
vostok1.jpg
Vostok1
Credit: © Mark Wade
vostspro.jpg
Vostok variant
Vostok variant with long boom and unidentified second spacecraft - earth orbit or circumlunar docking vehicles?
Credit: © Mark Wade
voskal2.jpg
Vostok closeup
Close-up view of Vostok spacecraft
Credit: © Mark Wade
Russian manned spacecraft. 13 launches, 1960.05.15 (Korabl-Sputnik 1) to 1963.06.16 (Vostok 6). First manned spacecraft. Derivatives were still in use in the 21st Century for military surveillance, earth resources, mapping, and biological missions.

In the spring of 1957 Tikhonravov began study of a manned orbital spacecraft. The April 1958 preliminary design indicated a mass of 5.0 to 5.5 metric tons, 8 to 9 G re-entry, spherical capsule, 2500 to 3500 deg C re-entry temperatures. The heat shield would weigh 1300 to 1500 kg, and the landing accuracy would be 100 to 170 km. Operating altitude was 250 km. The astronaut would eject from the spacecraft at an altitude of 8 to 10 km.

Construction drawings were issued beginning in the fall of 1958. From the end of 1960 six unmanned Vostok variants were launched, followed by six crewed missions.

The Vostok crew accommodation was for one cosmonaut, in a spacesuit, equipped with an ejection seat for launch aborts and for landing on the earth. The spacecraft had two windows: one above the cosmonaut's head in the entry hatch, one at his feet, equipped with the Vzor optical device for orientation of the spacecraft. Attitude control was by cold gas thrusters for on-orbit orientation; passive control for the capsule during re-entry. A single parachute allowed recovery of the capsule. There was no soft-landing system; the pilot ejected for a separate landing under his own parachute.

The Vostok and Voskhod spacecraft, like the US Mercury, could not perform orbital maneuvers - they could only be translated around their axes. The main engine was not restartable and was used only at the end of the mission for the re-entry braking maneuver.

In the spring of 1957 Korolev organized project section 9, with Tikhonravov at its chief, to design new spacecraft. Simultaneous with this they were building the first earth satellites - the PS-1, PS-2 and Object D (which would be Sputniks 1, 2, and 3). By April they had completed a research plan to build a piloted spacecraft and an unmanned lunar probe, using the R-7 as the basis for the launch vehicle. Studies indicated that the R-7 with a third stage could lift 5 metric tons into low earth orbit.

The manned spacecraft work led them into new fields of research in re-entry, thermal protection, and hypersonic aerodynamics. The initial study material was reviewed by mathematicians at the Academy of Science. It was found that a maximum of 10 G's would result in a ballistic re-entry from earth obit. From September 1957 to January 1958 Tikhonravov's section examined heating conditions, surface temperatures, heat shield materials, and obtainable maximum payloads for a wide range of aerodynamic forms with hypersonic lift to drag ratios ranging from zero to a few points. Parametric trajectory calculations were made using successive approximations on the BESM-1 electromechanical computer.

It was found that the equilibrium temperatures for winged spacecraft with the highest L/D ratios exceeded the capability of available heat resistant alloy construction methods. These designs also had the lowest net payloads. The final conclusion was:

  • L/D ratio should be greater than zero, between 0.0 to 0.5 G's, in order to provide body lift and reduce the G forces a pure ballistic re-entry would inflict on the human passenger
  • The spacecraft form should be a cone with a rounded nose and spherical base, with a maximum diameter of 2.0 m - the 'headlight' shape later used for the Soyuz capsule.
  • The pilot would eject at a few kilometers altitude after re-entry and land by parachute. The capsule would not be recovered.

The necessity to refine and qualify the lifting design seemed a major impediment to meeting a quick program schedule. Then in April 1958 aviation medicine research using human subjects in a centrifuge showed that pilots could endure up to 10 G's without ill effects. This allowed a pure ballistic design, removing a major stumbling block, and allowing the study to move quickly to the advanced project stage. Detailed design of the spacecraft layout, structures, equipment, and materials were all done in parallel. This required everything to be redesigned 2 to 3 times, but resulted in a quick final design. The advance project was completed by the middle of August 1958. Konstantin Feoktistov was one of the leading enthusiasts in this effort.

After selection of the ballistic concept, the shape of the re-entry vehicle had to be symmetrical. A sphere was the simplest such form, having the same aerodynamic characteristics at all angles of attack and all velocities. By putting the centre of mass aft of the centre of the sphere, the re-entry vehicle would naturally assume the correct orientation for re-entry.

Redundancy of all systems became a new strategic design principle for this first manned spacecraft. The final report 'Material on the research question of a manned Sputnik' (OD-2) gave the following flight characteristics:

  • Mass 4,500 - 5,500 kg, launched by a three stage version of the R-7 into a circular orbit with a minimum altitude of 250 km
  • Payload of a single human, life support supplies, and scientific equipment
  • Spherical ballistic re-entry capsule, with a 2500 to 3500 deg C surface temperature on re-entry, 8 to 9 G's maximum load, with a resulting heat shield mass of 1300 to 1500 kg
  • 65,000 to 85,000 kgf-sec re-entry burn
  • Minus 2 degree re-entry angle at 100 km altitude
  • Landing accuracy plus 175 km / minus 100 km from aim point
  • Pilot to eject from capsule at 8 to 10 km altitude
  • Insulation to keep acoustic and vibration levels within cabin to tolerable levels
  • Assumption that pilot would not control spacecraft in first flight
  • Orientation control system using cold gas jets and flywheels
  • Limited avionics: orientation control system, guidance command processor, redundant voice radio
  • Orbital flight equipment and deorbit braking rocket contained in a separate module from re-entry vehicle
  • Development program:
    • Test stands in the factory
    • Ejection seat test from aircraft and R-2, R-5, or R-7 core launch vehicles
    • Sub-scale heat shield tests
    • Instrumented full size prototype flights
    • Two flights with mannequins

Redundancy features for manned flight included:

  • Functional redundancy in capsule systems
  • Life support system and separate space suit system. The suit could operate four hours independently in case of cabin depressurization or failure of the main life support system.
  • Orientation by infrared vertical sensors and manual orientation by the pilot
  • Parachute ejection by both inertial and barometric sensors
  • Re-entry by command timer, heat sensors, or radio command

Unfortunately the TDU deorbit braking engine could not be made redundant within the available mass budget.

In June 1958 the principal findings were already in and Korolev took personal management of the project. A section devoted to the spacecraft was formed on 15 August 1958. A last look at the headlight-shaped lifting capsule was made. It had the potential of cutting the mass of the heat shield in half, but there was simply no time to do the research on the flight characteristics of such a design. The final project was signed by Korolev on 15 September 1958. This allowed for full production drawing release to the fabrication shops and the beginning of tests of the spacecraft systems.

Due to a bitter fight with the military over the nature and priority of the manned spacecraft and photo-reconnaissance space programs, the final decree for the Vostok was not issued until 22 May 1959. This authorized production of a single design that could be used either as a manned spacecraft or as a military reconnaissance satellite.

Altogether 123 organizations and 36 factories participated in the project. The leading members of the industrial team that built the Vostok included:

  • OKB-1 - Korolev - prime contractor; spacecraft integrator; responsible as well for the orientation system, the guidance system of the braking engine section, the thermoregulation system, emergency systems, ground support and development test equipment.
  • OKB-2 - Isayev - TDU retrofire rocket engine system
  • NII-88 - G A Tyulin - Mir-2 automated system
  • TsKB-598 - N A Vinogradov - Vzor optical orientation system and Grif photoelectric sensors of the solar orientation system
  • Factory 918 - S M Alekseyev - space suit with its associated air circulator and oxygen supply, helmet, emergency provisions, ejection system, mannequin for unmanned flight tests.
  • LII - N S Stroev - Guidance unit
  • OKB-124 - G I Voronin - Oxygen regeneration system
  • NII-137 - V A Kostrov - Emergency destruct system (used only in the unpiloted spacecraft)
  • NII-695 - A I Gusev - Zarya radio telemetry system
  • NII-668 - A S Mnatsakanyan - Command radio system
  • VNIIIT - N S Lidovenko - Electric storage batteries
  • OKB MEI - A F Bogomolv - Tral-P1 radio telemetry system
  • NII-380 - I A Rosselevich - Rubin radio control system and Topaz television system
  • GNIIA and SKTB Biofizpribor - A V Pokrovksiy - Life signs monitoring, medical dosimetry systems
  • NIEI PDS - F D Tkachev - parachute system of the SA re-entry capsule
  • KGB - K V Bulyakov and Red Mechanical Device Factory - N M Yegorov - movie camera

On 10 December 1959 a decree setting forth the work on the first manned spacecraft was issued. In April 1960 the draft project was completed. This defined the various versions of the spacecraft to be produced:

  • Vostok-1 (1K) prototype spacecraft to test basic systems and prove the concept
  • Vostok-2 (2K) photo-reconnaissance spacecraft, designed for lower resolution route surveys and signals intelligence. This was later redesignated the Zenit-2.
  • Vostok-3 (3K) manned spacecraft

By 4 June 1960 the first decree with a manned flight date was issued. This called for:

  • May 1960 - completion of two 1KP prototype spacecraft (no heat shield or life support systems)
  • August 1960 - Three 1K systems completed for test of photo-reconnaissance and radio reconnaissance systems
  • September - December 1960 - Three 3K systems for manned flights.
  • 11 October 1960 to December 1960 - Manned flights.

Both the 1K and 3K versions would have a 2.4 metric ton SA re-entry capsule, and 2.3 metric ton PO service module, and a 1600 kgf TDU braking engine.

The detailed mass breakdown of the 3KA manned flight version was as follows:

  • Structure - 20%
  • Heat shield - 17.7%
  • Systems - 21.5%
  • Cables - 8.6%
  • Electrical system - 12.5%
  • TDU braking engine - 8.4%
  • Landing systems - 3.2%
  • Ejection seat and cosmonaut - 7.1%
  • Gases for orientation system and environmental control system - 1.0%

The Vostok crew accommodation was for one cosmonaut, in a spacesuit, equipped with an ejection seat for launch aborts and for landing on the earth. The spacecraft had two windows: one above the cosmonaut's head in the entry hatch, one at his feet, equipped with the Vzor optical device for orientation of the spacecraft. Attitude control was by cold gas thrusters for on-orbit orientation; passive control for the capsule during re-entry. A single parachute allowed recovery of the capsule. There was no soft-landing system; the pilot ejected for a separate landing under his own parachute. Instrumentation on the Vostoks was rudimentary in the extreme. There were no gyros and no eight-ball for maneuvering as on Mercury or Gemini. To decide when to re-enter, 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.

The most crucial on-board system was the guidance system. A May 1959 report covering ballistic computations of variances in landing from orbit showed that the biggest danger was incorrect orientation for retrofire. B E Chertok was in charge of the orientation system. It consisted of two redundant systems: an automatic/solar orientation system and a manual/visual orientation system. Either system could operate two redundant cold nitrogen gas thruster systems, each with 10 kg of gas.

The automatic solar orientation system consisted of solar sensors, DUS-L2 angle of flight sensors, and an SRB analogue computer unit. The TDU would only fire if the sun sensors - consisting of a slit arranged over three photocells - indicated correct orientation. The DUS-L2 angle of flight sensor utilized two-step double gyroscopes with mechanically opposed directions. The SRB used these inputs and generated impulses to carry out the burn.

The cosmonaut could also take manual control of the spacecraft and manually re-enter. This was done by using the ingenious Vzor periscope device mounted on the floor of the cabin. 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. 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.

10 minutes after TDU cut-off after the retrofire burn the PO separated from the KA.

1960 was a year of intense testing. In test rigs the hatch seal was tested 50 times, spacecraft separation from the last rocket stage 15 times, SA/PO separation 5 times, and separation of the retaining straps form the SA 16 times. The SA capsule was dropped from an An-12 aircraft at 9 to 12 km to test the parachute and ejection seat systems. The life support system was tested at altitude in a Tu-104 aircraft and in thermal chambers. The ejection seat was tested from 4 km to the altitude of cut-off of the first stage of the Vostok rocket, simulating cosmonaut escape during launch vehicle aborts. Seven spacecraft were built for flight tests. Korolev personally hand-picked the equipment to be used on these spacecraft.

From the end of 1960 to the beginning of 1961 the 3K unpiloted version of the spacecraft was built and tested. To guarantee their reliability Korolev prohibited introduction of changes not only in the technical documentation but also in the technician staff that prepared them for flight. The military developed the recovery forces and techniques, including appropriate aircraft, helicopters, and handling equipment. At that time it was felt that there was a 60% chance on each launch of an abort requiring rescue operations for the cosmonaut.

The official draft project for the 3KA manned spacecraft was not completed until the end of July 1961, long after the first flight of the actual spacecraft.

The Vostok and Voskhod spacecraft, like the U.S. Mercury, could not perform orbital maneuvers - they could only be translated around their axes. The main engine was used only at the end of the mission for the re-entry braking maneuver. However Korolev, before being authorized to proceed with development of the Soyuz, did study the Vostok Zh. This would have been a maneuverable Vostok that would have made repetitive dockings with propulsion modules - a method of achieving a circumlunar mission using only the Soyuz booster. Later on maneuverable versions of the Vostok were developed as Zenit reconnaissance satellites.

The Vostok could not be used for circumlunar missions or earth missions with non-astronaut qualified crew due to the 'Sharik' reentry vehicle design. The spherical design itself was ingenious - it had no maneuvering engines to orient it, since it was like a ball with the heavy weight concentrated at one end - if you throw it in the air (or re-enter the atmosphere with it ) it would automatically swing around with the heavy end downward. The only problem was that it was only capable of a purely ballistic re-entry, which means 8 G's for the occupant from earth orbit and 20 G's from the moon. Mercury was ballistic, but Gemini, Apollo, and Soyuz all had the center of gravity offset, so they could produce lift, lower the G forces, and maneuver somewhat to vary the landing point. This reduced G's to 3 G for earth orbit returns and 8 G's for lunar returns.

Crew Size: 1. Orbital Storage: 30 days. Spacecraft delta v: 155 m/s (508 ft/sec).

AKA: 1K; 1KP; 3KA.
Gross mass: 4,730 kg (10,420 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 4,455 kg (9,821 lb).
Height: 4.40 m (14.40 ft).
Thrust: 15.83 kN (3,558 lbf).
Specific impulse: 266 s.
First Launch: 1960.05.15.
Last Launch: 1963.06.16.
Number: 13 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Vostok SA Russian manned spacecraft module. Study 1960. Reentry capsule. More...
  • Vostok PO Russian manned spacecraft module. Study 1960. Equipment section. More...

See also
  • Soyuz The Russian Soyuz spacecraft has been the longest-lived, most adaptable, and most successful manned spacecraft design. In production for fifty years, more than 240 have been built and flown on a wide range of missions. The design will remain in use with the international space station well into the 21st century, providing the only manned access to the station after the retirement of the shuttle in 2011. More...

Associated Flights
  • Vostok 1 Crew: Gagarin. First manned spaceflight, one orbit of the earth. Strap attaching service module failed to separate from capsule, leading to wild ride before it burned through during re-entry. Backup crew: Titov, Nelyubov. More...
  • Vostok 2 Crew: Titov. Second manned orbital flight. After 17.5 orbits, the spacecraft reentered and the cosmonaut landed safely. First astronaut to experience space sickness. Day-long flight was a huge blow to America, which had not even orbited a man in space yet. Backup crew: Nikolayev, Nelyubov. More...
  • Vostok 3 Crew: Nikolayev. Joint flight with Vostok 4; two Vostok capsules were launched one day apart, coming within a few kilometers of each other. Record flight duration. First simultaneous flight of two manned spacecraft. Backup crew: Bykovsky, Volynov. More...
  • Vostok 4 Crew: Popovich. Joint flight with Vostok 3. Problems with life support system, resulted in cabin temperature dropping to 10 deg C. Returned to earth a day early due to communications secret code mix-up. First Ukrainian astronaut. Backup crew: Komarov, Volynov. More...
  • Vostok 5 Crew: Bykovsky. Joint flight with Vostok 6. Record flight duration. Spacecraft ended up in a lower than planned orbit and quickly decayed - temperatures in the service module reached very high levels and the flight returned early. Backup crew: Volynov, Leonov. More...
  • Vostok 6 Crew: Tereshkova. Joint flight with Vostok 5. First woman in space. Tereshkova did not reply during several communications sessions. To this day it is not known if she was paralysed with fear, or if there was an equipment failure. Backup crew: Solovyova, Ponomaryova. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Soyuz Russian orbital launch vehicle. The world's first ICBM became the most often used and most reliable launch vehicle in history. The original core+four strap-on booster missile had a small third stage added to produce the Vostok launch vehicle, with a payload of 5 metric tons. Addition of a larger third stage produced the Voskhod/Soyuz vehicle, with a payload over 6 metric tons. Using this with a fourth stage, the resulting Molniya booster placed communications satellites and early lunar and planetary probes in higher energy trajectories. By the year 2000 over 1,628 had been launched with an unmatched success rate of 97.5% for production models. Improved models providing commercial launch services for international customers entered service in the new millenium, and a new launch pad at Kourou was to be inaugurated in 2009. It appeared that the R-7 could easily still be in service 70 years after its first launch. More...
  • Vostok 8K72 Russian orbital launch vehicle. 8K72 Luna launch vehicle, third stage modified with larger forward cylindrical section to accomodate Vostok-sized spacecraft. Used only for launch of first few prototype Vostoks. More...
  • R-16 Ukrainian intercontinental ballistic missile. The Soviet Union's first practical ICBM, a two stage vehicle using storable propellants. Development began in 1956 and the missile was in service from 1962 to 1974. Peak deployment consisted of 186 launchers, about a third of them in missile silos, the rest in fixed 'soft' installations. More...
  • Vostok 8K72K Russian orbital launch vehicle. R-7 ICBM with single-engine third stage, uprated from Luna launch vehicle and with forward fairing to accomodate Vostok/Zenit sized spacecraft. 8K72K, used for Vostok manned spacecraft launches and the first Zenit launch attempt. More...
  • N1 1969 Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. The N1 launch vehicle, developed by Russia in the 1960's, was to be the Soviet Union's counterpart to the Saturn V. The largest of a family of launch vehicles that were to replace the ICBM-derived launchers then in use, the N series was to launch Soviet cosmonauts to the moon, Mars, and huge space stations into orbit. In comparison to Saturn, the project was started late, starved of funds and priority, and dogged by political and technical struggles between the chief designers Korolev, Glushko, and Chelomei. The end result was four launch failures and cancellation of the project five years after Apollo landed on the moon. Not only did a Soviet cosmonaut never land on the moon, but the Soviet Union even denied that the huge project ever existed. More...
  • N1 The N1 launch vehicle, developed by Russia in the 1960's, was to be the Soviet Union's counterpart to the Saturn V. The largest of a family of launch vehicles that were to replace the ICBM-derived launchers then in use, the N series was to launch Soviet cosmonauts to the moon, Mars, and huge space stations into orbit. In comparison to Saturn, the project was started late, starved of funds and priority, and dogged by political and technical struggles between the chief designers Korolev, Glushko, and Chelomei. The end result was four launch failures and cancellation of the project five years after Apollo landed on the moon. Not only did a Soviet cosmonaut never land on the moon, but the Soviet Union even denied that the huge project ever existed. More...

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

Associated Programs
  • Vostok World's first manned spacecraft, it was later developed into the Voskhod, and numerous versions of Zenit recoverable reconnaisance, materials, and biological research satellites which remained in service into the 21st Century. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Nitrous oxide/Amines Nitrous oxide has advantages as a rocket engine oxidizer in that it is non-toxic, stable at room temperature, easy to store and relatively safe to carry on a flight. Its disadvantage is that it must be stored as a gas, which make it more bulky than liquid oxidizers. Early storable rocket systems sought to improve ignition characteristics and perforamance by eliminating the kerosene portion of the fuel. An amine is an organic compound produced when one or more hydrogen atoms of ammonia is replaced with organic groups. Mixed amine fuels were first developed by the Germans in World War II. TONKA-250, developed for the Wasserfall rocket, was used by the Russians after the war in various engines under the specification TG-02. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Ertel , Ivan D; Morse , Mary Louise; et al, The Apollo Spacecraft Chronology Vol I - IV NASA SP-4009, NASA, 1966-1974. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Semenov, Yuri P Editor, Raketno-kosmicheskaya korporatsiya 'Energia' imeni S P Koroleva, Moscow, Russia, 1996.
  • Gatland, Kenneth, Manned Spacecraft, Macmillan, New York, 1968.
  • Rhea, John, Editor,, Roads to Space, Aviation Week Group, New York, ISBN 0076070956, 1995.
  • Baker, David, The History of Manned Spaceflight, Crown, New York, 1981.
  • Clark, Philip, The Soviet Manned Space Program, Salamander Books, London, 1988.
  • Furniss, Tim, Manned Spaceflight Log, Jane's, London, 1986.
  • Oberg, James, Red Star in Orbit, Random House, New York, 1981.
  • Smolders, Peter,, Soviets in Space, Taplinger Press, New York, 1974.
  • Turnill, Reginald,, The Observer's Spaceflight Directory, Frederick Warne, London, 1978.
  • Pesavento, Peter, "Russian Space Shuttle Projects 1957-1994", Spaceflight, 1995, Volume 37, page 226.
  • Harvey, Brian, "Some Details on Project Zenith (1957 Onwards)", Spaceflight, 1993, Volume 35, page 382.
  • Semenov, Yu. P., S P Korolev Space Corporation Energia, RKK Energia, 1994.
  • Varfolomyev, Timothy, "Soviet Rocketry that Conquered Space - Part 3", Spaceflight, 1996, Volume 38, page 206.
  • Vetrov, G S, S. P. Korolev i evo delo, Nauka, Moscow, 1998.
  • Siddiqi, Asif A, Crewing for Soviet Piloted Space Missions 1960-1974, 1998 December.. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Chertok, Boris Yevseyevich, Raketi i lyudi, Mashinostroenie, Moscow, 1994-1999.. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Kamanin, N P, Skritiy kosmos, Infortext, Moscow, 1995.
  • Melnik, T G, Voenno-Kosmicheskiy Siliy, Nauka, Moscow, 1997..
  • Siddiqi, Asif A, The Soviet Space Race With Apollo, University Press of Florida, 2003.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Baikonur Russia's largest cosmodrome, the only one used for manned launches and with facilities for the larger Proton, N1, and Energia launch vehicles. The spaceport ended up on foreign soil after the break-up of Soviet Union. The official designations NIIP-5 and GIK-5 are used in official Soviet histories. It was also universally referred to as Tyuratam by both Soviet military staff and engineers, and the US intelligence agencies. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union the Russian Federation has insisted on continued use of the old Soviet 'public' name of Baikonur. In its Kazakh (Kazak) version this is rendered Baykonur. More...

Vostok Chronology


1956 June - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8K72.
  • First studies by Korolev OKB of manned spacecraft - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Feoktistov. Program: Vostok. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Vostok. Summary: First studies by Korolev and Feoktistov of manned spacecraft. The first stage would be suborbital ballistic flights (like the US Mercury-Redstone flights) from Kapustin Yar using IRBM's. First flights not planned until 1964 - 1967..

1956 September 30 - . LV Family: N1; Proton.
  • First official plan for future Soviet spaceflight - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Sputnik 3; Vostok; Zenit-2. This set forth the following objectives: orbiting of satellites of 1.8 to 2.5 tonnes mass by 1958; one week flight of a manned spacecraft by 1964; unmanned reconnaissance satellite by 1970; rocket capable of 12 tonne escape velocity payload by 1970; rocket with 100 tonne low earth orbit payload to be developed, capable of placing 2 to 3 men on the moon (no date set).

1957 March - .
  • Tikhonravov first manned and lunar spacecraft designs. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev. Spacecraft: Vostok. In the spring of 1957 Korolev organised project section 9, with Tikhonravov at its chief, to design new spacecraft. By April they had completed a research plan to build a piloted spacecraft and an unmanned lunar probe, using the R-7 as the basis for the launch vehicle.

1958 During the Year - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8K72.
  • Work begun on Vostok spacecraft and third stage - . Nation: USSR. Program: Vostok. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Vostok.

1958 April - .
  • Vostok preliminary design completed. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Vostok. The preliminary design indicated a mass of 5.0 to 5.5 tonnes, 8 to 9 G re-entry, spherical capsule, 2500 to 3500 deg C re-entry temperatures. The heat shield would weigh 1300 to 1500 kg, and the landing accuracy would be 100 to 170 km. Operating altitude was 250 km. The astronaut would eject from the spacecraft at an altitude of 8 to 10 km.

1958 May 1 - .
  • Korolev OKB cancels suborbital manned flights - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Ustinov. Program: Vostok. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Vostok. Decision to move directly to early manned flights in orbit. Korolev, after a review with engineers, determines that planned three stage versions of the R-7 ICBM could launch a manned orbital spacecraft. Korolev advocates pursuit of manned spaceflight at the expense of the military's Zenit reconnsat program, putting him in opposition to Ustinov.

1958 June 1 - .
  • Start of construction of manned spacecraft - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Myasishchev; Tsybin. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: Vostok. Competing manned projects. Korolev OKB-1 proposed Vostok ballistic capsule as quickest way to put a man in space while meeting Zenit project's reconnsat requirements. Under project VKA-23 (Vodushno Kosmicheskiye Apparat) Myasishchev OKB-23 proposed two designs, a faceted craft with a single tail, and a dual tail contoured version. Tsybin OKB-256 proposed seven man winged craft with variable wing dihedral. Contracts awarded to all three OKB's to proceed with construction of protoypes. R-7 booster to be used for suborbital launches.

1958 July 1 - .
  • Korolev letter to Politburo - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev. Program: Vostok. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Vostok. Summary: First explanation to leadership of advantages of manned spaceflight..

1958 August 15 - .
  • Vostok advanced project complete. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Feoktistov. Spacecraft: Vostok. Summary: A section devoted to the spacecraft was formed on 15 August 1958. Konstantin Feoktistov was one of the leading enthusiasts in this effort..

1958 Fall - .
  • Vostok drawing release. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Vostok. Summary: Construction drawings for the Vostok manned spacecraft were issued beginning in the fall of 1958. Official go-ahead was still nearly a year in the future..

1958 September 15 - .
  • Vostok final project signed by Korolev. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Vostok. Summary: This allowed for full production drawing release to the fabrication shops and the beginning of tests of the spacecraft systems..

1958 November 1 - .
  • Vostok spacecraft and Zenit spy satellite authorised. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev. Spacecraft: Vostok; Zenit; Zenit-2; Zenit-4. Council of Chief Designers Decree 'On course of work on the piloted spaceship' was issued. Council of Chief designers approved the Vostok manned space program, in combination with Zenit spy satellite program Korolev was authorised to proceed with development of a spacecraft to achieve manned flights at the earliest possible date. However the design would be such that the same spacecraft could be used to fulfil the military's unmanned photo reconnaissance satellite requirement. The military resisted, but Korolev won. This was formalised in a decree of 25 May 1959.

1959 May 22 - .
  • Vostok / Zenit-3 decree issued. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Vostok; Zenit-2; Zenit-4; Zenit. Due to a bitter fight with the military over the nature and priority of the manned spacecraft and photo-reconnaissance space programs, the final decree for the Vostok manned spacecraft was delayed until seven months after drawing release began. This authorised production of a single design that could be used either as a manned spacecraft or as a military reconnaissance satellite. These were the Zenit-2 and Zenit-4 spacecraft based on the Vostok design. This marked the end of the original Zenit configuration.

1959 May 22 - .
  • Production of Vostok and Zenit-2 authorised. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Vostok; Zenit-2; Zenit-4; Zenit. Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 569-264 'On work on a reconnaissance satellite and piloted spaceship' was issued. Due to a bitter fight with the military over the nature and priority of the manned spacecraft and photo-reconnaissance space programs, the final decree for the Vostok manned spacecraft was delayed until seven months after drawing release began. This authorised production of a single design that could be used either as a manned spacecraft or as a military reconnaissance satellite. These were the Zenit-2 and Zenit-4 spacecraft based on the Vostok design. This marked the end of the original Zenit configuration. The military had to develop the recovery forces and techniques for both spacecraft, including appropriate aircraft, helicopters, and handling equipment. At that time it was felt that there was a 60% chance on each launch of an abort requiring rescue operations for the cosmonaut.

1960 March 1 - .
  • 20 Cosmonaut candidates report for Vostok training - . Nation: USSR. Program: Vostok. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Vostok.

1960 May 15 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8K72. LV Configuration: Vostok 8K72 L1-11.
  • Korabl-Sputnik 1 - . Payload: Vostok 1KP. Mass: 2,500 kg (5,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Program: Vostok. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Vostok. Duration: 1,979.00 days. Decay Date: 1962-09-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 34 . COSPAR: 1960-Epsilon-1. Apogee: 514 km (319 mi). Perigee: 284 km (176 mi). Inclination: 65.0000 deg. Period: 92.50 min. The Soviet Union launched a Vostok 1KP prototype manned spacecraft (without heat shield; not recoverable) into near-earth orbit. Called Sputnik IV by the Western press. On May 19, at 15:52 Moscow time, the spacecraft was commanded to retrofire. However the guidance system had oriented the spacecraft incorrectly and the TDU engine instead put the spacecraft into a higher orbit. Soviet scientists said that conditions in the cabin, which had separated from the remainder of the spacecraft, were normal.
    Officially: Development and checking of the main systems of the space ship satellite, which ensure its safe flight and control in flight, return to Earth and conditions needed for a man in flight.

1960 June 4 - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78.
  • Molniya launch vehicle and initial Vostok flights approved. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Vostok. Summary: Central Committee and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 587-238 'On the Realisation of the Plan to Master Cosmic Space in 1960 and the First Half of 1961 -creation of a four-stage launcher for interplanetary missions and schedule for the Korabl-Sputniks'.

1960 July 28 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8K72. LV Configuration: Vostok 8K72 L1-10. FAILURE: At ignition one of the combustion chambers in strap on Block B or G burned through. The strap on separated from the core at 17 seconds into the flight and the launch vehicle exploded at 28.5 seconds.. Failed Stage: 0.
  • Korabl-Sputnik - . Payload: Vostok 1K s/n 1. Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Program: Vostok. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Vostok. Decay Date: 1960-07-23 . COSPAR: F600728A. Summary: First attempted flight of the Vostok 1K manned spacecraft prototype. Dogs Chaika and Lisichka perished in the explosion of the rocket..

1960 August 19 - . 08:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8K72. LV Configuration: Vostok 8K72 L1-12.
  • Korabl-Sputnik 2 - . Payload: Vostok 1K s/n 2. Mass: 1,440 kg (3,170 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Program: Vostok. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Vostok. Duration: 1.09 days. Decay Date: 1960-08-20 . USAF Sat Cat: 55 . COSPAR: 1960-Lambda-1. Apogee: 340 km (210 mi). Perigee: 281 km (174 mi). Inclination: 64.6000 deg. Period: 90.70 min. The Soviet Union launched its second unmanned test of the Vostok spacecraft, the Korabl Sputnik II, or Sputnik V. The spacecraft carried two dogs, Strelka and Belka, in addition to a gray rabbit, rats, mice, flies, plants, fungi, microscopic water plants, and seeds. Electrodes attached to the dogs and linked with the spacecraft communications system, which included a television camera, enabled Soviet scientists to check the animals' hearts, blood pressure, breathing, and actions during the trip. After the spacecraft reentered and landed safely the next day, the animals and biological specimens were reported to be in good condition.
    Officially: Development of systems ensuring man's life functions and safety in flight and his return to Earth.

1960 October 11 - .
  • Plan for first Vostok flight. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Vostok. Summary: Decree 'On plan to launch the first human in space on Vostok' was issued..

1960 December 1 - . 07:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8K72. LV Configuration: Vostok 8K72 L1-13.
  • Korabl-Sputnik 3 - . Payload: Vostok 1K s/n 3. Mass: 4,563 kg (10,059 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Program: Vostok. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Vostok. Duration: 0.99 days. Decay Date: 1960-12-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 65 . COSPAR: 1960-Rho-1. Apogee: 269 km (167 mi). Perigee: 123 km (76 mi). Inclination: 65.0000 deg. Period: 88.40 min. The Soviet Union launched its third spaceship satellite, Korabl Sputnik III, or Sputnik VI. The spacecraft, similar to those launched on May 15 and August 19, carried the dogs Pcheka and Mushka in addition to other animals, insects, and plants. Deorbited December 2, 1960 7:15 GMT. Burned up on reentry due to steep entry angle (retrofire engine did not shut off on schedule and burned to fuel depletion).
    Officially: Medical and biological research under space flight conditions.
    Officially: Medical and biological research under space flight conditions.

1960 December 22 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8K72K. LV Configuration: Vostok 8K72K L1-13A. FAILURE: The third stage engine RO-7 failed just after ignition, 425 seconds in to flight.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Korabl-Sputnik - . Payload: Vostok 1K s/n 4. Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Program: Vostok. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Vostok. Decay Date: 1960-12-20 . COSPAR: F601222A. Unable to reach orbital velocity, the Vostok prototype separated while the third stage was still firing. While the ejection seat failed to operate, the capsule did make a hard landing in severe winter conditons in Siberia. It was recovered after some time, and the dogs Kometa and Shutka were alive. As a result of this flight the ejection seat was developed with a heat shield designed to protect the pilot in the event of a launch vehicle failure up to shut down of the first stage. Additional Details: here....

1961 January 5 - . LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16.
  • State Commission Meeting - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Keldysh; Korolev; Barmin; Glushko; Semenov; Bushuyev; Rudnev. Program: Vostok; Venera. Spacecraft: Vostok. Rudnev chaired the meeting, which first heard the failure analysis for the failed Mars launches on 10 and 14 October and the R-16 catastrophe on 24 October. All of these had been accelerated to coincide with Khrushchev's visit to the United Nations in New York, in Kamanin's view a criminal rush that led to the death of 74 officers and men in the R-16 explosion. Future plans were then reviewed. Launches of probes toward Venus were planned for 20-23 January, 28-30 January, and 8-10 February. Four Vostok manned spacecraft were completed, with first launch scheduled for 5 February and the second for 15-20 February.

1961 January 20 - . LV Family: R-9; R-7.
  • Venera preparations - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev. Spacecraft: Mars 2MV-2; Vostok. Korolev plans three launches between 20 January and 14 February, but clearly his teams are not ready to accomplish this. There was insufficient testing of the Object V Venera spacecraft before it was shipped from OKB-1 to the cosmodrome. OKB-1 is trying to finish Object V on site, at the same time preparing the next Vostok 3KA and an R-9 ICBM for launch. Object V is not ready, the ability of its systems to function at long ranges and periods of time on the voyage to Venus are suspect. In Kamanin's opinion, it is diverting the crews from the higher priority manned and military projects.

1961 February 12 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Space plans - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Mikhailov. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok. Kamanin describes Korolev. He is unable to make a decision about the man's true nature. Everyone is excited about the new seven-year plan, approved on 23 January 1960 in decree 711-296, which authorises design work to start on the N1 superbooster. In the immediate future, Vostok 3KA flights are planned every 8 to 10 days beginning 22 February until the first manned flight is achieved. The first flights will use mannequins to test the cosmonaut ejection seat. A manned flight will be attempted after two consecutive successful mannequin flights.

    In the West, the failed Venera 4 launch is being analysed as an attempted manned flight. Some Italians claim to have picked up voices on radio from the satellite. Kamanin describes all of this as unfounded speculation -- the Soviet Union will not risk a man's life until two fully successful mannequin flights demonstrate safe recovery.


1961 February 15 - .
  • Underway to Venus - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Keldysh; Khrushchev. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok; Venera 1VA. Korolev says the Venera flight continues normally. He and Keldysh will fly to Yevpatoriya tomorrow to review long-range communications with the spacecraft. After the launch he and Keldysh talked to Khrushchev, who was very happy with the success. Meanwhile, the Vostok for the next flight attempt has arrived at Tyuratam. Launch is set for 24-25 February.

1961 February 20 - .
  • Korolev space plans - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Vershinin. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok. Korolev gives a briefing to Vershinin and other military leaders at OKB-1 laying out his proposed plans for space in the next two to three years. He pushes for VVS to purchase 10 to 15 Vostok-1 or Vostok-3A spacecraft for a sustained manned flight series. The next Vostok flight is now delayed to 27-28 February. He reviews the two Vostok-1 flights to date. The first successfully orbited and recovered the dogs Strelka and Belka, the second failed to reach orbit, but the capsule successfully landed 3500 km downrange near Yakut in the Tura region, after reaching an altitude of 214 km. The dogs survived a 20-G re-entry and hard landing in the capsule.

1961 February 22 - .
  • Zenit project review - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Ustinov; Alekseyev, Semyon; Voronin. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok; Zenit-2; Zenit-4. Ustinov heads a review of the reconnaissance satellite program, at that time still referred to as the Vostok-2 and Vostok-4 spacecraft. Thirty staff are working on it full time at OKB-1, but Korolev says that due to delays in the photographic, television, and radar equipment for the spacecraft the first launch will be delayed two to three months. But he points out that since Vostok-1 has already proven the recovery systems, the first Vostok-2 should still be ready for launch in June-July 1961. Ustinov notes that the Ministry of Defence has had little input or understanding of the specification for the spacecraft. The launch of the first Vostok-3 is delayed to March due to the need to fully test all systems. The life support system (Vornonin) and the ejection seat (Alekseyev) are the pacing items. The next meeting is set for 27 February. Kustanin testifies as to the readiness of the spacecraft and the cosmonauts.

1961 February 24 - .
  • VVS Program Review - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Alekseyev, Semyon. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok; Sokol SK-1. A A Kobzanev heads the review. The decision is made that the first launch of Vostok-3 will not have to be contingent on full ground test of each and every system. The gas analyser and antenna deployment unit of the NAZ still have not completed tests. However for the second mannequin flight, all systems must be operative. Other essential tests needed to clear the spacecraft for manned flight include: several ejection seat tower tests; one ejection seat test from the capsule, a test of the emergency abort system at the launch pad, sea trials of the spacesuit and NAZ. After a thirteen-day endurance trial the humidity within the spacecraft should not exceed 60%. In the tests so far, the humidity reached 80% and the temperature 35 deg C after only nine days. The first launch is now set for 2-3 March and the second for 20-25 March. Therefore the Soviet Union should be able to launch the first man into space by the end of March at best, with the first half of April being more likely.

1961 February 27 - .
  • Suit and ejection seat delays - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Alekseyev, Semyon. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok; Sokol SK-1. Alekseyev's bureau continues to be the pacing organisation for the first manned flight. All trials of the suit and seat must be completed by 20 March. The second Vostok 3KA will not be allowed to fly until these tests are completed - which Alekseyev says won't be done until 21-25 April. Installation of unqualified systems in the capsule is seen as high-risk. In the evening the State Commission reviews the matter. The tests must be completed as follows: Alekseyev's tests of ejection of a mannequin from a capsule must be completed no later than 10 March; the LII test centre must complete two ejections into the wind stream from the Il-28 bomber testbed; sea trials of the NAZ ejection seat much be conducted by 10-20 March; and a ten-day test will be conducted from 2 to 12 March of the environmental control system.

1961 March 2 - .
  • Vostok launch preparations - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Yazdovskiy; Gallay; Feoktistov; Alekseyev, Semyon; Keldysh; Bushuyev; Voskresenskiy. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok. Korolev, Yazdovskiy, Gallay, Feoktistov, Makarov, and Alekseyev spend over three hours editing the 'Instructions to Cosmonauts'. This is the first flight manual in the world for a piloted spacecraft, including instructions for all phases of flight and emergency situations. Korolev, Keldysh, Bushuyev, and Voskresenskiy want the instructions to be simply 'put on suit, check communications, observe functioning of the spacecraft'. Korolev is motivated by his belief that on this single-orbit flight everything should occur automatically. Kamanin, Yazdovskiy, Gallay, and Smirnov are categorically against such a passive role for the cosmonaut. They argue that the cosmonauts know the equipment and must be capable of manually flying the spacecraft after releasing the electronic logical lock. They need to observe the instruments, report on their status by radio, and make journal entries. The emotions of the cosmonaut during high-G's and zero-G must be understood in order to fully prepare the cosmonauts that will follow. After long debate, Korolev and Keldysh give in. The agreed first edition of the flight manual is signed by Korolev and Kamanin. The next Vostok 3KA launch is set for 9 March.

1961 March 7 - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8K72K.
  • R-7 Failure Commission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Keldysh; Korolev; Sokolov; Glushko; Bogomolov; Kosberg. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok. Keldysh, Korolev, Sokolov, Glushko, Bogomolov hear testimony from Kosberg on the causes of the RO-7 engine failure on the 22 December 1960 launch, that resulted in the suborbital flight of the Vostok capsule with a landing in Tura. The causes are not completely understood, but the bottom line is that a fuel line must have leaked. Further testimony is offered on the booster trajectory, landing time at various points along the trajectory, tracking station readiness, communications lessons, and recovery efforts. The communications are clearly unreliable. The radius of the HF radio is 5000 km, and 1500 km for UHF. TsP Moscow and PU Tyuratam, plus Novosibirsk, Kolpachev, Khabarovsk, and Yelizov (Kamchatka) all have HF and UHF transceivers. But due to practical reception problems, only UHF communications were available at Tyuratam, Kolpachev, and Yelizov, and only HF at Novosibirsk and Khabarovsk. It is recommended that each IP tracking station should have a Chief Communications Officer, a cosmonaut to act as capsule communicator, a physician, and a representative from the Ministry of Communications to assure action on problems.

1961 March 9 - . 06:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8K72K. LV Configuration: Vostok 8K72K E103-14.
  • Korabl-Sputnik 4 - . Payload: Vostok 3KA s/n 1. Mass: 4,700 kg (10,300 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mozzhorin; Yazdovskiy. Agency: RVSN. Program: Vostok. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok. Duration: 0.0700 days. Decay Date: 1961-03-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 91 . COSPAR: 1961-Theta-1. Apogee: 239 km (148 mi). Perigee: 173 km (107 mi). Inclination: 64.9000 deg. Period: 88.60 min. Carried dog Chernushka, mannequin Ivan Ivanovich, and other biological specimens. Ivanovich was ejected from the capsule and recovered by parachute, and Chernsuhka was successfully recovered with the capsule on March 9, 1961 8:10 GMT.
    Officially: Development of the design of the space ship satellite and of the systems on board, which ensure necessary conditions for man's flight. Additional Details: here....

1961 March 10 - .
  • Zainsk-Kuibyshev-Moscow - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Vershinin. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok. Kamanin spend the night in a new hotel with much-appreciated electrical heating. At 11 am they fly to Moscow with Chernushka, the small living specimens, and the mannequin. The flight was a complete victory - all is now ready for the first manned flight into space.

1961 March 15 - .
  • IAKM Tour - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Agaltsov; Vershinin; Alekseyev, Semyon; Gagarin; Titov; Nelyubov. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok; Sokol SK-1. Chief of Staff F A Agaltsov visits the Institute of Aviation and Space Medicine (IAKM) to review the six cosmonauts' training for flight. An 11-day trial is underway of the hot mock-up of the Vostok capsule's environmental control system. He also sees the dogs that have flown in space: Belka, Strelka, and Chernushka. Strelka has six 3-month-old puppies. Vershinin delivers a speech asking the cosmonauts to be morally prepared for spaceflight. The cosmonauts complain about the performance of Alekseyev's design bureau - of six spacesuits ordered, only three have been delivered (for Gagarin, Titov, and Nelyubov), and they haven't been able to train in parachute jumping in the suits yet.

1961 March 17 - .
  • Tyuratam - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Gagarin; Nelyubov; Popovich; Titov; Bykovsky; Nikolayev; Korolev; Keldysh. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok. The cosmonauts play chess and cards on the flight to Tyuratam. At the airfield, Korolev, Keldysh, and five film cameramen await the cosmonauts. Korolev and Keldysh warmly greet the cosmonauts, but categorically refuse to be filmed. Korolev asks each cosmonaut one or two technical questions. All are correctly answered. Korolev says he wants to ensure that each one of them is 'ready to fly today'. As of now, six Vostoks have been launched, of which four reached orbit, and two landed successfully (one of these albeit after an emergency separation from the third stage on a suborbital trajectory). Two have been unsuccessful, including one on-pad failure on 28 July 1960. Two hours after arrival the cosmonauts go to the MIK assembly hall to familiarise themselves with the launch vehicle and spacecraft. At 14:00 Kamanin meets with the cosmonauts to review the 'Cosmonaut's Manual'. They make several suggestions. They do not feel it is necessary to loosen the parachute harness during the one-orbit flight. They note that the gloves are tried on only 15 minutes before the launch, and not on the closing of the hatch as indicated by Alekseyev. They recommend that a shortened version of the manual should be on board the spacecraft for use in case of a manual re-entry. Communications will be mainly using the laryngeal microphone Incidents will be recorded in the ship's log. The cosmonauts should be able to manually activate the reserve parachute. Kamanin agrees with the latter, but there is no time to change it for the first flight.

1961 March 19 - .
  • Vostok launch delay - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Gusev; Feoktistov; Yazdovskiy; Karpov; Gagarin; Nelyubov; Titov. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok. The launch has been delayed to 24-25 March due to problems with L I Gusev's radio system aboard the spacecraft. A meeting of the cosmonauts at 10:00 reviews landing contingency plans that will bring the capsule down on the territory of the USSR. The best chances for such a landing are on orbits 1, 2, and 16, but it is also possible on orbits 4, 5, 6, and 7. A map will be aboard the capsule to show where and when to ignite the TDU retrorocket for each landing opportunity. Feoktistov was a great help in developing this visual aid. For about an hour Kamanin, Korolev, Yazdovskiy, Karpov, and Azbiyevich discuss long-range plans. Korolev is interested in the VVS position that they should be responsible for all military space activities. The reconnaissance satellite version of Vostok is discussed. Korolev says he plans to send a cosmonaut to the moon by 1965.

    Afterwards the cosmonauts develop the radio communications plan for the flight. During the 710-second ascent to orbit, and after landing, they are to use the UHF radio. The HF and UHF radios can be used from orbit, but only over the USSR. Plans for filming the cosmonaut in flight are also discussed.


1961 March 20 - .
  • Cosmonauts train in suits - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Gagarin; Nelyubov; Titov; Ustinov; Rudnev. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok; Sokol SK-1. The cosmonauts practice donning the suits and adjusting the regulators. Kamanin muses on the need to convince the VVS leadership to support the TTZ for a new manned spacecraft, on the way to better organize the IP tracking stations, and how to obtain a leading role for the VVS in development of reconnaissance satellites. Otherwise, he believes the Russians will lose the space race to the Americans, who are launching 3 to 4 times more satellites. He notes that 22 Discoverers have been launched to develop an American reconnaissance satellite, and he comments on the Echo-1 passive communications balloon. The Americans are pushing to match the Soviet Union in launch vehicles and already surpass them in electronics, communications, and telemetry. Kamanin notes that communications with Venera 1 were lost when it was only 2 million kilometres from earth, while the US has already demonstrated communications with satellites out to 37 million kilometres. He admires the way the Americans have concentrated all of their efforts in one civilian space organization, with full-time managers for the effort. By comparison, the Soviets only have part-time managers, such as Ustinov, Rudnev, and so on. After the suit exercise the cosmonauts play chess and cards, but again Gagarin does not take part, and is deep in silent thought.

1961 March 21 - .
  • Spring at Tyuratam - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Gagarin; Nelyubov; Titov. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok; Sokol SK-1. It is a beautiful day. The cosmonauts discuss contingencies in case of a water landing. In fact their chances are slim. There are only two Soviet ships equipped with HF and UHF direction-finding equipment that could locate them. The NAZ ejection seat is not designed to float, and the spherical re-entry capsule is no better. Therefore the only option is a landing on the territory of the Soviet Union. In the evening Gagarin, Titov, and Nelyubov practice at the MIK - donning their suits, landing in the spacecraft cabin if that is necessary, getting out of the suit, communications operations, and so on. They are able to get the suit on in 20 minutes, and get it off in 15 minutes. Many space centre workers come to watch the exercises.

1961 March 23 - .
  • Cosmonaut Bondarenko dies at age of 24. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Gagarin; Nelyubov; Titov; Bondarenko. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok. At Tyuratam in the morning, LII engineers brief the cosmonauts on correcting the Globus instrument in flight, which indicates their position over the earth. Korolev checks in for a few minutes to make sure the cosmonauts have everything they need. In the evening the news of the death of cosmonaut Bondarenko reaches the cosmodrome. He died on the tenth day of a 15-day endurance experiment in a pressure chamber at IAKM when a fire broke out in the pure-oxygen cabin. Kamanin blames his death on IAKM's poor organisation and control of the experiment.

1961 March 24 - .
  • Vostok State Commission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Keldysh; Alekseyev, Semyon. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok. The Commission, headed by Keldysh, meets at 11:00. Alekseyev gives the first presentation. The required four ejection seat tests from an Il-28 bomber test aircraft have not even begun yet, or the tower tests of the NAZ ejection seat. They are planned for the next 7 to 10 days. On the other hand ejection tests from the sphere on the launch pad have been completed with satisfactory results. Nikolayev of OKB-124 briefs on the environmental control system. There are still problems with the oxygen regenerator. The fixes made so far resulted in little improvement in performance of the system during the latest ten-day trial. The only solution seems to be to abandon the system entirely and replace it with a different one using active chemical regeneration, but this will take 14 to 15 days. The gas analyser still operates poorly. Despite all problems not having been solved as required, the decision is made to proceed with the unmanned launch anyway.

1961 March 25 - .
  • Vostok rollout - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Voronin; Alekseyev, Semyon; Ustinov; Gagarin; Titov; Rudnev. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok. At 08:54 a meeting is held, where it is decided the bad performance of Voronin and Alekseyev in completing their capsule subsystems will be reported to Ustinov and Rudnev. At 13:00 the booster is rolled out to the pad. At 18:00 Gagarin and Titov donn their space suits and practice riding the elevator up to the spacecraft, and entering the hatch. This is to give them a practical feel for the time it will actually take them to get aboard and complete checkout of the spacecraft and suit.

1961 March 25 - . 05:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8K72K. LV Configuration: Vostok 8K72K E103-15.
  • Korabl-Sputnik 5 - . Payload: Vostok 3KA s/n 2. Mass: 4,695 kg (10,350 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Keldysh; Goreglyad; Karpov; Kamanin; Yazdovskiy; Gagarin; Nelyubov; Popovich; Titov; Bykovsky; Nikolayev; Korolev; Kirillov; Voskresenskiy. Agency: RVSN. Program: Vostok. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok. Duration: 0.0600 days. Decay Date: 1961-03-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 95 . COSPAR: 1961-Iota-1. Apogee: 175 km (108 mi). Perigee: 175 km (108 mi). Inclination: 64.9000 deg. Period: 88.00 min. Carried dog Zvezdochka and mannequin Ivan Ivanovich. Ivanovich was again ejected from the capsule and recovered by parachute, and Zvezdochka was successfully recovered with the capsule on March 25, 1961 7:40 GMT.
    Officially: Development of the design of the space ship satellite and of the systems on board, designed to ensure man's life functions during flight in outer space and return to Earth. Additional Details: here....

1961 March 27 - .
  • Vostok cleared for manned flight - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Voronin; Dementiev; Ustinov; Kozlov; Moskalenko. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok. The capsule was recovered 45 km southeast of Votinsk. The mannequin was ejected successfully from the aircraft, the dog Zvezdochka was fine, and was displayed to journalists all day. Therefore all is ready for a manned flight. The cosmonauts agree: 'Everything is finished, we can fly'. All is ready for a one-orbit flight with recovery in the USSR, but Kamanin still worries about the lack of any realistic plan in emergency situations. The environmental control system has still not completed endurance tests, and won't be able to keep the cosmonaut alive for the ten to twelve days it would take the spacecraft to decay from orbit if the retrorocket fails. Trials with the hot mock-up of the ECS in the capsule have still not been successful. Furthermore, a recovery at sea is not practical.

    The pace quickens leading to the first human spaceflight. Kamanin coordinates matters with Korolev and Voronin, and then discusses the ECS problems and cosmonaut landing issues with Dementiev. Plans are made for a meeting with Ustinov and Kozlov. In the evening a meeting of the General Staff is held. Decisions made: 1) Announce the name of the cosmonaut as soon as he is in orbit; 2) improve VVS support (aircraft, helicopters) needed to pick up the cosmonaut immediately after landing; 3) issue a formal letter to Moskalenko on rules for filming of the cosmonaut at the launch site; 4) organise an examination of the 11 cosmonauts not in the group of six now being prepared for flights.


1961 March 28 - .
  • Vostok problems review - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Voronin; Keldysh; Korolev; Dementiev. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok. The meeting is held at G T Voronin's OKB-124 at the 'Daks' factory. All of the program bigwigs are there (Korolev, Keldysh, etc). The big issue is the problem with the oxygen regenerator. On the 10 day trial 4 litres of lithium chloride were consumed, but the test was unsuccessful. A new solution of chlorine-lithium is proposed. But this is dangerous - the doctors are worried that if it gets into the cosmonauts body, it will poison him. A sharp discussion ensues, but the final decision is to try a five day trial with lithium chloride. At 12:00 the commission proceeds to Dementiev's GKAT. The tests of the Vostok recovery system are reviewed. There were to have been two to four ejection seat tests from Il-28 bombers, tests, plus tests at sea at Fedosiya of the NAZ ejection seat and the characteristics of the parachute underwater. The discussion turns again to the five-day ECS cabin test. It is decided to keep the faulty gas analyser, but not to connect it to the telemetry - the readings will be read with a television camera instead. There is a clear political aspect in the argument between the VVS design bureau and the institute over the performance of the ECS system. Lieutenant-General Kolkov orders yet another examination of the cosmonauts.

1961 March 29 - .
  • State Commission on Vostok 1 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Ustinov; Ivashutin. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok. The commission meets from 16:00 to 18:00 to assess readiness for launch. Korolev says he is ready to launch a man, following the two consecutive successful mannequin flights. Who will be selected to be the first man in space? The commission discusses the issue at some length. Afterwards, Kamanin meets with Ustinov at 18:30 and shows him a picture album of photographs taken from Vostok on the March 9 and 25 test flights. One taken over Turkey clearly shows the city of Alexandretta and the concrete runways of the airfields, demonstrating the military potential of the system. All is ready for the flight. The Central Committee of the Communist Party has issued a decree that the first man be launched into space between 10 and 20 April 1961. Three variant press releases are prepared, for 1) attainment of a successful orbit; 2) after a successful landing; and 3) in the event of an emergency landing with a request for international assistance in recovery and return of the cosmonaut. The consensus is that the APO destruct system used in the unmanned test flights will be deleted for the manned flight. Only Ivashutin is against this. Two successful ejection tests from an Il-28 bomber were reported from LII, finally completing a key milestone required for the flight.

1961 March 30 - .
  • VVS Recovery Plans - . Nation: USSR. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok. An air fleet has been assigned for the first manned flight. Aircraft that will be deployed with UHF direction finders include 20 Il-14, 3 An-12, 2 Tu-95, 10 Mi-4, and 3 Mi-6. Two Il-14 with HF direction finders will be deployed to Kuibyshev and Sverdlovsk.

1961 March 31 - .
  • Vostok preparations - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Zakharov; Vershinin; Grechko, Andrei; Malinovskiy; Voronin; Korolev. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok. The VVS leadership has been diverted for the last three days in meetings of the General Staff of the Warsaw Pact. At 09:00 Kamanin takes a break to prepare two letters. One goes to the Ministry of Defence, certifying readiness for the launch of Vostok 1 on 10-20 April; the other goes to Zakharov on the General Staff, turning over all in-flight photographs to the VVS. Vershsinin pages through Kamanin's photo album of earth photographs taken during the unmanned Vostok test flights. They show the precise orbital orientation of the spacecraft. He says he will show these to Grechko and Malinovskiy, trying to convince them of the usefulness of manned spaceflight. Kamain calls Korolev and advises him that Voronin is ready. Korolev says that he plans to put wood wool into the cabin to absorb any excess lithium chloride.

1961 April 1 - .
  • Vostok trials - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Voronin. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok. Trials of the NAZ ejection seat at sea with the underwater drag chute trials were unsuccessful. The NAZ is simply not seaworthy. The antenna remained submerged in all tests, making communications impossible. The five-day test of the ECS was also unsuccessful. The lithium chloride was used up at the end of four days. Kamanin believes that Voronin is a poor manager, and that a completely new solution to the Vostok life support system will be needed after the first flight.

1961 April 3 - .
  • Vostok first manned spaceflight authorised. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Khrunov; Komarov; Gagarin; Titov; Nelyubov. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok. The eleven cosmonauts not short-listed for early spaceflights are given a new screening examination. However only Khrunov and Komarov are interviewed before an urgent phone call is received from the General Staff: report at 13:00 with Gagarin, Titov, and Nelyubov, then proceed to a Communist Party meeting at 15:00 for the first flight decision. All concerned again confirm readiness for flight, and again Kamanin passes around his photo album, showing the Vostok's potential for military photoreconnaissance. Kamanin briefs the cosmonauts afterwards on the results of the NAZ ejection seat tests. There have been three successful ejections from the Il-28 aircraft, plus ejections from the re-entry capsule on the ground and from an altitude of 5 km. All tests were successful. The cosmonauts are aware of the remaining problems with the capsule but are confident it is safe for a one-orbit flight. Gagarin says that Parachutist Colonel Nikolai Konstantinovich Nikitin, their instructor, should inspect the cosmonaut's parachute at the pad. The cosmonauts have confidence in him, but he has made problems over the tests at Fedosiya. At 16:00 Korolev calls. The Central Committee has approved the flight. He leaves for Tyuratam for final launch preparations. The cosmonauts' confirmation of readiness for flight was recorded and played back to the committee. The resulitng decree 'On approval for launch of Vostok' provided the final authority to proceed with the first manned spaceflight.

1961 April 6 - .
  • Vostok 1 State Commission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Rudnev; Korolev; Keldysh; Gagarin; Titov; Alekseyev, Semyon. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok. Rudnev arrives at the cosmondrome, and the first state commission meeting is held with Korolev and the technicians at 11:30. The oxygen regenerator is still not ready, and it is decided to fly with the old dehumidifier on the first flight, since only a 90 minute mission is planned anyway. The suit and all recovery systems worked perfectly on the 9 and 25 March mannequin flights, so the NAZ system is deemed ready for flight. After the meeting Rudnev and Makarov of the KGB go to work on the written orders that will be binding on the cosmonauts in case of accidental landing on foreign territory. Kamanin, Keldysh, and Korolev draw up the final draft of the announcements to be issued in case of normal orbital insertion and after successful landing. In the evening Gagarin and Titov try on their individual suits and Alekseyev checks the parachute systems. The cosmonauts return to the hotel at 11 pm.

1961 April 8 - .
  • Vostok 1 State Commission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Moskalenko; Yazdovskiy; Titov; Gagarin; Korolev; Keldysh. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok. Rudnev chairs the meeting, in which Kamanin recommends that Gagarin pilot the first manned spaceflight, with Titov as backup. A discussion follows on whether to have a representative from the FAI at the launch in order to obtain registration of the world record. Marshal Moskalenko and Keldysh are opposed - they don't want anyone from outside at the secret cosmodrome. It is decided to enclose the code to unlock the controls of the spacecraft in a special packet. Gagarin will have to break it open in order to get the code that will allow him to override the automatic system and orient the spacecraft manually for re-entry. An emergency ejection during ascent to orbit is discussed. It is decided that only Korolev or Kamanin will be allowed to manually command an ejection in the first 40 seconds of flight. After that, the process will be automatic. There is embarrassment when Moskalenko confronts Yazdovskiy: 'so why are you here, when you're a veterinarian and only handle dogs?' Kamanin has to explain that Yazdovskiy is actually a medical doctor. After the meeting, Kamanin reviews Titov's training in the spacecraft, which has gone well.

1961 April 11 - .
  • Vostok 1 countdown - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Gagarin; Titov; Korolev; Yazdovskiy; Feoktistov. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok. The booster is rolled out to the pad at 05:00. At 10:00 the cosmonauts meet with Feoktistov for a last review of the flight plan. Launch is set of 09:07 the next day, followed by shutdown and jettison of the lateral boosters of the first stage at 09:09, and orbital insertion at 09:18. The spacecraft will orient itself toward the sun for retrofire at 09:50. At 10:15 the first command sequence will be uploaded to the spacecraft, followed by the second at 10:18 and the third at 10:25. Retrofire of the TDU engine will commence at 10:25:47. The service module will separate from the capsule at 10:36 as the capsule begins re-entry. The capsule's parachute will deploy at 10:43:43 and at 10:44:12 the cosmonaut's ejection seat will fire. While the cosmonauts go through this, the booster has been brought upright on the pad, the service towers raised, and all umbilical connections made. Korolev, Yazdovskiy, and the others make a final inspection at the pad prior to the commencement of the countdown. At 13:00 Gagarin meets a group of soldiers, NCO's, and officers. After this Kamanin and the cosmonauts go to the cottage formerly occupied by Marshal Nedelin, where they will spend the last night before launch. They eat 'space food' out of 160 g toothpaste-type tubes for lunch - two servings of meat puree and one of chocolate sauce. Gagarin's blood pressure is measured as 115/60, pulse 64, body temperature 36.8 deg C. He then subjects to placement of the biosensors he will wear during the flight, and baseline measurements are taken for an hour and twenty minutes. He is very calm through all this. At 21:30 Korolev comes to the cottage, says good night to the cosmonauts, then goes back out to check on launch preparations. Gagarin and Titov go to bed after this. Kamanin stays up a while in the next room, listening to them talk to one another in the dark.

1961 April 12 - . 06:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8K72K. LV Configuration: Vostok 8K72K E103-16.
  • Vostok 1 - . Call Sign: Kedr (Cedar ). Crew: Gagarin. Backup Crew: Titov; Nelyubov. Payload: Vostok 3KA s/n 3. Mass: 4,725 kg (10,416 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Keldysh; Rudnev; Karpov; Moskalenko; Gagarin; Titov; Nelyubov. Agency: RVSN. Program: Vostok. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok. Duration: 0.0750 days. Decay Date: 1961-04-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 103 . COSPAR: 1961-Mu-1. Apogee: 315 km (195 mi). Perigee: 169 km (105 mi). Inclination: 65.0000 deg. Period: 89.30 min. First manned spaceflight, one orbit of the earth. Three press releases were prepared, one for success, two for failures. It was only known ten minutes after burnout, 25 minutes after launch, if a stable orbit had been achieved.

    The payload included life-support equipment and radio and television to relay information on the condition of the pilot. The flight was automated; Gagarin's controls were locked to prevent him from taking control of the ship. The combination to unlock the controls was available in a sealed envelope in case it became necessary to take control in an emergency. After retrofire, the service module remained attached to the Sharik reentry sphere by a wire bundle. The joined craft went through wild gyrations at the beginning of re-entry, before the wires burned through. The Sharik, as it was designed to do, then naturally reached aerodynamic equilibrium with the heat shield positioned correctly.

    Gagarin ejected after re-entry and descended under his own parachute, as was planned. However for many years the Soviet Union denied this, because the flight would not have been recognized for various FAI world records unless the pilot had accompanied his craft to a landing. Recovered April 12, 1961 8:05 GMT. Landed Southwest of Engels Smelovka, Saratov. Additional Details: here....


1961 May 20 - .
  • Vostok 2 discussions - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Yazdovskiy; Bushuyev; Feoktistov; Korolev. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 2. Spacecraft: Sever; Vostok. Kamanin, Yazdovskiy, Bushuyev, and Feoktistov fly to Sochi. Korolev arrives on the next flight, and discussions begin on plans for the second Soviet manned spaceflight. Korolev wants a one-day/16-orbit flight, but Kamanin thinks this is too daring and wants a 3 to 4 orbit flight. Korolev rejects this, saying recovery on orbits 2 to 7 is not possible since the solar orientation sensor would not function (retrofire would have to take place in the earth's shadow). But Kamanin believes one day is too big a leap since the effects of sustained zero-G are not known. He finally agrees to a one-day flight, but with the proviso that a manually-oriented retrofire can be an option on orbits 2 to 7 if the cosmonaut is feeling unwell. Korolev reports that the new Sever spacecraft should be ready for flight by the third quarter of 1962. OKB-1 is working hard on the finding solutions to the problems of manoeuvring, rendezvous, and docking in orbit. Kamanin tells Korolev that it would be difficult to recruit and train three-man crews in time to support such an aggressive schedule.

1961 August 6 - . 06:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8K72K. LV Configuration: Vostok 8K72K E103-17.
  • Vostok 2 - . Call Sign: Oryel (Eagle ). Crew: Titov. Backup Crew: Nikolayev; Nelyubov. Payload: Vostok 3KA s/n 4. Mass: 4,730 kg (10,420 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Titov; Nikolayev; Nelyubov. Agency: RVSN. Program: Vostok. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Vostok 2. Spacecraft: Vostok. Duration: 1.00 days. Decay Date: 1961-08-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 168 . COSPAR: 1961-Tau-1. Apogee: 221 km (137 mi). Perigee: 172 km (106 mi). Inclination: 64.8000 deg. Period: 88.40 min. Second manned orbital flight. The Soviet Union successfully launched Vostok II into orbit with Gherman S. Titov as pilot. The spacecraft carried life-support equipment, radio and television for monitoring the condition of the cosmonaut, tape recorder, telemetry system, biological experiments, and automatic and manual control equipment. Flight objectives: Investigation of the effects on the human organism of a prolonged flight in orbit and subsequent return to the surface of the Earth; investigation of man's ability to work during a prolonged period of weightlessness. Titov took manual control of spacecraft but suffered from space sickness. He was equipped with a professional quality Konvas movie camera, with which ten minutes of film of the earth were taken through the porthole. Both television and film images were taken of the interior of the spacecraft. Like Gagarin, Titov experienced problems with separation of the service module after retrofire. Titov was never to fly again, after being assigned to the Spiral spaceplane, which turned out to be a dead-end project. A biography of him by Martin Caidin ('I Am Eagle') made him somewhat more accessible than Gagarin to the West.

1961 October 18 - .
  • Vostok 3 training - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Nikolayev; Titov. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3. Spacecraft: Vostok; Sokol SK-1. Summary: Nikolayev conducts a three-day simulated spaceflight in his suit, in the spacecraft, including centrifuge runs at the beginning and end. Kamanin is furious about Titov's antics in Rumania, where he rode a motorcycle in a parade!.

1961 October 28 - .
  • Zenit-2 priority delays manned space flights - . Nation: USSR. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. Spacecraft: Zenit-2; Vostok. Summary: Plans for a November group flight are delayed due to the priority of the spy satellite program. Korolev wants to fly manned Vostoks in December 1961/January 1962, but Kamanin and the VVS oppose this due to poor weather during that period..

1961 December 26 - .
  • Meeting on the planned Vostok 3/4 flights. - . Nation: USSR. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. Spacecraft: Vostok; Sokol SK-1. Six cosmonauts are certified as ready for flight. Trials of a new parachute and spacesuit design are not going well. The Vostok ECS has also not yet been perfected. The temperature in the cabin of Vostok 2 went down to 10 deg C due to what turned out to be an installation error (both the primary and back-up circulation fans were operating). Before finding the true nature of the problem, other modifications were made to the system, which resulted in the cabin being at 35 to 40 deg C in tests. The Mikron system, which is supposed to control the physiological function of the cosmonaut for ejection and landing, has never worked correctly.

1962 January 18 - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Korolev requests new Vostoks - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev. Program: Vostok. Spacecraft: Vostok; Vostok-Zh; Zenit-4. Korolev has issued a letter requested eight new Vostok 3A spacecraft to be built in 1962-1963. He recommends that they should be finished as the 1100 to 1300 kg heavier 'Vostok-2', to be boosted by the 11A57 rocket, developed originally for the Zenit-4 spy satellite. These Vostok-2's will be used for docking experiments, to form EO Experimental Orbital stations, and to develop spacecraft systems for flight to the moon. The VVS fully supports these plans. One of the docking spacecraft will be piloted, the other unpiloted.

1962 February 8 - .
  • Vostok ejection problems - . Nation: USSR. Program: Vostok. Spacecraft: Vostok. Summary: Kamanin discovers that the head of the Vostok parachute trials concealed the fact that the cosmonaut's parachute was snagging on the RFPK-10 antenna - in order to meet the deadline of 13 February set by the VPK for completion of tests..

1962 May 4 - .
  • Titov in Baltimore - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Titov; von Braun; Glenn. Spacecraft: Mercury; Vostok. Titov and Kamanin meet journalist Drew Pierson, who claims that five Soviet cosmonauts died before Gagarin flew. They are introduced to Wernher Von Braun. In the afternoon they go to a barbecue at Glenn's house in Virginia. Kamanin carefully notes the technical information he has gleaned: Glenn wore no parachute; the Mercury's solid fuel retrorockets fire in 28 seconds, much more quickly and with more force than the Vostok's low-thrust liquid propellant engine; it is planned to launch a modernised version of Mercury on a one-day flight by the end of 1962; the astronauts train in the centrifuge to 16 G's (versus 12 G's for the cosmonauts); the NASA manned space headquarters is moving to Texas; Mercury is only capable of water landings, no work has been done on land landings or equipping the capsule with an ejection seat; several Amerrican women are considered fit for spaceflight, and the first American woman could make a three-orbit flight in the second half of 1962.

1962 July 16 - .
  • Experiments for Vostok 3/4 - . Nation: USSR. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. Spacecraft: Vostok. Meeting at OKB-1 between the cosmonaut commander and spacecraft engineers. It is decided that experiments conducted during the flight will be observations of: the third stage of the Vostok booster after separation of the spacecraft; the launch of Vostok 4, as seen from Vostok 3; and preselected ground objects. These will require two to three hours of manual orientation of the spacecraft, with pointing accurate to within 7 degrees of the expected position of the objects to be observed.

1962 August 3 - .
  • Titov again - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Ponomaryova; Kuznetsova; Titov; Korolev. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. Spacecraft: Vostok. Kamanin learns that Ponomaryova and Kuznetsova spent all night in TItov's apartment at TsPK. 'Dumb girls' he intones. Kamanin travels in a Lvov bus from Area 10 to Area 2, a distance of 40 km. Driving a Volga automobile, the stretch can now be done in only thirty minutes on the newly paved road. Korolev and his engineers are hard at work. Spacecraft number 5 is already in final tests, with Spacecraft 6 one to two days behind it in the processing flow. The launches will be observed by all of the female cosmonauts and 4 to 8 of the new engineer-cosmonauts.

1962 August 4 - .
  • Launch preparations - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Nikolayev; Popovich; Korolev. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. Spacecraft: Vostok; Zenit-2. Kamanin is at the Syr Darya River at 06:50, and arrives at Area 2 at 09:00. Suit communications tests are underway. From 11:00 to 13:00 there is a discussion on how the cosmonauts will observe the third stage of their booster, and how the spacecraft will be oriented. To stay pointed, they will need to put the spacecraft in a very slow maneuver of 0.06 deg/sec, or one revolution in 1.8 hours. Once they have achieved this, they have to put the spacecraft in a roll of 0.5 deg/sec, or one revolution in 12 minutes, in order to maintain the spacecraft's thermal balance due to solar heating. Kamanin does not understand why this is necessary - the Cosmos 4 spy satellite, of the same design, spent all four days of its mission in stabilised flight, using infrared horizon trackers, and maintained a stable internal temperature of 17 deg C. Korolev mentions that Cosmos 4 could distinguish types of aircraft on airfields, and the form and tonnage of ships at sea.

1962 August 5 - .
  • Sunday at the cosmodrome - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Nikolayev; Popovich. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. Spacecraft: Vostok. Summary: Launch preparations continue. From 08:00 to 15:00 the NUZ ejection seat parachute system and radio communications are tested. Spacecraft 6 completed acceptance tests for the third time. All should be ready for launch by August 6..

1962 August 8 - .
  • Launch preparations - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Nikolayev; Popovich. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. Spacecraft: Vostok. Kamanin gets up at 05:00. A Yangel missile was to have been launched in the morning, but it has been postponed to the evening. Vostok 4 completed its third series of functional tests, but did not pass the visual inspection. The ejection seat, which was taken out of the capsule last night at 23:00, was not back into the capsule until 09:00 this morning, which meant that Popovich could not complete his training in the seat in his suit as planned. The cosmonauts start preparing the ship's flight plans/logs. The Tyuratam airfield is discussed. The 1200 m paved runway is insufficient, it needs to be extended to 3000 m for future requirements. From 15:00 to 20:30 the cosmonauts and the press go on a photo opportunity - fishing on the Syr Darya River.

1962 August 8 - .
  • Additional Vostok missions; launch preparations. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Rudenko; Nikolayev; Popovich; Korolev; Gagarin; Titov. Program: Vostok; Soyuz. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4; Vostok 5; Vostok 6; Vostok 6A; Vostok 7; Vostok 8; Vostok 9. Spacecraft: Vostok; Soyuz A; Soyuz B; Soyuz V. Kamanin discusses with Rudenko the need for construction and flight of ten additional Vostok spacecraft. Korolev still plans to have the first Soyuz spacecraft completed and flying by May 1963, but Kamanin finds this completely unrealistic. The satellite is still only on paper; he doesn't believe it will fly until 1964. If the Vostoks are not built, Kamanin believes the Americans will surpass the Russians in manned spaceflight in 1963-1964. From 13:00 to 14:00 Nikolayev spends an hour in his spacesuit in the ejection seat. Kamanin finds many mistakes in the design of the ejection seat. There is no room for error in disconnect of the ECS, in release of the seat, and so on. At 17:00 the State Commission holds a rally to fete Gagarin and Titov in the square in front of headquarters. Kamanin finds the event very warm but poorly organised. At 19:00 Smirnov chairs the meeting of the State Commission in the conference hall of the MIK. Korolev declares the spacecraft and launch vehicle ready; Kamanin declares the cosmonauts ready. Nikolayev is formally named the commanding officer of Vostok 3, and Popovich of Vostok 4. Rudenko gets Popovich's name wrong - his second serious mistake. He had earlier called the meeting for the wrong time.

1962 August 11 - . 08:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8K72K.
  • Vostok 3 - . Call Sign: Sokol (Falcon ). Crew: Nikolayev. Backup Crew: Bykovsky; Volynov. Payload: Vostok 3KA s/n 5. Mass: 4,722 kg (10,410 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Nikolayev; Bykovsky; Popovich; Gagarin; Smirnov; Barmin; Kirillov; Khrushchev; Kozlov, Frol; Ustinov; Volynov. Agency: RVSN. Program: Vostok. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Vostok 3. Spacecraft: Vostok. Duration: 3.93 days. Decay Date: 1962-08-15 . USAF Sat Cat: 363 . COSPAR: 1962-A-Mu-1. Apogee: 218 km (135 mi). Perigee: 166 km (103 mi). Inclination: 65.0000 deg. Period: 88.30 min. Joint flight with Vostok 4. The first such flight, where Vostok capsules were launched one day apart, coming within a few kilometers of each other at the orbital insertion of the second spacecraft. The flight was supposed to occur in March, but following various delays, one of the two Vostok pads was damaged in the explosion of the booster of the third Zenit-2 reconnsat in May. Repairs were not completed until August. Vostok 3 studied man's ability to function under conditions of weightlessness; conducted scientific observations; furthered improvement of space ship systems, communications, guidance and landing. Immediately at orbital insertion of Vostok 4, the spacecraft were less than 5 km apart. Popovich made radio contact with Cosmonaut Nikolayev. Nikolayev reported shortly thereafter that he had sighted Vostok 4. Since the Vostok had no maneuvering capability, they could not rendezvous or dock, and quickly drifted apart. The launches did allow Korolev to offer something new and different, and gave the launch and ground control crews practice in launching and handling more than one manned spacecraft at a time. The cosmonaut took colour motion pictures of the earth and the cabin interior. Additional Details: here....

1962 August 12 - . 08:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8K72K.
  • Vostok 4 - . Call Sign: Berkut (Golden Eagle ). Crew: Popovich. Backup Crew: Komarov; Volynov. Payload: Vostok 3KA s/n 6. Mass: 4,728 kg (10,423 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Nikolayev; Popovich; Komarov; Volynov. Agency: RVSN. Program: Vostok. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Vostok 4. Spacecraft: Vostok. Duration: 2.96 days. Decay Date: 1962-08-15 . USAF Sat Cat: 365 . COSPAR: 1962-A-Nu-1. Apogee: 211 km (131 mi). Perigee: 159 km (98 mi). Inclination: 65.0000 deg. Period: 88.20 min. Joint flight with Vostok 3. Acquisition of experimental data on the possibility of establishing a direct link between two space ships; coordination of astronauts' operations; study of the effects of identical spaceflight conditions on the human organism. The launch of Popovich proceeds exactly on schedule, the spacecraft launching with 0.5 seconds of the planned time, entering orbit just a few kilometers away from Nikolayev in Vostok 3. Popovich had problems with his life support system, resulting in the cabin temperature dropping to 10 degrees Centigrade and the humidity to 35%. The cosmonaut still managed to conduct experiments, including taking colour motion pictures of the terminator between night and day and the cabin interior.

    Despite the conditions, Popovich felt able to go for the full four days scheduled. But before the mission, Popovich had been briefed to tell ground control that he was 'observing thunderstorms' if he felt the motion sickness that had plagued Titov and needed to return on the next opportunity. Unfortunately he actually did report seeing thunderstorms over the Gulf of Mexico, and ground control took this as a request for an early return. He was ordered down a day early, landing within a few mintutes of Nikolayev. Only on the ground was it discovered that he was willing to go the full duration, and that ground control had thought he had given the code.


1962 August 16 - .
  • Vostok 3/4 post-flight debriefings - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Nikolayev; Popovich. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. Spacecraft: Vostok. Nikolayev and Popovich finally arrive in Kuibyshev aboard an Il-18 aircraft that originated from from Sary Shagan. Now come the medical check-ups and interviews by the State Commission, The State Commission finds that both missions have outstanding results. The cosmonauts present believe that in the future men, not machines, should pilot the spacecraft. The way was clear for 5 to 10 Vostok flights in the next year.

    Nikolayev's post-flight debriefing: The rocket vibration was not great initially, but very forceful at the end of operation of the second stage. There was quite a shock on separation of the spacecraft from the third stage. 15 minutes before the launch of Popovich's spacecraft I oriented the Vostok and at 11:03 the spacecraft was at the correct 73 degree pitch attitude. However I was unable to see either Popovich's spacecraft or his booster rocket. I had bad communications with Zarya on the first day. On the fourth revolution, during the communications session with Khrushchev, I could not hear, but then during the second, third, and fourth day of the flight communications were clear. The Globus instrument was valuable. Zero-G was not unpleasant, and on the fourth day I sharply turned by head to the left and right but could not force any bad reactions. I felt fully trained in use of the equipment. Over Turkey I could see airfields, cities, paved roads, and ships at sea. The TDU retrorocket operated for 42 seconds. The re-entry capsule revolved randomly on reaching the denser atmosphere and I pulled 8 to 9 G's on re-entry. There were many boulders in the landing area, but I was able to guide my parachute to land in a 2 x 2 m clear area.

    Popovich debriefing: I could easily see the earth flowing below. Manual orientation using this by day or the stars by night was possible. There was lots of static on the UHF band on space-ground communications. Space-to-space communications with Sokol were very good, especially over the equator. Moving my head caused no motion sickness problems. After ejection, I secured my reserve parachute (as had Nikolayev). I saw a search aircraft twenty minutes after landing. The NAZ antenna did not deploy (as with Nikolyaev).

    After the debriefing, a celebration is held with the cosmonauts, State Commission, and local officials. Everyone gets pretty drunk. Kamanin is finally instructed to take Nikolayev and Popovich to bed at midnight. The rest continue until 2 in the morning.


1962 August 24 - .
  • Baikonur conditions - . Nation: USSR. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 5. Spacecraft: Vostok. Kamanin is at Tyuratam for the impending Venera launch, together with some of the cosmonauts. He notes that officers at Tyuratam have to live in hostels, without their families. Some have been there from three to five years, separated from their wives and children. Those who leave to see their families are court-martialled for desertion. At a morning briefing a new 'forced' method of manually orienting the Vostok is discussed. This will allow the spacecraft to turn 360 degrees in 12 minutes. The conservative method using residual angular velocities takes two hours. In the evening the State Commission for the Venera launch meets. This is the first one ever not attended by Korolev - after the meeting in the Kremlin, he became very ill, and is in the hospital. It will be two to three weeks before he can return to work.

1962 December 6 - .
  • Soviet Space Plans for 1963-1964 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Smirnov; Korolev; Ustinov. Program: Soyuz; Vostok; DS. Flight: Vostok 7; Vostok 8; Vostok 9. Spacecraft: Zenit-2; Zenit-4; Soyuz A; Soyuz B; Soyuz V; Vostok. Meeting of the Interdepartmental Soviet of the Academy of Sciences reviews space exploration plans. In the next two years, 5-6 Luna probes will be sent to the moon, including soft landers with a mass of 100 kg, and orbiters to map the surface. There will be flybys and landings of Mars and Venus. Two Zond spacecraft will study the space environment out to 20 million kilometres from the earth. In earth orbit, 10 Zenit spy satellites, 10 to 12 Vostok manned spacecraft, 4 to 6 Soyuz spacecraft, and 10 to 12 Kosmos satellites will be launched. The Kosmos will fly missions in meteorology, communications, television transmission, and heliographic, and geological studies. Kamanin finds this a good program, but it nearly all relies on a single launch pad and one-time transmission of data from a few satellites. The military plan is not reviewed; it must go through the VPK Military-Industrial Commission first. An Expert Commission is to be formed on the Soyuz spacecraft. Smirnov and Korolev have dictated a letter to Ustinov asking that eight more Vostoks be built. On the other hand, some on the general staff want 60 cosmonauts trained in the next two to three years, to support 8 to 10 flights of single-place spacecraft and 7 to 8 flights of multiplace spacecraft.

1963 January 31 - .
  • Smirnov opposed to dual female Vostok flight. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Smirnov; Titov. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 5; Vostok 6; Vostok 6A. Spacecraft: Vostok. Smirnov only wants to fly two, not four Vostoks this year. One male, and one female cosmonaut would be launched in a group flight. Correct approvals cannot be obtained in time for manufacture of four Vostoks until August of this year. Later Kamanin has another scene with Titov. The cosmonaut was drunk on a factory visit, and defied the militia when confronted.

1963 February 8 - .
  • Further construction of Vostok spacecraft approved. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Vostok. Summary: Decree 24 'On the Manufacture of 'Vostok' Objects --manufacture of Vostok spacecraft in 1963' was issued..

1963 February 16 - .
1963 March 21 - .
  • Vostok programme cut back - second female flight cancelled - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Kozlov. Flight: Vostok 5; Vostok 6; Vostok 6A; Vostok 7; Vostok 8; Vostok 9; Vostok 10. Spacecraft: Vostok. Vostok flight plans were drastically curtailed at a meeting of the Presidium of the Communist Party. Korolev presented the plan for 1963 as approved by the Interorganizational Soviet at the beginning of the year. This plan, already in an advanced stage of execution, was rejected utterly by Kozlov and Vershinin. The Ministry of Defence announced its categorical opposition to further Vostok production. It was finally decided that there would be only two flights in 1963 using existing spacecraft. These were scheduled for June and would consist of simultaneous female and male flights. Kamanin was infuriated that although he was ordered by a leadership decree in December 1961 to train five women for spaceflight, the same leadership was now asking - Who ordered this? What was the purpose? Are we sure they're ready?

1963 March 21 - .
  • Vostok launch plans in 1963. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Vostok. Summary: Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On preparation of proposals on launches of Vostok spacecraft' was issued..

1963 April - .
  • Vostok 6A (cancelled) - . Crew: Ponomaryova. Backup Crew: Yerkina. Payload: Vostok 3KA s/n 8. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Ustinov; Tereshkova; Bykovsky; Ponomaryova; Yerkina. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 6A. Spacecraft: Vostok. Decay Date: 1963-06-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 595 . Apogee: 192 km (119 mi). Perigee: 163 km (101 mi). Inclination: 64.9000 deg. Period: 88.00 min. From August 1962 until February 21, 1963 it was planned that the next two Vostok flights (Vostok 5 and 6) would take place in March-April 1963 and be a dual female flight. Two capsules would be launched a day apart; each would remain aloft for three days. Although a final decision would only be made at the last minute, cosmonaut chief Kamanin always planned to name Tereshkova for the first flight. She was appropriately feminine and modest, and always mouthed the correct Communist party line in interviews. Ponomaryova was considered the most qualified candidate technically and emotionally for the Vostok 6 flight. However her aggressive feminism and failure to mouth Soviet catch-phrases were considered drawbacks by the male Communist stalwarts that ran the programme. This dual female flight plan was approved all the way up the Soviet hierarchy until it was killed at the last moment at a meeting of the Presidium of the Communist Party on 21 March 1963 by party ideologue Kozlov and Ministry of Defence Chief Ustinov. Only one female would be allowed to fly for propaganda purposes. A male cosmonaut (Bykovsky) was rushed into final training, delaying the dual flights for two months. Tereshkova made it into space aboard Vostok 6, following Bykovsky aboard Vostok 5. But Ponomaryova and the other female cosmonauts trained in the 1960ís never flew.

1963 April 9 - .
  • Vostok proposed as the first 'space trainer'. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Keldysh; Korolev. Spacecraft: Vostok. In a meeting between the VVS and OKB-1 engineers, Korolev and Keldysh push for acceptance by the military and use of Vostok as the first 'space trainer'. Cosmonauts would train for spaceflight on Vostok missions before being assigned to operational flights aboard Soyuz.. This was consistent with aircraft practice (e.g. where the first effective jet fighter, the MiG-15, was converted to the MiG-15UTI and became the standard jet trainer for the VVS). It also envisioned a future where operational Vostok and Soyuz spacecraft would be mass-produced by the military and flown as regularly as fighter aircraft.

1963 April 13 - .
  • Decree issued for four Vostok flights in 1963. - . Nation: USSR. Flight: Vostok 5; Vostok 6. Spacecraft: Vostok. Summary: Decree issued by the Soviet ministers and Central Committee setting out four Vostok flights in 1963. Two are to be launched by 15 June. .

1963 April 13 - .
  • Vostok plans in 1963. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Vostok. Summary: Decree 'On plans for Vostok launches in 1963' was issued..

1963 April 19 - .
  • Cosmonaut training for Vostok 5/6. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Bykovsky; Volynov; Leonov; Khrunov; Tereshkova. Flight: Vostok 5; Vostok 6. Spacecraft: Vostok. It is clear that the female cosmonauts are trained and ready for an August flight, and the men (Bykovskiy, Volynov, Leonov, Khrunov) can complete training by that date. The male cosmonauts object to spending 7 to 8 days in a spacesuit in the ground spacecraft mock-up as required by the flight doctors. They don't want to spend more than 3 to 4 days.

1963 May 7 - .
  • Yerkina excluded from Vostok 6 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Yerkina. Flight: Vostok 6. Spacecraft: Vostok. Summary: Yerkina was excluded from Vostok 6 due to her performance during the three day test in the hot mock-up. She took off her boots after one day, and ate only three rations in three days. She was weak and fainted after coming out of the spacecraft. .

1963 May 11 - .
  • Vostok 5 / Vostok 6 Planning - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Bykovsky; Volynov; Leonov; Khrunov; Tereshkova; Solovyova; Ponomaryova; Yerkina; Keldysh; Rudenko; Korolev. Flight: Vostok 5; Vostok 6. Spacecraft: Vostok. Korolev reports still problems with components of the electrical system from the Kharkov factory -- the same problems that existed in 1962. The cosmonauts will go to Tyuratam on 27/28 May, with launch planned for 3/5 June. Bykovskiy is named prime for Vostok 5, with Volynov his backup. Tereshkova is named prime for Vostok 6, with Solovyova and Ponomaryeva both as her backups. This selection is however made despite strong support for Ponomaryeva as prime by Keldysh and Rudenko.

1963 May 14 - .
  • Tereshkova and Solovyova rated most ready to fly on Vostok 6. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tereshkova; Bykovsky; Solovyova; Ponomaryova; Yerkina. Flight: Vostok 6; Vostok 5. Spacecraft: Vostok. Summary: Tereshkova and Solovyova are most ready to fly and will be sent to Fedosiya for sea training first. Ponomaryova and Yerkina will follow tomorrow. Bykovskiy started his run in the hot mock-up at 10:00 am. .

1963 May 15 - .
  • Cooper's flight scrubbed; Bukovskiy to start in Vostok 5 hot mock-up. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Cooper; Bykovsky. Flight: Vostok 5; Mercury MA-9. Spacecraft: Vostok. Cooper's flight was scrubbed due to a problem with the Bermuda tracking site. Bykovskiy's suit microphone failed on the second day in the hot-mock-up and he as to communicate by telephone or telegraph. The doctor's insistence that each cosmonaut spend the full duration of his planned flight in the hot mock-up is idiotic. The US practice is to simulate the active portions of the flight only. In actuality every day spent in a suit on the earth is as gruelling as three days in space.

1963 May 16 - .
  • Bykovsky's ordeal in Vostok-5 hot mock-up to be ended on third day. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Cooper; Bykovsky. Flight: Vostok 5; Mercury MA-9. Spacecraft: Vostok. Summary: It is decided that extending Bykovskiy's ordeal in the hot mock-up to a third day makes no sense. The IAKM doctors are utterly incompetent. Cooper has landed after a successful flight. The US is now hot on our tail in the space race. .

1963 May 20 - .
  • Volynov completes three days in the Vostok 5 hot mock-up. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Volynov. Flight: Vostok 5. Spacecraft: Vostok.

1963 May 21 - .
1963 May 22 - .
  • Vostok 5 ready for launch on 10 June. - . Nation: USSR. Flight: Vostok 5. Spacecraft: Vostok. Summary: It is reported that the spacecraft will be ready for launch on 5 June and the launch vehicle on 10 June. .

1963 May 25 - .
  • VPK meets to approve plans for Vostok 5 and 6 flights. - . Nation: USSR. Flight: Vostok 5; Vostok 6. Spacecraft: Vostok. Summary: It was proposed that Vostok 5 carry a small 1.5 kg optical telescope to allow better visual observations outside of the spacecraft..

1963 June 1 - .
  • Vostok 5/6 Flight Preparations - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Rudenko; Raushenbakh. Flight: Vostok 5. Spacecraft: Vostok. Sunday before the launch. Rudenko goes to the Syr Darya for a swim. The cosmonauts play volleyball, then receive instruction from Rauschenbach on manual orientation of the spacecraft for re-entry. Then everyone goes to the beach for swimming and chess. Good river bass are cooked for dinner. In the evening, the film The Magnificent Seven is screened. Kamanin finds it violent but involving - the two hours go by in no time.

1963 June 1 - .
  • Cosmonauts and brass arrive at the cosmodrome for the Vostok 5/6 launch. - . Nation: USSR. Flight: Vostok 5; Vostok 6. Spacecraft: Vostok. A meeting is held to discuss emergency recovery of the Vostoks. There is no realistic chance of their survival if they land at sea in the South Atlantic, Pacific, or Antarctic Oceans, however plans must be made. Several ships and three to four Tu-114 aircraft would be required to have any realistic chance of recovery. However these are not available.

1963 June 3 - .
  • Vostok 5/6 Flight Preparations - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tereshkova; Solovyova; Ponomaryova; Bykovsky; Volynov; Korolev. Flight: Vostok 6; Vostok 5. Spacecraft: Vostok. At 9 am Tereshkova, Solovyova, and Ponomaryova practice donning and doffing their space suits. Bykovskiy and Volynov prepare their ship's logs. Korolev discusses plans for tests of the cosmonaut's ability to discern objects from space. Colonel Kirillov completes preparation of the spacecraft for flight.

1963 June 4 - .
  • The State Commission for Vostok 5/6 launches meets. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tereshkova; Bykovsky. Flight: Vostok 6; Vostok 5. Spacecraft: Vostok. All is ready, but the wind is predicted to by 15 to 20 m/s on 7 June. The launch vehicle cannot be launched in winds over 15 m/s. Bykovskiy and Tereshkova are confirmed as the crew for 8 and 3 day flight durations. When they return to earth, a new and difficult life as celebrities will begin for them -- they will be known all over the world.

1963 June 5 - .
  • Vostok 5/6 Flight Preparations - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Bykovsky; Volynov. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4; Vostok 5. Spacecraft: Vostok. On the last five days it has been 25 deg C during the days and 15 deg C at night. In the evening the classified film on Nikolayev and Popovich's flights is screened. Kamanin regrets that it cannot be made public. What the Soviet state considers secrets - the configuration of the rocket and spacecraft, the identity of the managers and launch teams - are public knowledge in the US program. A VVS Li-2 (DC-3) transport arrives at Tyuratam with three tonnes of fruit. A real treat for the launch teams. The cosmonauts spend their final night in the cottages. These are equipped with good-quality Italian air conditioners that keep the cosmonauts comfortable on their last night on earth.

1963 June 6 - .
  • Launches of Vostok 5 and 6 delayed - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Titov; Bykovsky. Flight: Vostok 5; Vostok 6. Spacecraft: Vostok. Launches of Vostok 5 and 6 are delayed due to failure of the command radio line. There were many such failures during preparation of the spacecraft. It will take three to four days to fix. Kamanin inspects the site for the planned cosmonaut quarters on the Syr Darya river. It is located next to Khrushchev's houses (which he has handed over to Chelomei for quartering his people) and the television centre. The building will face east, with a view of the river and a wooded island. Bykovskiy is run through a first 'practice press conference' to teach him the correct responses to questions. The military officers want to minimise press contacts with the cosmonauts in any case. But the kids in the town are mad about the cosmonauts -- the chanted from 6 to 11 pm in the evening outside their quarters, and Kamanin has seen teenage girls stand in the rain for hours for a chance to see Titov (and he never even came out as promised).

1963 June 8 - .
  • Vostok 5/6 Flight Preparations - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tereshkova. Flight: Vostok 6. Spacecraft: Vostok. Summary: A review of the spacecraft radio problems shows that the rejection rate for production equipment is 6% against 2% guaranteed by 5-GURVO. Tereshkova sits in the Vostok 6 spacecraft, and makes a good impression on the technicians. .

1963 June 9 - .
  • Vostok 5 is rolled out - . Nation: USSR. Flight: Vostok 5. Spacecraft: Vostok. Vostok 5 is rolled out to the pad at 9 am. It is erected and then tested from 11:00 to 13:30. All is well and it is declared ready for launch. At 16:00 the cosmonauts take the traditional pre-launch walk along the Syr Darya. All is filmed for posterity, including the cosmonauts fishing for their dinner.

1963 June 10 - .
  • Vostok 5 scrubbed due to solar flares. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Keldysh; Korolev. Flight: Vostok 5; Vostok 6. Spacecraft: Vostok. The launch of Vostok 5 is set for 11 June. Final training and consultations are under way. Korolev is not happy with the condition of the spacecraft. At 22:30 in the evening the launch is scrubbed when Keldysh calls from Moscow and advises excessive solar flare activity is expected. Keldysh will review the data tomorrow and advise if it really poses a danger to the cosmonauts.

1963 June 11 - .
  • Vostok 5 slipped to 14 June - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Bykovsky; Tereshkova; Korolev. Flight: Vostok 5; Vostok 6. Spacecraft: Vostok. The cosmonauts spend the day on the beach. Tereshkova sits a long time with Korolev on the balcony on the second floor of the house on the river. He interviews here thoroughly to make sure she is ready for the flight. The State Commission meets at 17:00. The expected solar flare did not occur, but the Crimean Observatory claims the risk will remain high. The decision is made to defer the launches to 14/15 June.

1963 June 12 - .
  • Vostok 5 preparations - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Bykovsky. Flight: Vostok 5. Spacecraft: Vostok. Summary: The next two days are spent waiting - on the beach in the heat, in fishing, and in politics between the brass at the site. .

1963 June 13 - .
  • Vostok 5 a go for 14 June. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Bykovsky. Flight: Vostok 5. Spacecraft: Vostok. Summary: The solar activity has subsided and the launch of Vostok 5 is set for the following day. Kamanin has foreboding about the flight - eight days in space will be tough on both man and machine. .

1963 June 14 - .
  • Vostok 5 Launch - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Gagarin; Korolev; Tyulin; Kirillov; Pilyugin; Bykovsky; Khrushchev. Flight: Vostok 5. Spacecraft: Vostok. At 8 am the State Commission meets and approves a five-hour countdown to launch of Vostok 5 at 14:00. The cosmonaut and his backup have slept well and are at medical at 9:00 for the pre-flight physical examination and donning of their space suits. At T minus 2 hours and fifteen minutes they ride the bus to the pad. A few minutes after Bykovskiy is inserted into the capsule, problems with the UHF communications channels are encountered - three of the six channels seem to be inoperable. Gagarin and Odintsov are consulted on how it will be for the cosmonaut to fly with just three channels operable - is it a Go or No-Go? Go! Next a problem develops with the ejection seat. After the hatch is sealed, a technician cannot find one of the covers that should have been removed from the ejection seat mechanism. It is necessary to unbolt the hatch and check - the seat will not eject if the cover has been left in place. At T minus 15 minutes Gagarin, Korolev, Kirillov, and Kamanin go into the bunker adjacent to the rocket.

    A new problem arises -- the 'Go' light for the Block-E third stage won't illuminate on the control room console. It can't be determined if it is a failure of the stage or an instrumentation failure. It will take two to five hours to bring up the service tower and check out the stage. But if the rocket is left fuelled that long, regulations say it must be removed from the pad and sent back to the factory for refurbishment. In that case there can be no launch until August. Krylov and the State Commission would rather defer the launch to August. The last possible launch time is 17:00 in order to have correct lighting conditions for retrofire and at emergency landing zones. But Korolev, Tyulin, Kirillov, and Pilyugin have faith in their rocket, decide that the problem must be instrumentation, and recycle the count for a 17:00 launch.

    The launch goes ahead perfectly at 17:00 - even all six UHF communications channels function perfectly. On orbit 4 Bykovskiy talks to Khrushchev from orbit and good television images are received from the capsule. Bykovskiy reports he can see the stars but not the solar corona. His orbit is good for eleven days.


1963 June 14 - . 11:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8K72K.
  • Vostok 5 - . Call Sign: Yastreb (Hawk ). Crew: Bykovsky. Backup Crew: Volynov; Leonov. Payload: Vostok 3KA s/n 7. Mass: 4,720 kg (10,400 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Bykovsky; Volynov; Leonov. Agency: Korolev. Program: Vostok. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Vostok 5. Spacecraft: Vostok. Duration: 4.96 days. Decay Date: 1963-06-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 591 . COSPAR: 1963-020A. Apogee: 131 km (81 mi). Perigee: 130 km (80 mi). Inclination: 64.9000 deg. Period: 87.10 min. Joint flight with Vostok 6. The Soviet Union launched Vostok 5, piloted by Lt. Col. Valery F. Bykovsky. Two days later Lt. Valentina V. Tereshkova, the first spacewoman, followed in Vostok 6. On its first orbit, Vostok 6 came within about five km of Vostok 5, the closest distance achieved during the flight, and established radio contact. Both cosmonauts landed safely on June 19. The space spectacular featured television coverage of Bykovsky that was viewed in the West as well as in Russia. Unlike earlier missions, only a black and white film camera was carried. Photometric measurements of the earth's horizon were made.

    Mission objectives were officially: further study of the effect of various space-flight factors in the human organism; extensive medico-biological experiments under conditions of prolonged flight; further elaboration and improvement of spaceship systems.

    Vostok 5 was originally planned to go for a record eight days. The launch was delayed repeatedly due to high solar activity and technical problems. Finally the spacecraft ended up in a lower than planned orbit. Combined with increased atmospheric activity due to solar levels, Vostok 5 quickly decayed temperatures in the service module reached very high levels.

    Bykovsky also experienced an unspecified problem with his waste management system (a spill?) which made conditions in the cabin 'very uncomfortable'. He was finally ordered to return after only five days in space.

    To top it all off, once again the Vostok service module failed to separate cleanly from the reentry sphere. Wild gyrations ensued until the heat of reentry burned through the non-separating retraining strap.


1963 June 16 - .
  • Vostok 5 day 3 / Vostok 6 launch - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Gagarin; Bykovsky; Korolev; Tereshkova; Khrushchev. Flight: Vostok 5; Vostok 6. Spacecraft: Vostok. Bykovskiy slept well, his pulse was 54. The ground station could observe him via television - he made no motion while sleeping. On orbit 23 the cosmonaut was to communicate with earth, but no transmissions were received. Gagarin asks him why, and Bykovskiy simply replies that he had nothing to say and had already had a communications session with Zarya-1. But this was not true, they also reported no transmissions. At 07:00 he is asleep again, pulse 48-51. An hour later Korolev calls and discusses the impending launch of Vostok 6, 11 hours later.

    At 12:15 Tereshkova is on the pad. Her pulse skyrockets to 140 aboard the elevator to the top of the rocket. 10 to 15 minutes later she is in the capsule and testing radio communications with ground control. There are no problems with the spacecraft or launch vehicle during the countdown - everything goes perfectly, just as it did on 12 April 1961 when Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space. Tereshkova handles the launch and ascent to orbit much better than Popovich or Nikolayev according to her biomedical readings and callouts. Kamanin feels reassured that it was no mistake to select her for the flight.

    The launch of the first woman into space creates a newspaper sensation throughout the world. Direct orbit-to-orbit communications between Tereshkova and Bykovskiy are excellent. She talks to Khrushchev and the Soviet leadership soon thereafter. This was truly a great victory for Communism!


1963 June 16 - . 09:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8K72K.
  • Vostok 6 - . Call Sign: Chayka (Seagull ). Crew: Tereshkova. Backup Crew: Solovyova; Ponomaryova. Payload: Vostok 3KA s/n 8. Mass: 4,713 kg (10,390 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Tereshkova; Solovyova; Ponomaryova. Agency: Korolev. Program: Vostok. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Vostok 6. Spacecraft: Vostok. Duration: 2.95 days. Decay Date: 1963-06-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 595 . COSPAR: 1963-023A. Apogee: 166 km (103 mi). Perigee: 165 km (102 mi). Inclination: 64.9000 deg. Period: 87.80 min. Joint flight with Vostok 5. First woman in space, and the only Russian woman to go into space until Svetlana Savitskaya 19 years later. On its first orbit, Vostok 6 came within about five km of Vostok 5, the closest distance achieved during the flight, and established radio contact. Flight objectives included: Comparative analysis of the effect of various space-flight factors on the male and female organisms; medico-biological research; further elaboration and improvement of spaceship systems under conditions of joint flight. It was Korolev's idea just after Gagarin's flight to put a woman into space as yet another novelty. Khrushchev made the final crew selection. Korolev was unhappy with Tereshkova's performance in orbit and she was not permitted to take manual control of the spacecraft as had been planned.

1963 June 19 - .
  • Vostok 5 and Vostok 6 return to earth - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tereshkova; Bykovsky; Korolev. Flight: Vostok 6; Vostok 5. Spacecraft: Vostok. In the morning Tereshkova manually oriented the spacecraft for re-entry easily and held the position for 15 minutes. She was very happy with the result. At 9:00 the state commission took their places in the command post. At 9:34:40 the retrofire command was sent to Vostok 6. After a few seconds, telemetry was received indicating that the engine burn was proceeding normally. The nerves of the commission members finally settled down, but Tereshkova did not call out each event as required. No report of successful solar orientation was received, no report of retrofire, and no report of jettison of the service module. Things remained very tense in the command post - no communications were received from the capsule at all. Knowledge that the spacecraft was returning normally were only received via telemetry, including the signal that the parachute opened correctly from above the landing site. Both spacecraft landed two degrees of latitude north of the aim point. It was calculated that this could have occurred by duplicate landing commands having been sent, but such a failure could not be duplicated in post-flight tests of ground equipment.

    Many errors occurred in the entire landing sequences, including actions of the VVS recovery forces. The conditions of the cosmonauts were only reported several hours after their landings. Big crowds gathered at both landing sites. Bykovskiy spent the night in Kustan, then left on 20 June aboard an Il-14 for Kuibyshev. Tereshkova spent her first night in Karaganda, then flew in an Il-8 to Kuibyshev. Many congratulatory phone calls were received from the Soviet leadership. Korolev declared he had no longer had the time to personally direct Vostok flights and wanted to hand the spacecraft over to the military for operational use. He could then concentrate on development of the Soyuz and Lunik spacecraft.


1963 June 20 - .
  • Vostok 5/6 cosmonaut debriefing - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tereshkova; Bykovsky; Korolev. Flight: Vostok 6; Vostok 5. Spacecraft: Vostok. Korolev, Tyulin, and Rudenko left Tyuratam aboard an An-12, followed by 60 others (cosmonauts, officers, engineers) aboard an An-10. General Goreglyad requests that 'extraneous' staff remain in Kuibyshev, while the rest will proceed on to Moscow with Bykovskiy and Tereshkova. The aircraft arrive at 11:30 in Kuibyshev, then go to the debriefing building on the Volga river. There the debriefing of the two cosmonauts began at 13:00. After the debriefings, in the evening, Korolev took the cosmonauts for a trip on the Volga. Kamanin was infuriated - partying would ruin the post-flight medical tracking.

1963 June 21 - .
  • Vostok 5/6 cosmonaut debriefing - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tereshkova; Bykovsky. Flight: Vostok 6; Vostok 5. Spacecraft: Vostok. Tomorrow morning the entire entourage would depart for Moscow. But on this day at the house on the Volga the cosmonauts were subjected to the attentions of seventy doctors, 100 correspondents, and a large additional number of KGB supervisors, military officers, and engineers. Tereshkova looked fresh and her first press conference with sixty correspondents went well - she made no big errors.

1963 June 22 - .
  • Vostok 5/6 cosmonaut welcome in Moscow - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tereshkova; Bykovsky; Khrushchev. Flight: Vostok 6; Vostok 5. Spacecraft: Vostok. The big day for the cosmonauts. Departure for Moscow was scheduled for 10:30, with the meeting with Khrushchev at Vnukovo planned for 15:00. A sensitive issue - who would exit the aircraft first - Tereshkova, the main celebrity, or Bykovskiy, the senior cosmonaut and the first one launched? An enormous motorcade takes the entourage from the house on the Volga to the airport. Tereshkova and Kamanin are in the lead automobile, followed by Bykovskiy in the second, then the correspondents and so far in others, at five minute intervals. Huge crowds all along the route chant 'Valya! Valya! During the flight to Moscow Kamanin goes over Tereshkova's speech with her. When she and Bykovskiy get off the plane and march up to the tribune, a completely new life will begin for them. After the immense reception at the airport, they go with the leadership to a huge rally at Red Square.

1963 June 25 - .
  • Vostok 5/6 returned cosmonauts traditional meeting with Korolev - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tereshkova; Korolev; Bykovsky. Flight: Vostok 6. Spacecraft: Vostok. The returned cosmonauts have the traditional meeting with Korolev at the design bureau and hand over their flight logs. The new cosmonaut group is presented as well. Korolev is in a good mood, and makes an especially long-winded speech. Tereshkova has to leave early, at 12:00, to attend yet another press conference and a woman's congress. These activities kept her going until 22:00 in the evening - a gruelling schedule indicative of what was to come.

1963 June 27 - .
  • Vostok 5/6 cosmonauts pose for their official colour photographs. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Vostok.

1963 June 29 - .
  • Vostok 5/6 cosmonauts preparared for first international press conference. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tereshkova; Bykovsky; Keldysh; Serbin. Flight: Vostok 6; Vostok 5. Spacecraft: Vostok. At a meeting of the Central Committee, Tereshkova and Bykovskiy are taken through possible questions and correct replies by Serbin and Keldysh in preparation for their first international press conference. The training extends form 10 in the morning to 17:00 in the afternoon.

1963 July 1 - .
  • Vostok 5/6 international press conference - . Nation: USSR. Flight: Vostok 6; Vostok 5. Spacecraft: Vostok. Big international press conference with the cosmonauts, beginning at 13:00. The session goes 1 hour and 45 minutes and all answers given by the cosmonauts are acceptable. After this conference they disappear from public view for seven days of medical examinations and monitoring.

1963 September 17 - .
1963 November 19 - .
  • Plans for the next Vostok flights - . Nation: USSR. Flight: Vostok 7; Vostok 8; Vostok 9; Vostok 10. Spacecraft: Vostok. Summary: Plans for the next Vostok flights are discussed with the training group formed in September. Two group flights of 8 to 10 days each seem the most likely possibility. .

1963 November 21 - .
  • Vostok 5/6 cosmonauts' Far East tour - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tereshkova; Bykovsky. Flight: Vostok 5; Vostok 6. Spacecraft: Vostok. The cosmonauts are to depart on a Far East tour on 27 November, but scheduling is difficult because Sukarno calls to change the dates for Indonesia nearly daily. Kamanin develops four variant scenarios. The cosmonauts are to visit Sri Lanka, Burma, and Indonesia.

1963 November 23 - .
  • VVS Opposes Further Vostok Flights - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Kennedy; Rudenko; Korolev. Flight: Vostok 7; Vostok 8; Vostok 9; Vostok 10. Spacecraft: Vostok. News reaches Moscow that Kennedy has been assassinated. Kamanin talks with Rudenko, who is not interested in Kamanin's plans for a wider VVS role in space. Rudenko believes Korolev's promises that Soyuz will start test flights in 1964 and that no further Vostok flights are necessary. Kamanin pleads that without such flights the American Gemini program will fly unopposed and give the Americans a decisive lead in the space race. The Soviet Union could launch a modified Vostok - a three place spacecraft - to upstage Gemini but the decision has to made now. Rudenko is unmoved.

1963 November 25 - .
  • Vostok / Soyuz Space Plans - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev. Spacecraft: Vostok. Kamanin meets with Korolev at OKB-1. Korolev is opposed to the VVS getting out of manned space flight. The Air Force already has a good laboratory infrastructure to support such space flights. More to the point Korolev feels more at home working with pilots and is sick and tired of dealing with the artillery officers that run the rocket forces. He's been stuck with them for twenty years and its a constant stress. A resolution was issued for development of the Soyuz on 1 December. However Korolev needs 80 million roubles to build and fly four Soyuz spacecraft in 1964, but has only been allocated 30 million.

1964 January 16 - .
  • Cosmonaut plans - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tereshkova; Nikolayev; Bykovsky. Program: Vostok; Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz A-1; Soyuz A-2; Soyuz A-3; Soyuz A-4; Vostok 7; Vostok 8; Vostok 9; Vostok 10; Vostok 11; Vostok 12; Vostok 13. Spacecraft: Vostok; Soyuz A. Kamanin is to put together a cosmonaut training plan for additional Vostok and new Soyuz flights by 1 February. Due to a lack of completed spacecraft, the next Vostok flight will not be possible until June 1964 at the earliest. The travel plans for the cosmonauts during the first half of 1964 are also to be drawn up. Tereshkova, Nikolayev, and Bykovsky are to tour India, Indonesia, Burma, Nepal, and Sri Lanka later in the year. Tereshkova will go to Ghana and Lebanon on 20 January, then to England on 31 January.

1964 January 23 - .
1964 January 27 - .
  • Cosmonaut plans - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Rudenko; Volynov; Kolodin. Program: Vostok; Lunar L1. Flight: Vostok 9; Soyuz A-3. Spacecraft: Vostok. Summary: Marshall Rudenko questions Kamanin's crew assignments. He wants Volynov moved from the lead Vostok group and switched with Kolodin in the Soyuz group..

1964 January 29 - .
  • Cosmonaut controversy - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Beregovoi; Volynov. Program: Vostok; Lunar L1. Flight: Vostok 9; Soyuz A-2; Vostok 10. Spacecraft: Vostok. The cosmonauts are resisting the VVS leadership's changes to training plans, particularly the pushing of Beregovoi and the downgrading of Volynov's assignment. Kamanin vows to vigorously fight flying Beregovoi until he has completed the full course of cosmonaut training and has proven himself worthy of a flight assignment.

1964 January 30 - .
  • Parachute training - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tereshkova; Leonov; Korolev; Zverev. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 7; Vostok 8; Vostok 9; Vostok 10. Spacecraft: Vostok. Kamanin prepares schedules for Tereshkova's visit to England on 4-10 February. Leonov's Vostok training group travels to Kirzhach to complete parachute training. Kamanin tries to pressure Korolev, Zverev, and Ivanovskiy to accelerate work on further Vostok flights.

1964 February 1 - .
  • Korolev's plans - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Beregovoi; Volynov. Program: Vostok; Lunar L1. Flight: Vostok 7; Vostok 8; Vostok 9; Vostok 10; Vostok 11; Vostok 12; Soyuz A-3. Spacecraft: Vostok. Korolev is supporting establishment of a new institute, the IMBP, for study of biological reactions to spaceflight. He plans to complete 8 additional Vostok capsules, of which two or three will be used for unmanned life sciences missions. There is continued controversy over the next few days about the acceleration of Beregovoi's training to qualify him for an early spaceflight, and Volynov's movement from the Vostok to Soyuz training groups.

1964 February 5 - .
  • Soyuz mock-up - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev. Program: Vostok; Lunar L1. Flight: Vostok 7; Vostok 8; Vostok 9; Vostok 10; Vostok 11; Vostok 12; Vostok 13; Voskhod 1; Voskhod 2; Soyuz A-1; Soyuz A-2; Soyuz A-3; Soyuz A-4. Spacecraft: Vostok. The cosmonauts visit Korolev at OKB-1 for the first viewing of the mock-up of the Soyuz spacecraft. Korolev announces that single-place Vostoks will fly no more, and that instead four of the spacecraft will be completed during 1964 to take three crew members. This decision has been taken since it was now certain that Soyuz will not be ready to fly in 1964, and the impending first flights of American Gemini and Apollo spacecraft will give the USA a lead in manned spaceflight before Soyuz missions can be flown.

    Kamanin is disturbed by the decision. He recalls that in 1961 flight of the Vostok with two or three crew was discussed, with flights to occur in 1962-1963. But at that time Korolev cancelled the plans, saying the Soyuz would be used for such missions. Now Soyuz will not fly until 1965, and he has changed his tune. Furthermore, the modified Vostok is inherently risky, with no way to save the crew in case of a launch vehicle malfunction in the first 40 seconds of flight. Unlike Vostok, the three crew will not have individual ejection seats or parachutes to give them a chance of escape in the event of an abort. The crew will be subject to 10 to 25 G's during an abort. There is no assurance the environmental control system can be modified to handle three crew. It all seems very unsafe, and Kamanin believes the six consecutive successful Vostok flights have given Korolev's engineers a false sense of the safety of the Vostok system. Kamanin is perplexed. How does he plan to convert a single-place spacecraft to a three-place spacecraft in a few months? Korolev has no clear answers, but asks for the cosmonauts' support of the scheme.


1964 April - .
  • Vostok 7 (cancelled) - . Crew: Komarov. Payload: Vostok 3KA s/n 9. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Komarov. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 7. Spacecraft: Vostok. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Perigee: 200 km (120 mi). Inclination: 65.0000 deg. Summary: The first supplemental Vostok flight planned in January-March 1963 was a high altitude manned flight into the lower Van Allen radiation belt for radiological-biological studies. All follow-on Vostok missions were cancelled in Spring 1964..

1964 June - .
  • Vostok 8 (cancelled) - . Crew: Belyayev. Payload: Vostok 3KA s/n 10. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Belyayev. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 8. Spacecraft: Vostok. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Perigee: 200 km (120 mi). Inclination: 65.0000 deg. Summary: The second supplemental Vostok flight planned in January-March 1963 was a high altitude manned flight into the lower Van Allen radiation belt for radiological-biological studies. All follow-on Vostok missions were cancelled in Spring 1964..

1964 August - .
  • Vostok 9 (cancelled) - . Crew: Volynov. Payload: Vostok 3KA s/n 11. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Volynov. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 9. Spacecraft: Vostok. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Perigee: 200 km (120 mi). Inclination: 65.0000 deg. Summary: The third supplemental Vostok flight planned in January-March 1963 was a high altitude manned flight into the lower Van Allen radiation belt for radiological-biological studies. All follow-on Vostok missions were cancelled in Spring 1964..

1965 January 15 - .
  • Cosmonaut examinations - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Shatalov; Gubarev; Demin; Dobrovolsky; Pitskhelauri; Belyayev; Leonov; Khrunov; Zaikin; Gorbatko. Program: Voskhod. Flight: Voskhod 2. Spacecraft: Vostok. The 15 candidate-astronauts take their first phase examinations. 13 are rated outstanding, with Shatalov, Gubarev, and Demin doing the best. Two are rated only 'good' - Dobrovolskiy and Pitskherlauri. Dobrovolskiy was the worst, getting some answers completely wrong. For example, he said that the maximum thickness of Vostok's heat shield was 440 mm, when the correct answer was 140 mm; and identified Krug as a homing beacon on the search aircraft, rather than aboard the spacecraft. However overall everything went well, and all were considered to have passed. On this day Belyayev and Leonov complete their centrifuge training. Belyayev is 40 years old, and had little trouble with the centrifuge. Kamanin resolves to name Khrunov as a spacecraft commander in Belyayev's place, with a final crew being Khrunov-Leonov in case Belyayev cannot fly for some reason. Khrunov is available since Zaikin since the decision has been made to train Zaikin as Leonov's backup instead of Gorbatko.

1965 April - .
  • Vostok 10 (cancelled) - . Crew: Beregovoi. Payload: Vostok 3KA s/n 12. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Beregovoi. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 10. Spacecraft: Vostok. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Perigee: 200 km (120 mi). Inclination: 65.0000 deg. Summary: In late 1963 planning this was to be a high altitude manned Vostok flight for extended scientific studies. All follow-on Vostok missions were cancelled in Spring 1964..

1965 June - .
  • Vostok 11 (cancelled) - . Crew: Leonov. Payload: Vostok 3KA s/n 13. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Leonov. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 11. Spacecraft: Vostok. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi). Perigee: 180 km (110 mi). Inclination: 65.0000 deg. Summary: Vostok flight first proposed in November 1962 flight to conduct extra-vehicular activity tests. All follow-on Vostok missions were cancelled in Spring 1964..

1965 August - .
  • Vostok 12 (cancelled) - . Crew: Khrunov. Payload: Vostok 3KA s/n 14. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Khrunov. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 12. Spacecraft: Vostok. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi). Perigee: 180 km (110 mi). Inclination: 65.0000 deg. Summary: Proposed Vostok flight to conduct extra-vehicular activity tests. All follow-on Vostok missions were cancelled in Spring 1964..

1966 January 10 - .
  • Vostok life-support systems used a sodium superoxide compound as a source of oxygen - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Vostok. Soviet life-support systems used in Vostok and Voskhod spacecraft appeared to use a sodium superoxide compound as a source of oxygen, A. W. Petrocelli, General Dynamics Corporation, told Missiles and Rockets. Petrocelli estimated the Russians had published three times more basic research papers than U.S. scientists on these materials and were continuing efforts to improve life-support systems by studying compounds such as new superoxides, peroxides, and ozonides. He also said they were searching for better carbon dioxide absorbers.

1966 April - .
  • Vostok 13 (cancelled) - . Crew: Gorbatko. Payload: Vostok 3KA s/n 15. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Gorbatko. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 13. Spacecraft: Vostok. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Perigee: 200 km (120 mi). Inclination: 65.0000 deg. Summary: Proposed high altitude manned Vostok flight for extended scientific studies. All follow-on Vostok missions were cancelled in Spring 1964..

1967 October 5 - .
  • First public revelation of Soviet manned space hardware. - . Nation: USSR. Program: Vostok. Spacecraft: Vostok. The statues are unveiled at the space monument in Moscow, in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the launch of Sputnik. The opening also marks the first screening of a new film devoted to the Soviet space program, the first to publicly reveal the configuration of the Vostok booster and spacecraft and show actual launches from Baikonur.

Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use