Status: Deceased; Active 1964-1987. Born: 1926-02-07. Died: 2009-11-21. Spaceflights: 1 . Total time in space: 1.01 days. Birth Place: Voronezh.
Graduated from E N Bauman Moscow Higher Technical School (MVTU), 1949. Doctorate degree in physics, 1967. Participated in Second World War. Recruited after graduation as a civilian engineer, Korolev OKB. Rose to become head manned spacecraft designer under Korolev. Later bureau head and designed the civilian Salyut and Mir space stations. Professorial duties as well from 1969. Leading candidate put forward by Korolev for spaceflights aboard Voskhod and Soyuz spacecraft. Actually flew in space aboard Voskhod 1, put all further attempts to have him, as lead spacecraft designer, actually test his designs in orbit were unsuccessful. Attempts were made to get him in space as late as Soyuz T-3. Retired after a long career and authored several books on spacecraft design and his life. Died in Moscow, Russian Federation.
The technological basis was the N-3 project, which covered various engine and propulsion approaches. In 1955 a unit was formed within Tikhonravov's section of OKB-1 to develop the first satellite; this included Feoktistov, Bazhinov, Maksimov, and Soldatora.
At the urging of S P Korolev, OKB-1 Section 12, led by M V Melnikov, started development of an ion engine. By 1959 it would be proposed that clusters of the 7.5 kgf thrust ion engine could take the TMK-E manned Mars spacecraft on a low acceleration spiralling trajectory away from the Earth until it finally reached escape velocity and headed toward Mars. But to power even such a limited engine solar panels with a total area of 36,000 square meters would be required - clearly beyond 1959 technology. Feoktistov's solution was to turn to the use of a nuclear reactor to power the ion engine.
The first design sketched out was known as Sever (North). The reentry capsule had the same configuration as the ultimate Soyuz design but was 50% larger. By summer 1959 Feoktistov had reduced the size to that of the later Soyuz, while retaining the three-man crew size.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At 12:00 the first press conference was held with reporters from Tass, Pravda, Izvestia, and Krasnaya Zvezda. At 13:15 the launch team holds a meeting at the pad, confirming all is ready. Afterwards Korolev, Smirnov, and the cosmonauts went up in the lift to the capsule. Nikolayev sat in the spacecraft while Korolev quizzed him for thirty minutes on changes made to standard configuration. Then they go to the 'Gagarin' cottage (actually that of Marshal Nedelin) for the night. From 17:00 to 19:00 Feoktistov briefs the cosmonauts on the final flight and contingency plans. Korolev comes in, and discusses the future Soyuz spacecraft, and his planned 16 tonne and 75 tonne manned spacecraft. Then Korolev goes out to the pad again to check on the booster. Kamanin notes that Korolev seems to be made of granite - aside from the Zenit-2 and Vostok launches, Korolev is preparing for three launches of probes to Venus in September, and more probes to Mars and the moon in October. Korolev yens to be allowed to travel abroad, at least to Czechoslovakia. But the State will not allow even this, let alone revealing his central role in their space program. At 22:00 it is agreed that the flight could be prolonged to a fourth day if the spacecraft and cosmonaut were holding up. There were some problems in the three-day test of the Tral telemetry system, but only actual use will show if the problem exists in operational conditions.
Benderov has been washed out of training after haemorrhaging excessively during centrifuge training, and Polyakov after reacting poorly to the barometric chamber. This leaves only seven cosmonauts in training for the first mission: Volynov, Katys, Komarov, Yegorov, Sorokin, Lazarev, and Feoktistov. The first six are qualified for flight, but Feoktistiov cannot be admitted for parachute or flight training; his visual acuity is only 0.3. Later the cosmonaut party collective meets to take up the problem of Titov. He has made many errors: he drives and flies too fast, he has bad marital relations. But he is known not only to the entire country, but to the whole world. To disgrace him would not reflect only on him, but on all of the cosmonauts and the Soviet Union. Therefore it is finally decided not to take any public action, but to switch him and Beregovoi in the training order for the fourth Soyuz flight.
Later Finogenov, head of the VVS range at Vladimirovka, informs Kamanin that flight trials of the new combination parachute/soft landing system will be delayed at least two weeks after the failure of one of the parachute canopy rings in static test.
Kamanin select Volynov, Katys, and Yegorov as the prime crew for the Voskhod flight. Komarov, Feoktistov, and Sorokin will be the backup crew. Lazarev will serve as reserve for both crew physician position. The VVS leadership approves the selection. For the first space walk (the flight designated Vykhod at the time), Belyayev, Leonov, Khrunov, and Gorbatko are in training. All want to be first, but Kamanin finds Leonov and Khrunov to have the best analytical minds, to be able to get themselves out of a jam if something goes wrong. He selects Belyayev and Gorbatko to be trained as spacecraft commanders for the missions.
Spacecraft development continues with difficulty, there are many technical discrepancies, most notably with the landing system. The launch of the unmanned test spacecraft is proceeding on schedule, but there is no idea when it will be possible to launch the manned version. Training of the command and physician cosmonauts is proceeding all right, but there is a real question about the third seat. Katys is not bad, but Feoktistov has problems with his vertebrae and large intestine.
Work on the original N1-L3 had begun in 1963. This had been preceded by two years of working on a draft project for the LK lunar lander and its propulsion system. But there was no money for full scale development -- no code name from Gosplan against which to charge such work. It was annoying that Chelomei, Glushko, and Yangel were wasting resources on alternate designs at the same time. Additional Details: here....
The readiness of two crews is certified (the prime crew of Volynov, Katys, and Yegorov and backup crew of Komarov, Feoktistov, and Sorokin). Korolev presses for Feoktistov to be included in the prime crew, citing his unequalled technical knowledge of the spacecraft. Kamanin and the VVS doctors oppose this, citing his poor medical condition which makes him uncertifiable for flight. A very heated discussion ensues, with the final decision to continue training all seven cosmonauts, with the first candidates for flight being Volynov, Katys, and Yegorov, with Komarov, Lazarev, and Sorokin being reserve cosmonauts. The question of Feoktistov's flight certification will be taken up by a special panel of physicians.
Rudenko raises objections to the crew selections. Kamanin suggests the most qualified and fit crew would be Volynov, Komarov, and Lazarev. Marshal Rudenko informs the crew must consist of a commander, a physician, and an engineer. Furthermore yet another commission has been convened to clear Feoktistov for flight. Kamanin is infuriated - after a selection process, beginning with 150 candidates from VVS alone, the leadership is hand-selecting the crew in defiance of the fair and rational selection process.
It is discovered that Katys has a brother and sister living in Paris, a fact he did not disclose during the selection process. They left for Paris in 1910, 16 years before Katys was even born. But together with the fact that his father was executed by the Soviet state, it makes him unsuitable to be a cosmonaut. Yegorov and Feoktistov are making serious efforts to be appointed to the crew. Yegorov did poorly in zero-G training and Feoktistov is physically unqualified. Meanwhile TASS, APN, and other Soviet newspapers are stubbornly pursuing information about the crew for the forthcoming flight. Film biographies and press kits are being made of all of the candidates, so that the information can be released once the final crew - whoever they are - are in orbit. But this violation of secrecy disturbs Kamanin.
Kamanin reviews the Voskhod abort system with Korolev. Up to T+27 seconds, there is no possibility of saving the crew in the event of a booster failure; from T+27 seconds to T+44 seconds, escape would be difficult, but is possible; and from T+44 seconds to T+501 seconds abort should be possible, with the capsule landing on Soviet territory. Afterwards, Korolev speaks with Kamanin secretly and privately. Korolev reveals that he has discussed a greater VVS role in space with Marshal Krylov, but that Krylov is adamantly opposed to the VVS assuming such a mission. Korolev is seeking a resolution from the Communist Party that will authorise him to develop a manned lunar flyby and landing system using his N1 booster. He believes that Chelomei's UR-500 booster will not have sufficient payload to mount a manned flyby - a docking in low earth orbit will be required. But Chelomei has rejected the use of docking, and is even designing his UR-700 to allow a lunar landing without the use of docking.
Finally Korolev gets to the purpose of the secret meeting. He wants Feoktistov to be aboard Voskhod 1, despite the opinion of Kamanin and the physicians. Kamanin reiterates that the most qualified crew would be Komarov, Volynov, and Lazarev; and if he gives in on Feoktistov, then Komarov, Feoktistov, Lazarev. But Korolev is opposed to Lazarev, and insists that the crew should be Komarov, Feoktistov, and Yegorov. From Kamanin's point of view this is flying a space mission with two invalids aboard. Lazarev is a qualified and fit flight surgeon, a qualified pilot as well as a physician with 15 years of research experience in aviation medicine. Korolev is adamant that the two passengers should be civilian, not military. No agreement is possible.
Kamanin arrives at Baikonur. All is ready for the Voskhod launch, except the spacecraft. Kamanin conducts a final readiness review with Volynov, Komarov, Katys, Feoktistov, Yegorov, Sorokin, and Lazarev. He tells them that every one of them must do his utmost to be physically and psychologically ready for the flight, since the final crew selection will not be made until 2 or 3 days before the launch. Gagarin, Belyayev, and Khrunov are at the cosmodrome, where they are showing the Vykhod spacecraft to Khrushchev. Later Kamanin discusses the crew selection with the military leadership. The top brass have no interest in space and seem to be ready to give in to Korolev. This invalidates everything Kamanin was worked for in terms of establishing a systematic method of cosmonaut selection, training, and crew selection.
At 15:30 the Voskhod cosmonauts arrive aboard an An-10 at Baikonur and are greeted by Korolev and others. Although they have not been told officially, Kamanin is sure that Volynov and Katys have heard that the State Commission finally selected Komarov, Feoktistov, and Yegorov for the flight. In the evening Kamanin plays tennis with the flight crew and is surprised - Yegorov and Feoktistov play well, and Komarov played poorly.
At 10:00 Korolev, Tyulin, Rudenko, Tkachev, and other leaders examine the capsule. The condition of the parachute, and capsule exterior and interior show how well the soft landing system functioned. Then they examine the Voskhod s/n 3 which will be sued for the manned flight. The crew of Komarov, Yegorov, and Feoktistov take their place in the cabin, and Korolev and Kamanin examine the cramped accommodations and ask Komarov questions to verify his understanding of the ship's controls. For an hour from 16:00 the crew is interviewed by news correspondents. After the interview, the crew plays tennis for the benefit of photographers. Afterwards post-flight examinations are discussed. A suggestion that the crew spends three nights in a hospital after the flight is rejected. Instead they will spend three nights in the cosmonaut's quarters at Baikonur, under medical observation. Finally, the State Commission meets to verify the crew selection. The session is filmed and recorded for later use by the press.
The U.S.S.R. launched the world's first multi-manned spacecraft, Voskhod I, the first to carry a scientist and a physician into space. The crew were Col. Vladimir Komarov, pilot; Konstantin Feoktistov, scientist; and Boris Yegorov, physician. Potentially dangerous modification of Vostok to upstage American Gemini flights; no spacesuits, ejection seats, or escape tower. One concession was backup solid retrorocket package mounted on nose of spacecraft. Seats mounted perpendicular to Vostok ejection seat position, so crew had to crane their necks to read instruments, still mounted in their original orientation. Tested the new multi-seat space ship; investigated the in-flight work potential and co-operation of a group of cosmonauts consisting of specialists in different branches of science and technology; conducted scientific physico-technical and medico-biological research. The mission featured television pictures of the crew from space.
Coming before the two-man Gemini flights, Voskhod 1 had a significant worldwide impact. In the United States, the "space race" was again running under the green flag. NASA Administrator James E. Webb, commenting on the spectacular, called it a "significant space accomplishment." It was, he said, "a clear indication that the Russians are continuing a large space program for the achievement of national power and prestige." Additional Details: here....
The world's first recovery of an orbital spacecraft with its crew aboard on land was made possible by rocket package suspended above capsule in parachute lines, which ignited just prior to impact in order to cushion landing. The trio landed after 16 orbits of the earth, 24 hours and 17 min after they had left, on October 13, 1964 07:47 GMT. Additional Details: here....
The crew arrives at Vnukovo Airfield at 12:30 aboard an Il-18. The crew walks up to the reviewing stand and Komarov makes the standard report to the Communist Party and Soviet Ministers. At 14:00 there is a meeting at Red Square, and at 17:00 an audience at the Kremlin. The next day will be the customary meeting with Korolev and the workers of OKB-1, and the day after, the press conference, and on 22 October the meeting with the staff at the Cosmonaut Training Centre. The celebrations provide the first opportunity for Brezhnev to present himself in public in the role previously held by Khrushchev. The celebrations are somewhat dampened by new that an Il-18 crashed near Belgrade, killing all 17 occupants of a military delegation, including Marshal Biryuzov. This was the same aircraft and same crew that had flown the cosmonauts from Kustanin to Tyuratam....
The traditional meeting with the crew is followed by a smaller group in Korolev's office. Numerous toasts are drunk to the crew, to future victories in space, and... "on to the moon". From 18:00 to 20:00 the cosmonauts are prepared by Keldysh, Tyulin, Pashkov, Skuridin, Mozzhorin, Rumyanets, and others in allowable answers for the next day's press conference. Kamanin wants the crew to be free to answer questions about the physical characteristics of the booster and spacecraft (thrust, weight, dimensions, and so on) but Keldysh and Tyulin prohibit it strongly.
The Voskhod 1 crew have completed their post-flight debriefings and final report. Plans for 1965 are laid out. The Vykhod spacewalk flight will be made in the first quarter of 1965. Of the five Voskhod spacecraft, that are to be completed in the first quarter of 1965, the following program is laid out: two will be devoted to flights of a single cosmonaut, without a spacesuit, on endurance missions of 12 to 15 days. Two will be used for scientific research missions. One will be used to repeat the spacewalk of the Vykhod mission.
Kamanin receives a phone call from Serbin in the Central Committee, demanding that all nine flown cosmonauts be present at the unveiling of a space obelisk in Moscow the next day, and be on the podium at Red Square on 7 November. This is impossible - the cosmonauts are dispersed on vacation, cure, or public relations missions. Gagarin, Nikolayev, Popovich, and Tereshkova are in Sochi, and after discussion, it seems they will be able to get back by the next day. But Titov and Bykovsky are in Odessa, and it will take them three days to get back. The VVS leadership is contacted to arrange special flights, otherwise all nine could only be gathered by 9-10 November.
Kamanin receives the decree creating the new TsUKOS military organisation that will direct Soviet spaceflight. He is sure such a resolution would never have passed had Biryuzov not been killed in the plane crash. The VVS retains only its existing role of cosmonaut training.
Gagarin, Titov, Nikolayev, Popovich, Tereshkova, and Bykovsky have all managed to make it to Moscow by plane, and they meet at TsPK at 13:00. Kamanin takes the unique opportunity of having them all together to discuss plans for their higher engineering education at the Zhukovskiy Academy, plans for construction of new quarters at the TsPK, and an overview of planned future missions based on recent resolutions. At 14:30 the group departs in four Volga automobiles for Moscow. The unveiling ceremony is at 16:00. Brezhnev, Kosygin, Mikoyan, and other bigwigs are there as well.
Kamanin calls Korolev, finds he is suffering from very low blood pressure (100/60). Kamanin suggests that candidates for the commander position in the first two Soyuz missions would be Gagarin, Nikolayev, Bykovsky, or Komarov. Korolev agrees basically, but says that he sees Bykovsky and Nikolayev as candidates for the first manned lunar flyby shots. Kamanin suggests Artyukhin and Demin for the engineer-cosmonaut role on the first Soyuz flights, but Korolev disagrees, saying Feoktistov has to be aboard. However Korolev agrees with Kamanin's selection for the next Voskhod flight - Volynov/Katys as prime crew, Beregovoi/Demin as backups. Later Kamanin corresponds with Stroev over modification of an Mi-4 helicopter as a lunar lander simulator.
Tereshkova confides to Kamanin that Ponomaryova is not ready for her scheduled spaceflight. Kamanin does not believe it - he has heard it from no other cosmonauts, and he has spoken to Ponomaryova often over the years. Flight plans for 1965-1966 are reviewed. The pluses and minuses of each cosmonaut in advanced training for Voskhod flights is reviewed. The latest plan for the Voskhod-3 flight is for a 20-day flight with two cosmonauts (in an attempt to upstage the planned Gemini 7 14-day flight). This is followed by another tense phone call from Korolev, then Feoktistov complaining about inadequate VVS support for the Soyuz landing system trials at Fedosiya (no Mi-6 helicopter as promised; incorrect type of sounding rockets for atmospheric profiles; insufficient data processing capacity; inadequate motor transport). When Kamanin appeals to Finogenov on the matter, he is simply told that if "Korolev is unhappy with out facilities, let him conduct his trials elsewhere". Without the support of the VVS leadership, it is up to Kamanin to try to improve the situation using only his own cajoling and contacts.
Feoktistov briefs the State Commission on the flight plan for the upcoming mission at 10:00. Each spacecraft will be in space for four days, and will demonstrate orbital manoeuvre, rendezvous and automatic spacecraft docking. If the passive vehicle can be placed in orbit within 20 kilometres of the previously launched active spacecraft, then docking can be accomplished on the first or second orbit of passive vehicle. If they are more than 20 kilometres apart, then 24 hours will be needed to manoeuvre the spacecraft to a rendezvous. Kamanin and Rudenko take a zero-G flight aboard the Tu-104 (Pravetskiy was bumped at the airfield "due to space limitations"). The Tu-104 needs good visibility of the horizon in order to fly the zero-G parabola. The aircraft is accelerated to maximum speed and then pulls up into a sharp climb (going from 7,000 to 10,000 m). At the end of the climb 20-25 seconds of weightlessness is available for training the cosmonauts. Komarov, Bykovsky, Khrunov and Yeliseyev are aboard today. Khrunov practiced moving from the BO living module of the passive vehicle to that of the active spacecraft. Yeliseyev practiced exiting and entering the BO hatches with his bulky spacesuit and 50- kilogram ECS system strapped to his leg.
Mishin receives an encrypted telegram from Okhapkin and Tsybin. They propose that one of the cosmonauts on the first mission will back away from the docked spacecraft on a 10-m long safety line and film the other cosmonaut moving from one spacecraft to the other. Kamanin believes only Khrunov (with more than 50 Tu-104 weightless flights), has enough training to accomplish the task. After a sauna with Rudenko and an attempt to watch a film (aborted due to projector failure), Kamanin takes a walk in a drizzly, evocative night. He visits the cottages used by Korolev and the cosmonauts for the first missions. A light burns in Korolev's cottage - Mishin is working late. Kamanin recalls his many confrontations with Korolev, but also remembers how well he managed people compared to Mishin. Even if he had already decided personally what to do, he took the time to listen to other opinions and everyone felt their views had been considered.
The weather continues to deteriorate, and Kamanin considers moving the Tu-104 and cosmonauts to Krasnovodsk in order to get the 24 necessary zero-G flights before launch. At 11:00 the State Commission meets at Area 31. Present are Kerimov, Mishin, Rudenko, Kamanin, Komarov, Bykovsky, Khrunov, Yeliseyev, Anokhin and others. Mishin describes the status of preparations of Soyuz s/n 1, 2, 3, 4 for launch. He notes that the L1 and L3 lunar spacecraft are derived from the 7K-OK, and that these flights will prove the spacecraft technology as well as the rendezvous and docking techniques necessary for subsequent manned lunar missions. Feoktistov and the OKB-1 engineers say a launch cannot occur before 15 January, but Mishin insists on 25 December. That will leave only 20 days for cosmonaut training for the mission, including the spacewalk to 10 m away from the docked spacecraft. Faced with the necessity for the crews to train together as a team prior to flight, Mishin at long last officially agrees to the crew composition for the flights: Komarov, Bykovsky, Khrunov, and Yeliseyev as prime crews, with Gagarin, Nikolayev, Gorbatko, and Kubasov as back-ups. However a new obstacle appears. KGB Colonel Dushin reports that Yeliseyev goes by his mother's surname. His father, Stanislav Adamovich Kureytis , was a Lithuanian sentenced to five years in 1935 for anti-Soviet agitation. He currently works in Moscow as Chief of the laboratory of the Central Scientific Research Institute of the Shoe Industry. Furthermore Yeliseyev had a daughter in 1960, but subsequently annulled the marriage in 1966.
Later Feoktistov works with the crews on spacecraft s/n 1 to determine the feasibility of the 10-m EVA. The cosmonauts suggest a telescoping pole rather than a line be used to enable the cosmonaut to be in position to film the joined spacecraft. Bushuyev is tasked with developing the new hardware.
Aboard Mishin's aircraft, he discusses his plans with Kamanin. He plans to launch two unmanned Soyuz spacecraft in the second half of July. An automated docking will be attempted, but the mission will be considered successful if the spacecraft rendezvous in space and approach to within 50 to 70 m of each other. He expects to follow this in August with a manned rendezvous, docking, and crew transfer mission. Two further pairs of spacecraft will be available by November 1967. This means a total of eight crews, including back-up crews, will have to be trained. He wants Feoktistov to fly on one of these missions. Kamanin tells Mishin that it will take two to three months to prepare Feoktistov for flight and will be too disruptive to flight training. After arriving at Fedosiya they attend a Soyuz 1 State Commission meeting from 10:00 to 13:00. Tests of the Soyuz parachute system are to be conducted beginning 14 May, on two mass models and one Soyuz mock-up.
Mishin is seen as jeopardising Soviet manned lunar plans. He has no understanding of the necessity of providing proper training simulators to prepare the cosmonauts for flight. He is coarse, rude, doesn't listen to critics, and ignores the comments of those who will have to fly aboard his spacecraft. The cosmonauts agree they should request a meeting with Brezhnev and tell him flat out - there will be no moon landing as long as Mishin is in charge. Additional Details: here....
The Soyuz simulator has not been functional for three months -- entirely the fault of Mishin and Tsybin. The L1 trainer has not been finished, and the autonomous navigation system has not completed development. There are two prototype electronic computers at TsKBEM, but they are not complete and don't work. The first L1 spacecraft was to fly in May, but it is now clear it won't be ready until September at the earliest. There will be no manned lunar flyby for the fiftieth anniversary of the October Revolution as was ordered by the Party. Additional Details: here....
The Soviet leadership has decided Gagarin is too important a propaganda asset to take any risks with his life. He is removed from the list of cosmonauts to be selected for space flights, and will be allowed to fly aircraft only with an instructor aboard. This ruling overrules a promise made by Kamanin to Gagarin that he would be put back on the flight rosterthat after he obtained his engineering diploma from the Zhukovskiy Academy on 1 May 1968. A vote is taken of the cosmonaut selection commission on Feoktistov's fitness for duty. The vote is 4:4, but then a quorum of at least 12 commission members is demanded. Feoktistov passes 9:8 in the final vote.
Over 200 recommendations were made for revision of the parachute system, and all of these had to be made over the last two to three months. There have been 30 drops of the FAB-3000 Soyuz capsule mass simulator and two drops of capsule mock-ups. The entire series of tests is due to be completed by 20 September. This will allow flight of the first two manned spacecraft on 15 to 20 October. The commission is split over the selection of Feoktistov for the flight. It has to be referred to Smirnov and Ustinov for a final decision.
First Mishin was pushing the 60-year-old Anokhin for spaceflight, now the invalid Feoktistov. Feoktistiov suffers from gastrointestinal ulcers. Tyulin and Kerimov are of one voice in the matter - this is not even a question that can be raised - sick is sick, period. The L1 and L3 crews will have to endure eight to ten days of orbital flight. They can only be between 170 and 175 cm tall, and can have a maximum weight of 70 kg. Mishin insists that he doesn't even need military pilots for the L1 and L3, and therefore doesn't need to decide crew compositions until the middle of 1968, and then only 'his' engineer cosmonauts from TsKBEM should be considered. The Marshal interrupts Mishin, angrily reminding him that the space program is a national enterprise, not something being accomplished by 'your' spacecraft or 'your' cosmonauts. A three hour-long bitter debate ensues, with no resolution on crew selections. The final conclusions are only that the crews will consist of one pilot, and one engineer, and that Feoktistov will never be allowed to go into space.
Mishin is away on 'cure' for his drinking problem. A 'Podlipki Soviet' is held at TsKBEM. The issue is cancellation of Kozlov's 7K-VI military Soyuz. Bushuyev, Chertok, Okhapkin, Feoktistov are in favour of cancelling it. Opposed are Karas, Shcheulov, Kostonin, Gaidukov, and the various military representatives at the meeting. It was now six years since OKB-1 was required to put a military manned spacecraft into space - and, factually speaking, nothing has been done. Military experiments proposed for each manned flight by OKB-1 to date had been rejected on various grounds - no weight, no space aboard the spacecraft. Good progress has been made with Kozlov's VI and Chelomei's Almaz - now they've managed to kill the VI, and Mishin and Kerimov are constantly denigrating Almaz (saying it is too heavy, and unsuited for the purpose). The whole thing is a replay of the LK-1 situation. In 1963, a resolution was issued to send a Soviet man around the moon. Instead, after two years of development, Korolev managed to get Chelomei's LK-1 lunar spacecraft cancelled, and started all over with his own L1. Additional Details: here....
Afanasyev holds meetings on the L3 lunar expedition program. Kamanin recites Mishin's failings. Afanasyev replies that he has talked to Ustinov about it, but Ustinov will leave the current management in charge until N1 flight tests begin. If they are unsuccessful, then Mishin alone will have to answer for it. Afansyev also assures Kamanin that although Feoktistov should be allowed to train for a space flight, he and Ustinov will make sure he never flies.
The final medical report rejects Feoktistov's fitness to be a cosmonaut. Mishin accepts the findings of the report, but in classic manner ignores it and advocates Feoktistov be appointed as commander of the active spacecraft in the first Soyuz docking mission after return to flight. Kamanin is livid. Feoktistov has had years of training for EVA, but he has not had one day of training as a spacecraft commander, and now he wants him to command a mission due to launch in only two to three months! However agreement is finally reached on L1 commander assignments: Leonov, Bykovskiy, Popovich, Voloshin. Agreement is not reached on the second (civilian) crew member position for the flights. According to Mishin, the Soyuz and L1 flights planned from March 1 to the end of 1968 will require 16 to 18 crew members total.
At 07:35 the first midcourse manoeuvre for Zond 4, then 225,000 km from earth, was cancelled due to an orientation system problem. The sun tracker worked, but the star tracker could not acquire Sirius. The first and second midcourse manoeuvres are not strictly necessary. However if the third midcourse fails, when the spacecraft is 167,000 km from earth on the return leg, the spacecraft will miss the atmosphere and head back out into space. A meeting is held on cosmonaut training. The simulators are still not adequate. Feoktistov is still demanding that he be trained for the first Soyuz docking mission.
Titov is going to Italy, Feoktistov to Hungary. The 30 month program for the L3 lunar landing is settled. The cosmonauts already began training in January. The first LK lunar lander will be tested in low earth orbit in the second half of 1969. The first Soviet manned lunar landing cannot take place any earlier than 1970-1971. The resolution had set the date as 1967-1968, but the N1 and L3 will not be ready in time. The L3 is still conceptual, a purely paper spacecraft. The first N1 was to have been moved to the pad by March of this year, but it won't even make that milestone by May.
Hours are spent arguing over flying Feoktistov as a cosmonaut. Finally the matter is referred to the VPK. Kamanin briefs Ustinov's deputy on his position against Feoktistov. The L1 is reviewed. The star sensor only operated on Zond-4 on the fourth day of flight. However when it worked, it provided a 2 km positional accuracy at re-entry versus the 10 km required. The next L1 is to be launched on 23 April. If that date cannot be met, it will be launched on 25-30 April on a deep-space trajectory (not aimed at the moon).
Kamanin reviews the ongoing controversy with Mishin over assignment of Feoktistov to spaceflights. He then turns to the trials of the revised parachute system for Soyuz. The new design has been proven in three landings of spacecraft and 23 tests of mock-ups from aircraft. The SAS abort system has not been retested -- Korolev took full responsibility for its design, and the VVS accepted that in the old days. In any case the likelihood of having to use the SAS or the reserve parachute was not great. Yet still Mishin refuses to recommend going ahead with manned flights. 'I will only proceed when the Central Committee orders me!' he has said. Nevertheless he does declare that Soyuz is now ready to resume manned flights, except for the reserve parachute system, which needs two to three months more development. Based on successful completion of these tests, a manned flight will be possible in the first half of August.
Volynov conducts tests in a pressurised suit to see if it is possible to go from the SA capsule to the BO living module in a two-man crew transfer scenario. He shows it is not possible - exit from the SA to the BO is very unsafe, there is a good chance of getting stuck in the hatch. This shows it would be difficult or impossible for the spacecraft commander in the SA to go to the assistance of a single cosmonaut attempting to transfer from one Soyuz to another. Feoktistov proposes another alternative - launch of 3 cosmonauts in one Soyuz, one cosmonaut in another. After docking, a single cosmonaut would transfer from one Soyuz to another, but at least a second cosmonaut would be in the BO to assist him in case of difficulties. Two cosmonauts would return in each Soyuz capsule, meeting the reserve parachute mass limitations. This solution also takes care of a problem with the 1+2 scenario, in that it implied a crew consisting of Khrunov and Yeliseyev, but neither has been trained as a spacecraft commander. A crew could consist of Volynov and one of these, but then the problem is that no spacesuit has been fabricated for Volynov, and it requires two months to make one.
Mishin still wants to eventually conduct a 2+2 mission, but now wants the flight in August to be a 0+1 test flight. In this he is supported by Keldysh and Ustinov. He wants Feoktistov to be the pilot. Kamanin is adamantly opposed and offers him Beregovoi, Volynov, or Shatalov.
The assassination attempt is made on Brezhnev, instead hitting the cosmonaut's car, on the way to the Kremlin. A muted press conference follows. All the cosmonauts are there, except Feoktistov, who is on honeymoon with his second wife, and Nikolyaev, who has the Hong Kong flu.
SO Okhapkin: I do not agree with the first part of the speech of VP Mishin. We accepted obligations and have not fulfilled them. We deceived the Central Committee and the government with the second part of the performance agreement. These will have terrible consequences (no communication satellites or MKBS, etc.)
KP Feoktistov: Orientation toward Mars - is correct. We will achieve Mars - and the moon, and the TOS heavy space station. The OKB should complete the ordered spacecraft, all the systems, and ordered launch vehicles... the TMK - for Mars, the Moon and the MKBS (cover for weapons systems development)
Chertok: It is good that the program proposed by the Soviet of Chief Designers was approved unanimously. Big manned spacecraft to Mars (and from that to derive standard modules with automatic options for Earth manned flights.) MKBS - for defense purposes.
VK Bezverby: Use EYaRD nuclear electric propulsion for deep space missions and MKBS (for defense purposes). (Mishin Diaries 2-162)
Borman arrives from Canada at 04:40 after further delay. His wife is worried that the weather in Novosibirsk might be called (it's 32 deg C there!). By 11:00 they are already packed onto a Tu-124 bound for Leningrad together with Feoktistov, Titov and his wife, Shatalov, and 30 foreign correspondents. There are hardly any Soviet correspondents - the government has ordered them not to cover the visit.
The Americans were able to pull equal in the race during their Gemini programme, then ahead with Apollo. The Soviet Union is now four to five years behind. Kamanin's accounting:
They rule out 22 October as a start date, in order not to have the embarrassment of them being there during the Apollo 12 mission. They reject Belyayev and Shatalov as candidates for the trip; they want Beregovoi and Belyayev or Beregovoi and Feoktistov. Kamanin opposes Feoktistov, and doesn't' want Beregovoi diverted from his work as cosmonaut deputy-commander, where he feels he is doing well. He has started lots of good new initiatives. Meanwhile Nikolayev continues to make trouble for Kamanin in regard to being bumped from the Soyuz 8 crew.
Mishin was opposed to the DOS space station concept - he wanted to pursue the N1-launched MKBS. Afanasyev and Deputy Minister Tyulin wouldn't support the idea either. None of them wanted to take the risk. The only chance was to get to VPK Chairman Ustinov through Communist party channels. The opportunity came on the flight of engineers and management to Baikonur for the Soyuz 6/7/8 flight. Feoktistov had prepared a briefing on DOS, which he presented to Ustinov.
The ship's logs/flight plans are reviewed one more time. Tyuratam commander General Kurushin runs through the Svinets ABM experiment again with Shonin and Kubasov - they're ready. The Communist Party has selected Beregovoi and Feoktistov for the trip to the United States in November, ignoring Kamanin's recommendation of Belyayev and Shatalov. Kamanin is not so much against Beregovoi, but he firmly believes that Feoktistov is not worthy of the privilege - he's a degenerate, now on this third marriage..
In the euphoria after the return of the Soyuz 6/7/8 crews, the problem was how to get Ustinov to meet further with the DOS 'conspirators'. Mishin had prohibited any meetings by TsKBEM staff with the Communist Party Secretary unless Mishin was also present. Another obstacle was that Feoktistov was not a party member; how could his presence at a party meeting be explained to Mishin later?
In any event these consideations were simply ignored. Feoktistov was present at a party meeting with Keldysh, Afanasyev, Tyulin, Serbin, and the Ministry of Defence's party cell: Strogonov, Kravtsev, and Popov. Keldysh was mainly worried how the project would affect the N1, but was reassured that the N1 had a dedicated work force, and the L3 lunar lander spacecraft engineers and workers that would work on DOS were currently idle and had no part of that work. It was finally decided to go ahead with the DOS no earlier than January, to allow time for Ministry Decrees, approval of a work plan by the VPK, preparation of a decree for signature by the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the Soviet Ministers. Work began on the project in December 1969 under the initial auspices of the Academy of Sciences. Additional Details: here....
Kamanin assigns cosmonauts to upcoming foreign propaganda tours. Beregovoi and Feoktistov are to go to the United States, Tereshkova to Hungary, Popovich to France, Khrunov to Odessa. Titov will not be given this privilege because of his numerous automobile accidents, run-ins with the militia, and motorcycle habit.
Two months after first raising the issue, Mishin has proposed crews for the flights to the DOS station, still planned to occur before the end of the year. Mishin is still pushing Feoktistov, who Kamanin believes is not only seriously ill, but immoral, being on his second wife. Kamanin now has 20 spacecraft crews, but they will have to wait six years or more for a trip to space at the current mission rate. Mishin's proposed DOS crews are as follows: 1 - Shatalov, Yeliseyev, Rukavishnikov; 2 - Shonin, Kubasov, Kolodin; 3 - Volynov, Feoktistov, Patsayev; 4 - Khrunov, Volkov, Sevastyanov.
Meeting on DOS crews. Kamanin will agree to Mishin's proposed crews with the following provisions: 1) Feoktistov is eliminated from the list; 2) Military cosmonauts must be on 3 of the 4 crews, with the overall ratio six military to six civilian cosmonauts. The proposed crews: 1 - Shonin, Yeliseyev, Rukavishnikov; 2 - Leonov, Kubasov, Kolodin; 3 - Shatalov Volkov, Patsayev; 4- Dobrovolsky, Sevastyanov, Voronov. Mishin is opposed to Dobrovolsky and Volkov.
More than 1,000 people gather at Area 2 of Baikonur to commemorate the day. Kamanin muses that of the dozens of cosmonauts present, only one - Feoktistov - was there on the day the first man went into space. Now there were men on the moon, and the first space station was being prepared for flight. Kamanin believes the crew can survive a thirty-day flight, now that Shatalov has replaced Shonin on the crew.
The crews are continuing training for Soyuz 11. Mishin expects launch on 6 June. He is not opposed to limiting the flight duration to 25 days, necessary in order to make a landing in daytime at the end of the mission. Kamanin doesn't trust this change of heart - he asks the VVS ballistics section to confirm Mishin's calculations. Feoktistov visits Kamanin. He wants to be on the fourth crew to fly to DOS#2. VVS ballistics calls back. A launch as late as 11-12 June would still allow a daytime landing after 25 days. However from day 6 to 24 of the flight retrofire would be on the night side, and could only be accomplished using the technique of Soyuz 10 - aligning the spacecraft on the day side, spinning up the gyro platform, and using the gyros for night-side orientation during retrofire. At a meeting of the Central Committee, Kamanin fights with Ustinov for the safety of the crew. After a three-hour debate the majority of those present are still worried about the reliability of the docking system. But nevertheless the decision is made to proceed with Soyuz 11.
Kamanin is advised that the atmosphere aboard Salyut 1 is now all right. He finds the news disturbing, since he was not informed until then that there was a problem! Feoktistov outlines the modifications made to Soyuz 11 compared to Soyuz 10 to the cosmonauts. The reinforcement of the docking ring system has added 10 kg to the spacecraft. Consumables are carried that increase the time for autonomous flight from three to four days.