Encyclopedia Astronautica
Vostok 13



vostok.jpg
Vostok Moscow 1981
Credit: © Mark Wade
Crew: Gorbatko. Proposed high altitude manned Vostok flight for extended scientific studies. All follow-on Vostok missions cancelled in spring 1964.

Proposed high altitude manned Vostok flight for extended scientific studies. Spacecraft would have been allowed to naturally decay to a re-entry after ten days. Purposes of these flights were to be: geophysical and astronomical research; photography of the solar corona; solar x-ray imagery; medical-biological research; detailed study of the effects of weightlessness on the human organism; dosimetry; and engineering tests of ion flow sensors to be used for orientation of later Soyuz spacecraft. All follow-on Vostok missions cancelled in Spring 1964.

First Launch: 1966 April.

More... - Chronology...


Associated People
  • Gorbatko Gorbatko, Viktor Vassilyevich (1934-) Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Soyuz 7, Soyuz 24, Salyut 6 EP-7. More...

See also
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...

Vostok 13 Chronology


1962 August 30 - .
  • Korolev supports military Vostok flights - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Khrushchev. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 7; Vostok 8; Vostok 9; Vostok 10; Vostok 11; Vostok 12; Vostok 13. Korolev, still very ill in the hospital following a collapse six days earlier, supported Kamanin's plan for acceptance of the Vostok manned spacecraft for military service with the Soviet Air Force. It could enter series production and be used for continuous military research flights. However the General Staff continued to oppose any expansion of manned space flight. It it wasn't for Khrushchev, Korolev noted, there would not be any Soviet manned space programme at all.

1962 November 9 - .
  • Plans for additional Vostoks quashed - . Nation: USSR. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 7; Vostok 8; Vostok 9; Vostok 10; Vostok 11; Vostok 12; Vostok 13. Kamanin prepared recommendations for General Staff discussions on future Vostok military flights. His plan involved construction of ten additional spacecraft including new versions to test military equipment for reconnaisance, interception, and combat objectives. Flights would begin in 1963: manned flights of ten days duration; flights with biological payloads of 30 days duration; flights with biological payloads in high orbits to test the effects of Van Allen radiation belt exposure; flights that would conduct a range of technology experiments, including manual landing; landing with the cosmonaut within the capsule; depressurisation of the capsule to vacuum test equipment and suits for future spacewalks; etc). The plan was killed by his superiors.

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 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.


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..

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