Born: 1914-08-06. Died: 1984-12-03.
After two days of snow, family, and rest at this dacha, Kamanin is called to a General Staff meeting - the issue - how to answer the Americans? Attending are Generals Kutakhov, Moroz, Ponomarev, Kustanin, Yoffe, Frolov, Kartakhov, and others. It is agreed that the only proper answer is a Soviet lunar landing - but that is two to three years away. The 1964 resolution authorising the lunar program required a lunar flyby to be conducted by 1967 and a landing by 1968. But Ustinov, Serbin, Smirnov, and Pashkov hindered the attainment of this order. They were always requiring meetings, analyses, reports. The result - now many volumes of reports, but no action. The VPK proposes to land a Ye-8-5 robot on the moon and return lunar soil to earth in a 50 cm diameter, 38 kg capsule. The capsule will descend under a parachute and transmit on two VHF beacons in order to be located. But this still does not exist in metal, just in mock-up form. Considered logically, it could not be available earlier than the second half of 1969. The existing schedule for it to fly in the first half of the year is illogical and unachievable. Kamanin looks back with bitterness on the year of 1968 -- they have lost the moon race, they have lost Gagarin. His only consolation is his family.
Kutakhov is having trouble selling Kamanin's plans for military spaceflights and the appointment of Beregovoi to the General Staff. Marshal Zakharov has rejected the plan for ten military Soyuz, as he had done with similar earlier plans for Vostok and Voskhod. As far as he is concerned, manned spaceflight has no significant military potential.
Kamanin makes a speech to the VVS Soviet, setting forth again plans for military research in space. His presentation shows how far the USSR is behind the Americans, and the need to regain the lead. He again proposes 10 to 12 military Soyuz flights beginning in the first quarter 1970. This will fill the gap until Soyuz VI and Almaz will begin flying in 1972. Kutakhov is categorically against these Soyuz flights but, under pressure from others, still agrees to form a commission to study the matter. Reference is made to a Ministry of Defence decree of 7 January 1969.
Tereshkova is on a tour of Jordan and Syria. Kamanin muses over the year 1969. He is able to rationalise that it wasn't a bad year -- they flew 9 cosmonauts on five space missions. But of course they lost the moon to the Americans. He blames Mishin, Keldysh, Smirnov, and Ustinov for this. But he also blames the attitude of the Ministry of Defence and VVS. This is indicated by the total indifference to civilian space projects of Grechko and Kutakhov. They don't support the Gagarin Centre, or Kamanin's request for 10 additional Soyuz flights in earth orbit. Kamanin views the L3 spacecraft and mission scenario as unsafe. What is needed is a new spacecraft, launched by two N1 boosters, that will take a crew of 3 to 5 to the moon.
Kamanin reviews the Spiral manned spaceplane program with Goreglyad, Frolov, and cosmonaut Titov. Work on the KLA orbiter began in 1961-1962. In the following eight years Kamanin has tried to push the leadership many times to accelerate the project, but without result. Still, the work is proceeding, albeit very slowly. Mikoyan has decided the first phase of the project will use rocket launch only - the air-breathing winged first stage will only be introduced later. Afanasyev has finally responded to the project, only to declare that the KLA must be not only for military missions, but serve as a transport shuttle for civilian space missions as well. Dementiev is holding the whole project up because he doesn't want to overburden the aircraft design bureaux and factories. And Kutakhov won't push the program without Dementiev's support.
Kamanin notes that on 30 April decree number 0635 of the Ministry of Defence promoted Tereshkova to Colonel. She has risen in rank from Lieutenant to Colonel in only eight years, a record result for a woman (it normally takes more than ten years). Many within the VVS opposed the promotion, but Kamanin feels she deserves it and has served her country well on the Committee of Soviet Women. Later Kamanin has a filmed interview as part of a Riabchikov television project. Shatalov's trip to Cuba has proceeded well - he met Castro several times. Kutakhov is in the hospital.
Kutakhov flies to Egypt, but before leaving tells Kamanin he is not happy with his draft decree on future space plans. In Egypt, four MiG-21's with Russian pilots aboard have been shot down by Israel, killing two of the pilots. These are the first Russian casualties in the Middle East. July 1970 has been the worst month for safety in the history of the VVS - 20 aircraft losses and crashes (previous record - 16 in July 1964).
It is decided to send only Volynov and Khrunov to the FAI Congress in India. Shatalov and Yeliseyev are too busy with training on the DOS-7K simulator. Luna 17 has landed on the moon with the Lunokhod lunar rover, another success. DOS#1 is behind schedule for the planned 5 February 1971 launch. It still has not been decided, which will launch first - Soyuz 10 or the DOS station. Such indecision makes it very difficult to train the crews! The simulators for Soyuz, L3, DOS, and Almaz are all now in full use for crew training. Kamanin discusses with engineers construction of a pool for EVA training (25 m wide and 12 m deep). Kutakahov is opposed to the project. Chelomei has been ordered to accelerate the first Almaz launch to 1972, if he can resist the continuous attacks by Mishin. Mishin has become very accomplished, on the N1/L3 program, in spending huge amounts of money with no result.
Kutakhov visits the cosmonaut training centre. He is still against the VVS being involved in manned spaceflight. He tells Kamanin that Kamanin's draft resolution on the use of space for reconnaissance, communications, navigation, and piloted flight is not appropriate for 1971 - more like 1980. In the evening, Kamanin talks to Nikolayev about Tereshkova's complaints. He claims that in seven years he has only had two or three of these blow-ups with her. He blames her in-laws for starting the whole thing and keeping the bad feelings going.
Kutahkov is now Kamanin's direct superior; Efimov has been sent to a command in Cairo. Two An-22 heavy-lift transports have crashed in Pakistan and the Atlantic (en route to Chile). Kamanin meets with Dementiev and Kazatov at MAP. DOS-7K and Almaz simulator problems and the Spiral spaceplane project are discussed. There is not even a firm program plan for Spiral. Dementiev says this is because of the coolness of Grechko and Kutakhov to the subject. They block any discussion of the matter by the Central Committee. Grechko has written on Spiral - 'this is a fanatasy. We must spend money on more concrete items'.
Two hour meeting between the VVS leadership and Mishin at TsKBEM. Mishin claims he will fly the N1 to orbit this year, and that it will have a payload of 95 to 100 tonnes to low earth orbit. He wants to make 4 to 5 unmanned launches in 1971-1972, followed by one unmanned lunar flyby, culminating in the first Soviet cosmonaut landing on the moon in March 1973. Afterwards the VVS leaders tour the L3 and DOS-7K mock-ups. Mishin asks - Why won't the VVS support his plan for an Indian Ocean landing for the L3? Why is the VVS against a 30-day duration for the first DOS flight? Why isn't the VVS training engineer-cosmonauts as pilots? Kutakhov replies that these are decisions that have to be made by aviation specialists, not by engineers or chief designers. The General Staff supports the VVS position.
Kamanin discusses with Kutakhov the need for the VVS to back Chelomei rather than Mishin. As for the Spiral, the support of Dementiev, Afanasyev, Kalmykov, and Zverev have been lined up for the program. But Grechko is still blocking it. And Kutakhov is unwilling to challenge Grechko on the issue.
Kutakhov calls Smirnov to give the VVS position on DOS-7K flights. He is told that Mishin has not only Ustinov and Smirnov, but even Brezhnev behind him in support of 30, and then 60 day spaceflight durations aboard DOS. The VVS' position of limiting flights to 20 to 24 days has no chance.
Kamanin has a meeting scheduled with Chelomei, but this is cancelled and he is called to another meeting with Mishin -- all to advance Mishin's agenda. Mishin complains that he doesn't know what the Almaz project is about. He claims Chelomei has spent half a billion roubles so far, and has nothing to show for it. Mishin, on the other hand, has two DOS stations ready to fly, done at a cost of only 80 million roubles. But Kamanin knows very well who has really wasted hundreds of millions of roubles - Mishin. Mishin produces his plans for DOS#3 and DOS#4 follow-on stations. These are to be copies of Almaz, delivered in 18 months. Mishin says he is building ten 7K-S for the spacecraft, despite the fact that Karas at GUKOS is not interested in manned spaceflight. Afterwards Kamanin tells Kutakhov to warn Chelomei that he must support the VVS' 7K-S and Spiral projects, if he wants VVS support for Almaz.
Mishin guarantees to Smirnov that Soyuz 11 will be able to dock to Salyut 1. He also promises thirty-day missions for both Soyuz 11 and Soyuz 12. But there is a problem with this last promise -- Soyuz 12 won't launch until 15-18 July, which will be after the guaranteed life of the Salyut 1 station. Kamanin protests the decision. Smirnov points out that they must fulfil the resolutions of the Communist Party without question. But he reassures Kamanin that they will take everything one step at a time, keeping the safety of the crew in mind. Kutakhov also does not support the decision, but orders must be followed.