Status: Deceased; Active 1960-1982. Born: 1929-09-05. Died: 2004-07-03. Spaceflights: 2 . Total time in space: 21.64 days. Birth Place: Shorshely, Chuvashia.
Nikolayev completed courses in forestry in at age 18 and then worked in forestry administrative work in Karelia until drafted into the Red Army in 1950. He was identified as a good pilot candidate, and after initial flight training entered the fighter pilot training school in Frunze in August 1951. He completed officer and flight training in 1954 and was assigned to fighter units in the Moscow area. In 1960 he was one of 20 pilots selected in the first group of Soviet cosmonauts. He made the world's first multi-day spaceflight aboard Vostok 3 in August 1962. Cosmonaut commander Kamanin found Nikolayev the calmest of the original cosmonauts, a good chess player, and one of only three cosmonauts kept current in three MiG fighter types.
After Valentina Tereshkova's triumphant return from her Vostok 6 flight in June 1963, a joke began circulating that she should marry Nikolayev, the only bachelor cosmonaut to have flown. Although he and Tereshkova did not dislike each other, there was no substance to the rumor of a romance. However the story eventually reached Khrushchev. He saw potential for big propaganda benefits, and began applying pressure through Kamanin, the commander of the cosmonaut detachment, for the couple to marry. They finally gave in and the marriage ceremony took place on November 3, 1963, at the Moscow Wedding Palace, with the wedding party at a governmental mansion set apart for state receptions. Khrushchev himself presided at the party, together with top government and space program leaders.
On June 8, 1964, Tereshkova gave birth to a daughter, Elena Andrianovna, who later went on to become a physician. But the marriage was in trouble almost from the beginning. Tereshkova's in-laws would pressure her to go over Kamanin's head, to higher governmental officials, to complain about Nikolayev's behavior. Once out of the limelight, the couple would divorce.
In 1966-1967 Nikolayev began training for L1 and L3 manned lunar flights. Nikolayev, along with other first group cosmonauts, was assigned to complete engineering graduate courses at the Zhukovskiy Test Pilot Engineering Academy. He obtained his degree in December 1968.
From February 1968 to 1974 he served as a Deputy Director for Training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre. He supervised cosmonauts training for L1 and L3 lunar, and Soyuz earth-orbit flights. He flew in the record-duration 18-day Soyuz 9 flight in 1970. Nikolayev and his crewmate were in extremely poor physical condition after their flight. In fact, no other crew on a flight of any duration has ever come back in such bad shape. At the time this called into serious question Soviet plans for long-duration space stations.
In 1974 Nikolayev was named as First Deputy for Training at the cosmonaut center, and stayed in that position until his retirement in 1982. This appointment was somewhat ironic since failure to follow the pre-flight and in-flight exercise regime was considered part of the reason for his extremely poor physical condition after Soyuz 9.
As a flown cosmonaut, and one that had been aboard two record-breaking flights, Nikolayev received innumerable honors, prizes, medals, and privileges. As a more enduring monument, a prominent lunar crater was named after him. Two books appeared under his name, Vstretimsya na orbite (Meeting in Orbit) and Kosmos - doroga byez kontsa (Space - Road without End).
He died of a heart attack, while judging the All-Russian rural sport games at Cheboksary, Chuvash Autonomous Republic. Nikolayev's cosmonaut call sign was Sokol (Falcon).
|Soyuz 9 Crew|
Soyuz 9 crew before lift-off
Credit: RKK Energia
Nikolayev before entering spacecraft
Credit: RKK Energia
|Soyuz 9 Comm|
Tereshkova and daughter and Khrunov communicate with Nikolayev during Soyuz 9.
Credit: RKK Energia
Chuvash-Russian pilot cosmonaut 1960-1982. First person to fly more than one day in space. Married Valentina Tereshkova, and fathered first child born to parents that had both flown in space. 2 spaceflights, 21.6 days in space. Flew to orbit on Vostok 3 (1962), Soyuz 9.
The group was selected to provide pilot astronauts for the Vostok manned spaceflight program.. Qualifications: Military jet aircraft pilots under 30 years of age; under 170 cm tall; under 70 kg in weight.. While the Americans sought mature test pilots for their first spaceflights, the Soviets recruited young pilots with the intent of training them for a career as spacemen. There were 3,000 applicants following interviews with medical doctor teams that toured Soviet air bases beginning in August 1959. 102 were called for physical and psychological tests. 8 of these were selected, but then Chief Designer Korolev said he wanted a pool three times larger than the American Mercury cadre. Of the 20 selected, 12 would fly in space. Of the 8 that did not, 1 died in a ground fire in training; 3 were dismissed for disciplinary reasons; and 4 left following injuries in training.
The Examination Commission consists of members from the VVS Air Force , AN Academy of Science, industry, and LII Flight Test Institute. The sessions are filmed. Each cosmonaut sits in a Vostok mock-up for 40 to 50 minutes and describes the equipment and the operations to be conducted in each phase of flight. Special emphasis is given in the examiners' questions on orientation of the spacecraft for manual retrofire and egress on land or water. For this phase, Gagarin, Titov, Nikolayev, and Popovich are rated 'outstanding' and Nelyubov and Bykovsky 'good'.
The essay portion of the written examination consists of three questions, with the essay replies to be written out in 20 minutes. After handing in the essay, each cosmonaut is given three to five multiple choice questions. All six pass and are rated as ready to fly the Vostok 3KA. But which of the six is best suited to be the first man in space (at least publicly - one Vostok flight in 1960 would have resulted in the death of the cosmonaut). Gagarin, Titov, and Nelyubov are in the top echelon. Nikolayev is the quietest of the six. Bykovsky is less so, especially in internal meetings, but he says nothing important and doesn't contribute anything substantial. Popovich is a puzzle, his behaviour perhaps influenced by secret family problems.
The VVS contingent departs for Tyuratam in three Il-14's. The two with cosmonauts aboard stop at Kuibyshev to give the pilots a look at the recovery zone. Aboard the first aircraft are Kamanin, Gagarin, Nelyubov, and Popovich. Aboard the other are Titov, Bykovsky, and Nikolayev. At the VVS Sanatorium at Privolzhskiy on the Volga the cosmonauts relax, and play ping-pong, chess, and billiards. The cosmonauts, Kamanin, Yazdovskiy, and Karpov sleep together in a single large room. Kamanin finds it a lively group; only Gagarin is pale and quieter than the others. On 7 March his wife had their second daughter and only yesterday he brought them back from the hospital. It was tough on him to then have to leave them on his dangerous secret mission - to be the first man into space.
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.
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....
Kamanin plays badminton with Gagarin, Titov, and Nelyubov, winning 16 to 5. At 12:00 a meeting is held with the cosmonauts at the Syr Darya River. Rudnev, Moskalenko, and Korolev informally discuss plans with Gagarin, Titov, Nelyubov, Popovich, Nikolayev, and Bykovsky. Korolev addresses the group, saying that it is only four years since the Soviet Union put the first satellite into orbit, and here they are about to put a man into space. The six cosmonauts here are all ready and qualified for the first flight. Although Gagarin has been selected for this flight, the others will follow soon - in this year production of ten Vostok spacecraft will be completed, and in future years it will be replaced by the two or three-place Sever spacecraft. The place of these cosmonauts here does not indicate the completion of our work, says Korolev, but rather the beginning of a long line of Soviet spacecraft. Korolev predicts that the flight will be completed safely, and he wishes Yuri Alekseyevich success. Kamanin and Moskalenko follow with their speeches. In the evening the final State Commission meeting is held. Launch is set for 12 April and the selection of Gagarin for the flight is ratified. The proceedings are recorded for posterity on film and tape.
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.
Ustinov wants launch of two cosmonauts within a month to answer the American Glenn flight. Of seven candidates, Nikolayev and Popovich are most likely to be selected. Meanwhile Titov has more incidents. He has driven his Volga into a bus. This is his third accident within a year.
Kamanin selects the cosmonauts for the dual flight ordered by Ustinov: Nikolayev and Popovich, with Nelyubov and Bykovsky as back-ups. Ustinov has ordered launch by 10-12 March. - such is the Soviet's lousy leadership, Kamanin notes. They don't do anything for months, then suddenly want a manned launch within 10 days. Korolev wants a three-day flight, but the VVS wants no more than two days, and only then if the cosmonauts are in excellent condition after the first day.
Due to technical problems and the launch failure of a Zenit spy satellite, the launch of the dual Vostoks is pushed back to April. Therefore a trip to New York by the cosmonauts in March will not be possible. In any case the Presidium has decided against allowing them to address the United Nations.
Rafikov is dismissed effective immediately. He says he is sorry, but believes that blame should be shared collectively. He says the escapades of Gagarin and Titov encouraged him and Anikeyev to do the same. He says that his wife and five-year-old son want to stay with him. His pleas are to no avail. Meanwhile the cosmonauts still support limiting the next flights in space to two days, but Korolev is training Nikolayev and Popovich for three days anyway.
Area survey photo reconnaissance satellite. Program partially completed. Failure of primary spacecraft orientation system. It was to spend four days in space, to be followed by another mission during 5-10 May. This meant that Vostok 3/4 could not be launched before 20-30 May. The cosmonaut prime crew returned from their in-suit parachute training at Fedosiya.
The VVS contingent flies to the cosmodrome in three Il-14's. Due to the very hot conditions, they land on the 2 km dirt strip - the paved runway is only 1200 m long. Kamanin notices a lot of new construction since he was last at the cosmodrome, 16 months earlier, for Gagarin's launch.
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.
Smirnov, Rudenko, Gagarin attend. Go-ahead is given for launch on 10/11 August. Nikolayev wants to spend one hour in his spacecraft before launch, but Korolev is against this, not wanting the spacecraft disturbed after it has passed all of its tests. Finally a compromise is reached, whereby Nikolayev will get his hour, but without wearing his spacesuit.
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.
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.
At the MIK Popovich finally trains in his suit in the seat 'as planned'. At 11:30 Smirnov, Korolev, and Keldysh inspect the new space food prepared for the flight, then meet with the cosmonauts. The Soyuz spacecraft is discussed - the cosmonauts want to have a mock-up commission. Afterwards the pilots conduct more training in their flight suits. At 21:00 Vostok 3 is rolled out from Area 10 to the pad. There was a two hour delay due to the need to reinspect the fasteners on the ejection seat - use of unauthorised substitutes was detected on other seats.
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.
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....
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.
The dual flights proeceed normally. At the 07:30 communications session Nikolayev is on his 31st orbit, and Popovich on his 16th. Nikolayev reports having awoken from his sleep period at 04:30 and Popovich at 04:53. At 22:30 there is a stormy meeting of the State Commission. Nikolayev's cabin temperature has dropped from 27 deg C at lift-off, to 13 deg C on the 29th orbit, and still 13 deg C on the 36th orbit. However the cosmonaut reports he has no trouble with this temperature in his suit. Problem existed with the Tral telemetry system, but these have now been solved. Nearly everyone wants to prolong Nikolayev's flight to a fourth day, except Kamanin, who is worried about the unknown physical condition of the cosmonaut after such a long flight. Furthermore the change will move the landing to a rocky area with higher winds expected. After heated discussion it is decided to review the matter again in the morning and decide then.
A meeting of the state commission is held at 07:00 to decide whether to prolong Nikolayev's flight to a fourth day. It is finally agreed that they will bring both spacecraft down on 15 August, with Nikolayev re-entering on his 65th orbit and Popovich on his 49th. Kamanin advises Nikolayev via the Yelizovo tracking station: "Go for a fourth day / 65 orbits". But this will ruin plans for a three-day comprehensive post-landing medical examination, since Nikolayev and Popovich have to be in Moscow on Friday, the 18th, for the preplanned celebrations at the Kremlin.
The State Commission met again at 17:00, to decide whether to extend Popovich to a fourth day as well. Smirnov and Korolev have already discussed this with Khrushchev. It all right with them, and there are no technical reasons not to. But Popovich is much more active than Nikolayev, since he wasn't expecting a four day flight, and he has not conserved his resources as Nikolayev has. At 12:00 the spacecraft temperature was down to 11 deg C, with low humidity. Kamanin objects violently, and finally it is decided to ask the cosmonaut directly if he feels able to go for the extra day. Popovich, when contacted, immediately declares himself ready to go for an extra day and a 65 orbit mission. It is decided to study expected landing conditions for an extended mission and the physical condition of the cosmonaut before making a final decision.
Recovered August 15, 1962 6:59 GMT. Landed 48:09 N 71:51 E. By 07:00 the temperature aboard Vostok 4 is down to 10 deg C, and the humidity at 35%. Popovich is ready to continue for a fourth day, but he admits the cold is getting to him. Keldysh and Rudenko now support returning Vostok 4 to earth on the 49th orbit, but Smirnov still wants to go for the extra day. Then Popovich radios 'I observe thunderstorms (groza). Groza is the pre-agreed code word to indicate that the cosmonaut is vomiting. It is believed he is declaring an emergency and requesting an immediate landing. The State Commission meets again and has to decide within 40 minutes whether to begin setting the spacecraft up for retrofire. But then when Korolev and Smirnov ask the cosmonaut to verify, he explains "I am excellent, I was observing meteorological thunderstorms and lightning". However Gagarin and Kamanin are suspicious of the explanation - they believe Popovich had an attack of nausea, panicked, made the emergency radio transmission, but then felt better and didn't want to admit to his weakness when confronted by the leadership. However it is now too late. He is set to return at nearly the same time as Nikolayev on Vostok 3. Both spacecraft land successfully six minutes apart a short distance from each other. However flight plans for the State Commission are wrecked due to bad weather at nearby airfields.
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.
The cosmonauts continue their post-flight medical examinations, but everyone is suffering from hangovers from the celebration the night before. There was a stupid incident, with some of the leaders blaming Nikolayev of bad behaviour. Most of the commission leaves in the evening. In the afternoon the new heroes of the cosmos - Gagarin, Titov, Nikolayev, and Popovich - are taken boating, to the acclaim of crowds on the shore.
In the morning, the cosmonauts rehearse the speeches sent to them from Moscow for the celebrations. Then they depart Kuibyshev. A fighter escort intercepts the cosmonauts' aircraft at 13:00, and the aircraft lands at Moscow at 14:00 sharp. Enormous celebrations follow.
The cosmonauts need to be trained for press conferences. Nikolayev is to receive special training, as well as Popovich who is being criticised for mistakes made during his Cuba tour. He told reporters 'We will assist Cuba not just on the earth, but from space', and 'The world will soon learn the names of all of the first cosmonaut team', neither of which are state policy.
Kamanin meets with Nikolayev to discuss the timing for his enforced wedding to Tereshkova. Nikolayev is evasive, doesn't want to set a date, won't give a direct answer. Kamanin points out the wedding will be the subject of a government decree and a precise date must be set. The possible days are limited due to Tereshkova's heavy travel schedule. Nevertheless Nikolayev refuses to commit to a date in October.
The wedding has to be arranged with the VVS General Staff in accordance with the resolution of the Central Committee. Kamanin calls Tereshkova and Nikolayev and orders them to decide the issue - the MUST SET A DATE. He is getting ten phone calls a day about it and can resist no longer.
Khrushchev has given Nikolayev and Tereshkova a new apartment in Moscow. It is in a building normally reserved exclusively for the highest Communist Part members - Kutuzovskiy Prospect number 30132, Apartment 1013L. The apartment has 7 rooms and can be divided into two sections if they wish to live apart.
Kamanin meets with Rudenko, to discuss selection of three crews for Vostok and three crews for Soyuz flights in 1964. Ioffe reports that the Soyuz docking simulator will be completed by 25 December. Tereshkova, Nikolayev, and Bykovsky are in Indonesia on a public relations tour, to be followed by Burma.
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.
The General Staff of the VVS considers future cosmonaut assignments. The acceptance of Beregovoi into the active cosmonaut corps is hotly contested. He has passed all the tests, but is 43 years old, and the official maximum age for a cosmonaut is 35. Finally it is decided that on 25 January six cosmonauts will begin training for Vostok flights (Volynov, Khrunov, Belyayev, Leonov, Komarov, and Beregovoi). On 1 February four crews will begin training for Soyuz flights: Crew 1: Nikolayev, Shonin, Demin, Kugno; Crew 2: Bykovsky, Zaikin, Artyukhin, Gulyayev; Crew 3: Popovich, Gorbatko, Ponomaryova, Kolodin; Crew 4: Titov, Shatalov, Solovyova, Zholobov.
Kamanin meets with Nikolayev, who briefs him on his goodwill tour of Soviet cities. Kamanin shows him a 200-rouble fine art book on the first space missions, of which he has received only six copies to distribute. Nikolayev would like one, but Kamanin says it is reserved for Tereshkova. Gagarin later briefs Kamanin on his tour of Western Europe. Gagarin is interested in commanding the Voskhod 1 mission, but Kamanin believes it is too risky. However the excuse he gives to Gagarin is that none of the flown cosmonauts are flight-ready due to constant publicity tours. Given only three months to prepare for the flight, the commander will have to be one of the unflown cosmonauts current in training. Later Kamanin formulates a position for the General Staff on the Voskhod flights. The VVS should promise full support for the Party's resolution, while pointing out the risks and the unreliability of the Voskhod design. Kamanin is told the support will be transmitted, but the qualifiers will not. Kamanin fumes that Khrushchev has given the go-ahead to proceed without being informed at all of the grave risks.
Kamanin has decided to train two groups in parallel: flown cosmonauts (Titov, Bykovsky, and Popovich), and passenger-cosmonauts. Gagarin and Nikolayev oppose plans to fly non-military personnel in space. Kamanin observes with disgust that Khrushchev is handing out medals meant for true Soviet heroes to himself and foreign leaders such as Janos Kadar and Fidel Castro. He observes that Khrushchev will turn 70 on April 17, and no longer enjoys support from the military or other sectors of the state. Kamanin recites what he sees as Khrushchev's mistakes: his denunciation of Stalin, his ruining of relations with other Communist states such as Yugoslavia, Albania, and China; and he has ruined the Soviet domestic economy, with basic foodstuffs suffering in quality and quantity.
Since 14 August most of the cosmonauts have been out of town. Gagarin is in Leningrad, Titov and Bykovsky in Kiev, Popovich in Lipetsk (being trained on the MiG-21), the Voskhod crews in Arkhangelsk. Only Tereshkova and Nikolayev remain in Moscow. Then comes the news that Popovich has injured his leg in a fall on some stairs. The incident came after Popovich picked up two 15-year old girls in his Volga.
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....
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 uses his entire leave for the first time in his life. Part of the time, he was with some of the cosmonauts at Sochi. Their time there was spent without serious incidents. However despite Nikolayev's protestations that all is well, Kamanin has found out that Valentina Tereshkova is seriously ill, and that her forced marriage with Nikolayev was a serious mistake. She has declared that she does not want to live with Nikolayev any more, that he is a bad father to their daughter, he drinks too much, and that he spends all his time with his friends, speaking mainly in his native Chuvash, which she cannot understand.
Kamanin will organise the cosmonauts into two groups: the first group will be commanded by Nikolayev, and the latest group by Beregovoi. They will be assigned to support and train seven missions: military space (reconnaissance, interceptor, and combat spacecraft); space navigation; life support and rescue systems; communications and telemetry systems; scientific orbital stations; lunar fly-by; and lunar landing expeditions. All of this may be for nought, since Marshall Malinovskiy has said that heavy launch vehicles and lunar flights have no military utility and should be funded and handled by the Academy of Science.
Tereshkova and Nikolayev are to travel to Algeria on 1 April, and Hungary on 2 April. Yegorov is going to Berlin to deliver a medical lecture. There is an avalanche of fan mail for Belyayev and Leonov. Kamanin believes that Leonov is moving into the pantheon with Gagarin and Tereshkova of top space heroes.
The demand for cosmonaut appearances is constant; over 90% of such requests have to be denied. Tereshkova and Nikolayev are especially in demand - France wants them for two or three days, and there are also requests from Mongolia, Finland, Norway, Greece, Iran, Rumania, USA, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and many others. As far as progress on cosmonaut trainers, General Ponomaryov, who has no interests in space, is hampering development efforts. So far his interference has delayed completion of the docking trainer by six months.
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.
Kamanin meets with Korolev at 15:00 to discuss crew plans. As Soyuz pilot candidates, Kamanin proposes Gagarin, Nikolayev, Bykovsky, Komarov, Kolodin, Artyukhin, and Matinchenko. Korolev counters by proposing supplemental training of a supplemental group of engineer-cosmonauts from the ranks of OKB-1. He calls Anokhin, his lead test pilot, informs Korolev that there are 100 engineers working at the bureau that are potential cosmonauts candidates, of which perhaps 25 would complete the selection process. Kamanin agrees to assist OKB-1 in flight training of these engineer-cosmonauts. Kamanin again proposes Volynov and Katys as prime crew for the Voskhod 3 12-15 day flight. Korolev reveals that, even though Kamanin will have the crew ready by October, the spacecraft for the flight may not yet even be ready by November - Kamanin thinks January 1966 is more realistic. The discussion turns to the female EVA flight - Ponomaryova as pilot, Solovyova as spacewalker. It is decided that a group of 6 to 8 cosmonauts will begin dedicated training in September for lunar flyby and landing missions. Korolev advises Kamanin that metal fabrication of the N1 superbooster first article will be completed by the end of 1965. The booster will have a payload to low earth orbit of 90 tonnes, and later versions with uprated engines will reach 130 tonnes payload. Korolev foresees the payload for the first N1 tests being a handful of Soyuz spacecraft.
The issue of ground support for manned lunar missions is discussed within the VVS. It will be necessary to have continuous and reliable tracking and communications of spacecraft in parking orbit prior to trans-lunar injection, in orbits with inclinations between 51 and 65 deg. Kamanin is tasked to develop a forecast and plan for necessary developments in the next 4 to 5 years. Later Kamanin considers cosmonaut travels. Nikolayev and Tereshkova are to go to Japan on 21 October. Leonov and Belyayev have returned from a tour of Bulgaria, Greece, East Germany, and Cuba, but they made several mis-statements during the tour which have been brought to Kamanin's attention. The issue of getting Gagarin back into cosmonaut training is again broached.
Brezhnev has finally read Gagarin's letter, and forwarded it to Smirnov for a full report. Smirnov in turn has asked the commanders of the military branches to convene a soviet to address the issues raised in the letter. Marshal Sudets meets with cosmonauts Gagarin, Titov, Nikolayev, Komarov, Leonov, as well as Kamanin and Kuznetsov. There is a consensus that a single military branch should handle space - either VSS, PVO, or RVSN - but many are opposed to that branch being the VVS. The consensus is that the mission should be given to the PVO.
Korolev visits the centre, and spends more than six hours with the cosmonauts. However he says nothing about concrete flight plans. Afterwards Kamanin meets with Gagarin, Titov, Popovvich, Nikolayev, Tereshkova, Bykovsky, Komarov, and Belyayev (Leonov is at courses at the Academy). A profound pessimism prevails. Nothing has come of the letter to Brezhnev.
The urn with Korolev's ashes is placed in the Kremlin Wall by an honor guard of cosmonauts and the highest leaders of the state. Kamanin knows that the like of Korolev will not be seen again. There are dozens of Chief Designers, but none with the genius, talent, and drive of Korolev. Kamanin worries for the future in the space race with the Americans. Even in life, Korolev was never able to achieve more than one or two spaceflights per year. Now, in 1966, they are supposed to achieve four times that flight rate without him.
Kamanin spent six hours the previous Saturday reviewing the development plan over the next 24-30 months of the Soviet manned lunar landing with Gagarin, Nikolayev, and Komarov. Today is the third day of the duration test of the Voskhod-3 ECS at IMBP. It is showing unstable temperature control; the cabin is vacillating between 25 and 15 deg C. After review by the engineers and Voronin, it is decided to continue with the run.
Tyulin and Mozzhorin review with Kamanin crewing plans. Even though the missions of Voskhod 4 and 5 are not yet clear, Tyulin wants to settle on Beregovoi and Katys for Voskhod 4, and Ponomaryova and Solovyova for Voskhod 5. Since October 1965 six crews have been in training for Soyuz flights: Gagarin -Voronov, Nikolayev-Gorbatko, Bykovsky-Matinchenko, Komarov-Kolodin, Zaikin-Khrunov, and Popovich-Artyukhin. But these are just nominal groupings, and firm crew assignments by mission have not yet been made.
Gagarin, Gorbatko, Nikolayev, Popovich, and their wives went out with delegates to the 23 Party Congress from Kiev. Afterwards an argument broke out between Popovich and his wife when she caught him in an embrace with Gorbatko's wife. Popovich struck his wife in the presence of the others, and her brother punched Popovich in response, giving him a black eye.
The simulators and partial-task trainers continue very much behind schedule. There is talk of moving responsibility for them from Darevskiy's bureau to OKB-1. Popovich's fitness for future flight and command assignments is questionable. Nevertheless, he will join Titov, Leonov, Volynov, Shonin, Zaikin, Gagarin, and Solovyova at the Zhukovskiy Academy, from which they will be expected to graduate with advanced degrees in engineering in October 1967. Nikolayev, Bykovsky, and Gorbatko will finish one or two years later, since they will be preoccupied with flight assignments on the 7K-OK.
Kamanin receives the order to prepare Volynov and Shatalov and their crews for a 20-27 May launch date. The commanders are understandably upset about the constant postponements. Later the continuing transgressions of Popovich and Titov are discussed with Gagarin and Nikolayev. Are they really fit to be detachment commanders?
Gagarin and Leonov visit Kamanin, who is on vacation at his dacha. They tell him of manoeuvres by Tyulin, Burnazyan, and Mishin in his absence. A VPK resolution will name crews for Soyuz missions that will consist of "invalid" engineers from OKB-1 (Anokhin, Frolov, Makarov, Volkov) instead of trained, flown cosmonauts (Gagarin, Nikolayev, Bykovsky).
Kamanin is back from leave and orients himself. VVS General Rudenko has been visited by Mishin, Tsybin, and Tyulin. They want to replace Kamanin's crews for the first Soyuz mission in September-October with a crew made up of OKB-1 engineers: Dolgopolov, Yeliseyev, and Volkov as the prime crew, Anokhin, Makarov, and Grechko as back-ups. Kamanin believes this absurd proposal, made only three months before the planned flight date, shows a complete lack of understanding on the part of OKB-1 management of the training and fitness required for spaceflight. Kamanin has had eight cosmonauts (Komarov, Gorbatko, Khrunov, Bykovsky, Voronov, Kolodin, Gagarin, and Nikolayev) training for this flight since September 1965. Yet Mishin and Tyulin have been shopping this absurd proposal to Smirnov, Ustinov, and Malinovskiy, who do not know enough to reject it.
Tyulin heads a meeting that brings the Soyuz crewing dispute into the open. The opposing crews are represented as follows:
Kamanin is furious. Mishin and Tyulin think an engineer can be trained to be a spacecraft commander in three months, without passing a flight physical, without being a qualifed pilot, without screening and training on the centrifuge or zero-G aircraft, and without parachute training. They put no value in six years of VVS experience in cosmonaut training. They give no weight to the years of general training, spaceflight experience, and ten months of Soyuz-specific training his candidates have already had. He notes that the United States trains crews for a minimum of one to two years before a flight. Kamanin says this decision will not stand.
At a meeting at LII MAP Zazakov, Litvinov, Mishin, Tsybin, Bushuev, Severin, Alekseyev, and Komarov spar over the hatch and spacesuit problem. Severin only agrees to modifying the ECS under immense pressure, but the modified suit will not be ready until November. Severin could not get Mishin to agree to an increased hatch diameter from Soyuz s/n 8 - Mishin will only "study the problem". An arrangement of the ECS around the waist of the cosmonaut is finally agreed. Mishin and Litvinov categorically rejected any modification of the hatch in the first production run of Soyuz.
In turn, Factory 918 insisted on a final decision on Soyuz crews. They cannot build 16 of the custom-built spacesuits for all possible candidates for the flights (8 from VVS and 8 from OKB-1). It was therefore agreed that the commanders of the first two missions would be Komarov and Bykovsky, with Nikolayev and Gagarin as their backups. It was finally decided to assume that the other crew members would be either Khrunov and Gorbatko from the VVS, or Anokhin and Yeliseyev from OKB-1.
Nikolayev, Bykovsky, Komarov, Khrunov, Gorbatko, Kolodin, and Voronov complete two parachute jumps each, with landing at sea. Training in sea-recovery by helicopter, with the cosmonauts in spacesuits, will be completed over the next two days. Smirnov is ready to sign a letter from Afanasyev, Burnazyan and Keldysh creating a new civilian cosmonaut training centre under the Ministry of Medium Machine Building, separate from the VVS centre. The letter is not coordinated with the Defence Ministry, and contradicts the letter sent by the four marshals to the Central Committee. Kamanin prepares a vigorous refutation of the letter's position. The physicians' board on OKB-1 candidates has only cleared Yeliseyev for flight - they could not agree on Volkov, Kubasov, and Grechko. OKB-1 only submitted four candidates for review, not the eight promised.
Mishin invites Kamanin and his cosmonauts to the 20th Anniversary Party of OKB-1. Kamanin is so alienated he refuses to go, and sends only Nikolayev and Bykovsky as cosmonaut representatives. OKB-1 has wasted three months arguing about Soyuz crewing, and essential work to prepare for the flights has either not been done or kept from the VVS. No list of scientific experiments and procedures for the flights, adequate trainers, or information that would allow preparation of flight plans and log books has been provided. A minimum of four months will be required to prepare for flight after all these materials are delivered. Gagarin reports on the farce in sea recovery training at Fedosiya. It took eight days instead of the three planned to train 16 cosmonauts. Only after the VVS cosmonauts had left did Mishin sent 8 OKB-1 cosmonaut candidates, who were prohibited from training together with the VVS cosmonauts.
Kamanin organises the cosmonauts into the following training groups:
Rudenko agrees with Kamanin's plan, except he urges him to assign more cosmonauts to the Soyuz 7K-OK group, and include OKB-1 cosmonauts in the 7K-OK, L1, and L3 groups, and Academy of Science cosmonauts in the L1 and L3 groups.
These cosmonaut assignments were in constant flux, and many cosmonauts were assigned to train for more than one program - resulting in multiple claims in later years that 'I was being trained for the first moon flight'.
In the period 1966 to 1968 there were five simultaneous Soviet manned space projects (Soyuz 7K-OK orbital; Soyuz 7K-L1 circumlunar; Soyuz VI military; L3 manned lunar landing; Almaz space station). Cosmonaut assignments were in constant flux, resulting in many claims in later years that 'I was being trained for the first moon flight'. Additional Details: here....
First snow of the winter in Moscow. The training of Soyuz crews has to be completed within 40 days, but there is still no assurance the trainers will be ready by 15 November. Komarov will command the active spacecraft, and Bykovsky the passive. Gagarin and Nikolayev are their back-ups. The 20 December flight date can only be met if Khrunov and Gorbatko serve as flight engineers. Training of Kubasov, Volkov and Yeliseyev in 40 days is impossible. Yet there is still no agreement on the crew composition.
Rudenko and Kamanin meet with Mishin at Area 31 (18-20 kilometers east of Area 2). Launch preparations are reviewed, and Mishin satisfies them that the two Soyuz will be launched on 26-27 November. The State Commission will meet officially tomorrow at 16:00. For today, they tour the N1 horizontal assembly building at Area 13. Korolev planned the N1 as early as 1960-1961. It will have a takeoff mass of 2700-3000 tonnes and will be able to orbit 90-110 tonnes. The first stage of rocket has 30 engines, and the booster's overall height is114 m. The construction of the assembly plant, considered a branch of the Kuibyshev factory, began in 1963 but is still not finished. Two factory shops are in use, and the adjacent main assembly hall is truly impressive - more than 100 m in length, 60 m high, and 200 wide. Work on assembly of the ground test version of the rocket is underway. Assembly will be completed in 1967, and it will be used to test the systems for transport to the pad, erection of the booster, servicing, and launch preparations. The booster is to be ready for manned lunar launches in 1968. The construction site of the N1 launch pads occupies more than one square kilometre. Two pads are located 500 meter from each other. Between and around them is a mutli-storied underground city with hundreds of rooms and special equipment installations.
Only late in the night Rudenko and Mishin finally agree that the crews for the first manned Soyuz flights will be: Basic crews: Komarov, Bykovsky, Khrunov, Yeliseyev; Back-up crews: Gagarin, Nikolayev, Gorbatko, Kubasov. Meanwhile poor weather in Moscow is delaying zero-G training for the flight. In the last week only one weightless flight on the Tu-104 was possible - and a minimum of 24 flights need to be flown before the launch. It was therefore decided to ferry one Tu-104 to Tyuratam and train the cosmonauts here - it made its first flight today.
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.
Gagarin, Nikolayev, Gorbatko, Kolodin and Belousov arrive at Tyuratam for Tu-104 zero-G training, while the prime crews successfully arrive at Moscow for simulator training. The State Commission meets. After extensive detailed reports, Mishin certifies that the boosters and spacecraft at 09:00 on 26 November. S/N 2 would be launched first, on 28 November at 14:00, followed by s/n 2 24 hours later. The go-ahead is given for launch. In zero-G tests, the reserve cosmonauts find it is necessary to grip the handrail from above with both hands to move easily with the ECS strapped to the leg. The previously approved method, with one hand on top, the other below the handrail, was only good with the ECS configured as a backpack. The hardest part of the EVA will be getting on the spacesuits beforehand, especially in achieving a seal between the gloves and the suit
Four years behind Korolev's original promised schedule, the countdown is underway for the first Soyuz spacecraft. A new closed circuit television system allows the rocket to be observed from several angles during the final minutes. Mishin, as per tradition, personally stays with the rocket until the last moment. Rudenko, Kerimov, and Kamanin observe the launch from the bunker, while Gagarin, Nikolayev, Belyayev and Yegorov observe from the observation post. The launch is perfect, within 0.2 seconds of the 16:00 launch time. The separation of the first stage strap-ons can be seen with the naked eye in the clear sky. The spacecraft is given the cover designation Cosmos 133 after launch. By 22:00 the spacecraft is in deep trouble. For unknown reasons the spacecraft consumed its entire load of propellant for the DPO approach and orientation thrusters within a 15-minute period, leaving the spacecraft in a 2 rpm spin. At the insertion orbital perigee of 179 kilometres, the spacecraft will have a life of only 39 orbits. It is decided to attempt to stop the spin on the 13th orbit using other thrusters and the ion flow sensors to determine attitude. Then the re-entry sequence will be commanded on the 16th orbit, with the spacecraft to use solar sensors to orient itself for retrofire on the 17th orbit.
Rudenko, Mishin, Kerimov and Kamanin agree on crews for upcoming flights. Komarov, Bykovsky, Khrunov, and Yeliseyev are assigned to Soyuz s/n 3 and 4; Gagarin, Nikolayev, Gorbatko, and Kubasov to Soyuz s/n 5 and 6, with Beregovoi, Shatalov, Volkov, and Makarov trained as back-ups. For Soyuz s/n 7, which will conduct space welding experiments with the Vulkan furnace, the commander will be either Komarov, Bykovsky, Gagarin, Nikolayev, Beregovoi, or Shatalov. The other two crewmembers will be either Lankin and Fartushniy from the Paton Institute, VVS cosmonaut Kolodin, or an engineer from OKB-1.
Crews for the L1 must be named in order to complete the five-month training program in time. Eight L1's are being completed to the manned configuration, but Mishin believes it is necessary to plan for only six manned missions. It is decided to train nine crews. Spacecraft commanders will be Komarov, Bykovsky, Nikolayev, Gagarin, Leonov, Khrunov, Volynov, Beregovoi, and Shatalov. Flight engineers will be Yeliseyev, Kubasov, Makarov, Volkov, and Grechko. Komarov, Bykovsky or Nikolayev will command the first circumlunar flight. Mishin promises to name the OKB-1 candidates for that flight by 8 December. Mishin and Kerimov agree that training of cosmonaut- researchers from the Academy of Sciences may begin, although both Mishin and Rudenko expressed doubts about cosmonaut candidate Yershov.
The failures of Cosmos 133 have been narrowed to entangled thrust vector vanes in the main engines and a single defective approach and orientation thruster. It is agreed to set the unmanned launch of Soyuz s/n 1 for 18 December as a final functional check of all systems. If this is successful, the date will then be set for the manned launch of Soyuz s/n 3 and 4. Flight control will be conducted from Yevpatoria.
Kamanin meets with key personnel of the TsPK and explains the reasons for the Soyuz incident, noting inadequate understanding of the abort systems. Kamanin orders improved medical examination of cosmonauts immediately after flight at the recovery site. Gagarin and Nikolayev request that the Soyuz crews now be allowed to take leave. Reports in the American press show that their experts have correctly interpreted the true nature of Cosmos 133 as a manned precursor mission. The American press alleges that there were two other explosions of the spacecraft in the USSR during September and October.
Titov visits Kamanin on leave from test pilot duties at Vladimirovka. Titov will spend a year training as a test pilot on MiG-21, Su-7, and Su-9 aircraft. He flies well, and has matured and changed for the better over the last two years. Kamanin has talked to him 3 or 4 times about his future plans. Titov has bound his future with the Spiral spaceplane programme. Additional Details: here....
The first manned Soyuz flights were an attempt at an 'all up' manned rendezvous, docking, and crew transfer spectacular (eventually accomplished by Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5). Komarov was the pilot for the Soyuz 1 active spacecraft, which would be launched first. Soyuz 2, with the crew of Bykovsky, Khrunov, and Yeliseyev would launch the following day, with Khrunov and Yeliseyev space-walking to Soyuz 1 and returning to earth with Komarov. Komarov's spacecraft developed serious problems after launch, including the failure of one of the spacecraft's solar panels to deploy. The Soyuz 2 crew were given the order to rendezvous with Soyuz 1 and to try during the planned EVA to unfold the undeployed solar panel. But the launch of Soyuz 2 was cancelled due to heavy rain at the cosmodrome. Low on power and battery reserves, Komarov made an attempt to land the following day. Parachute failure led to the crash of Soyuz 1 and the death of Komarov. After the disaster the Soyuz 2 spacecraft was checked, and the parachute system had the same technical failure. If Soyuz 2 had launched, the docking may have been successful, but then both spacecraft would have crashed on landing, killing four cosmonauts instead of one.
Attending are Kuznetsov, Gagarin, Khlebnikov. There are three training groups: Soyuz, L1, and L3. Mishin and the MOM are holding up further training of cosmonauts until the VVS agrees to accept Mishin's candidates from TsKBEM. In any case, Mishin's attitude is that 'automation in space is everything. Humans in space are only supposed to monitor the operation of automated systems'. L3 cosmonauts selected by the VVS are: Leonov, Bykovsky, Nikolayev, Popovich, Voronov, Khrunov, Gorbatko, Artyukhin, Kubasov, Makarov, and Rukavishnikov. The official requirements: balanced composition of a crew according to mass requirements (no more than 70 kg weight per cosmonaut), and the ability to monitor fully automated function of the L3. According to official documents, the crew's primary function is to guide the flight, but now Mishin intends that their primary role will be as subjects of psychological and physical observations to establish the adaptation of the human organism to space flight).
It is currently organised in three cosmonaut detachments: Nikolayev commands the first detachment, which is training for L3, L1, and Soyuz fiights. Popovich commands the second, training for Almaz and 7K-VI military space missions. Nikeryasov commands the third, which is the 'observer' detachment.
Holidays - in the first ten days of May, the civilians work only two days, while the military must work four. Kamanin assigns cosmonauts to the State Commission that will select the design for the Gagarin memorial obelisk. He then reviews cosmonaut pilot aircraft type qualifications. Titov is current on the Su-7, MiG-21, and several other high-performance aircraft. Nikolayev and Leonov are still certified to fly two or three MiG fighter types. Belyayev, Bykovsky, Popovich, Kutachov, and the others are only current on the L-29 trainer. The L-29 is 20 times more reliable than the MiG-21 or Su-7, and the MiG-15 trainer is 4x to 5x more reliable than the high performance types. In general the cosmonauts are against plans to move the air regiment to TsPK from Chkalovsky air field due to greater air space restrictions over Moscow.
The VPK confirms the Soyuz flight plan - a 0+1 mission to be followed by a 1+3 mission with crew transfer. Chiefs of the cosmonaut detachments are confirmed and announced. Nikolayev will be Deputy Chief of TsPK; Bykovsky, Commander of the First Detachment of Cosmonauts; Titov, Commander of the Second Detachment, and Popovich, Deputy Commander of the Second Detachment. Kuznetsov, Belyayev, and Leonov are not happy with these appointments. The General Staff also approves creation of a fourth training detachment at TsPK, charged with flight, engineering, and experiment development - requiring an additional 200 staff.
The cosmonauts are revolting against the selection of Nikolayev as their commander. They have written a letter demanding that Belyayev be put in the position. Leonov is also lobbying for the job, but Kamanin notes he has made two serious mistakes since April, no chance. Leonov attends a self-criticism meeting with the 'Gagarin comrades', self-confesses and emotionally says he will leave the cosmonaut unit if there are no future chances for promotion due to his repeated mistakes. Finally he is told that if does good work in the future, he could achieve the deputy commander position, but he can never, never make mistakes again.
A Zenit-2 spy satellite capsule has gone off course, splashed down in the Volga River, and sunk. Vershinin is in the hospital with intestinal polyps. Kamanin is reminded of Korolev's case, although he is told Vershinin's condition is not serious. There is criticism of the botched Zenit-2 recovery from Kutakhov. Meanwhile the Central Committee has decided to take no action on Czechoslovakia but send a letter to the Czech Communist Party. Kamanin is sick of this limp-wristed talk, talk, talk.
The L1 cosmonauts are doing training in autonomous navigation, zero-G training, and TBK-60 simulator training. Due to the continuing L1 failures, there would probably be no manned L1 flight until April-May 1969. As for Soyuz, a 0+1 (docking of one unmanned spacecraft and a manned spacecraft with a single cosmonaut aboard) is planned for 25 October, to be followed by a 1+3 mission with a crew transfer by December at the earliest - possibly not until February-March of the following year. Kamanin reassured Beregovoi that he will indeed fly following his excellent exam results -- but Beregovoi still has doubts. Later Kamanin confronts Leonov over his driving. Leonov has had three auto accidents in four months - simply too much. If he is such a bad driver on earth, how will be in space? Kamanin tells him to take two to three days off work and seriously consider his attitude and position. Next there are commissions to attend in charge of selecting monument designs for Gagarin memorials. There are to be obelisks at the Gagarin crash site, at the Vostok 1 landing site, and in Star City. These commissions are taking up a lot of the cosmonauts' time. Kuznetsov meets with Kamanin and tells him that cosmonauts Belyayev and Nikolayev rated Beregovoi poorly in the exam, giving him only a 5 and citing errors in his logic.
Nikolayev, Leonov, Popovich, Bykovsky, Khrunov, Gorbatko, Zaikin, Volynov, and Shonin all receive their diplomas from the Zhukovskiy Test Pilot Engineering Academy. Khrunov graduates with honours. All of them began training for a lunar landing on January 8. Titov and Gagarin will complete their studies for the diploma in May. Ponomareva and Solovyova willl graduate in the second half of 1968, leaving only Tereshkova, Kuznetsova, and Yerkina. Tereshkova has had her appendix removed in surgery at the Vishevskiy Centre. The surgery went well.
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.
Meeting with TsKBEM Deputy Chief Designer Tregub on manned space flight plans. Soyuz s/n 14 is set for a solo seven day mission in April-May. 15 and 16 with 5 cosmonauts aboard will fly a 7 day mission in August-September, remaining docked for three days. Soyuz s/n 17 through 20 will not fly until after May 1970 - there are no definite plans for them at this time. Additional Details: here....
The commission considers plans for the rest of the Soyuz production. Spacecraft s/n 14, 15, and 16 are to fly in August 1969, 17 and 18 in November 1969, and 19 and 20 in February-March 1970. Crews selected for the August flights are: for spacecraft 14, Shonin and Kubasov; for 15, Filipchenko, Volkov, and Gorbatko; for 16, Nikolayev and Sevastyanov. Back-ups will be Kuklin, Grechko, and Kolodin. All of the spacecraft will fly 4 to 5 day missions. Spacecraft 15 and 16 will dock and remain together 2 or 3 days to form an 'orbital station'. Experiments planned for the flight are:
Spacecraft 17 through 20 will fly 15 to 16 day missions to demonstrate the new SZhO life support system for the L3, and conduct rendezvous and docking operations using the L3's Kontakt system. Additional Details: here....
Kamanin advises Nikolayev his chances of being named to fly Soyuz 8 are very low. Tereshkova arrives at Kamanin's office in the evening. She is infuriated that her husband is not to be allowed to fly the mission. She says she will take the matter to Ustinov and Polanskiy. Kamanin tells her that would be a mistake.
However the board makes a big fuss over Kamanin having trained only four back-up cosmonauts to support eight prime-crew cosmonauts. A follow-up meeting is held with Smirnov and Afanasyev at 19:15, where Kamanin's training is denounced as a big failure. Nevertheless at 22:00 the word comes from the Kremlin to proceed with the missions. Kamanin points out that simultaneously with this mission he had cosmonauts in training for Soyuz s/n 17, 18, 19, 20 (Kontakt missions) and L1 circumlunar fights. Kuznetsov, Beregovoi, and several other cosmonauts are also enraged with Kamanin for bumping Nikolyaev from the Soyuz 8 crew. Kamanin maintains that in the circumstances he only had enough training resources for 8 prime + 4 back-up crew, especially for a mission scenario that would not be flown again in the future.
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.
It is Sunday, but the cosmonauts are at work, training on the scientific equipment for the flight and preparing for the autonomous navigation experiment. Nikolayev is preparing the work plan for the launch of the first spacecraft. The cosmonauts have been working ten hours per day for weeks now without interruption. The use of a new anti-radiation vitamin preparation the cosmonauts will take during the flights is discussed.
Tested spacecraft systems and designs, manoeuvring of space craft with respect to each other in orbit, conducted scientific, technical and medico-biological experiments in group flight. Was to have docked with Soyuz 7 and transferred crew while Soyuz 6 took film from nearby. However failure of rendezvous electronics in all three craft due to a new helium pressurization integrity test prior to the mission did not permit successful rendezvous and dockings. Recovered October 18, 1969 10:19 GMT. Additional Details: here....
The leadership suddenly announces that a solo Soyuz mission of 17 to 20 days is to be flown for Lenin's 100th birthday (April 22). This will seize the space endurance record from the Americans and provide biomedical information for the DOS station, to be flown by the end of the year. Nikolayev and Sevastyanov are being pushed for the job. Kamanin objects, he would prefer Kolodin or Grechko, but Mishin won't hear of it. During December Kamanin, the Shatalov Soyuz 7 crew, Sevastyanov, and their wives vacation at Sochi on the Black Sea. Meanwhile Belyayev becomes serious ill. Surgeons operate to remove 2/3 of his stomach, part of his long intestine, and his appendix.
Nikolayev and crew go to Sochi. Tereshkova is back from sick leave, and she goes there as well. Kamanin meets with Shonin, the topic: many bad reports he has received of Shonin's behaviour since Soyuz 6. He tells him to watch out, or he'll end up on a five-year flight suspension like Titov.
Kamanin leaves for Tyuratam at 09:00 with 13 others aboard an Il-18 from Chkalov Airfield. The group included the 'space family' - Nikolayev, his wife Tereshkova, and their daughter Aleuka - with extensive photographic and film coverage. After the 10 hour flight, Kamanin goes to the 'Alley of Heroes' at Area 17 of the cosmodrome. Here each crew plants a tree before departing for space. The 11 first trees planted have all grown well, and are now 6 m tall with large crowns. Sevastyanov plants the 22nd tree. After a meeting of the State Commission, everyone watches an Italian movie, 'The Owl Appears at Day' - a story of murder in Sicily, terror against women, and the corruption of the Mafia (apparently a remake of the classic 'M').
Soyuz 9 is planned to launch at 24:00. A new feature is that the crews' sleeping hours have been modified to put them in synch with the shifts at ground control over the long mission. The cosmonauts spent all day at Area 17, preparing the flight plan and logs. It is 28 degrees in the shade, and Kamanin plays tennis with the crews in the late afternoon. In the evening the American film 'One Million Years BC' is shown. Kamanin found the struggle between the savages interesting.
The Soyuz 9 crew trains with the bungee arrangements they'll have to exercise with twice a day while in space. They will have to work constantly in order to fight off the effects of sustained zero-gravity. Dysentery has broken out in the Tyuratam garrison. The cosmonauts are given prophylactic measures so that they won't get the bug. A Zenit spy satellite is launched from Area 2. There is some damage to the pad that will require repair, but nothing substantial. The OK is given for Soyuz 9 to launch from the pad. That evening the movie is West German - 'What does a woman do, when her husband disappears?'. At 23:00 the Soyuz 9 crew views the night sky, spotting constellations and guide stars.
Kamanin, the cosmonauts, and other VVS officers spend the day at the lake 7 km from the Tyuratam liquid oxygen plant. An asphalt road leads to the recreation area. They play tennis, chess, and billiards. The artificial lake was made by diverting water from the Syr Darya river.
They have completed their physical tests and trained with the survival kit. Nikolayev and Sevastyanov were caught smoking just the day before the launch. Kamanin has a serious discussion with them, for this was completely prohibited. Kamanin would replace them with the backup crew, but it is too late for that.
The backup crews were to train in the Soyuz 9 spacecraft from 10:00, followed by the prime crew at 12:00, but Mishin didn't allow the backups to start until 11:00. Inspectors have found 15 discrepancies in the spacecraft, 3 to 4 of them serious (including incorrect mounting of the crew head rests, unusable photographic equipment).
Soyuz 9 State Commission meets at Area 31 at 11:00. That evening the spacecraft will be integrated with the booster, with roll-out to the pad scheduled for the following morning at 05:00. At 17:00 the cosmonauts give a formal interview to the Russian 'Parade' magazine. After that they hold a general press conference.
At 09:00 the State Commission members and 36 military officers board an aircraft to return to Moscow. Kamanin, the Soyuz 9 back-up crews, Kuznetsov, Shatalov, and 14 other officers board an Il-18 for the flight to mission control at Yevpatoriya. Conversation aboard the flight is about the weather, football - nothing about space. After four hours the plane arrives at Saki. The first communications session with Soyuz 9 is with Issuriysk at 15:40. In a three-minute conversation the crew confirms that all is normal. At 19:00 the first of the daily landing commission meetings takes place. This commission's role is to assess the flight status and to establish contingency plans for the next day in case an emergency return to earth is required.
In the evening Kamanin calls Tereshkova, and promises to tell Nikolayev that she and Aleuka were fine, worried, to kiss him, and the looked forward to meeting him on his return. On 8 June Aleuka will be six years old, and Tereshkova would like to fly to Yevpatoriya to give her a surprise communications session with her father. At 21:25 Kamanin relays the news from his family to Nikolayev during a pass over Yevpatoriya. Kamanin observes that the tracking station is not suited to serve as mission control over a long spaceflight. There is no transport, and no recreational facilities. The only diversions are gymnastics, chess, and billiards. Furthermore there seem to be a lot of unnecessary staff at the command point.
All is normal aboard Soyuz 9. At 10:00 there is an operational management meeting. There are worries the crew did not engage and disengage the orientation engines at the time scheduled for an engine burn. Kamanin defends the crew -- this was not a mistake, it took the crew 50 minutes to go through the same exercises that took 30 minutes on the ground, and therefore they were delayed in being able to conduct the manoeuvre. There is a television communications session in the evening. The crew looks all right, but Sevastyanov's face is visibly swollen.
There are a total of 500 staff at Yevpatoriya for the mission, including 53 representatives from the VVS, 6 military cosmonauts, and 3 civilian cosmonauts. Mishin returns to Moscow, leaving Tregub in his place. In the afternoon there is a problem with the control of the spacecraft's solar cells. On the 47th orbit Sevastyanov reports that one solar panel is energised, but only generating 26 amps. This could only mean that the automatic control of the solar panels was not working. On the second day the crew had to engage and disengage the solar batteries 12 times manually. After the 15th manual session it became clear that the mission could last only eight days before the batteries would run down. In the orbit of Soyuz 9 in June, the night lasts 40 minutes. On the previous flight, in October, it lasted only 10 minutes and this would not have been a problem. The crew is told to revolve the spacecraft at 0.5 deg/sec around the long axis. By this method the spacecraft remains fully oriented towards the sun, and the batteries don't have to work so long on the night passes. The cosmonauts do not report any unpleasant sensations from the rotation. At the 23:25 communications sessions the cosmonauts report that their appetites are good and they are sleeping well.
At 08:40 Kamanin discusses the solar battery problem in a communications section with the cosmonauts. Telemetry shows the system is generating 25.6 to 26.0 V. There will be an emergency situation if the voltage drops to 23 to 24 V - in that case the crew must land within 1.5 orbits of the earth, or two hours. They would likely have to land out of tracking range of Soviet units. The crew gets the spacecraft back into its solar orientation roll on the sixth attempt. At 18:00 clear communications are again obtained with the capsule via Vesna (Khabarovsk and Alma Alta). Nikolayev reports that when oriented to the sun, the system generates 26 V instead of the 31 V it should be generating. A long technical discussion ensues. It is finally decided that the automatic system is actually working correctly, but that Sevastyanov is confusing the ammeter and voltmeter readings (which are displayed on one instrument). Later Kamanin talks to Tereshkova. She will fly via An-24 to Yevpatoriya on 7 June with her daughter.
At an 08:30 communications session Filipchenko reports to the tracking vessel Komarov that all is OK, everything normal, they are eating well. At 22:15 alarming telemetry is received that indicates that the temperatures in the fuel tanks are getting high due to the extended time of continuous exposure to the sun. They drop slightly after two minutes in shadow.
Soyuz 9's environmental control system is working well. Tereshkova and her daughter arrive at the command point at 14:40 after landing at the airfield at 12:00. The landing commission meets in the evening to consider contingency landings. It is reported that the crew is medically in better shape on Day 6 than Day 1, according to telemetry. In fact they are doing so well, extension of the flight to 20 days duration is discussed. Between 20:00 and 20:30 Tereshkova and her daughter communicate via radio and television with Nikolayev aboard Soyuz 9.
Things are proceeding normally aboard Soyuz 9. Shatalov and Yeliseyev prepare to depart for the Crimea to train for use of the big solar and stellar telescopes planned for the DOS station. The 15-20 day course will be attended by all 12 DOS cosmonauts. The training plan for DOS is discussed, with a May 1971 flight date as the objective. Kamanin discusses smoking with Bykovsky and Gorbatko - they have to stop.
The Soyuz 9 crew has completed their 12th day but are beginning to get tired. They are making mistakes (for example putting the television camera on the wrong setting). The landing commission decides to constantly monitor the weather at potential landing sites from 14 June onwards so that a quick landing decision can be made if necessary.
The first communications session begins alarmingly - contact could not be made with the crew for the first three minutes they were in radio range. But then they came through, and said everything was all right and their condition was excellent. At 12:00 Sevastyanov accidentally engages the ASP automatic landing system. This removes the first lock on the system, which is then armed so that it will be activated by a signal from the barometer at an altitude of 11 km above the earth. It is said not to be dangerous, but Filipchenko made the same mistake on Soyuz 7. Kamanin had asked Mishin to put a lock on the ASP switch to prevent this from happening, but he did nothing. At 12:30 the State Commission arrives. At 17:30 Mishin has his first communications session with the crew. There are problems with the environmental control system - the carbon dioxide level is up to 8.5 mm, and the oxygen level down to 160 mm. The crew is told to turn off ECS cartridge number 2 and use number 3. By 23:00 it is clear that cartridge 2 was working badly - oxygen pressure is up to 170 mm, carbon dioxide down to 4. 5 mm. Nikolayev hints to Mishin that he would like to use the two day reserve of consumables aboard to extend the mission to 20 days. Kamanin is opposed to the idea - this would be a dangerous adventure. The whole point of a reserve is that it is never used except in case of an emergency.
All is normal aboard Soyuz 9, except that one of the local telemetry commutators in Ryazanskiy's system has failed. The telemetry data involved is not critical to the flight, and Mishin and Ryazanskiy allow the flight to continue. Mishin is considering extending the flight to 19 or 20 days. To do this the crew will have to stretch their rations. Kamanin finds himself out of the decision loop, 'as usual'. The landing commission wants to complete the flight as scheduled on the 287th orbit.
Today the Soyuz 9 crew set a new space endurance record. Everything is normal aboard the spacecraft, except for the failed telemetry commutator and the engaged ASP switch. What would now be needed, notes Kamanin, are new Soyuz spacecraft to extend the duration in space gradualy to 30, 40, 50, and then 60 days. But there are no new spacecraft - Kamanin's plan for construction of an additional ten Soyuz was blocked. Grechko and others in the leadership want a big greeting ceremony for the crew in Moscow, but Kamanin only wants the crew in the hands of the doctors for the first 10 to 12 days after the flight. At 15:00, Mishin and Kerimov, following their bosses' orders from Moscow, announce that they want to extend the flight to 20 days.
Final Landing Commission meeting is held. The primary landing site is 50 km west of Karaganda. Visibility there is 10 km, winds 6-10 m/s. Mishin wants to land 50 km further wesst, near a city with passenger train service. It is finally agreed to land there, at 71 deg 31' E, but that will mean that an emergency ballistic re-entry (in the event of a guidance system failure) would bring the capsule down in the Aral Sea. That in turn means additional recovery forces, consisting of three amphibious vehicles, three helicopters, five naval cutters, and 15 scuba divers have to be alerted and prepared. The Politburo approves the landing, and the plan to fly the cosmonauts to Chkalovsky Airfield, followed by ten days in the hospital. Mishin and Kerimov discussed having the traditional cosmonaut greeting at Vnukovo Airport, but they'll have to forget such extravaganzas in the years to come, when only long-duration missions are planned. Meanwhile the crew is well, preparing for landing. They secure the BO living module, stow items in the SA re-entry vehicle that are to be returned to earth. There is a communications pass at 08:00 to 08:30. Afanasyev, Karas, Chertok, Bushuyev, Tsybin, and other members of the State Commission now arrive at Yevpatoriya.
At 13:00 it was reported that the landing site was ready, 12 to 15 km visibility, 5-7 m/s winds. At 14:00 it is officially ordered that the landing commence. There are 150 technicians in the hall of mission control for the landing. Nikolayev reports the start of the retrofire burn of the TDU. Retrofire and seperation of the spacecraft modules is normal. The PVO radar at Turtsiy picks up the Soyuz at 83 km altitude and follows it down to the point of parachute deployment. Two helicopters sight the parachute and follow the capsule to landing. Within a minute after the capsule has landed General Goreglyad and Colonel Popov are already at the hatch. Following landing Leonov advises that the crew is all right. However the cosmonauts' condition after landing is awful. It is painful and difficult for them to get up. They fall down in their first tortured attempts at walking. They have to be dragged along by the arms. At 16:30 an Il-18 leaves from Saki for Moscow with the cosmonauts aboard. Both of the cosmonauts looked very ill aboard the plane. They had to be supported by Shatalov and Yeliseyev to get down the stairs in Moscow. Nikolayev departs from his prepared speech to the Sate Commission, and says 'Comrade Chairman! The orders for flight aboard the spacecraft Soyuz 9 were fulfilled and we await further orders!' After the report hey are rushed to the doctors.
It is obvious to the Soviets that they were seriously mistaken about the effects of zero-G on human beings (Mishin thought flights of three to four months would be no problem). Kamanin recites again his belief in the need for more long solo Soyuz flights, how the leadership has blocked such flights, and the general lack of support for manned space. He even had to fight to allow the Soyuz 9 crew to go straight to the hospital and their loved ones, rather than attending ceremonies.
Ten days after their 18-day flight, the Soyuz 9 crew can still only work 3 to 4 hours a day. They can only take two short walks daily and tire quickly. Their pulse, temperature, blood pressure fluctuate from day to day, often being in the range of ill people. Meanwhile the head army physician examines Tereshkova, and prescribes a one-week spa cure.
Nikolayev and Sevastyanov fly to Sochi to write out their post-flight debriefing. Mishin won't accept that there are problems with sustained zero-G flight, since that would wreck the assumptions on which he has based his DOS station plans. Kamanin believes a series of 30, 50, then 50-plus day flights are needed to investigate and prove human adaptation to space.
Kamanin returned from summer vacation on 14 September. In his first meeting with the cosmonauts, the centrifuge problem is reviewed. The USSR has not a single centrifuge over 8 m radius, while the Americans have six in the 14-20 m range, and have begun building one with a 46 m arm. Nikolayev will tour West Germany from 4 October, and Tereshkova will be in the USA from 18 October.
More controversy over Mishin and Gorshkov's new sea recovery plan for the L3. The Seregin Flight Regiment of the cosmonaut training centre flew 4002 hours in the first nine months of 1970, of which 900 were at night and 1307 were in poor weather. The cosmonauts themselves flew 1987 hours.
Communist Party Meeting at the cosmonaut centre. Keldysh calls later. Six specialists are to be sent to the United States to discuss design of a common USA/USSR docking system. Kamanin yet again goes through the correct answers and prepared speeches to be given to the press by Nikolayev and Sevastyanov on their visit to West Germany.
Kamanin has a difficult and unpleasant conversation with Tereshkova. She and her mother have written to generals in the chain of command over Kamanin several times about Nikolayev's bad behaviour. This was never mentioned to Kamanin. He doesn't know what to do about the quarrels between the 'space couple'.
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.
The leaders of the VVS meet to consider the role of the Air Force in space and Kamanin's draft resolution. Frolov wants to form a VVS regiment for Almaz operations. Molzhavtsev wants to emphasize full use of unmanned satellites for support of the VVS (communications, navigation, reconnaissance). Later in the meeting V V Kuznestov discusses with Kamanin plans for a planned Nikolayev-Tereshkova-Sevastyanov trip to Egypt in January 1971. It has to be planned around opening ceremonies for the Aswan Dam.
Kamanin manges to get to Zakahrov, who agrees to take the Spiral issue to the Military Soviet of the VVS. Leonov and Nikolayev review Kamanin's new draft decree to be presented to he Military Soviet. The DOS-7K is two weeks behind schedule for the planned 15 March launch date.
The Communist Party Congress is addressed for five hours by Brezhnev. There are 5,000 delegates, including 101 international delegations from 90 countries. Brezhnev promises that the imperialist lackeys will be wiped out one by one until communism triumphs over the whole planet. Five cosmonauts are delegates - Nikolayev, Beregovoi, Shatalov, Yeliseyev, and Tereshkova.
Nikolayev and others are flying to the cosmodrome. All of the cosmonauts except Volynov will be present for the historic launch of the first space station., the first crew to the station, and the N1 launch planned for 1 May. Kamanin has an argument with the cosmonauts on the necessity of working out on the KTF trainer during the mission.
Kamanin is to fly back to Yevpatoriya in the afternoon. Chelomei is often ill lately -- Mishin is using the opportunity to lobby Ustinov and Smirnov to kill Almaz, and increase the DOS-7K order from four to ten. Mishin killed Kozlov's Soyuz VI in a similar manner. Prior to his departure, the cosmonauts brief Kamanin on the results of the visits of Popovich and Sevastyanov to France, and Khrunov to the USA. Kamanin is having trouble with the leadership in allowing Volynov to be assigned to another crew.
As Kamanin is on the way to the airport, a serious situation develops aboard the station. At 13:00 the cosmonauts report a strong burning smell, and smoke in the station. The crew evacuates the station and retreat to the Soyuz lifeboat. Forty minutes later, just as Kamanin is boarding the Tu-104, Shatalov reports that the mission will continue, but the situation aboard the station is not comfortable. The crew has turned off the primary oxygen regenerator and exchanged the filters of the oxygen supply and reserve regenerator. At 14:05 Kamanin finally boards the aircraft, which takes off and sets course for the Crimea. At 14:30 they are ordered to turn around and land at Chkalovksy Airfield outside Moscow. The whole thing turns out to be a banal mistake by one of the officers at an air traffic control station! They lose two hours in the process. No information is available when the Tu-104 finally lands at Saki, since Nikolayev and the other cosmonauts who attended the emergency meetings had taken off to return to Moscow three hours earlier. Kamanin finally arrives at Yevpatoriya at 23:00, in time for a comms session with Dobrovolsky and Patsayev (Volkov is sleeping). The Soyuz 11 crew reports that the training suits are very tiring. Dobrovolsky reports all is now normal otherwise. He requests permission to continue the flight. Bykovsky reports that the situation on the station is now stable. There is no more smoke or burning smell, but the crew has been overloaded in the last six hours. They have done a lot of work with no food or rest. The situation was so bad at one point that preparations had been made for undocking the Soyuz for an emergency return to earth.
Chuvash-Russian pilot cosmonaut 1960-1982. First person to fly more than one day in space. Married Valentina Tereshkova, and fathered first child born to parents that had both flown in space. 2 spaceflights, 21.6 days in space. Flew to orbit on Vostok 3 (1962), Soyuz 9. Died of a heart attack while judging the All-Russian rural sport gamesat Cheboksary, Chuvash Autonomous Republic.