Encyclopedia Astronautica
Vostok



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Vostok Moscow 1981
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Vostok variant
Vostok variant with long boom and unidentified second spacecraft - earth orbit or circumlunar docking vehicles?
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Vostok spacecraft
Vostok spacecraft view 1
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Vostok spacecraft
Vostok spacecraft view 2
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Vostok closeup
Close-up view of Vostok spacecraft
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Vostok closeup
Close-up view of Vostok spacecraft
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Interior of Voskhod
Interior of Voskhod 1
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Vostok LV
Lift-off of Vostok 1 on the first manned spaceflight.
Credit: RKK Energia
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Vostok1
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Vostok
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Vostok 1KP
Vostok 1KP Energia Museum
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Vostok Kaluga Museum
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Vostok Icon
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Voskhod 2 Icon
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Vostok
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Voskhod
Credit: © Mark Wade
World's first manned spacecraft, it was later developed into the Voskhod, and numerous versions of Zenit recoverable reconnaisance, materials, and biological research satellites which remained in service into the 21st Century.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Redundancy features for manned flight included:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The cosmonaut could also take manual control of the spacecraft and manually re-enter. This was done by using the ingenious Vzor periscope device mounted on the floor of the cabin. This had a central view and eight ports arranged in a circle around the center. When the spacecraft was perfectly centered in respect to the horizon, all eight of the ports would be lit up. Alignment along the orbit was judged by getting lines on the main scope to be aligned with the landscape flowing by below. In this way, the spacecraft could be oriented correctly for the re-entry manoeuvre. This manual system would obviously only be used during daylight portions of the orbit. At night the dark mass of the earth could not have been lined up with the optical Vzor device. The automatic system would work day or night.

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

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

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

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

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

The Vostok could not be used for circumlunar missions or earth missions with non-astronaut qaulified crew due to the 'Sharik' reentry vehicle design. The spherical design itself was ingenious - it has no manoeuvring engines to orient it, since it is like a ball with the heavy weight concentrated at one end - if you throw it in the air (or re-enter the atmosphere with it ) it will automatically swing around with the heavy end downward. The only problem is that it is only capable of a purely ballistic re-entry, which means 8 G's for the occupant from earth orbit and 20 G's from the moon. Mercury was ballistic, but Gemini, Apollo, and Soyuz all had the center of gravity offset, so they could produce lift, lower the G forces, and manoeuvre somewhat to vary the landing point. This reduced G's to 3 G for earth orbit returns and 8 G's for lunar returns. First manned spacecraft. Derivatives were still in use over thirty years later, for military photo-reconnaissance, earth resources, mapping, and biological missions.

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

Construction drawings were issued beginning in the fall of 1958. The official decree to begin development was issued only on 22 May 1959. From the end of 1960 six unmanned Vostok variants were launched. The military developed the recovery forces and techniques, including appropriate aircraft, helicopters, and handling equipment. At that time it was felt that there was a 60% chance on each launch of an abort requiring rescue operations for the cosmonaut.

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

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

Instrumentation on the Vostoks was rudimentary in the extreme. There was no gyro platform and no eight-ball for manoeuvring as on Gemini. The re-entry manoeuvre was normally handled automatically by radio command. The spacecraft was oriented horizontally using infrared sensors. Alignment along the orbital axis was made using sun and star sensors.

In the event of failure of the automatic systems, the cosmonaut could take manual control of the spacecraft. This was done by using the ingenious Vzor periscope device mounted on the floor of the cabin. This had a central view and eight ports arranged in a circle around the centre. When the spacecraft was perfectly centred in respect to the horizon, all eight of the ports would be lit up. Alignment along the orbit was judged by getting lines on the main scope to be aligned with the landscape flowing by below. In this way, the spacecraft could be oriented correctly for the re-entry manoeuvre.

To decide when to re-enter, the cosmonaut had a little clockwork globe that showed current position over the earth. By pushing a button to the right of the globe, it would be advanced to the landing position assuming a standard re-entry at that moment.

This manual system would obviously only be used during daylight portions of the orbit. At night the dark mass of the earth could not have been lined up with the optical Vzor device. The automatic system would work day or night.

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

More... - Chronology...


Associated People
  • Khrushchev Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeyevich (1894-1971) Russian politician. Leader of the USSR from 1956 to 1964. More...
  • Korolev Korolev, Sergei Pavlovich (1907-1966) Soviet Chief Designer, responsible for creating the first long range ballistic missiles, the first space launchers, the first artificial satellite, and putting the first man in space. After his premature death the Soviets lagged in space. More...
  • Kozlov, Frol Kozlov, Frol Romanovich (1908-1965) Russian politician. Secretary of Central Committee for defence and space 1960-1963. More...
  • Kamanin Kamanin, Nikolai Petrovich (1908-1982) Russian VVS Officer, first commander of Soviet cosmonaut detachment 1960-1971. Advocate of piloted spaceflight, fought constantly for VVS role in space, blamed loss of space race on Korolev's insistence on using automated systems. More...
  • Ustinov Ustinov, Dmitri Fedorovich (1908-1984) Russian politician. Primary manager of the Soviet missile and space programs 1946-1976. In charge of development of Soviet rocketry 1946-1957. Chairman of the VPK 1957-1963. Secretary of Central Committee for Defence and Space 1965-1976. More...
  • Barmin Barmin, Vladimir Pavlovich (1909-1993) Russian chief designer. Chief Designer 1941-1993 of GSKB SpetsMash; pre-eminent Soviet designer of rocket launch complexes. More...
  • Keldysh Keldysh, Mstislav Vsevolodovich (1911-1978) Chief Theoretician of the Soviet missile and space programmes, 1946-1978. Played a key role in virtually every space project decision until his death. He was President of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR from 1961 to 1975. More...
  • Rudnev Rudnev, Konstantin Nikolayevich (1911-1980) Russian government official. Director of NII-88 1950-1952. Chaired GKOT 1958-1961. More...
  • Yazdovskiy Yazdovskiy, Vladimir Ivanovich (1913-) Russian physician. Deputy Director of Institute of Aviation and Space Medicine. Space medicine pioneer. More...
  • Voskresenskiy Voskresenskiy, Leonid Aleksandrovich (1913-1965) Russian engineer. Deputy Chief Designer 1953-1964 of Korolev design bureau. More...
  • Goreglyad Goreglyad, Leonid Ivanovich (1915-1986) Russian officer. General Staff representative of the Cosmonaut Training Centre Aide to Kamanin. More...
  • Smirnov Smirnov, Leonid Vasilyevich (1916-) Russian government official. Chaired the Military-Industrial Commission 1963-1985. Director of YuzhMash Plant 1952-1961. More...
  • Mozzhorin Mozzhorin, Yuri Aleksandrovich (1920-1998) Russian officer. Director of Nll-88 1961-1990. Oversaw Soviet space policy. More...
  • Karpov Karpov, Yevgeni Anatolyevich (1921-1990) Russian officer. First Director of the Cosmonaut Training Centre 1960-1963. More...
  • Kirillov Kirillov, Anatoli Semenovich (1924-1987) Russian officer. Chief of the First Directorate of Baikonur 1960-1967. More...
  • Komarov Komarov, Vladimir Mikhailovich (1927-1967) Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Voskhod 1, Soyuz 1. First person to die during spaceflight when the parachute lines of Soyuz 1 tangled and it crashed to earth. Cosmonaut training March 1960 - 3 April 1961. Call sign: Rubin (Ruby). More...
  • Nikolayev Nikolayev, Andrian Grigoryevich (1929-2004) Chuvash-Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Vostok 3, Soyuz 9. 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. More...
  • Popovich Popovich, Pavel Romanovich (1930-2009) Ukrainian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Vostok 4, Soyuz 14. Commander of first military space station mission. More...
  • Ponomaryova Ponomaryova, Valentina Leonidovna (1933-) Ukrainian pilot cosmonaut, 1962-1969. Was married to astronaut Yuri Ponomaryov. More...
  • Gagarin Gagarin, Yuri Alekseyevich (1934-1968) Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Vostok 1. First person in space. Due to his fame, the Soviet leadership did not want to risk him on another flight, but later relented. Died in a 1968 MiG trainer crash while requalifying for flight status. More...
  • Nelyubov Nelyubov, Grigori Grigoyevich (1934-1966) Russian pilot cosmonaut, 1960-1963. Discharged with Anikeyev and Filatuev after alcohol incident. Returned to Air Force duties in Siberia, underwent increasing depression, killed in 1966 when hit by a train. More...
  • Leonov Leonov, Aleksei Arkhipovich (1934-) Russian pilot cosmonaut. First person to walk in space. Flew on Voskhod 2, Soyuz 19 (ASTP). Cancelled missions included command of first Soviet circumlunar flight in 1969 and first military space station mission in 1973. More...
  • Bykovsky Bykovsky, Valeri Fyodorovich (1934-) Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Vostok 5, Soyuz 22, Salyut 6 EP-4. More...
  • Volynov Volynov, Boris Valentinovich (1934-) Jewish-Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Soyuz 5, Soyuz 21. More...
  • Titov Titov, Gherman Stepanovich (1935-2000) Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Vostok 2. Second person in orbit. Youngest person in space. Left cosmonaut team for brilliant career in the space forces after deciding his future spaceflight prospects were nil. More...
  • Tereshkova Tereshkova, Valentina Vladimirovna (1937-) Russian cosmonaut. First woman in space, aboard Vostok 6. But the flight was propaganda and future spaceflight opportunities did not develop. Was married to cosmonaut Andrian Nikolayev. Later a leading Communist politician. More...
  • Solovyova Solovyova, Irina Bayanovna (1937-) Russian pilot cosmonaut, 1962-1969. More...
  • Yerkina Yerkina, Zhanna Dmitriyevna (1939-) Russian pilot cosmonaut, 1962-1969. More...
  • Kuznetsova Kuznetsova, Tatyana Dmitryevna nee Pitskhelauri (1941-) Russian pilot cosmonaut, 1962-1969. More...
  • Moskalenko Moskalenko, Nikolai Tikhonovich (1949-2004) Russian pilot cosmonaut, 1976-1986. More...

Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Vostok Russian manned spacecraft. 13 launches, 1960.05.15 (Korabl-Sputnik 1) to 1963.06.16 (Vostok 6). First manned spacecraft. Derivatives were still in use in the 21st Century for military surveillance, earth resources, mapping, and biological missions. More...
  • Mars 2MV-1 Russian Venus probe. 2 launches, 1962.08.25 (Sputnik 19) to 1962.09.01 (Sputnik 20). More...

Associated Flights
  • Vostok 1 Crew: Gagarin. First manned spaceflight, one orbit of the earth. Strap attaching service module failed to separate from capsule, leading to wild ride before it burned through during re-entry. Backup crew: Titov, Nelyubov. More...
  • Vostok 2 Crew: Titov. Second manned orbital flight. After 17.5 orbits, the spacecraft reentered and the cosmonaut landed safely. First astronaut to experience space sickness. Day-long flight was a huge blow to America, which had not even orbited a man in space yet. Backup crew: Nikolayev, Nelyubov. More...
  • Vostok 3 Crew: Nikolayev. Joint flight with Vostok 4; two Vostok capsules were launched one day apart, coming within a few kilometers of each other. Record flight duration. First simultaneous flight of two manned spacecraft. Backup crew: Bykovsky, Volynov. More...
  • Vostok 4 Crew: Popovich. Joint flight with Vostok 3. Problems with life support system, resulted in cabin temperature dropping to 10 deg C. Returned to earth a day early due to communications secret code mix-up. First Ukrainian astronaut. Backup crew: Komarov, Volynov. More...
  • Vostok 5 Crew: Bykovsky. Joint flight with Vostok 6. Record flight duration. Spacecraft ended up in a lower than planned orbit and quickly decayed - temperatures in the service module reached very high levels and the flight returned early. Backup crew: Volynov, Leonov. More...
  • Vostok 6 Crew: Tereshkova. Joint flight with Vostok 5. First woman in space. Tereshkova did not reply during several communications sessions. To this day it is not known if she was paralysed with fear, or if there was an equipment failure. Backup crew: Solovyova, Ponomaryova. More...
  • Vostok 6A Crew: Ponomaryova. Originally Vostok 5/6 were to be dual female flights. Two capsules would be launched a day apart; each would remain aloft for three days. Changed by leadership to single female flight in March 1963. Backup crew: Yerkina. More...
  • Vostok 7 Crew: Volynov. Eight day manned flight planned for the last quarter of 1963, then June 1964. All further Vostok flights cancelled in favor of multi-crew Voskhod in February 1964. Backup crew: Khrunov. More...
  • Vostok 8 Crew: Khrunov. Planned ten day manned flight; second high altitude flight into the lower Van Allen radiation belt for radiological-biological studies. All further Vostok flights cancelled in favor of multi-crew Voskhod in February 1964. Backup crew: Belyayev. More...
  • Vostok 9 Crew: Belyayev. Proposed high altitude Vostok flight for extended scientific studies to be flown in 1963-1964; All further Vostok flights cancelled in favor of multi-crew Voskhod in February 1964. Backup crew: Leonov. More...
  • Vostok 10 Crew: Leonov. Planned ten-day flight, science plus engineering tests of ion flow sensors to be used for orientation of later Soyuz spacecraft. All follow-on Vostok missions cancelled in spring 1964. Backup crew: Komarov. More...
  • Vostok 11 Crew: Komarov. Proposed Vostok flight to conduct extra-vehicular activity tests. All follow-on Vostok missions cancelled in spring 1964 and EVA moved to Voskhod 2. Backup crew: Beregovoi. More...
  • Vostok 12 Crew: Beregovoi. Proposed Vostok flight to conduct extra-vehicular activity tests. The Vostok would be modified by having the ejection seat removed and an airlock built into the spacecraft. All follow-on Vostok missions cancelled in Spring 1964. Backup crew: Komarov. More...
  • Vostok 13 Crew: Gorbatko. Proposed high altitude manned Vostok flight for extended scientific studies. All follow-on Vostok missions cancelled in spring 1964. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Vostok 8K72 Russian orbital launch vehicle. 8K72 Luna launch vehicle, third stage modified with larger forward cylindrical section to accomodate Vostok-sized spacecraft. Used only for launch of first few prototype Vostoks. More...
  • Molniya 8K78 Russian orbital launch vehicle. Four stage derivative of the R-7 ICBM developed on a crash-program basis in 1960 for Soviet lunar and planetary deep space probe missions. The third stage found later use in the Voskhod and Soyuz launchers. By the 1970's mature versions of the launch vehicle were used almost entirely for launch of Molniya communications satellites and Oko missile early warning spacecraft into elliptical, 12-hour earth orbits. More...
  • Vostok 8K72K Russian orbital launch vehicle. R-7 ICBM with single-engine third stage, uprated from Luna launch vehicle and with forward fairing to accomodate Vostok/Zenit sized spacecraft. 8K72K, used for Vostok manned spacecraft launches and the first Zenit launch attempt. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Korolev Russian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Korolev Design Bureau, Kaliningrad, Russia. More...
  • RVSN Russian agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Raketniye Voiska Stratigcheskovo Naznacheniya (Russian Strategic Rocket Forces), Russia. More...

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

Vostok Chronology


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1961 February 5 - .
  • Venera failure announcement - . Nation: USSR. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Venera 1VA. Summary: Tass announces launch of a new 'Heavy Sputnik' - the cover finally agreed by the leadership for the failed Venera launch..

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

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


1961 February 14 - .
  • Vostok suit review - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Alekseyev, Semyon. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Sokol SK-1. Summary: A review is held at Factory 98, where Alekseyev is developing the Vostok spacesuit..

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

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

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

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

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

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

1961 March 4 - .
  • Vostok flight preparations - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Alekseyev, Semyon; Yazdovskiy. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Korolev, Alekseyev, Yazdovskiy, and other engineers lay out the plan for the preparation of the cosmonaut on launch day. The cosmonaut will be put in Nedelin's cottage at Baikonur Area 2 the night before the launch, be awakened five hours before launch, and undergo a physical examination. Kamanin and Korolev will be in the bunker at the launch pad for at least the next two launches. After the launch, Kamanin is to fly to the recovery zone to be present for the landing of the spacecraft.

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

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

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

1961 March 13 - .
  • Cosmonaut training - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Vershinin. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Vershinin formalises two decrees - one to supply a Tu-104 to TsPK for cosmonaut zero-G training, the other for two Il-14's with HF transponders for long-range communications. Two further questions are discussed - should the cosmonauts be given the code for unlocking the manual orientation system of the spacecraft? It is decided they will be. And when will the flight be announced? Kamanin's position is that should happen as soon as the spacecraft safely reaches orbit, the others only want to make the first manned flight public after landing. It is decided to refer the matter for decision at the General Staff level.

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

1961 March 16 - .
  • Kuibyshev - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Gagarin; Nelyubov; Popovich; Titov; Bykovsky; Nikolayev; Yazdovskiy; Karpov. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. 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.

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

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

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


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

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

1961 March 22 - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8K72K.
  • Flight preparations - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Gagarin; Nelyubov; Titov; Barmin; Keldysh; Korolev. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Between 10:00 and 12:00 Chief Designer of Launch Facilities Barmin meets with the cosmonauts. He reviews the launch mechanism. The rocket is suspended at the 'shoulders' of the strap-ons, on four swivelled supports. After the rocket has lifted 49 mm, it is free from these, and counterweights weighing dozens of tonnes will swing them back and away from the rising booster. At 12:00 Kamanin meets with Keldysh and Korolev. They agree with his position that the flight be announced as soon as the cosmonaut is safely in orbit.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

1961 April 4 - .
  • VVS General Staff certifies flight readiness of cosmonauts Gagarin, Titov, and Nelyubov. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Gagarin; Titov; Nelyubov; Rafikov; Filatyev; Zaikin; Moskalenko; Khrushchev; Korolev. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. They also, on the basis of the recent examinations and interviews, clear the rest of the cosmonaut trainees for flight except for Rafikov, Filatev, and Zaikin, who passed the examinations but had not yet completed all the tests and training. Moskalenko has given approval for a Soviet film team to go to Tyuratam and film preparations for the flight. At the Presidium meeting Khrushchev had questioned what would be done if the cosmonaut reacted poorly in the first minute of the flight. Korolev answered in his deep voice: 'Cosmonaut are extraordinarily trained, they know the spacecraft and flight conditions better than I and we are confident of their strength'. The flight is still seen as very risky - of seven Vostoks flown unmanned so far, five made it to orbit, three landed safely, but one did not. On the other hand, both recent Venera launch attempts reached low earth orbit.

1961 April 5 - .
  • Tyuratam - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Gagarin; Titov; Nelyubov; Korolev; Gallay; Goreglyad. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Kamanin departs for the airport in the morning after a good breakfast. There was a fresh snowfall overnight, and Moscow looks beautiful. Three Il-14's wait to shuttle the six cosmonauts and other VVS staff to the launch centre. Gagarin and Nelyubov will fly in Kamanin's aircraft, and Titov and the others in General Goreglyad's. The third aircraft will carry the physicians and film team. The aircraft depart at fifteen-minute intervals, and the entire flight is in beautiful weather. Kamanin's Il-14 lands at Tyuratam at 14:30. Korolev, Gallay, and officers of the staff of the cosmodrome are there to greet them. Korolev requests additional last-minute training for the cosmonauts in manual landing of the spacecraft, suit donning, and communications, but Kamanin refuses. He sees no reason for any training not already agreed in the official plan. Korolev says rollout of the booster is planned for 8 April, followed by launch on 10 or 11 April. Everyone wants to know first - Gagarin or Titov? But Kamanin has not made a final decision yet. Gagarin shows hesitancy in accepting the automatic parachute deployment on the first flight, and only reluctantly agrees to the compromise solution. Titov is a stronger character, better able to hold up during a long duration mission, such as the one-day flight planned for the second mission. But the first into space will be the object of all of the attention from the news media and public. There is not a day that goes by that Kamanin does not think through the issue, without reaching a final conclusion. In the evening the cosmonauts go to the theatre, but the projectionist refuses to run the planned movie on orders of the base commander.

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

1961 April 7 - .
  • Vostok 1 preparations - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Moskalenko; Gagarin; Titov; Rudnev; Vershinin. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. At Area 2 the cosmonauts conduct three hours of training on manual landing, and activities after landing. All three accomplish the manual landing well. Then they have three hours of badminton for physical conditioning. Both Gagarin and Titov like the game, and they are filmed for posterity. In the evening Rudnev discusses adding a night shift in order to achieve launch on 11 to 12 April. Afterwards Vershinin is briefed, and told all is normal, heading for an 11/12 April launch. Vershinin replies that the Americans are planning to launch their first man into space on 28 April. Kamanin is confident, there will be no difficulty in beating them. He notes the Americans launched a Mercury capsule on 24 March, but there was an abort and the capsule sank in the Atlantic. In the evening the movies are 'Careful, Babushka' and 'Vostok-1'. Kamanin finds the film on the mission good. General Moskalenko calls - he wants a meeting with the cosmonauts on launch day. Kamanin is not opposed, but he needs to know a specific time - it will be a busy morning before the launch

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

1961 April 9 - .
  • Vostok preparations - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Rudnev; Moskalenko; Gagarin; Titov. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. It is a pleasant spring day at Area 10. The cosmonauts play sports, games, and chess. Rudnev and Moskalaneko think the launch will not realistically happen until 14-15 April. Kamanin informs Gagarin and Titov of the selection of Gagarin to be the first man in space.

1961 April 10 - .
  • Vostok preparations - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Rudnev; Moskalenko; Korolev; Gagarin; Titov; Nelyubov; Popovich; Nikolayev; Bykovsky. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Sever. 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.

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

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

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

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


1961 April 13 - .
  • Vostok 1 State Commission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Brezhnev; Vershinin; Gagarin. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. The commission meets from 09:30 to 12:00, making the official interview of Gagarin on his flight. There are unending questions. Afterwards Gagarin fields more questions by phone from the press. In the second half of the day he is readied for the return to Moscow. He has to make a half-hour speech to Khrushchev, but he hurries through the prepared text. Two or three trainers had noted this impatience of his, but Kamanin had already decided before the flight that Gagarin had the makings of a good orator. In the evening Brezhnev calls twice, and Vershinin several more times, coordinating things for Gagarin's return to Moscow. Bad weather is predicted for the next day and it is decided that Gagarin's airplane will arrive at Vnukovo. Gagarin is to exit the aircraft and walk alone to the reviewing stand. For this performance he is measured for a new uniform and great coat. He rehearses the speech twice, with Kamanin playing the part of Khrushchev in posing impromptu questions.

1961 April 14 - .
  • Gagarin returns to Moscow - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Gagarin; Agaltsov; Yazdovskiy; Khrushchev. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Everyone is up at the dacha on the Volga at 06:00 and are ready to leave shortly thereafter. Now the weather in Moscow is expected to be fine. At 10:40 an Il-18 takes off for Moscow with Gagarin's party. This consists of Gagarin, Agaltsov, Rytov, Yazdovskiy, several correspondents, and some film operators. 50 km from Moscow seven fighters intercept the transport and form up as an escort, two off each wing, and three trailing. Gagarin calls them on the radio 'Brother fighter pilots - I send you greetings - Yuri Gagarin!' The aircraft formation flies down Lenin Prospekt, Red Square, and then up Gorkiy Street to Vnukovo. There are masses of people everywhere below. At exactly 15:00 the aircraft shuts down its engines 100 m from the reviewing stands. Yuri exits the aircraft and steps into history....

1961 April 15 - .
  • Gagarin in Moscow - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Gagarin. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Summary: Gagarin first meets with Korolev, then holds a press conference. At 15:30 he meets with the VVS Military Soviet..

1961 April 16 - .
  • Sunday in Moscow - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Khrushchev; Gagarin. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Summary: Gagarin and Kamanin spend the day at Khrushchev's dacha..

1961 April 17 - .
  • Gagarin back at TsPK. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Gagarin. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Summary: He returns to the cosmonaut training centre, and later gives a television interview..

1961 April 18 - .
  • Gagarin physical examination. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Gagarin. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. He checks into the Central Aviation Hospital for five to six days of intensive physical tests and observation. Denisovo and Borzenko from Pravda interview him during this period for the book that is to be issued. Kamanin has been named as the editor for the work.

1961 April 21 - .
  • Vostok 1 awards - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Bondarenko. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Kamanin is having to take a lot of time preparing the paperwork for awards and promotions to be made as a result of Gagarin's flight. Of 500 VVS staff connected with the flight, 200 are to receive recognition of one kind or another. In the evening the VVS Military Soviet convenes to take testimony on the death of cosmonaut Bondarenko. It is found there were serious defects in the organization of the tests conducted at IAKM.

1961 May 1 - .
  • May Day - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Khrushchev; Gagarin. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Summary: Gagarin stands on the reviewing stand above Lenin's Mausoleum with the Soviet leadership. Kamanin finds the parades and demonstrations colourful but lacking genuine enthusiasm..

1961 May 5 - .
  • Cosmonaut reception - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Malinovskiy. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Malinovskiy, head of the VVS Miliatry Soviet, and his wife and daughter throw a reception for the cosmonauts and their wives. The party goes from 18:00 to 24:00 and passes without incident, but Kamanin found the guests' attempts to convince Malinovskiy to support military space projects were unproductive. He just doesn't get it.

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

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

1961 August 7 - .
  • Gagarin World Tour Completed - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Gagarin. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 2. Between 27 May and 7 August Gagarin and Kamanin travel to Czechoslovakia, Finland, England, Iceland, Cuba, Brazil, Canada, Hungary. In July they are at Paris at the FAI, where the records supporting the record flights of Shepard and Gagarin are examined. Kamanin has no time to write up the materials from the tour. Both he and Gagarin are out of the country during preparations for and the actual flight of Titov aboard Vostok 2.

1961 August 7 - .
  • Landing of Vostok 2 - . Return Crew: Titov. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Titov. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 2. Summary: After 17.5 orbits, the spacecraft reentered on August 7 and landed safely at 7:18 GMT near Krasny Kut, Saratov. Titov made a separate parachute landing after riding his ejection seat out of the capsule..

1961 August 15 - .
  • Korolev proposes a Vostok group flight - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. Korolev proposes to Kamanin the launch of three manned Vostok spacecraft at one-day intervals: the first on a three-day flight, and the second and third on two- or three-day flights. Three Soviet manned spacecraft would be in orbit at once. Kamanin has no problem in principle, but does not believe any such flight could take place until 1962, rather than the November 1961 schedule proposed by Korolev. Kamanin goes so far as to write a letter from the VVS saying they would not agree to such a schedule. Due to problems on Titov's one-day flight, Kamanin believed the next flight should not exceed two days, which implied a maximum of only two spacecraft could be in space at one time. Korolev is furious -- and his relationship with the VVS and Kamanin are poor thereafter.

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

1961 October 24 - .
  • Gagarin out of the hospital. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Vershinin; Korolev; Keldysh; Tereshkova. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 6. Korolev says he will need 28 pilot-cosmonauts and 22 specialist cosmonauts (engineers, scientists, etc) in the period 1962-1964. This is to include five women. Kamanin had already brought up the concept of a female spaceflight to Vershinin, Korolev, and Keldysh immediately after Gagarin's flight. He believed it was their patriotic duty to beat the Americans in putting a woman in space, and he wanted to find a female cosmonaut who would be a dedicated Communist agitator in the same class as Gagarin or Titov.

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

1961 December 25 - .
  • New cosmonauts to be recruited. - . Nation: USSR. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. The leadership has approved Kamanin's plan for the selection in the next year of 60 new cosmonaut trainees, including five women. Kamanin expects to see some of the women in orbit by the second half of 1962. DOSAAF has submitted 40 to 50 potential female candidates, selected from their files. Meanwhile, Titov is set to tour Indonesia in January. The Vostok 3 and Vostok 4 group flight is planned for March 1962.

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

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

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

1962 February 17 - .
  • Immediate Vostok launches demanded - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Ustinov; Nikolayev; Popovich; Titov. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. 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.

1962 February 20 - .
  • Vostok 3/4 training - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Ustinov; Nikolayev; Popovich; Nelyubov; Bykovsky. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. 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.

1962 February 22 - .
  • Vostok 3/4 to fly three days - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. Kamanin's plan for a limitation of two days has been blocked by Korolev. Korolev sees Kamanin as a brake on his adventures. Kamanin is also ordered to have the female cosmonauts selected by 1 March, and ready for flight by the end of August. Nine women have passed the hospital tests; from these four or five will be selected for cosmonaut training, and one of these will become the first woman in space.

1962 February 24 - .
  • Vostok 3/4 flight duration - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Vershinin. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. Summary: Korolev is pressuring Vershinin to allow a three day flight. Korolev provides reassurances that this will only occur if the cosmonauts are all right after two days in space. Kamanin remains categorically opposed..

1962 February 27 - .
  • Vostok 3/4 plans - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. Summary: Korolev is still pushing for a three-day flight and new scientific experiments for the cosmonauts to conduct. Kamanin remains opposed to these 'adventures'..

1962 March 5 - .
  • Vostok 3/4 delayed - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Gagarin; Titov; Nikolayev; Popovich; Nelyubov; Bykovsky. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. Spacecraft: Zenit-2. 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.

1962 March 7 - .
1962 April 18 - .
  • Vostok 3/4 Plans - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Smirnov; Korolev. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. Smirnov approves Korolev's flight plan. Vostok 3 is to fly three days; Vostok 4, launched a day later, for two days; they will land simultaneously. Kamanin feels the rush is crazy. For seven to eight months there was no authority from the leadership to fly. Then, suddenly, after Glenn's flight, come orders to launch into space within ten days.

1962 June 22 - .
  • Zenit booster failure damages pad, delays Vostok 3/4 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Gagarin; Titov; Vershinin; Keldysh. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. Spacecraft: Zenit-2. A briefing by engineer V A Smirnov predicts that the Americans will make a 17-18 revolution flight of the earth by the end of 1962. Kamanin disagrees, believing they will not achieve this until the second half of 1963. Another Zenit-2 spy satellite has failed to achieve orbit. The first had failed due to a third stage problem, and now the third attempt failed due to a first stage problem. It blew up 300 m from the pad, and did enough damage to put the launch complex out of operation for a month. Therefore the Vostok 3/4 launches cannot now take place until the end of July at the earliest.

    Kamanin has continued arguments over the reorganisation of VVS space units and the role of IAKM. Korolev has never supported a leading role for the VVS or Kamanin in the Soviet space program. He is complaining about the 'offences' of the VVS, Kamanin, and the cosmonauts. Korolev cites Gagarin's trauma and Titov's motor accidents. He believes cosmonauts should be selected only from OKB-1 engineers. He also believes the cosmonauts are wasting too much time on publicity tours. Vershinin and Keldysh are hearing all of these complaints.


1962 June 27 - .
  • US Plans in Space - . Nation: USSR. Program: Vostok. Kamanin notes that the US launched 86 satellites up to June 1, 1962 compared to only 21 by the USSR. He believes the Soviet reply should be a vigorous program that would launch 10 to 12 Vostok manned spacecraft in 1963 alone; to finally resolve organisational issues that hindered the Soviet program; and to adopt a goal of landing a man on the moon.

1962 July 13 - .
  • Three-day Vostok flight - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Khrushchev. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. Summary: Kamanin notes that Korolev now has Khrushchev's backing for a three-day duration Vostok flight. Of 15 State Commission members, Kamanin finds himself the only one opposed to the idea..

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

1962 July 16 - .
  • State Commission on Vostok 3/4 - . Nation: USSR. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. Summary: American nuclear tests over the Pacific have increased radiation levels in space. But the scientists believe manned flights of three to five days duration will still be safe..

1962 July 17 - .
  • Medical specialists support three day flight - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. Summary: The doctors now support Korolev's proposal for a three-day flight duration. They all opposed it after the problems on Titov's one-day flight. So much for Soviet 'science', harrumphs Kamanin..

1962 July 27 - .
  • First Zero-G training on Tu-104 - . Nation: USSR. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. Summary: The Soviets conduct their first cosmonaut zero-G training on an aircraft flying parabolic trajectories. 6 to 25 seconds of weightlessness is experienced on each manoeuvre..

1962 July 30 - .
  • Vostok 3/4 State Commission - . Nation: USSR. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. Summary: Nearly 70 people attend the meeting. Launch is set for 9 and 10 August. The support teams will fly to Tyuratam on 2 to 3 August..

1962 August 2 - .
  • At Tyuratam - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Nikolayev; Popovich. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. 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.

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

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

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

1962 August 7 - .
  • Vostok 3/4 Launch Commission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Nikolayev; Popovich; Smirnov; Rudenko; Gagarin; Korolev. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. 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.

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

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

1962 August 9 - .
  • Vostok 3 rollout - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Nikolayev; Popovich; Smirnov; Korolev; Keldysh. Program: Vostok; Soyuz. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. Spacecraft: Soyuz A; Soyuz B; Soyuz V. 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.

1962 August 10 - .
  • Vostok 3 countdown - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Nikolayev; Popovich; Smirnov; Korolev; Feoktistov. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. 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.

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

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

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


1962 August 13 - .
  • Vostok 3/4 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Nikolayev; Popovich. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. 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.

1962 August 14 - .
  • Vostok 3/4 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Nikolayev; Popovich; Smirnov; Korolev; Khrushchev. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. 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.


1962 August 15 - .
  • Landing of Vostok 3 - . Return Crew: Nikolayev. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Nikolayev; Popovich. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3. Summary: Recovered August 15, 1962 6:52 GMT. Landed 48:02N 75:45 E. Both the Vostok 3 and 4 spacecraft land successfully six minutes apart a short distance from each other..

1962 August 15 - .
  • Landing of Vostok 4 - . Return Crew: Popovich. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Nikolayev; Popovich; Smirnov; Korolev; Khrushchev; Rudenko; Keldysh; Gagarin. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 4. 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.

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

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

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

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


1962 August 17 - .
  • Vostok 3/4 post-flight - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Nikolayev; Popovich; Gagarin; Titov. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. 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.

1962 August 18 - .
  • Vostok 3/4 cosmonauts arrive in Moscow - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Nikolayev; Popovich. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. 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.

1962 August 20 - .
  • Vostok 3/4 cosmonauts meet with workers - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Nikolayev; Popovich. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. Summary: The cosmonauts hold their traditional meeting with 6,000 workers at OKB-1, and hand over the ships' logs to Korolev..

1962 August 21 - .
  • Vostok 3/4 cosmonauts meetings - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Nikolayev; Popovich. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. Summary: The cosmonauts meet with the General Staff of the Air Force, followed by a press conference at noon..

1962 August 22 - .
  • Future Vostok flight plans discussed - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Smirnov; Malinovskiy; Korolev; Keldysh. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 5; Vostok 6; Vostok 6A; Vostok 7; Vostok 8; Vostok 9; Vostok 10; Vostok 11; Vostok 12. At Baikonur for the launch of a Venera probe, the Soviet space leadership discussed future plans. The female cosmonaut training group was there for their first rocket launch. The next Vostok would carry the first woman into space; Ponomaryova, Solovyova, and Tereshkova were the leading candidates. Flight plans were discussed at a meeting in the evening between Kamanin and Leonid Smirnov. It would be possible to make the flight by the end of 1962, but March-April 1963 was more likely, depending on the final report on the Vostok 3/4 flights. The work force would be fully occupied in August-October in launching probes to Venus and Mars, also probably delaying any Vostok flight until the following spring. The next flight would probably be part of a group flight of two or three spacecraft, piloted by both men and women. The female flights would be limited to three days, while the male flights would last for 7 to 8 days. Additional Details: here....

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

1962 August 25 - . 02:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78. LV Configuration: Molniya 8K78 T103-12. FAILURE: At T+60 min 50 sec one of the four solid motors of the escape stage's BOZ unit did not fire. The resulting asymmetric torque caused the stage to lose correct attitude and three seconds after ignition of the main engine S1.5400A1 it began to tumble.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Sputnik 19 - . Payload: 2MV-1 s/n 1. Mass: 890 kg (1,960 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Kuznetsova; Ponomaryova; Solovyova; Tereshkova; Yerkina. Agency: RVSN. Program: Venera; Vostok. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Mars 2MV-1. Decay Date: 1962-08-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 371 . COSPAR: 1962-A-Pi-1. Apogee: 252 km (156 mi). Perigee: 173 km (107 mi). Inclination: 64.9000 deg. Period: 88.70 min. Attempt to launch a probe towards Mars. The launch went well, but the fourth stage motor burnt for only 45s of the planned 240s. The stage remained in Earth orbit. However Kamanin notes that it was good that the launch of the basic vehicle was a success - it gave the visiting female cosmonauts confidence in the rocket they will have to ride.

1962 August 27 - .
  • Female Vostok flights delayed to 1963 - . Nation: USSR. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 5; Vostok 6; Vostok 6A; Vostok 7; Vostok 8; Vostok 9; Vostok 10; Vostok 11; Vostok 12. Spacecraft: Sokol SK-1. The prospects did not look good for authorisation of production of ten further Vostok spacecraft. In a heated discussion between Rudenko, Ivanovskiy, and Grechko, it was argued that production of further Vostoks would delay flight of the first Soyuz spacecraft by a year. On the other hand this would mean no Soviet manned flights in 1963-1964. Furthermore Ivanovskiy reported that production of the female version of the Vostok space suit could not be completed until the end of 1962. Therefore this meant that the flight of two female cosmonauts in the final two available Vostok spacecraft would be delayed until March-April 1963 - the very end of the storage life of the spacecraft.

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

1962 September 24 - . LV Family: GR-1; N1; Tsiklon.
  • N1 and GR-1 authorised. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Keldysh; Yangel. Program: Vostok. Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 1021-436 'On start of work on the N1 and GR-1' was issued. Following a review of the N1 project by an Academy of Sciences expert commission headed by Keldysh in July, this decree provided a detailed plan leading to a first launch by the end of 1965. Planning and drawing release for the GR-1 were completed by this date and the decree ordered test flights to begin in the third quarter of 1963. However development problems with the NK-9 engine resulted in continual delays. Finally in 1964 Korolev's GR-1 was cancelled and Yangelís R-36 was selected for the mission. This would deprive Korolev of a vital test-bed for flight test of the N1 engines.

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

1962 November 12 - .
  • Plans for Vostok female cosmonaut flight discussed. - . Nation: USSR. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 5; Vostok 6; Vostok 6A. A meeting was held to discuss alternatives for the next two Vostok flights. Alternatives were simultaneous flight of two capsules, each with a female cosmonaut; or one female flight and a male 5 to 7 day flight. The flight would occur no earlier than April 1963.

1962 November 16 - .
  • Meeting of the Soviet Ministers - . Nation: USSR. Program: Vostok; Soyuz. Flight: Vostok 7; Vostok 8; Vostok 9. They agree to a plan for a national centrifuge facility: specifications to be determined in 1963, and the facility completed by 1967. They are not if favour of building more Vostoks - they want to move on to the Soyuz spacecraft. But this will produce an 18 to 24 month gap in Soviet manned spaceflight, during which the Americans will certainly catch up (Cooper's one-day Mercury flight is already scheduled).

1962 November 19 - .
1962 November 26 - .
  • General Staff rejects construction of additional Vostoks - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Ustinov. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 7; Vostok 8; Vostok 9; Vostok 10. Summary: The letter to Ustinov, head of the Military Industrial Commission, opposed acquisition of ten additional spacecraft. However Korolev had secretly begun final assembly of four additional Vostoks in his factory..

1962 November 29 - .
  • Final tests for female cosmonauts. - . Nation: USSR. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 5; Vostok 6; Vostok 6A. Academic examinations were completed of the female cosmonaut corps. Kuznetsova had missed to much training and was excluded from even taking the test. Of the four women remaining, only Tereshkova did not receive the highest marks. This was attributed to her being too nervous and excited during the examination. All were given the rank of Junior Lieutenant in the VVS Soviet Air Force.

    Kamanin considered Tereshkova as the leading candidate for the first flight, with Solovyova as her back-up. In personality they were equivalent to Gagarin/Nikolayev - indeed, Tereshkova was considered 'Gagarin in a skirt'. Ponomaryova and Yerkina were equal candidates for the second female Vostok flight. The group would go to a resort in the Urals from 30 November to 10 January. The final decision as to which one would fly would only be made 3 or 4 days before the flight.


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

1962 December 22 - .
  • Big fight on cosmonaut tour - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Nikolayev; Popovich; Rudenko. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 3; Vostok 4. Summary: The issue of Popovich and Nikolayev going to Indonesia has been escalated to the level of Gromyko, Rudenko, and Ivashutin of the KGB..

1962 December 27 - .
  • Absurd situations! - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Popovich. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 4. A decree ordering the training of sixty cosmonauts has been laying around, and suddenly the leadership wants to enforce it. 15 new trainee male cosmonauts, and 15 women are to be recruited - an overall total of 20 by the end of 1962 and 40 by the end of 1963 And crews are to be formed and trained, even though there are no spacecraft being built for the missions. And the decision that Popovich is to go on his Cuba tour is handed down only 2.5 hours before he is supposed to depart.

1962 December 30 - .
  • Cosmonaut training plan for 1963 - . Nation: USSR. Program: Vostok. Summary: Each cosmonaut is to get 50 flight hours piloting aircraft, of which 25 are to be in fighters. The amount of academic and spacecflight training will be double the load of a normal VVS officer..

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

1963 February 16 - .
1963 April - .
  • Vostok 6A (cancelled) - . Crew: Ponomaryova. Backup Crew: Yerkina. Payload: Vostok 3KA s/n 8. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Ustinov; Tereshkova; Bykovsky; Ponomaryova; Yerkina. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 6A. Spacecraft: Vostok. Decay Date: 1963-06-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 595 . Apogee: 192 km (119 mi). Perigee: 163 km (101 mi). Inclination: 64.9000 deg. Period: 88.00 min. From August 1962 until February 21, 1963 it was planned that the next two Vostok flights (Vostok 5 and 6) would take place in March-April 1963 and be a dual female flight. Two capsules would be launched a day apart; each would remain aloft for three days. Although a final decision would only be made at the last minute, cosmonaut chief Kamanin always planned to name Tereshkova for the first flight. She was appropriately feminine and modest, and always mouthed the correct Communist party line in interviews. Ponomaryova was considered the most qualified candidate technically and emotionally for the Vostok 6 flight. However her aggressive feminism and failure to mouth Soviet catch-phrases were considered drawbacks by the male Communist stalwarts that ran the programme. This dual female flight plan was approved all the way up the Soviet hierarchy until it was killed at the last moment at a meeting of the Presidium of the Communist Party on 21 March 1963 by party ideologue Kozlov and Ministry of Defence Chief Ustinov. Only one female would be allowed to fly for propaganda purposes. A male cosmonaut (Bykovsky) was rushed into final training, delaying the dual flights for two months. Tereshkova made it into space aboard Vostok 6, following Bykovsky aboard Vostok 5. But Ponomaryova and the other female cosmonauts trained in the 1960ís never flew.

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

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

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

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

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


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

1963 June 19 - .
1963 June 19 - .
  • Landing of Vostok 5 - . Return Crew: Bykovsky. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Bykovsky. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 5. Summary: Vostok 5 landed at 11:06 GMT at 53:24 N 67:37 E..

1963 November 30 - .
  • 1964 Flight Plans - . Nation: USSR. Program: Vostok; Soyuz. Flight: Vostok 7; Vostok 8; Vostok 9; Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A. Spacecraft: Voskhod; Soyuz A; Soyuz B; Soyuz V. Four Vostoks are planned for 1964, one of these with dogs and other biological specimens, which will fly for ten days at altitudes of up to 600 km. This is to be followed by an eight day manned flight, then two Vostoks on a ten-day group flight. The altitude for these latter flights will be decided after the results of the dog flight. Then, by the end of the year, the first Soyuz flights will be made. Two to three of the new spacecraft are being prepared. Therefore the crews must start training for circumlunar flights and cislunar navigation. Kamanin decides that he must select 3-4 navigators, 1-2 mathematicians, and 2-3 astronomers to make up a training group of cosmonaut-navigators for these flights.

1963 December 7 - .
1964 January 16 - .
  • Cosmonaut plans - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tereshkova; Nikolayev; Bykovsky. Program: Vostok; Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz A-1; Soyuz A-2; Soyuz A-3; Soyuz A-4; Vostok 7; Vostok 8; Vostok 9; Vostok 10; Vostok 11; Vostok 12; Vostok 13. Spacecraft: Vostok; Soyuz A. Kamanin is to put together a cosmonaut training plan for additional Vostok and new Soyuz flights by 1 February. Due to a lack of completed spacecraft, the next Vostok flight will not be possible until June 1964 at the earliest. The travel plans for the cosmonauts during the first half of 1964 are also to be drawn up. Tereshkova, Nikolayev, and Bykovsky are to tour India, Indonesia, Burma, Nepal, and Sri Lanka later in the year. Tereshkova will go to Ghana and Lebanon on 20 January, then to England on 31 January.

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

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

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

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

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

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


1964 February 8 - .
  • VVS Meeting on Voskhod - . Nation: USSR. Program: Voskhod; Vostok. Flight: Voskhod 1; Vostok 7; Vostok 8; Vostok 9; Vostok 10. Spacecraft: Voskhod. Summary: Leading responsible VVS officers meet to develop an Air Force position on Korolev's plan to fly a three-place version of Vostok by the autumn. They see the plan as extremely risky, with insufficient time to design, implement, and test the modified design..

1964 March 13 - .
  • Voskhod spacecraft approved. - . Nation: USSR. Program: Voskhod; Vostok. Flight: Voskhod 1; Voskhod 2; Vostok 7; Vostok 8; Vostok 9; Vostok 10. Spacecraft: Voskhod. Military-Industrial Commission (VPK) Decree 59 'On approval of work to convert Vostok to Voskhod and use it for three-person space missions' is issued. The resolution instructs GKOT to complete four Vostok spacecraft to the multi-passenger Voskhod configuration. The first is to be completed by 15 June 1964; the second by 30 June; the third and fourth, in July. The crew for the first mission will consist of a pilot-cosmonaut, a scientist, and a physician. Launch is set for the first half of August 1965.

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

1964 April 24 - .
  • Voskhod plans - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Biryuzov; Korolev. Program: Voskhod; Vostok. Flight: Voskhod 1; Voskhod 2; Vostok 7; Vostok 8; Vostok 9; Vostok 10. Spacecraft: Voskhod; Berkut. Kamanin receives the directive issued by Biryuzov to implement the Voskhod Party resolutions. Four spacecraft will be completed, two in a three-man configuration, to be flown in the second half of 1964, and two in a configuration that will provide an airlock and allow one cosmonaut to exit into open space. Less than a year is allowed to develop the new spacecraft version for the spacewalk, as well as develop the space suit. This will be a crash priority program, and allow Korolev no resources to complete and launch five Vostok spacecraft on manned and life sciences missions beginning in May.

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

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

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

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

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

1965 November 20 - .
  • Military-Technical Soviet of the Ministry of Defence - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Grechko; Ustinov; Gagarin. Program: Voskhod; Vostok. Marshal Grechko convenes the Soviet to consider the issues raised by Gagarin's letter. Representatives from the PVO, VVS, RVSN, and the NTK attend. Problems in the space program and the loss of the lead in the space race to the Americans are blamed on the Academy of Sciences and the design bureaux and factories - none dare risk blaming poor management and support by the Ministry of Defence. The issues seen are:

    • No program plan for manned flight
    • Manned flights have low priority. Keldysh and Korolev have launched 30 four-stage rockets on robot missions to the moon, Mars, and Venus, with virtually no publicity or scientific effect. The eight rockets used for manned launches have had enormous impact, but this successful program has only had one quarter the allocation of the spectacularly unsuccessful unmanned planetary program
    • Not one new manned spacecraft has been developed in the last five years. Key subsystems - film and photographic equipment, spacesuits, parachutes, communications systems, and oxygen regeneration systems - have only begun preliminary tests in the last year.

    There is no high-level support for moving space activities away from what Kamanin calls 'the artillery people' - it is known that Ustinov has made his career in building up the RVSN, and he is not about to criticise them.


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

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

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