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Tkachev, Fedor Dmitriyevich
Russian engineer. Chief Designer of NIEI PDS. Specialized in parachutes. Fired 1968 after Soyuz 1 parachute failure and death of Cosmonaut Komarov.

Country: Russia. Bibliography: 474.

1964 October 9 - .
  • Cosmos 47 teardown - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Feoktistov, Komarov, Korolev, Rudenko, Tkachev, Tyulin, Yegorov. Program: Voskhod. Flight: Voskhod 1. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Voskhod.

    At 10:00 Korolev, Tyulin, Rudenko, Tkachev, and other leaders examine the capsule. The condition of the parachute, and capsule exterior and interior show how well the soft landing system functioned. Then they examine the Voskhod s/n 3 which will be sued for the manned flight. The crew of Komarov, Yegorov, and Feoktistov take their place in the cabin, and Korolev and Kamanin examine the cramped accommodations and ask Komarov questions to verify his understanding of the ship's controls. For an hour from 16:00 the crew is interviewed by news correspondents. After the interview, the crew plays tennis for the benefit of photographers. Afterwards post-flight examinations are discussed. A suggestion that the crew spends three nights in a hospital after the flight is rejected. Instead they will spend three nights in the cosmonaut's quarters at Baikonur, under medical observation. Finally, the State Commission meets to verify the crew selection. The session is filmed and recorded for later use by the press.

1966 February 2 - .
  • Voskhod parachute system - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Gagarin, Leonov, Smirnov, Tkachev. Program: Voskhod. Flight: Voskhod 3. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Voskhod.

    Smirnov again questions the chief designers about the reliability of the parachute systems developed by Tkachev. The VVS remains troubled as to the reliability of these systems. Recently the system has been tested at Fedosiya to increase its rating to 2900 to 3200 kg for use on Voskhod-3. Three parachutes in these tests suffered rips during deployment. The Voskhod-3 capsule will weigh 3000 kg. Tkachev says he will guarantee its safety, but VVS and LII specialists do not share this optimism. Leonov, Gagarin, and various cosmonauts ask Kamanin to stop further showings of the new film comedy "30-3", which they say denigrates Soviet cosmonauts. However a showing to the leadership is enjoyed by all, and they see no grounds for surpressing it.

1966 February 18 - .
  • Cosmos 110 State Commission - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Mishin, Tkachev. Program: Voskhod. Flight: Voskhod 3. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Voskhod.

    The first launch commission with Korolev's chair empty. The chief designers certify the full readiness of the booster, spacecraft, and the dogs that will crew the spacecraft. It is declared that the launch can proceed on 22-23 February. The only problem discussed is continued disquiet with the parachute system. Rips in the parachute have developed in the last four tests at Fedosiya. The system was designed for the original Vostok capsule mass of 2.6 tonnes, but the next Voskhods will have capsule landing weighs of 3.0 to 3.3 tonnes. Comrade Tkachev now refuses to guarantee the reliability of the system at landing weights over 2.9 to 3.0 tonnes. The Voronezhsk factory guarantees the reliability of the four third stage engines, despite the explosion of an engine on the test stand in December 1965.

    Launch of spacecraft s/n 6, Voskhod 3, is set for 22-23 March, with landing on 12 April. Afterwards the endless discussion of the role of IMBP in manned spaceflight, and especially military spaceflight is hashed over again in a bitter argument.

1966 November 19 - .
1967 May 29 - .
  • Soviet of Chief Designers. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Beregovoi, Tkachev, Volynov. Program: Soyuz, Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1, Soyuz 7K-OK.

    Tkachev, chief designer of parachute systems, rejects the findings of the Soyuz 1 state commission. His objections are overruled. The final decision is to adopt the conclusions of the commission in their entirety. Two unmanned Soyuz flights will take place in August, followed by manned flight in September. However the manned flights will go ahead only if the unmanned flights are entirely 'clean' - without any deviations. Beregovoi and Volynov are to head the first two crews.

1967 October 16 - .
  • Continued problems with Soyuz landing system tests. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Mishin, Tkachev. Program: Lunar L1, Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1, Soyuz 7K-OK.

    A further test of the Soyuz landing system went all right, if you don't consider the fact that the 'Tor' altimeter triggered the braking system 3.3 seconds early. One certainly couldn't say, as a result of only these two successful tests, that the system was reliable. The system uses a gamma altimeter, with redundant verification using pulses from HF and UHF antennae. The system has been approved for unmanned flights, but needs additional tests before it can be certified for manned flights. Kholdokov wants the VVS to take over not just trials, but all further development of the landing system, since Mishin and Tkachev are unable to deliver a reliable product. But such a decision can only be taken jointly by the VVS and RVSN.

1968 March 7 - .
  • Soyuz parachute recertification holding up all manned programs. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Mishin, Tkachev. Program: Soyuz, Lunar L1, Lunar L3, Almaz. Spacecraft: Almaz OPS, Soyuz 7K-L1, Soyuz 7K-LOK, Soyuz 7K-OK.

    Mishin certified to MAP on 5 March that the Soyuz parachute system development is complete, but Tkachayev has dissented, saying that the system was unreliable and overweight (this from the same chief designer that certified the previous design as having an 0.999 reliability!). The parachute trials will not be finished until May - meaning there will be no manned Soyuz launch in April. This problem is holding up the L1, L3, and Almaz projects as well.

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