AKA: 3KD;3KV;Vykhod. Status: Operational 1964. First Launch: 1964-10-06. Last Launch: 1966-02-22. Number: 5 . Gross mass: 5,682 kg (12,526 lb). Height: 5.00 m (16.40 ft).
Work on the 3KV (three crew) and 3KD (two crew plus inflatable airlock) versions of the basic Vostok spacecraft began with the decree issued on 13 April 1964. In order to accommodate more than one crew, the seats were mounted perpendicular to the Vostok ejection seat position, so the crew had to crane their necks to read instruments, still mounted in their original orientation. The Elburs soft landing system replaced the ejection seat and allowed the crew to stay in the capsule during landing in the absence of the ejection seats. The Elburs consisted of probes that dangled from the parachute lines. Contact with the earth triggered a solid rocket engine in the parachute, which resulted in a zero velocity landing.
A back-up solid propellant retrorocket package on the nose of the spacecraft provided a redundant means of return to earth, which meant that Voskhods could be placed in higher orbits than Vostok (which was placed in orbits allowing natural decay of the orbit within a week in case of retrorocket failure).
The airlock of the two-crew 3KD version weighed 250 kg and was 700 mm in diameter and 770 mm high when stowed for launch. When inflated in orbit, it was 2.5 m long, with an internal diameter of 1.0 m and external diameter of 1.2 m.
The Voskhods were heavier than Vostok, and had to be launched by the 11A57 launch vehicle, with a much larger third stage than that used for the Vostoks.
Voskhod 3 and on were to be equipped with a new environmental control system, allowing up to 21 days life support for two crew. They also were to have the cockpit rearranged improved homing beacons, and other safety features after the problems with the Voskhod 2 mission.
A later Voskhod flight was also to be equipped with a tether experiment. Korolev was always interested in application of artificial gravity for large space stations and interplanetary craft. He sought to test this in orbit from the early days of the Vostok program. Three versions were considered:
Separation of the two components with a rotation of 0.5 degrees/second would produce 0.03 G of artificial gravity. The components would then close to 300 m, reaching 7 degrees/second and 1/6 G. The Voskhod would need additional liquid fuel rocket thrusters fitted to put the components into rotation.
When follow-on Voskhod flights after Voskhod 2 were cancelled, the experiment was moved to the Soyuz 7K-OK project. However after Korolev's death, this project in turn was closed by Mishin on 28 March 1966 and not pursued further.
Crew Size: 3.
Voskhod 1 in assembly.
Credit: RKK Energia
|Voskhod 2 Airlock|
Voskhod 2 Airlock and space suit
Credit: © Mark Wade
|Voskhod tether panel|
Control Panel for control of the never-flown Vokshod tether mission exhibited at MAKS 99. The panel had controls somewhat different from those in the contemporary 7K-OK or L1 versions of the Soyuz. The sequencer panel had the 'on' and 'off' selector buttons to either side of the sequencer windows numbered, as on other versions, but the columns had functional headings, unlike the letters normally used. At MAKS 99 this was identified as a control panel for the LOK lunar orbiter, but this was incorrect.
Credit: © Dietrich Haeseler
|Voskhod 3 Interior|
Interior of Voskhod 3, with dog enclosures as flown on Cosmos 110.
Credit: © Mark Wade
Credit: © Mark Wade
Credit: Manufacturer Image
Credit: Manufacturer Image
|Voskhod 2 Icon|
Credit: © Mark Wade
Credit: © Mark Wade
|Yastreb space suit|
Yastreb space suit
Credit: Andy Salmon
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.
Kamanin meets with Rudenko, to discuss selection of three crews for Vostok and three crews for Soyuz flights in 1964. Ioffe reports that the Soyuz docking simulator will be completed by 25 December. Tereshkova, Nikolayev, and Bykovsky are in Indonesia on a public relations tour, to be followed by Burma.
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.
VVS officers meet to plan training for the Voskhod 1 crew. It is agreed that a passenger-cosmonaut can be trained within three months. That means, in order to be ready for an August mission, the candidates for the scientist- and physician-cosmonaut seats will have to be identified, screened, and selected by 30 April. It is estimated that 30 physician and 30 scientist candidates will have to be submitted to the medical commission in order for the necessary six finalists to get through the screening. Kamanin privately believes this is all an insanely dangerous adventure. Smirnov, Keldysh, and Korolev have gone off the rails in their desire to make sure that the Americans do not seize and space 'firsts' once the Gemini flights begin.
Kamanin meets with Nikolayev, who briefs him on his goodwill tour of Soviet cities. Kamanin shows him a 200-rouble fine art book on the first space missions, of which he has received only six copies to distribute. Nikolayev would like one, but Kamanin says it is reserved for Tereshkova. Gagarin later briefs Kamanin on his tour of Western Europe. Gagarin is interested in commanding the Voskhod 1 mission, but Kamanin believes it is too risky. However the excuse he gives to Gagarin is that none of the flown cosmonauts are flight-ready due to constant publicity tours. Given only three months to prepare for the flight, the commander will have to be one of the unflown cosmonauts current in training. Later Kamanin formulates a position for the General Staff on the Voskhod flights. The VVS should promise full support for the Party's resolution, while pointing out the risks and the unreliability of the Voskhod design. Kamanin is told the support will be transmitted, but the qualifiers will not. Kamanin fumes that Khrushchev has given the go-ahead to proceed without being informed at all of the grave risks.
Kamanin works out with the other ministries the criteria for the Voskhod crew. The commander will be a trained unflown cosmonaut. The others have to be civilians. The VVS will be responsible for training the passengers on a three-month schedule. Candidates will be considered from OKB-1, the Academy of Science, the IAKM (Institute of Aviation and Space Medicine) and the DOSAAF civilian flying organisation. After General staff review, it is decided the commander will be a flown cosmonaut (Titov, Bykovsky, or Popovich): that Korolev will submit six engineer-cosmonaut candidates from within OKB-1; that Korolev will co-ordinate submittal of a small group of physician-cosmonaut candidates; and that Keldysh will submit scientists from the Academy.
The candidates will have to be under 40 years old, 160 to 175 centimetres in height, and under 80 kg in weight. They must basically be in perfect health, with tested tolerance to vestibular disruption, and screened for other known physical conditions that might interfere with spaceflight.
Kamanin has decided to train two groups in parallel: flown cosmonauts (Titov, Bykovsky, and Popovich), and passenger-cosmonauts. Gagarin and Nikolayev oppose plans to fly non-military personnel in space. Kamanin observes with disgust that Khrushchev is handing out medals meant for true Soviet heroes to himself and foreign leaders such as Janos Kadar and Fidel Castro. He observes that Khrushchev will turn 70 on April 17, and no longer enjoys support from the military or other sectors of the state. Kamanin recites what he sees as Khrushchev's mistakes: his denunciation of Stalin, his ruining of relations with other Communist states such as Yugoslavia, Albania, and China; and he has ruined the Soviet domestic economy, with basic foodstuffs suffering in quality and quantity.
Korolev is categorically against assigning a flown cosmonaut to the Voskhod mission. He also makes light of the training requirements for the passenger-cosmonauts. He is wreaking havoc with Kamanin's crew plans with his positions, and creating unrest among the cosmonaut corps.
Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On approval of work on four Voskhods and five EVA-equipped Vykhods' was issued. Work on the 3KV (three crew) and 3KD (two crew plus inflatable airlock) versions of the basic Vostok spacecraft began.
Komarov has declared that nine cosmonauts are spaceflight-ready: Bykovsky, Popovich, Titov, Volynov, Leonov, Khrunov, Belyayev, Komarov, and Demin. One of these will command Voskhod, the other two seats will be occupied by a physician and an engineer or news correspondent. Kamanin is given only two to three months to prepare the passengers for spaceflight - something he reiterates is a dangerous adventure.
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.
50 candidates from VVS institutes, Minzdrav, and the Academy of Science have been screened, and 36 were immediately ruled out, leaving 14 for medical screening. As for OKB-1 candidates, Korolev had not yet submitted a single name, and time for training is running out quickly.
Korolev meets with the cosmonauts, VVS, and RVSN staff to discuss concerns as to the safety of Voskhod. As for flying without spacesuits, Korolev points out than in 14 Zenit-2/Zenit-4 and 10 Vostok flights there has not been a single instance of loss of cabin pressure. He conveniently omits stating that the suit used on the Vostok missions allowed the cosmonaut 4 to 6 hours of oxygen supply to return to earth in case of cabin depressurisation; but on Voskhod the crew will perish. As for individual crew parachutes, he believes they are useless since the crew would not get a chance to use them in an emergency anyway. Korolev sold Khrushchev on the mission by characterising Voskhod as a modification of the reliable Vostok spacecraft. However, he did inform Khrushchev that the risk of loss of the crew on a Voskhod flight was greater than on a Vostok flight. However it was decided this risk was worth taking in exchange for the great political effect of having the first multi-man crew in space.
While Kamanin is away arranging screening of Voskhod candidates, Korolev meets with the VVS General Staff. He tells them he wants to have four Voskhods completed by the anniversary of the October Resolution for the first spacewalk. He dreams of a manned lunar flyby by either docking Soyuz A-B-V modules in orbit, or in a single N1 launch (no metal has even yet been cut for the N1 at Kuibyshev). In order to further develop EVA techniques he wants to convert a further five Vostoks into the Voskhod configuration. Meanwhile Kamanin agrees to a compression of the medical screening schedule from 20-25 days to 15-17 days. The physicians will reduce it no further than this.
A meeting of Generals Kholodkov (VVS) and Yuryshev (General Staff) reviews military space plans - launch centres, anti-satellite forces, command and control systems. Kamanin looks forward to the VVS taking control of military cosmonautics. Later a meeting with Korolev and Bushuyev reviews Voskhod crew plans. It is agreed that the commanders will be selected from among the four flight-ready unflown cosmonauts (Volynov, Komarov, Leonov, Khrunov). Korolev describes in detail for the first time the inflatable airlock that is to be fitted to four Voskhods to allow one cosmonaut to exit into space. Korolev believes it will be possible to use the existing Vostok spacesuit for this operation, but Kamanin severely doubts this.
After screening the flight candidates have been boiled down to four: Lazarev, Yegorov, Polyakov, and Sorokin. Moskalev and Katys are the remaining scientist-passenger candidates. Kamanin believes Katys, with a doctorate in technical sciences, is the better candidate and definitely superior to any of the OKB-1 engineer candidates.
Korolev presents the Voskhod technical design to organisations outside of OKB-1. Over 27 VVS representatives, including 10 cosmonauts, attend. The two Vostok variants have been dubbed 3KV (3-crew version) and 3KD (2 crew version with airlock). Korolev will complete integration of the first 3KV article by 12 June (8 days from the briefing). The first two articles will be shipped to Baikonur on 15 June for final test. An unmanned test flight with mannequins will be made in July, with the first three-crew manned flight in August. This will be followed by the first 3KD flight in September, with the first spacewalk. The difficulty in preparing equipment and training crews on this schedule are immense; and the chances of complete success are low. But it is the only way the Soviet Union can maintain its leadership in space in the face of the impending Gemini and Apollo flight tests, and the delays in Soyuz. After the meeting, Kamanin decides to train two cosmonauts as Voskhod spacecraft commanders, and the other three as spacewalkers.
It is discovered that three of the candidates for Voskhod flights cannot fit in the seats that will be fitted to the capsule. Katys and Benderov have sitting heights of 95 cm, and Demin, 98 cm. All of the rest are under the 90 cm limit. They will have to be removed from training.
Benderov has been washed out of training after haemorrhaging excessively during centrifuge training, and Polyakov after reacting poorly to the barometric chamber. This leaves only seven cosmonauts in training for the first mission: Volynov, Katys, Komarov, Yegorov, Sorokin, Lazarev, and Feoktistov. The first six are qualified for flight, but Feoktistiov cannot be admitted for parachute or flight training; his visual acuity is only 0.3. Later the cosmonaut party collective meets to take up the problem of Titov. He has made many errors: he drives and flies too fast, he has bad marital relations. But he is known not only to the entire country, but to the whole world. To disgrace him would not reflect only on him, but on all of the cosmonauts and the Soviet Union. Therefore it is finally decided not to take any public action, but to switch him and Beregovoi in the training order for the fourth Soyuz flight.
Later Finogenov, head of the VVS range at Vladimirovka, informs Kamanin that flight trials of the new combination parachute/soft landing system will be delayed at least two weeks after the failure of one of the parachute canopy rings in static test.
Kamanin select Volynov, Katys, and Yegorov as the prime crew for the Voskhod flight. Komarov, Feoktistov, and Sorokin will be the backup crew. Lazarev will serve as reserve for both crew physician position. The VVS leadership approves the selection. For the first space walk (the flight designated Vykhod at the time), Belyayev, Leonov, Khrunov, and Gorbatko are in training. All want to be first, but Kamanin finds Leonov and Khrunov to have the best analytical minds, to be able to get themselves out of a jam if something goes wrong. He selects Belyayev and Gorbatko to be trained as spacecraft commanders for the missions.
Spacecraft development continues with difficulty, there are many technical discrepancies, most notably with the landing system. The launch of the unmanned test spacecraft is proceeding on schedule, but there is no idea when it will be possible to launch the manned version. Training of the command and physician cosmonauts is proceeding all right, but there is a real question about the third seat. Katys is not bad, but Feoktistov has problems with his vertebrae and large intestine.
Volynov, Katys, and Yegorov conduct tests in the spacecraft for the first time at the cosmonaut training centre. The cabin is extremely cramped, even without spacesuits, and Katys does not fit in the standard seat, his head sticks 3 to 4 cm beyond the moulded head rest. Gay Severin promises to prepare an individual seat liner for Katys. Kamanin briefs the crew on the status of tests of the Voskhod soft landing system and an incident in the recovery of a Zenit reconnaissance satellite capsule, which was the same type as Voskhod and Vostok. It descended in the Ural mountains, landed on a 30 degree slope, and rolled 300 m before coming to a halt. Due to the unreliability of Voskhod, it is proposed that each crew member be provided with a special mask to protect the face and throat. The Academy of Science has not yet provided the promised experiments to be conducted in-flight. On the other hand, the medical experiments and observations have already been agreed.,
Titov is reviewed by VVS officers. He is unrepentant and insists he did nothing wrong. Kamanin recites his sins - he has become remote from the cosmonaut collective, his is hanging out with riffraff such as writers and artists, he doesn't come home at night, he drinks too much, drives too fast, is undisciplined... the list goes on and on. He is going to be put under strict medical control and be closely supervised in the future. Afterwards Kamanin calls Korolev, who confirms that the first manned Voskhod will be impossible by the end of August, and there are so many technical issues that he has no idea when the first Vykhod flight will occur. Kamanin notes the Ranger 7 flight, and that the Americans are also catching up with the Soviet Union in the field of lunar and planetary probes....
The readiness of two crews is certified (the prime crew of Volynov, Katys, and Yegorov and backup crew of Komarov, Feoktistov, and Sorokin). Korolev presses for Feoktistov to be included in the prime crew, citing his unequalled technical knowledge of the spacecraft. Kamanin and the VVS doctors oppose this, citing his poor medical condition which makes him uncertifiable for flight. A very heated discussion ensues, with the final decision to continue training all seven cosmonauts, with the first candidates for flight being Volynov, Katys, and Yegorov, with Komarov, Lazarev, and Sorokin being reserve cosmonauts. The question of Feoktistov's flight certification will be taken up by a special panel of physicians.
All concerned designers, bureaux, and institutes certify the reliability of the systems of the spacecraft and launch vehicle. The second phase of trials of the soft landing system have been successful. Of 10 drops, 9 landed with vertical velocity under 7.5 m/s, and of those, 6 landed with a speed of only 0.0 to 1.5 m/s. There are still concerns about how the system will function in soft soils or adverse weather conditions. Nevertheless the decision is taken to ship the spacecraft to the cosmodrome for final preparations between 18 and 25 August. It is likely that the manned flight cannot occur until the end of September. Later in the day Kamanin is visited by Sergei Nikitovich Khrushchev and other experts from Chelomei's design bureau. They brief Kamanin on plans for a manned circumnavigation of the moon using their spacecraft launched by their UR-500 booster by the end of 1967.
Composition of the crew for Voskhod continues to be debated intensively. There has been talk of the medical unsuitability of Katys and Yegorov. Later Kamanin discusses progress with the Vykhod mission based on their work at Factory 918 and LII. Many technical details have to be worked out -- movement in open space, the space suit, airlock, communications, etc. The work is in two steps: first to solve simply doing spacewalk, and then how to control and manoeuvre the spacecraft when a cosmonaut is outside. Korolev seems to think that enthusiasm will solve all problems, but Kamanin is concerned of the demonstrated unreliability of Korolev's Luna, Mars, and Molniya unmanned spacecraft.
Rudenko raises objections to the crew selections. Kamanin suggests the most qualified and fit crew would be Volynov, Komarov, and Lazarev. Marshal Rudenko informs the crew must consist of a commander, a physician, and an engineer. Furthermore yet another commission has been convened to clear Feoktistov for flight. Kamanin is infuriated - after a selection process, beginning with 150 candidates from VVS alone, the leadership is hand-selecting the crew in defiance of the fair and rational selection process.
It is discovered that Katys has a brother and sister living in Paris, a fact he did not disclose during the selection process. They left for Paris in 1910, 16 years before Katys was even born. But together with the fact that his father was executed by the Soviet state, it makes him unsuitable to be a cosmonaut. Yegorov and Feoktistov are making serious efforts to be appointed to the crew. Yegorov did poorly in zero-G training and Feoktistov is physically unqualified. Meanwhile TASS, APN, and other Soviet newspapers are stubbornly pursuing information about the crew for the forthcoming flight. Film biographies and press kits are being made of all of the candidates, so that the information can be released once the final crew - whoever they are - are in orbit. But this violation of secrecy disturbs Kamanin.
Katys insists that he knew nothing of his brother and sister living in Paris. His father had these children before 1910, when they left with their mother for Paris. His father did not marry Katys' mother until 1924. His father was arrested in 1931, when Katys was only 5 years old. Meanwhile Tyulin recommends that Kamanin delay his departure for Baikonur by 2 to 3 days. The launch vehicle for the first test mission hasn't been delivered yet. There are still problems with the landing system. In a test at Fedosiya on 29 August, the capsule was dropped from an aircraft with the parachute hatch already opened. Normally this would be ejected by a barometric switch at 7 to 8 km altitude. So the tests have not really proven the end-to-end function of the landing system. 2 to 3 months would be needed to correctly wring out the system, which is still showing many bugs. Instead Korolev now says that the first Voskhod flight will take place no earlier than 10-15 September, and the first manned flight has realistically moved into October. The 3KD Vykhod flight Korolev still plans by the end of the year, but Kamanin believes it cannot take place until 1965. Leonov reports that there are still a lot of problems and defects with the spacesuit being designed for the space walk. Finally two VVS officers have discovered there is a real problem with Voskhod internal temperatures post-landing. Since the crew compartment hatch will not be ejected as in Vostok, they estimate that temperatures will reach 40 deg C at 11 minutes after landing, peaking at 60 deg C 5 to 8 minutes after that. They recommend that the crew has to be able to open the external air vents manually - currently they only open automatically 11 minutes after landing.
A Voskhod capsule is finally dropped from 10 km altitude in order to test the parachute hatch ejection mechanism. The hatch fails to deploy, the parachute never opens, and the capsule crashes to earth. Korolev claims the test capsule's electrical scheme is not representative of the production capsule, and promises to ship a production representative capsule, which he guarantees will be reliable, to Fedosiya by 22 September.
Kamanin arrives at the cosmodrome, only to find the launch of the manned Voskhod delayed to October. The launch of a Zenit-4 spy satellite, that uses the same launch vehicle as planned for Voskhod, has aborted on the pad after the Block A strap-on failed to ignite. This is the first block A failure in over 100 R-7 launches. That evening Kamanin views a launch of an R-36 heavy ICBM. Marshall Krylov reveals it will have a range of 14,000 km with a CEP of under 1 km with a 40 megaton warhead - one missile is sufficient to wipe out a city like New York. Rudenko believes that the victor in any nuclear war will be the one who pushes the button first. Krylov disagrees, saying that if the Americans would launch an attack on Soviet missile forces, the Soviet Union would launch its missiles on a counter-strike before the American missiles arrive - total and senseless destruction. Rudenko believes that Rudenko is more correct, since in the real-world responses will not conform to theoretical possibilities of instant reaction.
Later the state commission meets to consider the launch of the first Voskhod. The unpleasantness at the landing trials in the Crimea reveal only the inadequacy of the design of the test capsules, and do not reflect the flight system, says Korolev. He certifies the reliability of the Voskhod for flight. The commission decides to set the launch of the next Zenit-4 reconnaissance satellite for 14 September; that of the Voskhod with mannequins on 18-20 September; the definitive landing system trial at Fedosiya on 23 September; and if that is successful, launch of a manned Voskhod by the end of September.
High resolution photo reconnaissance satellite; returned film capsule; also carried weather experiments. The Zenit-4 launches a day ahead of schedule. The booster rocket performs perfectly as Korolev and Kamanin watch from the veranda of the IP-1 tracking station. This confirms readiness of the same launch vehicle for the Voskhod launch.
Kamanin reviews the Voskhod abort system with Korolev. Up to T+27 seconds, there is no possibility of saving the crew in the event of a booster failure; from T+27 seconds to T+44 seconds, escape would be difficult, but is possible; and from T+44 seconds to T+501 seconds abort should be possible, with the capsule landing on Soviet territory. Afterwards, Korolev speaks with Kamanin secretly and privately. Korolev reveals that he has discussed a greater VVS role in space with Marshal Krylov, but that Krylov is adamantly opposed to the VVS assuming such a mission. Korolev is seeking a resolution from the Communist Party that will authorise him to develop a manned lunar flyby and landing system using his N1 booster. He believes that Chelomei's UR-500 booster will not have sufficient payload to mount a manned flyby - a docking in low earth orbit will be required. But Chelomei has rejected the use of docking, and is even designing his UR-700 to allow a lunar landing without the use of docking.
Finally Korolev gets to the purpose of the secret meeting. He wants Feoktistov to be aboard Voskhod 1, despite the opinion of Kamanin and the physicians. Kamanin reiterates that the most qualified crew would be Komarov, Volynov, and Lazarev; and if he gives in on Feoktistov, then Komarov, Feoktistov, Lazarev. But Korolev is opposed to Lazarev, and insists that the crew should be Komarov, Feoktistov, and Yegorov. From Kamanin's point of view this is flying a space mission with two invalids aboard. Lazarev is a qualified and fit flight surgeon, a qualified pilot as well as a physician with 15 years of research experience in aviation medicine. Korolev is adamant that the two passengers should be civilian, not military. No agreement is possible.
Kamanin inspects the cosmonaut's hotel. The 18-room 2-story building has been completed, but work hasn't even started on any of the sports facilities that were supposed to adjoin it. This is all that is completed after four years of work. Later the final abort instruction manual and mission control authority are hammered out between Korolev and Kamanin. Korolev wants to make sure he retains authority over the mission.
The cosmodrome is a beehive of activity, not just for the unmanned Voskhod launch, now set for 18 September, but also for the impending visit of Premier Khrushchev on 24 September. Meanwhile Tsybin, Chertok, Kholodkov, and Vinokur are hurriedly implementing and testing changes made to the landing system as a result of the failures at Fedosiya. This will likely slip the mannequin launch to the end of September.
The State Commission meets at Baikonur. Chertok advises that the failure of the parachute hatch to jettison in the trials in Fedosiya was due to a serious defect in the schematics of the electrical layout and will not occur again. Korolev declares he is ready to certify Voskhod ready for the final drop test at Fedosiya but would prefer to delay the launch of the spacecraft with mannequins until after the Fedosiya test. The state commission finally agrees to reschedule the launch from 28-30 September, subject to a successful test at Fedosiya on 24-25 September.
Aftrwards Tyulin calls Korolev, Mrykin, Kerimov, Rudenko, and Kamanin aside. He tells them the Communist Party and Soviet Ministers have now taken a personal interest in the crew selection for Voskhod. Korolev and Kamanin bitterly debate their competing preferred crews.
Kamanin arrives at Baikonur. All is ready for the Voskhod launch, except the spacecraft. Kamanin conducts a final readiness review with Volynov, Komarov, Katys, Feoktistov, Yegorov, Sorokin, and Lazarev. He tells them that every one of them must do his utmost to be physically and psychologically ready for the flight, since the final crew selection will not be made until 2 or 3 days before the launch. Gagarin, Belyayev, and Khrunov are at the cosmodrome, where they are showing the Vykhod spacecraft to Khrushchev. Later Kamanin discusses the crew selection with the military leadership. The top brass have no interest in space and seem to be ready to give in to Korolev. This invalidates everything Kamanin was worked for in terms of establishing a systematic method of cosmonaut selection, training, and crew selection.
This was his last visit, just weeks before his overthrow. The Soviet leadership were shown the UR-100 and observed launches of the competing UR-200 and R-36. Khrushchev agreed with the decision to put the R-36 into production instead of Chelomei's UR-200. He felt he couldn't turn down Yangel a third time after approving Korolev's N1 instead of Yangel's R-56 and Chelomei's UR-100 instead of Yangel's R-26. Khrushchev decided to cancel Korolev's badly behind schedule R-9A, even though Smirnov and Ustinov insisted they wanted it in their arsenal (in May 1965, after Khrushchev's overthrow, this decision was reversed and the R-9A went into production).
Khrushchev also visited a secret space fair, with Korolev, Chelomei, Yangel, and Glushko presenting their rockets and spacecraft. Chelomei presented his UR-700 heavy lift design as an alternative to Korolev's N1. This presentation was a surprise to Ustinov and Dementiev. Khrushchev ordered Chelomei to prepare a draft proposal for the design. Chelomei hoped that 12 to 18 months later, when the UR-700 draft project would be completed, the fallacy of Korolev's N1 design would be apparent to all. Korolev's N1 plans were also reviewed and approved at the meeting.
Over the two days, Khruschev witnessed five launches of rockets by Korolev, Yangel, and Chelomei, all of them successful. Gagarin and Belyayev explained the Vykhod spacecraft to him, and Leonov donned a spacesuit and demonstrated how he would exit into open space form the inflatable airlock and return thereafter. All went very well.
This was the last time Khrushchev saw the chief designers of the Soviet rocket industry. Despite his support for them not one of them visited him in his retirement.
Kamanin meets Korolev at the MIK assembly building at 09:30. Korolev is preoccupied - his wife is in the Kremlin hospital, scheduled for surgery on 1 October. It is a dangerous diversion when all his powers and concentration need to be devoted to clearing the spacecraft for flight. There has been a problem in installing the second seat in the capsule; it won't clear the hatch by 3 mm. At 10:00 Kamanin reviews preparations of the Baikonur recovery forces for a launch abort. He secretly believes, in view of Voskhod's unreliability and unsafe nature, that all such preparations are mainly psychological and of little realistic effectiveness. At 17:00 the State Commission meets to assess launch readiness. Tyulin reveals that the Tral 1P telemetry system aboard Voskhod has failed. The diagnosis is clear, but it will take 6 to 7 days to get a replacement. The tracking ships in the Pacific and Indian Oceans have been there since August, based on Korolev's originally guaranteed launch date. They will run out of supplies by 5-10 October. Finally it is decided that the boosters and spacecraft for both Voskhod missions will be completed in parallel. The launch of the first spacecraft will be will be delayed to 6 October at 10:00 Moscow time. The manned Voskhod will launch no more than six days after the test with mannequins. The tracking ships will be ordered to stay at sea until 15 October. Korolev leaves for Moscow for two days to be with his wife. The second group of cosmonauts are at the cosmodrome to observe spacecraft and launch preparations; now their visit will have to be extended significantly.
Kamanin is disgusted. The countdown for Voskhod was planned out for 146 hours; now Bogomolov reveals that this is 40 hours too little for all tasks. Korolev suddenly announced on 29 September that he planned to launch the next two Voskhod spacecraft in November, although everyone knows this cannot be possible until March-April 1965 at the earliest. Kamanin cannot understand this constant unrealistic, unprofessional planning.
Work on completing the spacecraft is finally on schedule, but then it is found that there is a failure in the Signal device, which provides communications after the separation of the capsule from the equipment section after retrofire. Nevertheless it is decided to continue according to schedule and roll the booster and spacecraft out to the pad the next morning. Korolev has spent the day at Fedosiya, where the Voskhod landing system has finally completed a successful end-to-end test after being dropped from an aircraft at 10 km altitude.
At 15:30 the Voskhod cosmonauts arrive aboard an An-10 at Baikonur and are greeted by Korolev and others. Although they have not been told officially, Kamanin is sure that Volynov and Katys have heard that the State Commission finally selected Komarov, Feoktistov, and Yegorov for the flight. In the evening Kamanin plays tennis with the flight crew and is surprised - Yegorov and Feoktistov play well, and Komarov played poorly.
Unmanned test of Voskhod spacecraft. At 07:00 the State Commission meets at Area 2. All Chief Designers, Commanders, and Section report that all is ready for flight. The commission gives the order to proceed with the launch. Weather at the pad is 7 balls, 8-10 m/s wind with gusts to 15 m/s, temperature 9 to 12 deg C. Weather in the recovery zones is reported as winds up to 15 m/s. Weather in the recovery zone is not clear, but that is not considered an impediment, and in fact Kamanin would like to see how the landing system functions in bad conditions. Kamanin visits the pad at T-30 seconds; at T-20 seconds, the veranda at IP-1 has over 50 viewers of the launch, including 15 cosmonaut candidates and the 7 Voskhod cosmonauts. Kamanin is relegated to the IP-1 veranda this time, with Rudenko, Kirillov, and Tyulin the bunker adjacent to the pad. Korolev stays with the booster until T-5 minutes, then enters the bunker. The booster ignites precisely at 10:00; the strap-ons burn out and are jettisoned at T+120 seconds; the core burns out and the final stage ignites at T+290 seconds; and at T+523 seconds spacecraft 3KV number 2 is placed in orbit as the final stage shuts down. The spacecraft separates and all systems look normal.
Recovered October 7, 1964 7:28 GMT. Officially: Investigation of the upper atmosphere and outer space.
At 7 am the Cosmos 47 landing commission convenes. Kamanin has had only three hours sleep. The spacecraft is to conduct retrofire on its 17th orbit of the earth and land in Kustan, where winds are 15-17 m/s. The capsule made a good landing, with the parachute-rocket soft landing system working perfectly - the spacecraft had zero velocity on impact with the ground. The spacecraft penetrated 90 mm into the ground. The strong winds caught the parachute after landing and dragged it 160 m, but if a crew had been aboard they could have quickly commanded separation of the parachute. All systems of the booster and spacecraft worked perfectly, except that the third stage engines' thrust fell by 10% for three seconds, but the engine controller detected the shortfall and made up the velocity.
The capsule arrived aboard an An-12 at 11:30. All systems performed well. It is reported that one of Kosberg's third stage engines developed an out-of-control high frequency oscillation in a stand test, and exploded. The State Commission decides to delay the manned Voskhod launch 3 or 4 days while the safety of the engines on the booster are verified. A special commission is sent to Voronezh to assess the situation. Kosberg's engines have flown 60 times, and been tested on the stand 400 times, without this problem having occurred before. In the evening seven reporters arrive from the Soviet press and begin their work leading up to the manned launch.
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.
Kosberg testifies that the problem that led to the engine explosion on the test stand was due to the stand itself and would not occur with a flight engine. Korolev agrees, and recommends launch based on the successful flight record of the engine, the successful Cosmos 47 test mission, and the completion of two successful end-to-end drop tests of the soft landing system. The commission sets launch for 12 October at 10:30 Moscow time.
The landing commission meets at 09:00. Emergency landing arrangements for each orbit are examined. Weather at both launch and landing sites is predicted to be excellent - clear, 5 m/s wind. Komarov is given Communist relics to be taken into space and returned to earth - a portrait of Marx which had belonged to Lenin, a photo of Lenin holding a copy of Pravda, and a banner from the Paris Commune. At 16:00 the crew meets with the garrison of Area 2 and thanks the launch team for all of their hard work. Afterwards Korolev takes the crew to the capsule and gives final instructions. Around 18:00 there is an emergency meeting in Korolev's office. A defect in the transmitter of the Tral system was detected at 14:30, , and it is not possible to easily get at the equipment any more. There is a dispute as to how long it would take to change out the equipment - estimates range from 10 minutes to two hours. In any case, Korolev had not been informed, but the Soviet hierarchy has already learned of the problem. Korolev flies into a rage, something Kamanin has not seen in four years of working with Korolev. Korolev settles the matter by calling Ustinov on the VCh scrambler phone and personally certifying that the booster and spacecraft are ready for flight.
The U.S.S.R. launched the world's first multi-manned spacecraft, Voskhod I, the first to carry a scientist and a physician into space. The crew were Col. Vladimir Komarov, pilot; Konstantin Feoktistov, scientist; and Boris Yegorov, physician. Potentially dangerous modification of Vostok to upstage American Gemini flights; no spacesuits, ejection seats, or escape tower. One concession was backup solid retrorocket package mounted on nose of spacecraft. Seats mounted perpendicular to Vostok ejection seat position, so crew had to crane their necks to read instruments, still mounted in their original orientation. Tested the new multi-seat space ship; investigated the in-flight work potential and co-operation of a group of cosmonauts consisting of specialists in different branches of science and technology; conducted scientific physico-technical and medico-biological research. The mission featured television pictures of the crew from space.
Coming before the two-man Gemini flights, Voskhod 1 had a significant worldwide impact. In the United States, the "space race" was again running under the green flag. NASA Administrator James E. Webb, commenting on the spectacular, called it a "significant space accomplishment." It was, he said, "a clear indication that the Russians are continuing a large space program for the achievement of national power and prestige." Additional Details: here....
The world's first recovery of an orbital spacecraft with its crew aboard on land was made possible by rocket package suspended above capsule in parachute lines, which ignited just prior to impact in order to cushion landing. The trio landed after 16 orbits of the earth, 24 hours and 17 min after they had left, on October 13, 1964 07:47 GMT. Additional Details: here....
Five aircraft are necessary to fly all of the VVS staff and engineering workers back to Moscow. Word has come through that Khrushchev has been removed from his posts, with Brezhnev now the First Secretary of the Communist Party and Kosygin now Premier of the Soviet Ministers. Kamanin's opinion was that Khrushchev was not in the same league as Lenin or Stalin, and that he would have only a minor place in history, but he is surprised by his sudden downfall. Tyulin believes that Korolev's promise to Khrushchev to fly Vykhod in November is now nullified, and that a more reasonable date of March-April 1965 can be set.
The Voskhod 1 crew memorise and rehearse the speeches they will deliver to the leadership and masses on their return to Moscow. Later Kamanin plays tennis with the crew. Kamanin believes that Malinovskiy has finally become more supportive of Soviet manned spaceflight, which can be seen as a reflection of the country's military potential. Unwavering support will be needed to fulfil the recently approved space plan, which foresees manned docking operations in orbit, a manned flyby of the moon, a manned lunar landing, and missions of 20 to 30 days in earth orbit.
The crew arrives at Vnukovo Airfield at 12:30 aboard an Il-18. The crew walks up to the reviewing stand and Komarov makes the standard report to the Communist Party and Soviet Ministers. At 14:00 there is a meeting at Red Square, and at 17:00 an audience at the Kremlin. The next day will be the customary meeting with Korolev and the workers of OKB-1, and the day after, the press conference, and on 22 October the meeting with the staff at the Cosmonaut Training Centre. The celebrations provide the first opportunity for Brezhnev to present himself in public in the role previously held by Khrushchev. The celebrations are somewhat dampened by new that an Il-18 crashed near Belgrade, killing all 17 occupants of a military delegation, including Marshal Biryuzov. This was the same aircraft and same crew that had flown the cosmonauts from Kustanin to Tyuratam....
The traditional meeting with the crew is followed by a smaller group in Korolev's office. Numerous toasts are drunk to the crew, to future victories in space, and... "on to the moon". From 18:00 to 20:00 the cosmonauts are prepared by Keldysh, Tyulin, Pashkov, Skuridin, Mozzhorin, Rumyanets, and others in allowable answers for the next day's press conference. Kamanin wants the crew to be free to answer questions about the physical characteristics of the booster and spacecraft (thrust, weight, dimensions, and so on) but Keldysh and Tyulin prohibit it strongly.
The Voskhod 1 crew have completed their post-flight debriefings and final report. Plans for 1965 are laid out. The Vykhod spacewalk flight will be made in the first quarter of 1965. Of the five Voskhod spacecraft, that are to be completed in the first quarter of 1965, the following program is laid out: two will be devoted to flights of a single cosmonaut, without a spacesuit, on endurance missions of 12 to 15 days. Two will be used for scientific research missions. One will be used to repeat the spacewalk of the Vykhod mission.
After the triumph of the Voskhod-1 flight, Korolev gathers a group of his closest associates in his small office - Chertok, Bushuyev, Okhapkin, and Turkov. Firm plans do not exist yet for further manned spaceflights. Following the traditional Kremlin celebrations after the return of the Voskhod 1 crew, he has heard no more from the new political management. Khrushchev's old enthusiasm for space does not exist in the new leadership. Korolev is angry. "The Americans have unified their forces into a single thrust, and make no secret of their plans to dominate outer space. But we keep our plans secret even to ourselves. No one has agreed on our future space plans - the opinion of OKB-1 differs from that of the Minister of Defense, which differs from that of the VVS, which differs from that of the VPK. Some want us to build more Vostoks, others more Voskhods, while within this bureau our priority is to get on with the Soyuz. Brezhnev's only concern is to launch something soon, to show that space affairs will go better under his rule than Khruschev's." Korolev however does not think the new leadership will support continuation of Chelomei's parallel lunar project. Okhapkin speaks up. "Do not underestimate Chelomei. He is of the same design school as Tupolev and Myasishchev. If we give him the will and the means, his products will equal those of the Americans. Now is the right moment to combine forces with Chelomei".
A corespondent from the APN agency calls Kamanin and wants to know if the official press should react to the claims of a Belgian professor that all of the Soviet cosmonauts have returned from space with serious psychological problems. Kamanin says there is nothing to it, but that the best course is to ignore the report and publish no official response. Kamanin looks forward to the missions planned in the new year: first the Vykhod, the first spacewalk, followed by a 10 to 12 day mission by a single cosmonaut, then later crews of first two, and then five to six in joined Soyuz spacecraft. In 1966 the first space docking is planned, followed by the first lunar flyby. Kamanin feels apprehensive, though. All manned flights have been completed to date without a serious problem, whereas Soviet unmanned spacecraft have been extremely unreliable and failed more often than not. He attributes this to the involvement of the VVS in the manned flights, whereas the RVSN rocket forces were responsible for the others. He worries that, with the ascendancy of Brezhnev and the death of Biryuzkov, that standards will drop in the future. Indeed, the RVSN has asked if Komarov could transfer officially from the VVS to the RVSN, a move that Kamanin vigorously opposes.
At least progress on improvements at TsPK are underway. One apartment building with 75 apartments for cosmonauts is already finished, and an 11 story building should be finished in 1965, as well as schools, nurseries, stores, and so on. Currently there are 17 active cosmonauts and 13 candidate cosmonauts in training. An additional 40 will have to be recruited in 1965 to support the ambitious space plans recently adopted.
Kamanin spends the day with key OKB-1 staff and leading cosmonauts in reviewing problems with the Volga airlock and Berkut spacesuit at Factory 918. There are more than 50-60 presentations made by all concerned organisations. Belyayev and Leonov say that the trainer aboard the Tu-104 is sufficient for them to prepare for the task. However everything must be done to allow the feat to be accomplished with minimum energy on the part of the cosmonaut and with total reliability of the equipment.
Kamanin would like to get going with the training of 40 additional cosmonauts from many disciplines in order to 'storm space'. Korolev is opposed. Kamanin is also trying to get new flights scheduled for his female cosmonauts. This is never mentioned in the planning of future flights. Korolev is opposed to sending any further women into space. Kamanin would like to see a two-woman Voskhod flight, or a woman making a spacewalk. Aside from Tereshkova, Ponomaryova and Solovyova are as qualified and talented as any of the male cosmonauts for such flights. Yerkina and Kuznetsova, although they have completed the course, are ruled out by weaknesses in technical areas or character, in Kamanin's opinion.
Over 60 leading engineers and cosmonauts review progress on development of Vykhod systems and spacewalking techniques. The group views films of Leonov training in zero-G in the Tu-104 aircraft, as well as an American film of the moon as taken from Ranger on its kamikaze impact mission. Development of systems seems to be going very well and very thoroughly. Both the men and the equipment should be ready by 15 February. There remains the need for a back-up oxygen supply for the spacewalker, and improved reliability of the primary KP-55 oxygen generator. Development of the technology to allow the cosmonaut to leave the spacecraft is essential for later manned explorations of the moon and planets.
All systems development is complete, and the two boosters for Vykhod are ready. The launch of the pathfinder spacecraft with mannequins aboard will take place at the end of January, with the manned mission scheduled for March. Leonov's spacesuit is complete, but Zaikin's will not be finished until 5 February, and there will exist only the metal detail parts for Gorbatko's suit.
The 15 candidate-astronauts take their first phase examinations. 13 are rated outstanding, with Shatalov, Gubarev, and Demin doing the best. Two are rated only 'good' - Dobrovolskiy and Pitskherlauri. Dobrovolskiy was the worst, getting some answers completely wrong. For example, he said that the maximum thickness of Vostok's heat shield was 440 mm, when the correct answer was 140 mm; and identified Krug as a homing beacon on the search aircraft, rather than aboard the spacecraft. However overall everything went well, and all were considered to have passed. On this day Belyayev and Leonov complete their centrifuge training. Belyayev is 40 years old, and had little trouble with the centrifuge. Kamanin resolves to name Khrunov as a spacecraft commander in Belyayev's place, with a final crew being Khrunov-Leonov in case Belyayev cannot fly for some reason. Khrunov is available since Zaikin since the decision has been made to train Zaikin as Leonov's backup instead of Gorbatko.
Kamanin is being pressured by his superiors to fly Beregovoi as commander of the Vykhod instead of Belyayev. Kamanin considers Beregovoi not to be necessarily a bad candidate, but the crews already selected have been training for six months and it would be dangerous to introduce someone relatively untrained into the crews. Furthermore, it would take 45 to 60 days to fabricate the custom spacesuit needed for Beregovoi. Therefore Kamanin rejects the suggestion. He notes that the Americans have launched a Gemini capsule unmanned - this after two earlier unsuccessful Titan 2 launches. In 1965 the Americans are planning 3 or 4 manned flights with the Gemini spacecraft.
Faced with continuing pressure to fly Beregovoi on the Vykhod flight. Kamanin notes that the spacecraft requires short cosmonauts of minimum weight (Belyayev is 170 cm tall and weighs 72 kg; Leonov 172 cm and 78.2 kg; Gorbatko 168.5 cm and 69 kg; Khrunov 171 cm and 70.8 kg; and Zaikin 167 cm and 69.3 kg). By comparison Beregovoi is 180 cm tall and weights 84.5 kg.
The first manned test of the airlock fails before an audience of 60 government and industry leaders. A VVS pilot in a spacesuit was to demonstrate the entire sequence involved in exiting into space. (release of the forward ring, inflation of the airlock, opening of the hatch between the spacecraft and airlock, closing the hatch, evacuation of the air from the airlock, opening of the outer hatch of the airlock, then the sequence in reverse). Two attempts are made at 15 km equivalent altitude, but the hatch from the spacecraft to the airlock cannot be opened due to defects in its construction in the first try. This is fixed, but on the second try the Vega system that monitors the cosmonaut's condition fails.
At Chkalovskiy Airfield, the Vykhod airlock experiments are repeated, this time to an altitude of 37 km. This time the tests, run at up to 37 km equivalent altitude, are successful. The cosmonaut's pulse reached 90-108 per minute during the effort to get into the lock and open it. In all the test took two hours, but Korolev was pleased with the results. But afterwards he differs with Kamanin in the need for a 16-m arm centrifuge to be used for cosmonaut training. It should mainly be used by industry, Korolev believes.
The 3KD spacecraft will be known as Voskhod-2 rather than Vykhod. It was felt that 'Vykhod' ('exit') would reveal the purpose of the flight, which should not be revealed unless the experiment succeeds. The cosmonauts are training very hard in the zero-G trainer and will use the airlock at 37 km equivalent vacuum in the TBK-60 on 8 February. The motto is "Train hard to make it easy to do".
The first meeting of the State Commission for the Voskhod-2 flight is held. Korolev, Tsybin, Severin, and other testify to the readiness of the spacecraft and booster systems. It is decided to fly the pathfinder mannequin fight on 14-16 February, and the crewed flight on 25-27 February. Kamanin objects that the radio beacon system on Voskhod is less reliable than that on Vostok, as proven on the Voskhod-1 mission.
Belyayev and Leonov practice deploying and exiting the airlock at 37 km equivalent altitude in the TBK-60 chamber. The Vega system for keeping track of the spacewalking cosmonaut's life signs fails again. Kamanin is infuriated. Later he discusses future spaceflight plans with Korolev, who was supposed to deliver five Voskhods in 1965. Korolev says that three spacecraft will only be completed by October, and should only be available for flights at the end of the year. He wants to use one as a biosat in an unmanned flight of organisms for 30 days; a second for the flight of a cosmonaut pilot and physician for 15 days; and the third for flight of a cosmonaut and engineer to perform an artificial gravity experiment. Two further spacecraft will be finished to the Vykhod configuration in October 1965 for flights in March 1966. Nothing is official yet, and Kamanin urges that the necessary resolutions be passed as soon as possible so that training can begin. He thought before that there was little chance that Yegorov's back-ups, Lazarev and Sorokin would fly, but now he puts them back in training so they will be ready for this flight schedule. But Korolev remains opposed to flying either candidate.
After a one-day diversion to Tashkent due to bad weather, Kamanin and the VVS delegation land at Baikonur. The weather is -10 deg C and heavy snow. It is reported from Moscow that Zaikin and Khrunov successfully operated the airlock at 37 km altitude in the TKB-60, and this time the Vega system finally worked. In the evening, as the others leave for a film, Kamanin looks out from his room in the cosmonaut dormitory at Area 17. He sees hundreds of new buildings in the snow, where none existed only five years ago. Baikonur is truly developing into a powerful space centre.
Kamanin and Korolev return to the cosmodrome. Korolev is furious with Bogomolov over the continuing Tral problems and with Bogomolov's outspokenness. Meanwhile the problem of what to do if the airlock loses pressure is discussed. No good solution is found; in such a case the cosmonaut would be unable to enter the capsule. Finally the problem of which tracking station will issue the signal for opening and closing the airlock is discussed. IP-7 at Klyuchi and IP-6 at Yelizovo are both possibilities. Korolev would like both to be able to do so, in order to have a backup. It occurs to Kamanin that these kinds of problems could easily be handled if the first Voskhod-2 had a crew aboard. As spacecraft become increasingly complex, it will eventually be necessary to fly space missions with crews aboard that are not publicly announced. He foresees a need for many such 'black' flights in the future to prove out new systems, to complete military operations, and to train crews.
In the evening all problems are finally solved and the Voskhod spacecraft declared ready for flight.
Barring any further discrepancies, the spacecraft will be mated to the launch vehicle and rolled out to the pad on 20 February. Launch will be 21-22 February. Voskhod-2 with a crew aboard won't launch until the first half of March. However Korolev is preparing the Ye-6 robot lunar soft lander for launch on 13 March, making it an end of March launch date more likely for Voskhod-2. Kamanin still questions the radio systems aboard Voskhod, and Korolev placates him by saying a new system will be developed for Voskhod-3.
Unsuccessful mission. Voskhod 2 test. Immediately after orbital insertion airlock and spacesuit inflated normally. Then two ground control stations sent commands to the spacecraft simultaneously. The combined signals accidentally set off the retrofire sequence, which some time later triggered the self destruct mechanism (designed to prevent the spacecraft from falling into enemy hands).
Officially: Investigation of the upper atmosphere and outer space. Additional Details: here....
Korolev is confined to his cottage with a high temperature. Meanwhile tapes and documentation are being flown in from Kamchatka, Moscow, and Kolpasheva, and experts are flying in from OKB-1. So far it has been discovered that IP-6 and IP-7 were simultaneously communicating with the spacecraft at the time the re-entry sequence began.
An accident commission has been formed, but receipt of tapes from IP-7 and IP-6 are held up by bad weather in Omsk. This incident certainly seems to have ended any consideration of Kamanin's idea of flying secret 'black' missions with crews aboard to test new spacecraft. The launch of the E-6 Lunik is set for 12 March, so Tyulin has pushed the Voskhod-2 manned launch back to the end of March at a minimum.
The tapes finally arrive from all concerned tracking stations by 11 am. Korolev is ill, and his deputies work in his place. At 16:00 the accident commission meets. They find that at precisely the same time, IP-6 and IP-7 transmitted command 42 (decompress airlock) to the spacecraft. In such a case, the command could have been received and interpreted by the spacecraft as a single command 5 (retrofire). IP-6 was supposed to have transmitted the command at this point in the mission, with IP-7 to retransmit them as a backup only on command from Moscow. However IP-7 thought at the time that they were responsible for sending commands to the spacecraft. Accordingly, the spacecraft itself has been fully exonerated.
However it is found that of the 45 commands that can be sent to the spacecraft, four of them, including the command of the re-entry sequence, are unprotected from this kind of error. In Kamanin's opinion, in the last five years, Mnatsakanian's bureau has done nothing to ensure security of commands to spacecraft or the exploitation of this major weakness by the United States.
It is decided that the launch of Voskhod-2 can go ahead in the second half of mine. However Korolev calls Kamanin and others to be briefed at his bedside. His temperature is down to 37 deg C, normal, but yesterday it was 40 deg C - diagnosis: "unknown cause". Korolev does not want to launch Voskhod-2 until a Zenit spy satellite has flown with its re-entry capsule fitted with the same airlock ring as Voskhod-2. This will prove that the re-entry capsule is stable during descent with the airlock ring, something that could not be demonstrated by Cosmos 57. Kamanin agrees that this will be proposed to the State Commission.
However they do not part without sharp words being exchanged over the quality of VVS doctors and military versus civilian cosmonauts. Korolev notes that due to the military's complete lack of interest in space, the only military cosmonaut that will ever be needed is Gagarin.... Kamanin is wounded but realises the truth of Korolev's words, attributing the issue to Malinovskiy, who has blocked all proposals for a military role in manned spaceflight, let alone a VVS role.
The final conclusion is as before, that simultaneous transmission of the air release command from IP-6 and IP-7 started the chain of events leading to the self-destruction of the spacecraft. It is decided that a Zenit planned for 4-8 March will fly with the Vykhod airlock ring, followed by the E-6 launch on 12 March, and the Voskhod-2 launch with a crew aboard for 15-20 March.
Kamanin reviews emergency procedures with the Voskhod-2 prime and backup crews, and finds their training fully complete - they are ready for flight. Re-entry with the airlock ring is a special concern. If the airlock has jettisoned normally, the ring will have a height of 27-40 mm above the surface of the spherical capsule; if it only partially jettisons, the rings could be as much as 70-80 mm high. In such a case the asymmetry of the ring on the upper heat shield might impart a rotation to the capsule. The drogue parachute can be safely deployed at up to 1.5 to 2.0 revolutions per second; beyond that there is real danger to the crew's survival. If the experiment with the Zenit capsule fitted with the ring is successful, that will provide some confidence. But if the Zenit is not launched or fails to return to earth, then in Korolev's opinion the flight should be delayed until the safety of re-entry with the ring can be demonstrated. However the majority of the State Commission disagrees with Korolev, and believe it will be safe to proceed with the Voskhod-2 flight even without the Zenit test.
Tyulin advises from Baikonur that the Zenit spacecraft has been fitted with sensors to measure the rotation rate of the capsule fitted with the airlock ring during re-entry. It is to be mated to the booster on 5 May, with launch on schedule for 7 May. Korolev wants the cosmonauts to report to the cosmodrome on 7 May.
Only on this day does Kamanin receive a copy of Korolev's "Preliminary Plan for Voskhod spacecraft (3KV and 3KD) series in 1965", issued in February. His plan is:
Kamanin is preparing the final press packet, with the cosmonaut biographies, which will be delivered to TASS but only released by them after confirmation that the spacecraft is in orbit. Later Kamanin and forty other guests, including hero-cosmonauts and future hero-cosmonauts, throw a party for Tereshkova's 28th birthday. There is tension in the room as the cosmonauts eye each other as competitors for the flights after Voskhod-2. Volynov is the leading candidate to command the next flight, and has already been a back-up four times, but Marshal Rudenko keeps blocking his selection for flight (Volynov is a Jew). Rudenko is pushing Beregovoi for the next flight, and everyone in the room knows it...
The cosmonauts and VVS contingent prepare to depart to Baikonur - altogether 50 people on a single An-10 flight. Kamanin has started training a group of cosmonauts for the 15-day Voskhod-3 mission: Volynov, Beregovoi, Shatalov, Demin, and Artyukhin. Katys briefs Kamanin on his work together with Equipment Institute of the Academy of Sciences in preparing scientific experiments to be conducted on the next flight. Later Kamanin talks with his superiors about three candidates for future physician-cosmonaut missions. Voskresensky is the leading candidate. He specialises in research on the effects of zero-gravity on organisms, has published over thirty papers, and knows English. Yaroshenko is completing work on methods for conducting surgical operations in zero gravity. Ivanov conducts psychological studies on the impact of the spaceflight environment.
Kamanin and the cosmonauts land at the airfield at 11:45, but have to wait until 12:10 for the arrival of Tyulin and Korolev for the official greeting. Korolev is ill but pushing himself hard. A dispute breaks out about crew assignments. At the last minute some want Khrunov to substitute for Belyayev. Korolev is clearly disgusted by such reversals after the prime crew has been set for months.
Final flight suit fitting is conducted on Belyayev, Khrunov, Leonov, and Zaikin by Komarov and Gagarin. It is decided that on flight day only Belyayev, Leonov, and Khrunov will suit up. Khrunov has trained for both crew positions, and in case of last second substitution, he can fly in place of either Belyayev or Leonov. Kamanin tells of the opposition to Belyayev making the flight, which goes back to an incident in the altitude chamber when a Colonel Karpov underhandedly reported that Belyayev was performing poorly. Kamanin believed this was due to bad telemetry. Leonov recounts another incident where the oxygen supply was failing during the same test, but Belyayev did not denounce the Factory 918 staff.
That evening the contingent watches the Arabic film "Black Glasses". At the same time an incident is developing when Khrunov insists that the second crew would only train in the capsule in their spacesuits - otherwise they would report to the State Commission that they were not ready for flight. That evening's training session was cancelled as a result.
Korolev, Rudenko, Kamanin, Kuznetsov, Gagarin, Komarov, and Tselikin give the crew their final briefing. Communications protocols are worked out. Korolev tells the crew he is satisfied that they are ready for flight, but tells them not to take unnecessary risks or heroics. The main thing is that they return safely to earth.
The Zenit-4 fitted with the airlock attachment ring successfully lands at 12:09, 170 km south of Kustanin (and 50 km north of the aim point). Later procedures for emergency landing on the first, second, and third orbits are discussed. The cosmonauts want to discuss the possibility of their taking action if the airlock fails to jettison (even though there are redundant systems to ensure this). Leonov discuses a method of inflating the airlock, his opening the hatch from the spacecraft, checking all connections, then returning to the capsule and attempting again. Data arrives in the evening from the recovered Zenit - the rotation rates are acceptable, Voskhod-2 is clear to launch on 18 March. In the evening the cosmonauts conduct interviews with journalists.
Korolev, Severin, Kuznetsov, and Kamanin certify the readiness of the booster and spacecraft, the airlock and spacesuit, the astronauts, and the recovery forces. Roll-out to the pad is set for the morning of 17 March, with launch on 18 or 19 March. In the evening the recovered Zenit-4 capsule arrives at Baikonur and is examined by the astronauts. The rate of rotation never exceeded 40 - 100 degrees/second, well within the tolerance of both the crew and the parachute deployment system.
With the rocket erected on the pad, a meeting is held several hundred meters away between the chief designers, Keldysh, Rudenko, and 600 to 700 workers. Afterwards Korolev and Tyulin call Moscow, and certify to Smirnov, Ustinov, Kosygin, and Brezhnev that all is ready for the flight.
At 07:30 the state commission meets at the pad and gives the go-ahead. At 8:30 Korolev, Tyulin, Rudenko, and Kamanin observed the cosmonauts donning their suits. At 09:20 they met the cosmonauts again at the pad. After handshakes, the crew went up the elevator, the calm Belyayev being loaded first in the capsule, followed by excited Leonov. Korolev, Gagarin, and the others left the pad for the bunker 10 minutes before the launch. The launch went well, although the suspense in the first 44 seconds of flight (when crew abort was not possible) was unbearable. The final stage shut down at T+526 seconds, and the crew was in orbit. Even though he doesn't smoke, Korolev has a cigarette at T+530 seconds, once he knows the crew is safe in orbit.
The party then moved to the KP command point, where over the next four hours they watched the first man - a Soviet man, Alexei Leonov - enter free space. All operations - airlock deployment, airlock pressurisation, opening the hatch from the spacecraft, entering the airlock, the inner hatch closing, depressurisation of he airlock, opening of the outer hatch, Leonov's exit into space - went well. Television images showed him somersaulting in space, moving 3 to 5 m from the capsule with the earth in the background. There was some worry when the capsule began revolving at 20 degrees per second during the spacewalk, and the high concentration of oxygen (45%) in the cabin. The rotation is stopped, but after consulting with the crew, and considering the large oxygen reserves available, it is decided not to worry about the high oxygen level in the cabin. Kamanin goes to bed at 12:00, overjoyed by the success of the day's events.
First spacewalk, with a two man crew of Colonel Pavel Belyayev and Lt. Colonel Aleksey Leonov. During Voskhod 2's second orbit, Leonov stepped from the vehicle and performed mankind's first "walk in space." After 10 min of extravehicular activity, he returned safely to the spacecraft through an inflatable airlock.
This mission was originally named 'Vykhod ('Exit/Advance'). It almost ended in disaster when Leonov was unable to reenter the airlock due to stiffness of the inflated spacesuit. He had to bleed air from the suit in order to get into the airlock. After Leonov finally managed to get back into the spacecraft cabin, the primary hatch would not seal completely. The environmental control system compensated by flooding the cabin with oxygen, creating a serious fire hazard in a craft only qualified for sea level nitrogen-oxygen gas mixes (Cosmonaut Bondarenko had burned to death in a ground accident in such circumstances, preceding the Apollo 204 disaster by many years). Additional Details: here....
On re-entry the primary automatic retrorocket system failed. A manually controlled retrofire was accomplished one orbit later (evidently using the primary engine, not the backup solid rocket retropack on the nose of spacecraft). The service module failed to separate completely, leading to wild gyrations of the joined reentry sphere - service module before connecting wires burned through. Vostok 2 finally landed near Perm in the Ural mountains in heavy forest at 59:34 N 55:28 E on March 19, 1965 9:02 GMT. The crew spent two nights in deep woods, surrounded by wolves. Recovery crews had to chop down trees to clear landing zones for helicopter recovery of the crew, who had to ski to the clearing from the spacecraft. Only some days later could the capsule itself be removed. Additional Details: here....
The crew spent the night in the forest. Only at dawn can a helicopter fly over the landing point again. He reports he sees the two crew, one felling wood, the other building a bonfire. During the night, neither the two crew from the helicopter that landed 5 km away or the searchers from the PVO regiment were able to find the crew in the dense forest. Finally at 07:30 a Colonel Sibiryakov, physician Tumanov, and a technician are lowered from a Mi-4 helicopter to a point 1500 meters from the capsule. Several others are lowered to begin chopping down trees to create a clearing where the helicopter can land. Sibiyakov's party depart at 08:30, skiing toward the capsule, finally reaching the crew after three hours of arduous travel at 11:30. The crew is in fine condition - helicopters had dropped supplies and warm underwear the night before.
The recovery forces want to have a helicopter pick up the cosmonauts from the landing site, meaning hoisting them from a hover at an altitude of 5 to 6 m. Rudenko vetoes this idea due to the poor visibility, insisting they must be evacuated in snowmobiles. When he is told this is impossible, he becomes adamant that they must wait for conditions to improve. This is ridiculous. Kamanin believes there will be hell to pay if the cosmonauts have to spend a second night in the forest at a landing point only 70-80 km from the capital of the oblast.
By the next morning, two clearing suitable for helicopter operations have been cleared - a small zone 1.7 km from the capsule, and a larger zone 5 km from the capsule. At 6:50 the cosmonauts and their rescuers - seven in all - ski away from the capsule, reaching the small zone at 8:06. They are picked up there by an Mi-4 helicopter and flown to the large zone, arriving their 20 minutes later. From there a larger Mi-6 helicopter flies them at 9:50 to the airport at Perm. They were to depart aboard an An-10 from Perm at 11:00 for Tyuratam, but their departure is delayed by an hour as they talk on the telephone with Brezhnev. Afterwards toasts are raised at Area 10 at Baikonur by the Chief Designers and Keldysh. Korolev calls for them all to push together toward reaching the moon. The cosmonauts finally arrive at the cosmodrome at 17:30 and are driven through cheering crowds in Zvezdograd. In the hall of the hotel they give the first account of their mission.
Belyayev and Leonov are trained for their press conference. Keldysh and Sedov and others take the crew through the acceptable answers to likely questions. Kamanin wants the crew to provide truthful answers to questions on the problems the crew faced, but Keldysh absolutely prohibits this.
Kamanin meets Korolev at 9:30; Korolev agrees with Kamanin that the truth of the difficulties encountered should be revealed at the press conference. The matter must be escalated to Brezhnev, since Keldysh and Smirnov are against this course. At 10:30 the leading engineers of OKB-1 meet with 11 of the cosmonauts. The results of the Voskhod-2 flight are reviewed.
Belyayev and Leonov are given 60 likely questions from the press corps, and briefed on allowable answers. In the afternoon the press conferences are held, with Keldysh sitting at the podium with the cosmonauts. It goes well, and the video of the spacewalk is shown.
The Voskhod-2 cosmonauts and Kamanin see the film taken of Leonov's spacewalk. It was taken by internal and external cameras on the spacecraft, as well as by the cosmonauts. Kamanin finds the raw footage quite clear and believes a good film can be assembled from a combination of the video and film coverage. Later Kamanin hears that American Ed White will attempt to duplicate Leonov's spacewalk on the Gemini flight scheduled for 8 June 1965. In the following days the Voskhod 2 crew faces a round of press conferences, meetings with design bureaux staff.
Tereshkova and Nikolayev are to travel to Algeria on 1 April, and Hungary on 2 April. Yegorov is going to Berlin to deliver a medical lecture. There is an avalanche of fan mail for Belyayev and Leonov. Kamanin believes that Leonov is moving into the pantheon with Gagarin and Tereshkova of top space heroes.
Kamanin is trying to co-ordinate a visit to Kaluga by Belyayev and Leonov with Korolev, but Korolev is totally concentrating on getting a Luna E-6 to soft land on the moon. The Soviet Ministers are on his back as a result of the string of failures so far.
Kamanin visits Korolev and tells him that in an upcoming meeting between the cosmonauts and Brezhnev and Kosygin, they are going to push for the VVS to be given a leading role in the exploration of space, including the necessity to improve the cosmonaut training centre with 8 to 10 simulators for Voskhod and Soyuz spacecraft, and development within the VVS of competence in space technology. Korolev is not opposed to this, but says he doubts the VVS leadership will support acquiring the new mission. Kamanin then indicates to Korolev his proposed crews for the upcoming Voskhod missions: Volynov-Katys, Beregovoi-Demin, Shatalov-Artyukhin. Kamanin hopes that Korolev will support Volynov as the prime candidate against Marshall Rudenko's favouring of Beregovoi. Kamanin then raises the delicate issue of Korolev's unfavourable opinion of Tereshkova. After her flight, Korolev angrily said: "I never want to have anything to do with these women again". Kamanin does not believe his remarks were meant seriously, and broaches the subject of training Soloyova and Ponomaryova for a female version of Leonov's spacewalk flight. Korolev says he will seriously consider the suggestion.
Kamanin queries Vershinin on support for a female Voskhod flight. The Commander-in-Chief approves the idea, but then suddenly brings up the question of Beregovoi. There seems to be a quid pro quo here, but Kamanin says that Volynov is still the lead candidate for the next flight. Cosmonautics Day celebrations go well, with Kamanin feeling he is successful in lobbying both politicians and industry leaders on the idea of an all-female Voskhod flight with Ponomaryova and Solovyova.
Kamanin meets with Marshall Rudenko to present his cosmonaut crew plans. For the experimental gravity flight he proposes Volynov-Katys (prime crew), Beregovoi-Demin, and Shatalov-Artyukhin (back-up crew). Rudenko wants Beregovoi's as the first crew, but Kamanin, sensing the Marshall is unsure in his position, pushes for Volynov. He then presents his plan for the next Voskhod EVA mission: Solovyova and Ponomaryova as the female prime crew, Khrunov and Gorbatko, and Zaikin as the male back-up crew. Kamanin says he already has Korolev, Keldysh, and Vershinin behind this plan. But Rudenko says he will decide this later - he has to take his daughter to the hospital.
Reviewing crewing plans again, Kamanin is shocked when Korolev says he questions Ponomaryova's selection for the flight. Korolev also says he is thinking of taking the physician off the planned later flight and replacing him and the long duration environmental control system with a second manoeuvring engine, so that the Voskhod can demonstrate manoeuvring in space.
Gagarin and the rest of the male cosmonauts, as many as other VVS officers, are opposed to Kamanin's plan for a female Voskhod flight. The first cosmonaut group are also opposed to appointment of Beregovoi and Shatalov to flight crews. Tereshkova has lost 5 kg and looks ill, but all the doctors say she is healthy.
Despite opposition, Kamanin goes ahead with his plans. The 10-day duration artificial gravity flight is planned for October 1965, with Volynov and Katys as the crew. In the first half of 1966 Beregovoi and Demin will fly the long-duration mission, and Ponomaryova and Solovyova will fly an all-female spacewalk mission. However the Americans have announced they will fly a Gemini mission for a 7 to 8 day duration by the end of the year; the Soviets may have to adjust this plan to ensure that they retain the lead in manned spaceflight. Kamanin has told the female cosmonauts of their planned flight, but also warned them there is serious opposition in some quarters.
Kamanin notes Gemini-3 landed 96 km from the aim point. He notes that all Soviet Vostok and Voskhod landings have been of high precision, using the automatic landing system. Voskhod-2 missed the aim point by 368 km, but this was due to a 46 second delay in activating the retrorocket. This delay was due to the layout of Voskhod, which left the Vostok cabin instruments and Vzor visual orientation device in their original place, but mounted the crew seats perpendicular to the original orientation of the Vostok ejection seat. This meant, to manually orient the spacecraft, Belyayev had to float across the seats in order to see the Vzor device. After orienting the spacecraft, he had to return to his seat before igniting the retrorocket. All of this, in the cramped cabin and the crew in spacesuits, took much longer than expected.
A meeting between the cosmonauts and OKB-1 becomes heated on the question of the Voskhod design. Korolev and his specialists attempt to minimise the design approach that made manual re-entry for Voskhod-2 so difficult. In fact the state commission concluded that it was impossible to conduct a manual re-entry with the crew in their seats. Korolev agreed that later Voskhods will be equipped with instruments allowing manual re-entry with the astronauts seated, and apologised for the oversight.
Titov and Kamanin visit LII to review the status of simulator construction. The engineers haven't had any time to even consider trainers for winged spacecraft. The Soyuz trainer will only be completed by July 1966, and the trainer for the new Voskhod configuration is still on paper only. Simulators for manned lunar or planetary flights have not even been discussed yet. It is clear that Kamanin is going to have to go up the chain of command to Dementiev and Smirnov to get resources allocated for the work to be accelerated.
The All-Soviet national economic commission on Military-Industrial Matters issues resolution 145, "On completion of the Voskhod spacecraft". Voskhod s/n 5, 6, and 7 are to be completed in October, November, and December 1965; and s/n 8 and 9 in February and March 1966. The new-design spacecraft will be designed for flight of two cosmonauts up to 15 days, with provisions for multiple spacewalks outside of the capsule over periods of 3 to 6 days, provisions for artificial gravity tests, and equipment for medical, biological, physics, technical, and military experiments. All concerned ministries are instructed to complete development and deliver all needed subsystem and experimental equipment 45 days before the completion dates of the spacecraft. The trainer for the 3KV Voskhod is to be delivered by October 1965, and the 3KD trainer in the first quarter of 1966.
After intervention at the highest level over the holiday period, it develops that the best that can be done is that a Voskhod 3KV trainer will be completed by October 1965, and a 3KD trainer by the first quarter of 1966 - essentially the planned flight dates, and therefore useless...
Military-Industrial Commission (VPK) Decree 'On creation of military Voskhod and Soyuz spacecraft' was issued. Eight days later, Kamanin receives the resolution, signed by Marshal Zharkov, countersigned by Smirnov. Krylov, Vershinin, Sudts, and Gorshkov are ordered to immediately begin military space research aboard Voskhod and also develop a special version of the Soyuz spacecraft for visual and photographic military reconnaissance, satellite inspection, interception in orbit, as well as development of nuclear missile early warning systems. This is old hat to Kamanin. Krylov has no interest in military spacecraft, and will not implement the order.
Kamanin calls Korolev, finds he is suffering from very low blood pressure (100/60). Kamanin suggests that candidates for the commander position in the first two Soyuz missions would be Gagarin, Nikolayev, Bykovsky, or Komarov. Korolev agrees basically, but says that he sees Bykovsky and Nikolayev as candidates for the first manned lunar flyby shots. Kamanin suggests Artyukhin and Demin for the engineer-cosmonaut role on the first Soyuz flights, but Korolev disagrees, saying Feoktistov has to be aboard. However Korolev agrees with Kamanin's selection for the next Voskhod flight - Volynov/Katys as prime crew, Beregovoi/Demin as backups. Later Kamanin corresponds with Stroev over modification of an Mi-4 helicopter as a lunar lander simulator.
It is becoming clear that in order to ever get Soyuz into space it is necessary to clear all decks at OKB-1. After Voskhod-2 the Soviet manned space plans are in confusion. The Americans have flown Gemini 5, setting a new 8-day manned space endurance record - the first time the Americans are ahead in the space race. They rubbed salt into the Soviet wound by sending astronauts Cooper and Conrad on a triumphal world tour. This American success is very painful to Korolev, and contributes to his visibly deteriorating health. In the absence of any coherent instructions from the Soviet leadership, Korolev makes a final personal decision between the competing manned spacecraft priorities. Work on completing a new series of Voskhod spacecraft and conducting experiments with artificial gravity are unofficially dropped and development and construction of the new Soyuz spacecraft is accelerated. The decision is shared only with the OKB-1 shop managers. One of Korolev's "conspirators" lays on Chertok's table the resulting new Soyuz master schedule. The upper left of the drawing has the single word "Agreed" with Korolev's signature. The only other signatures are those of Gherman Semenov, Turkov and Topol - Korolev has ordered all other signature blocks removed. Chertok is enraged. The plan provides for the production of thirteen spacecraft articles for development and qualification tests by December 1965! These include articles for thermal chamber runs, aircraft drop tests, water recovery tests, SAS abort systems tests, static and vibration tests, docking system development rigs, mock-ups for zero-G EVA tests aboard the Tu-104 flying laboratory, and a full-scale mock-up to be delivered to Sergei Darevskiy for conversion to a simulator. Chertok is enraged because the plan does not include dedicating one spaceframe to use as an 'iron bird' hot mock-up on which the electrical and avionics systems can be integrated and tested. Instead two completed Soyuz spacecraft are to be delivered to OKB-1's KIS facility in December and a third in January 1966. These will have to be used for systems integrations tests there before being shipped to Tyuratam for spaceflights.
Kamanin continues to fume that the Americans have surpassed the Soviets with their Mariner, Gemini, and Ranger spacecraft. This was totally unnecessary, but lack of support by the leadership has crippled the Soviet program. He has been asked to put together his version of the work program for the upcoming Voskhod flights, and beyond that, for the next 4-5 years. For the Voskhods, his plan is:
Kamanin meets with Korolev at 15:00 to discuss crew plans. As Soyuz pilot candidates, Kamanin proposes Gagarin, Nikolayev, Bykovsky, Komarov, Kolodin, Artyukhin, and Matinchenko. Korolev counters by proposing supplemental training of a supplemental group of engineer-cosmonauts from the ranks of OKB-1. He calls Anokhin, his lead test pilot, informs Korolev that there are 100 engineers working at the bureau that are potential cosmonauts candidates, of which perhaps 25 would complete the selection process. Kamanin agrees to assist OKB-1 in flight training of these engineer-cosmonauts. Kamanin again proposes Volynov and Katys as prime crew for the Voskhod 3 12-15 day flight. Korolev reveals that, even though Kamanin will have the crew ready by October, the spacecraft for the flight may not yet even be ready by November - Kamanin thinks January 1966 is more realistic. The discussion turns to the female EVA flight - Ponomaryova as pilot, Solovyova as spacewalker. It is decided that a group of 6 to 8 cosmonauts will begin dedicated training in September for lunar flyby and landing missions. Korolev advises Kamanin that metal fabrication of the N1 superbooster first article will be completed by the end of 1965. The booster will have a payload to low earth orbit of 90 tonnes, and later versions with uprated engines will reach 130 tonnes payload. Korolev foresees the payload for the first N1 tests being a handful of Soyuz spacecraft.
Kamanin reviews a speech by President Johnson to the US Congress. From 1954-1965 the USA spent 34 billion dollars on space, $ 26.4 billion of that in just the last four years. The Soviet Union has spent a fraction of that, but the main reason for being behind the US is poor management and organisation structure, in Kamanin's view. With the US now having the lead in space, and the Gemini 5 results showing they openly used the manned flight for military reconnaissance, the Soviet leadership has awakened to the threat. They are demanding answers - how many cosmonauts does the US have in training? What are Soviet plans for use of hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells in space? What are the flight schedules for Voskhod and Soyuz? In contradiction to these demands, Kamanin is finding it difficult to obtain funding to keep the Tu-104 weightlessness trainer flying....
Belyayev and Leonov are going to an IAF congress in Greece, where they will unofficially meet Wernher von Braun and several US astronauts. Komarov is touring West Germany. Factory 918 is refusing to fabricate space suits for the female crew for the planned Voskhod EVA flight. They are categorically against the concept. It is necessary to obtain a specific order instructing them to fabricate the suits.
The cosmonauts visit Lyapin's institute to view progress in developing a lunar rover. During the day Kamanin has a series of unpleasant conversations with Korolev. The military want the second Voskhod flight changed from a 15-day mission with a crew of two and a physician aboard to a 20-25 day mission, with a single pilot cosmonaut and a variety of military experiments. Korolev responds that there is no unity of support within the VVS for the mission or manned spaceflight; and that he can get along quite well without the VVS, and its cosmonaut training centre, and the VVS pilot-cosmonauts.
Tereshkova confides to Kamanin that Ponomaryova is not ready for her scheduled spaceflight. Kamanin does not believe it - he has heard it from no other cosmonauts, and he has spoken to Ponomaryova often over the years. Flight plans for 1965-1966 are reviewed. The pluses and minuses of each cosmonaut in advanced training for Voskhod flights is reviewed. The latest plan for the Voskhod-3 flight is for a 20-day flight with two cosmonauts (in an attempt to upstage the planned Gemini 7 14-day flight). This is followed by another tense phone call from Korolev, then Feoktistov complaining about inadequate VVS support for the Soyuz landing system trials at Fedosiya (no Mi-6 helicopter as promised; incorrect type of sounding rockets for atmospheric profiles; insufficient data processing capacity; inadequate motor transport). When Kamanin appeals to Finogenov on the matter, he is simply told that if "Korolev is unhappy with out facilities, let him conduct his trials elsewhere". Without the support of the VVS leadership, it is up to Kamanin to try to improve the situation using only his own cajoling and contacts.
Korolev is charging ahead with the plan to fly Voskhod 3 for 20 days. Kamanin is doubtful - the life support system is rated for only 12-15 days, and testing to certify it for 25 days cannot be done in time. Korolev is also planning for a 15 November launch (to fly before Gemini 7). Kamanin believes instead a series of three flights should be flown - first to 12-15 days, then to 20 days, then to 25 days. It is essential the military experiments are flown on these flights. Yegorov and Anokhin have been sent to negotiate a protocol to be signed by Kamanin that he will prepare a crew consisting of a spacecraft commander and scientist-astronaut for a 20 day flight in time to support a 15 November launch. Kamanin refuses to sign the document - it is absurd and impossible.
Kamanin discusses the environmental control system for the 20-day Voskhod fight. Chief Constructor Voronin tells him that to develop such a system to support two crew for 20 days is fully possible; but it will take months of development and testing to certify it for flight. There is no way it will be ready until the first quarter of 1966.
A major programme review is held on plans for Voskhod s/n 5, 6, and 7. Tsybin insists that to conduct all of the experiments requested by the Ministry of Defence will take ten spacecraft and missions, but only five have been authorised. Spacecraft s/n 5 will fly with dogs, on a biosat mission. Spacecraft s/n 6 and 7 are being completed for 15-day flights with two crew, outfitted for artificial gravity experiments and medical and military research. The readiness of the military experiments is very poor, due to the fact that in the past Malinovskiy over and over again prohibited any work on military uses of space, at least until the ideal military platform was developed. It was only on Keldysh's initiative that any preliminary work had been done at all. Kamanin replies to Tsybin that it was not the business of OKB-1 to develop military experiments; this was the concern of the Military of Defence. Yet, Kamanin admits to himself, there is no single organisation within the Ministry that is supervising this work. Later Kamanin takes Gagarin to a meeting with Vershinin and Marshal Grechko. The Marshal is unimpressed with Gagarin's understanding of the issues involved in the issue of whether the VVS or RVSN should handle manned spaceflight. Kamanin resolves not to take cosmonauts to such high-level meetings in the future. Grechko does understand finally how poorly Malinovskiy and his deputies have handled military spaceflight. But Malinovskiy, and his supporters, Marshal Rudenko, and Colonel-General Ponomaryov, will not give up in their effort to prevent the VVS from becoming the responsible organisation for military spaceflight.
The issue of ground support for manned lunar missions is discussed within the VVS. It will be necessary to have continuous and reliable tracking and communications of spacecraft in parking orbit prior to trans-lunar injection, in orbits with inclinations between 51 and 65 deg. Kamanin is tasked to develop a forecast and plan for necessary developments in the next 4 to 5 years. Later Kamanin considers cosmonaut travels. Nikolayev and Tereshkova are to go to Japan on 21 October. Leonov and Belyayev have returned from a tour of Bulgaria, Greece, East Germany, and Cuba, but they made several mis-statements during the tour which have been brought to Kamanin's attention. The issue of getting Gagarin back into cosmonaut training is again broached.
Tsybin has learned through his Ministry of Defence contacts of Gagarin's letter to Brezhnev. He hears that they have criticized the space policy of the Minister of Defence and proposed that the VVS manage Soviet manned spaceflight. The letter also reportedly requests production of a new series of Voskhods to fill in the manned spaceflight gap created by delays in the Soyuz program. Korolev is remarkably unperturbed that he had not heard of the letter, and that Gagarin never said anything to him about it.
Brezhnev has not yet had even one hour to glance at Gagarin's letter. Kamanin and the cosmonauts are frustrated - the country has the means - the rockets, the spacecraft designs - to be beating the Americans, but nothing is done due to zero planning, poor organisation and management. Korolev still talks about flying a Voskhod in November, but neither the equipment for the artificial gravity experiment or the 3KD spacecraft for the EVA have been completed. Kamanin hears from Tsybin that Korolev is considering abandoning the Voskhod flights completely so that OKB-1 can concentrate on completing development of the Soyuz...
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:
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.
Kamanin has his first face-to-face meeting with Korolev in 3 months - the longest delay in three years of working together. Their relationship is at low ebb. Despite having last talked about the next Voskhod flight by the end of November, Korolev now reveals that the spacecraft are still incomplete, and that he has abandoned plans to finish the last two (s/n 8 and 9), since these would overlap with planned Soyuz flights. By the first quarter of 1966 OKB-1 expects to be completing two Soyuz spacecraft per quarter, and by the end of 1966, one per month. Voskhod s/n 5, 6, and 7 will only be completed in January-February 1966. Korolev has decided to delete the artificial gravity experiment from s/n 6 and instead fly this spacecraft with two crew for a 20-day mission. The artificial gravity experiment will be moved to s/n 7. Completion of any of the Voskhods for spacewalks has been given up; future EVA experiments will be conducted from Soyuz spacecraft. Korolev says he has supported VVS leadership of manned spaceflight in conversations with Tyulin, Afanasyev, Pashkov, and Smirnov.
Kamanin meets the 22 new cosmonaut candidates. Some higher officers have questioned the need for so many cosmonauts in training - 32 are already available. But Kamanin sees plans for 40 to 50 manned spaceflights over the next 3 to 4 years. He expects to see some of these cosmonauts walking on the moon, and others on expeditions to other planets. Later Kamanin has to call Korolev after a dispute breaks out between Voronin and Babiychuk and Frolov. Voskhod 3 will not be cleared for flight because the trials of the long-duration environmental control system will not be undertaken at designer Voronin's institute. Furthermore it is still the position of the military that Voskhod 4 should conduct some military experiments.
The argument continues over IMBP running qualification tests instead of IAKM. This will cause a 5 to 7 day delay in qualifying the system for flight. Vershinin and Rudenko later clear Kamanin's recommendation for the Voskhod 3 crew for the new 20-day fight plan: Volynov as commander, Khrunov or Gorbatko as pilot, Beregovoi and Shatalov as back-ups.
After a meeting with Kamanin, Korolev tells Chertok in confidence that Gagarin is training for a flight on a Soyuz mission. Chertok responds that it will take him at least a year to complete training, but that doesn't matter, since Mnatsakanian's Igla docking system will not be ready than any earlier than that. Korolev explodes on hearing this. "I allowed all work on Voskhod stopped so that the staff can be completely dedicated to Soyuz. I will not allow the Soyuz schedule to slip a day further". Turkov had been completing further Voskhods only on direct orders from the VPK and on the insistence of the VVS. Aside from military experiments, further Voskhod flights were meant to take back the space endurance record from the Americans. Korolev has derailed those plans without openly telling anyone in order to get the Soyuz flying.
At LII Kamanin reviews progress on the Voskhod trainer. It should be completed by 15 December, and Volynov and Gorbatko can then begin training for their specific mission tasks. The Volga docking trainer is also coming around. Popovich is having marital problems due to his wife's career as a pilot. Popovich will see if she can be assigned to non-flight duties.
The 15-day trial of the oxygen regeneration system for the long-duration Voskhod flights began at IMBP on 3 December. On 8 December Korolev ordered the test run extended to 20 days. The system has to maintain cabin temperature at 21 deg C, within a maximum range of 10 to 35 deg C. It produced 18 litres of oxygen per crew member per hour. In tests Volynov was found to consume 16.5 litres per hour, and Gorbatko 15.5 litres. But during intense activity these values can increase 5 to 6 times. Kamanin is particularly worried that in abort / high-G situations the system may prove inadequate.
Gemini 7 has the space flight duration record, and Gemini 6 has achieved the first rendezvous in orbit. Yesterday Pashkov sent a letter to Smirnov, asking that new series of Voskhod spacecraft be ordered as insurance in case of further delays in development of the Soyuz spacecraft. Kamanin believes he sees panic setting in with the leadership. The next day Kamanin attempts to call Korolev, only to find he is out sick.
Smirnov calls the Military Industrial Commission and the Chief Designers together to consider Pashkov's letter and how to respond to the American Gemini successes. Korolev is ill and unable to attend. His deputies are unable to provide any firm schedule for completion and fight of Voskhod or Soyuz spacecraft. Soviet projections are that over the next year the Americans will fly manned missions of 20 to 30 days duration and conduct many military experiments from manned spacecraft. It is decided that a crash effort needs to be applied to Soyuz development. However no further Voskhods will be built beyond the five already being assembled, but those Voskhods will be dedicated to setting record duration flights of 15 to 30 days and conducting military experiments.
Gemini 7 has landed. The Americans achieved every manned spaceflight objective they had set for themselves in 1965, and made 50% more launches than the Soviet Union. On the other side, the Russians have only been able to fly Voskhod 2. Korolev promised that three Voskhod and two Soyuz spacecraft would be completed in 1965, and that two of each would fly before November 7. The year has ended, and not a single spacecraft has been delivered. Kamanin calls Korolev, who says that the unfinished Voskhods will not be completed, and that the four completed spacecraft will be used for long-duration flights. All of his bureau's energies will be concentrated on developing Soyuz spacecraft to perfect space docking and to perform lunar flyby missions.
The two have a difficult discussion over crewing for Voskhod 3. Korolev has found that Katys has been taken out of training for the mission. He does not agree with Kamanin's all-military pilot crew of Volynov and Gorbatko. Kamanin is tired of Korolev's caprices and his endless fighting with Glushko, Pilyugin, Voronin, Kosberg, and other chief designers. Korolev has had it with the military excluding civilians and civilian objectives from manned space.
Kamanin looks ahead to the very difficult tasks scheduled for 1966. There are to be 5 to 6 Soyuz flights, the first tests of the N1 heavy booster, the first docking in space. Preparations will have to intensify for the first manned flyby of the moon in 1967, following by the planned first Soviet moon landing in 1967-1969. Kamanin does not see how it can all be done on schedule, especially without a reorganization of the management of the Soviet space program.
The new year begins, with no clear space plans. Although Smirnov has ordered the American 14-day space endurance record to be broken by a Soviet fight before the 23rd Party Congress, it is clear this will not happen. Trials of the long-duration oxygen regeneration system at IMBP qualified the system for a 16-day flight. But VVS specialists hesitate to certify it for 20-22 day missions. Kerimov is pushing to get the system qualified by February, but it simply won't be ready in time. Even such a simple thing as getting the two Admira movie cameras from Czechoslovakia required for the Voskhod 4 mission require writing to Marshal Zakharov. The cosmonauts don't even have one in order to learn how to operate them.
Tyulin advises Kamanin, that due to the time needed to qualify the environmental control system, Voskhod 3 will fly no earlier than the beginning of March. He still expresses interest in the female Voskhod flight - now a long-duration flight without the spacewalk. Kamanin says that Ponomaryova and Solovyova are fully qualified for such a flight, but that he has no female backup crew, since Yerkina and Kuznetsova have not been trained for that.
Kamanin reviews the American and Soviet space plans as known to him. In 1965 the Americans flew five manned Gemini missions, and the Soviets, a single Voskhod. In 1966, the Americans plan to accomplish the first space docking with Gemini 8, demonstrate a first-orbit rendezvous and docking with Gemini 10, demonstrate powered flight using a docked Agena booster stage with Gemini 11, and rendezvous with an enormous Pegasus satellite. Against this, the Soviets have no program, no flight schedule. Kamanin can only hope that during the year 2-3 Voskhod flights and 2-3 Soyuz flights may be conducted.
Tyulin and Mozzhorin review space simulators at TsPK. The 3KV and Volga trainers are examined. Tyulin believes the simulators need to be finished much earlier, to be used not just to train cosmonauts, but as tools for the spacecraft engineers to work together with the cosmonauts in establishing the cabin arrangement. This was already done on the 3KV trainer, to establish the new, more rational Voskhod cockpit layout. Tyulin reveals that the female Voskhod flight now has the support of the Central Committee and Soviet Ministers. He also reveals that MOM has promised to accelerate things so that four Voskhod and five Soyuz flights will be conducted in 1966. For 1967, 14 manned flights are planned, followed by 21 in 1968, 14 in 1969, and 20 in 1970. This adds up to 80 spaceflights, each with a crew of 2 to 3 aboard. Tyulin also supports the Kamanin position on other issues - the Voskhod ECS should be tested at the VVS' IAKM or Voronin's factory, not the IMBP. The artificial gravity experiment should be removed from Voskhod and replaced by military experiments. He promises to take up these matters with Korolev.
Kamanin is told that medical support for the coming manned flights will indeed be moved from IMBP to IAKM. He is ordered to accelerate medical preparations for such a flight. This will include: prediction of the radiation dose a crew will receive on a 20-day flight in an orbit with an apogee of 1000 km; prediction and sampling plan to determine the crew's loss of calcium and other changes to the body over 20 days in zero gravity; prepare an exercise plan to keep the crew in condition on a 20-day flight; determine the medical data to be collected for a 15-20 day female flight.
The VVS General Staff informs Tyulin that they will not accept the additional tasks agreed with Kamanin. IMBP will retain the leading role in biological support of manned missions. Kamanin is forced to call Tyulin and tell him he nevertheless will provide trained crews for three Voskhod and two Soyuz flights in 1966, one of them with a female crew.
Korolev dies at age 59 during what was expected to be routine colon surgery in Moscow. The day began for Kamanin with firm plans finally in place for the next three Voskhod and first three Soyuz flights. Volynov and Shonin will be the crew for the first Voskhod flight, with Beregovoi and Shatalov as their back-ups. That will be followed by a female flight of 15-20 days, with the crew begin Ponomaryova and Solovyova, with their back-ups Sergeychik (nee Yerkina) and Pitskhelaura (nee Kuznetsova). Tereshkova will command the female training group. Training is to be completed by March 15. After this Kamanin goes to his dacha, only to be called by General Kuznetsov around 19:00, informing him that Korolev has died during surgery.
Kamanin does not minimise Korolev's key role in creating the Soviet space program, but believes the collectives can continue the program without him. In truth, Kamanin feels Korolev has made many errors of judgment in the last three years that have hurt the program. Mishin, Korolev's first deputy, will take over management of Korolev's projects. Kamanin feels that Mishin is a clever and cultured engineer, but he is no Korolev. Over the next three days the cosmonauts console Korolev's widow.
Korolev's surgery was done personally by Petrovskiy, the Minister of Health. Korolev was told the surgery would take only a few minutes, but after five hours on the operating table, his body could no longer endure the insult, and he passed away.
The 20-day mission is supposed to launch at the beginning of March, yet there is as yet no resolution authorising the flight, no completed spacecraft, and several subystems and equipment items have not completed qualification test. The State Commission for the flight has not yet even begun work yet.
The VVS General Staff reviews a range of documents, authored by Korolev before his death, and supported by ministers Afanasyev and Petrovskiy. The schedules for the projects for flying around and landing on the moon are to be delayed from 1966-1967 to 1968-1969. A range of other space programs will similarly be delayed by 18 to 24 months. An institute for tests of space technology will be established at Chelomei's facility at Reutov. The IMBP will be made the lead organization for space medicine. Responsibility for space technology development will be moved from MOM to 10 other ministries. 100 million roubles have been allocated for the establishment of new research institutes. Kamanin is appalled, but Malinovskiy favours getting rid of the responsibility for these projects. The arguments over these changes - which reduce the VVS role in spaceflight - will be the subject of much of Kamanin's diary over the following weeks.
Kamanin, Gagarin, Komarov, and other VVS staff attend the first program review held since Korolev's death. Mishin reviews spacecraft build status. Voskhod s/n 5 is to be shipped to Tyuratam on 1 February and launched in the first half of February. This is the spacecraft fitted for the 30-day unmanned biosat mission with dogs. Kamanin had argued with Korolev over the last year that this flight was unnecessary, but Korolev did not want to expose the cosmonauts to the risk of a long-duration spaceflight with a heavily modified spacecraft without an unmanned precursor flight. The manned flight of Voskhod s/n 6 on an 18-day mission can only begin after the landing of s/n 5, e.g. launch in the period 10-20 March.
Kamanin observed cosmonaut training at TsPK on this Saturday. Beregovoi and Shatalov work in the Voskhod trainer. The exercises show that the Svinets military equipment is working poorly. Engineers are brought in Saturday evening and Sunday to fix the problems. Three crews are in training for Voskhod 3, prepared for flights of up to 30-40 days duration. Prime crew is now Volynov and Shonin; backup Beregovoi and Shatalov; reserve cosmonauts Katys and Gorbatko. Afterwards the daily routine for the long-duration missions is discussed - communications session protocols, scientific and military experiments (although these are still not completely developed). Of particular concern to Volynov is that each cosmonaut gulp down 2.088 litres of water per day. There is no good way of measuring the precise amount - some kind of dosage device needs to be developed. Beregovoi's worry is the unnecessary complex and irrational design of operation of the Svinets device. Shonin is concerned with problems with the NAZ survival equipment. There are so many open issues, yet the final flight program has to be established by 5 February.
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.
The crew is to be declared ready for flight on 26 February, with the examinations before the official board on 27 February, but there are still many items of medical and military research equipment not completed. In particular the Svinets equipment, which is to be used by the cosmonauts to observe launch of four rockets from Soviet territory in the infrared band, cannot seem to be made to work. This was considered the most important military experiment aboard, of importance in development of new anti-ballistic missile systems. Spacecraft s/n 5, for the dog flight, is still not completed. If Voskhod 3 is to be launched only after the landing of s/n 5, it is now impossible for the 15 March launch date to be met. And the controversy still rages over responsibility for final qualification test of the 20-day environmental control system, and problems in its operation.
The commission, chaired by Tyulin, with attendance by Mishin, Tsybin, Shabarov, Kerimov, and others considers manned flight plans for 1966. The 20-day dog flight of Voskhod s/n 5 is expected to launch on 22-23 February. Kamanin notes that although he is not against the flight, it has no interest to the military. Launch of Voskhod 3 is set for 20-23 March. Kamanin names his crews for the flight - Volynov/Shonin and Beregovoi/Shatalov as back-ups. Only Pravetskiy objects to these selections, pushing Katys for the prime crew. This settled, Mishin announces he still intends to pursue the artificial gravity experiment on the flights of Voskhod s/n 7 and/or 8. Kamanin informs Mishin that he has requested for more than a year that this experiment be moved to a Soyuz flight - there are 700 kg of new military scientific equipment that has to be flown aboard Voskhod, leaving little room for nothing else.
It is decided that the flights of Voskhod s/n 5 and 6 will be run from Moscow rather than from the cosmodrome. The state commission will return to Moscow immediately after launch for this purpose. Four groups of staff will follow the flight on four-hour shifts.
Tyulin, Keldysh, and Mishin want engineer and scientist cosmonauts to be trained for early Soyuz flights. Kamanin agrees, telling them he will submit suitable candidates. The meeting goes well, possibly since in the absence of Korolev the commission is stacked with military representatives - of 17 members, 9 are military.
Kamanin spent six hours the previous Saturday reviewing the development plan over the next 24-30 months of the Soviet manned lunar landing with Gagarin, Nikolayev, and Komarov. Today is the third day of the duration test of the Voskhod-3 ECS at IMBP. It is showing unstable temperature control; the cabin is vacillating between 25 and 15 deg C. After review by the engineers and Voronin, it is decided to continue with the run.
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.
A meeting is held with the Deputy Minister of MAP, OKB-1 leaders, and 20 developers of subsystems to nail down completion of the Soyuz trainer. It was supposed to be completed by 31 March, with cosmonaut training to start 15 April. In fact OKB-1 has not even begun work on it, and they only consider it long-term work. MOM in fact has insisted that the trainers be finished early, so that they can be used as development tools by the engineers in cooperation with the cosmonauts. OKB-1 engineers don't see it that way.
Successfully recovered March 15, 1966 13:00 GMT. Precursor mission for Voskhod 3 hardware. Two dogs carried into lower Van Allen radiation belts.
Officially: Biological research.
Voskhod s/n 5 launched at 23:10 Moscow time, with two dogs, Veterka and Ygolka, aboard. This will be a 25-day mission. Kamanin is disgusted, he had proposed this as a 25-day mission by a single cosmonaut, but Korolev had constantly held with the 'dog variant'. Preparations for Voskhod-3 are proceeding well. The prime and back-up crews have completed their training and will take their examinations on 28 February. Parallel trials of the oxygen regeneration system at IMBP and OKB-124 both went well (IMBP, 12 days so far, temperature 16-24 deg C, 70% humidity; OKB-124, 10 days so far, temperature 18-16 deg C, 65% humidity).
All four members of the prime and back-up crews pass their final examination before the board with 'outstanding' scores. On the negative side, the trials of the Voskhod-3 at IMBP were stopped on 25 February after 14 days when the oxygen content of the cabin fell below minimums. Kamanin believes that this reflects not on the ECS system itself, but on the incompetence of IMBP staff in conducting the experiment. However even Kamanin is of the opinion that the system is not yet qualified for a 20-day manned flight. Parachute trials are also going badly. The spacecraft has to be shipped to the cosmodrome, but it is not ready. Voronin and Tkachev both say their systems are good enough for flight, but for Kamanin, in the unforgiving arena of spaceflight, good enough is not enough. He notes the death of American astronauts See and Bassett in a T-38 crash. Neither the Americans or the Soviets have lost a pilot in space yet, but only because no compromise is allowed in the preparations, no uncertainties allowed to remain before launch. Kamanin had apprehension before Gagarin's flight, and even greater apprehension before the flight of Voskhod-2. But his current level concern for Voskhod 3 exceeds both. Safety provisions are less, the spacecraft will orbit at an unprecedented high altitude, the load of experiments and scientific research is enormous.
Tyulin advises that the State Commission has decided to postpone the flight of Voskhod 3 to late April. The cosmonauts ready, but the spacecraft is not. OKB-1 staff at Baikonur also are tasked to launch the Luna 10 probe and another Molniya-1 communications satellite before Voskhod 3 can be launched. No fixed date for the manned launch has been set.
Today the trials at Voronin's OKB-124 had to be halted after a 16 day run, when the cabin oxygen level went out of limits. It seems the cosmonauts could control it in flight by closely monitoring the cabin atmosphere composition and changing cartridges as necessary (typically after 5.5 days), but this is not a reliable basis for a flight. For a 20 day flight, a 22-day endurance run on earth should be a minimum, but neither the IMBP or OKB-124 have been able to make the system run longer than 14-16 days before it breaks down. Later the State Commission meets. Cosmos 110 continues in normal flight, the dogs and other life forms are alive. The only minus is that data received is complete due to the failure of the antennae to deploy.
Tyulin and Mozzhorin review with Kamanin crewing plans. Even though the missions of Voskhod 4 and 5 are not yet clear, Tyulin wants to settle on Beregovoi and Katys for Voskhod 4, and Ponomaryova and Solovyova for Voskhod 5. Since October 1965 six crews have been in training for Soyuz flights: Gagarin -Voronov, Nikolayev-Gorbatko, Bykovsky-Matinchenko, Komarov-Kolodin, Zaikin-Khrunov, and Popovich-Artyukhin. But these are just nominal groupings, and firm crew assignments by mission have not yet been made.
The State Commission meets on the 21st day of flight. The life forms are still alive, although the atmosphere in the cabin isgradually worsening (oxygen has gone from 143 to 136 mm Hg and the carbon dioxide level has gone up from 0.89% to 0.91%). The flight duration objective has been fulfilled, and although the designers say the ECS could run for a total of 36 days, it is decided to bring the capsule down within the next two days. A landing commission of 25 military and engineering representatives is formed to oversee the process. It is decided to bring the capsule down on the 330th orbit, on 16 March, with an emergency re-entry possible at 15:30 on 15 March if the cabin parameters worsen.
The 'Spusk' landing command is transmitted to the capsule at 14:00, all proceeds normally, and the capsule makes a soft landing at 17:15 210 km southeast of Saratov, 60 km from the aim point. All recovery systems and radio beacons work well, and within 30 to 40 minutes after landing it is reported from the site that the capsule is all right and the dogs alive. However due to bad weather in the landing zone - 100 m ceiling, 1-2 km visibility, fog - the capsule cannot be recovered until the next morning. Kamanin is attacked by the leadership for this delay - but compares the performance by the VVS recovery forces with the American failure to promptly recover Gemini 8 after its emergency re-entry.
An OKB-1 review is held, without Tyulin and Mishin, who are at Baikonur supervising launch of a Monlniya satellite and Luna 10. Tsybin leads the meeting. Although the Cosmos 110 flight was successful, there were several deviations: the Zarya antenna did not deploy, the Komar system did not 'digest' after landing, the ion flow sensors were unreliable, and the Signal radio system only functioned in the HF band within the zone of visibility of a tracking station. There was no detectable dangerous radiation at the 900 km apogee of the satellite. The dogs were alive, but uncoordinated in their movement after landing, and showed a loss of calcium in their bones. The flight also showed good functioning of the ECS - the problems seen on the ground could not be duplicated in flight. A new run at IMBP has reached its 16th day with no abnormalities, which clears the system for use on an 18-19 day manned flight. The Voskhod-3 spacecraft has been completed and shipped to Baikonur; the booster has also been delivered and is ready for flight. The crew has completed their flight plans and ship's logs. After completion of the ECS trials (planned for 10 April), Voskhod 3 will be cleared for launch.
Work on the Svinets experiment continues. It was discovered that the device needs a night horizon, and the absence of a moon in the sky, in order to detect a rocket launch in the infrared band. The designer has been working with the cosmonauts for three months to fix this and problems in reliably operating the equipment. Kamanin estimates it will take 10 to 15 days to rectify these problems. Svinets is a crucial experiment, but in his view the development of the device by the PVO has been poorly managed.
Korolev was always interested in application of artificial gravity for large space stations and interplanetary craft. After Korolev's death, the projects to develop tether experiments to be flown aboard Voskhod and Soyuz spacecraft were closed by Mishin and not pursued further.
The military has over a tonne of military experiments they want flown, which would require at a minimum manned flights of Voskhod s/n 6, 7, 8, and 9. Development of a military version of Soyuz is proceeding slowly. It would be best to use these existing spacecraft to fly these experiments as soon as possible, but MOM and OKB-1 have decided only to complete spacecraft s/n 6 and 7.
Tyulin has not yet left for Baikonur to organize the launch campaign, and OKB-1 is silent about any schedule or plan for launch of s/n 7, the subsequent spacecraft. In fact, despite all the resolutions passed, they have not produced any plan for manned flights during 1966 yet...
In a meeting of Soviet Ministers, it is revealed that Voskhod s/n 7, 8, and 9 will likely not be completed. Kamanin objects - he wants these flights to be used for manned test of military equipment in space. He does not trust waiting even further for the availability of the untested and unflown 7K-OK spacecraft.
The Luna 10 robot orbiter has successfully entered moon orbit, conducted two radio communications sessions, including broadcast back to the earth of the "International", the Socialist hymn, to the 23rd Party Congress. Bushuev from OKB-1 is seeking cosmonaut representatives for the commission that will inspect the mock-up of the L1 circumlunar spacecraft. Kamanin nominates Gagarin, Komarov, Nikitin, Frolov, Smirnov, and others. Kamanin informs OKB-1 that he has obtained the support of the PVO and RVSN for the completion and flight of Voskhod s/n 7, 8, and 9. A letter to Smirnov asking for those fights to be conducted will be drafted.
The cosmonauts are busy with various national delegations to the 23rd Party Congress. Tyulin has had to be present at the meetings of the Lenin Prize Committee. One thing is clear - Voskhod 3 will not launch in April. The Molniya launch went badly; the rocket crashed in northern Barabinsk after the third stage failed. Until the reason for the failure is understood, the booster for Voskhod 3 will not be cleared for flight.
Tyulin reveals that Voskhod 3 should be completely integrated and ready to go by the end of April, but the flight will be pushed back even farther than that. Mishin is also raising questions about Voskhod 4 and Voskhod 5. The cosmonauts are ready, but have nothing to do but wait. Who will supervise future manned space missions is in question. Korolev was de facto leader in the past. The others - the President of the State Commission, the President of the Academy of Sciences - were in fact just there in support roles. Without Korolev, this may change in the future, and the question has become controversial.
The search for the cause of the Molniya booster failure continues. A high oscillation vibration problem with the engine that has cropped up twice (but only on the test stand) has been cleared of responsibility. Tereshkova is going on a tour of Sweden. The cosmonauts' wives are preparing a letter denouncing Popovich for shutting down his wife's career and his abuse of her. Throughout the period April to May Kamanin is preoccupied with his wife, who is extremely ill in the hospital.
The L1 inspection has not gone well. The cosmonauts find that the spacecraft has the same safety problems as Voskhod: no spacesuits, no reserve parachute for the spacecraft, no signal sent when the parachute deploys (the UHF beacon only begins emitting 10 seconds after landing). Supposedly this unsafe and poorly designed spacecraft is supposed to take cosmonauts around the moon by November 1967. Kamanin finds this incredible.
Kamanin receives the order to prepare Volynov and Shatalov and their crews for a 20-27 May launch date. The commanders are understandably upset about the constant postponements. Later the continuing transgressions of Popovich and Titov are discussed with Gagarin and Nikolayev. Are they really fit to be detachment commanders?
A meeting of the VPK Military Industrial Commission begins with Tyulin, Mishin, Burnazyan, and Kamanin certifying the readiness for launch of Voskhod 3 on 25-28 May. Then Smirnov drops a bombshell: Voskhod 3 should be cancelled because: an 18-day flight will be nothing new; further work on Voskhod 3 will only interfere with completion of the Soyuz 7K-OK spacecraft, which is to be the primary Soviet piloted spacecraft; and a new spaceflight without any manoeuvring of the spacecraft or a docking in orbit will only highlight the lead the Americans have. Kamanin argues that the long work of preparing for the flight is finally complete, and that it will set two new space records (in manned flight altitude and duration). Furthermore the flight will include important military experiments, which cannot be flown on early Soyuz flights. Smirnov and Pashkov appear not to be swayed by these arguments, but back down a bit. The State Commission for the flight may continue its work.
Chief Designer A A Golubev from OKB-154 Voronezh discusses the failure of his engines on the third stage of the Molniya launch on 27 March. He points out that the third stage has operated successfully in 500 stand trials and over 100 flights. It is true there have been seven instances of high-frequency oscillations in test stand runs of the engines, going back to the time of Tereshkova's flight, but these are felt to be due to the test stand propellant feed set-up and would not occur in flight engines. Despite no definite cause having been found for the third stage failure on 27 March, he guarantees his engines ready for flight. Other commission members question his optimism, but finally his guarantee is accepted, dependent on a thorough quality assurance review and certification by military officials responsible for control of the production processes at the factory. Voronin certifies the ECS system for an 18 day flight. Tsybin certifies the readiness of the spacecraft, and Shabarov the readiness of the booster at the launch centre. The absence of Korolev's presence is sorely felt, especially in handling the opposition of Smirnov and Pashkov to the flight. Nevertheless, the order is given for final preparations to proceed, with launch set for 22-28 May. However the confidence of the commission members in standing up to Smirnov is tenuous, and it is clear that any delay into June or July will kill the flight.
Tyulin has already warned that military crews at Baikonur are 'going slow' in Voskhod 3 preparations. Now it is reported from Voronezh that the military quality control official is refusing to certify the engines for the third stage of Voskhod 3 as ready for flight. It is clear that the flight will slip into June at this rate...
Kamanin reports the sad state of affairs. There is no Soviet state organ tasked with systematic management of the space program (the VPK and Smirnov only handle this as one of many tasks): within the Ministry of Defence there is no single organ that promotes and guides military space interests (TsUKOS under Karas only works to order, and does not formulate plans or policy); there is no one at the Academy of Sciences, in industry , or the Ministry of Defence charged with managing manned spaceflight (only 4% - 8 of 200 launches by the Soviet Union - have been on manned missions); in the last six years no new manned spacecraft has been flown (Voskhod being merely a modification of Vostok); the new Soyuz spacecraft is 3 to 4 years behind schedule due to the insistence it be capable of fully automatic docking in space; no adequate trainers for manned spacecraft have ever been delivered.
VPK resolution number 101 dated 27 April 1966 finally hits Kamanin's desk. It issues the orders to industry for implementation of the Party resolution 655-268 of 3 August 1964. 14 7K-L1 spacecraft are to be completed: one in the third quarter of 1966, two in the fourth quarter, and the rest between January and September 1967. Final integration of the first spacecraft is to be completed in October 1966,and flight trials from December 1966 to March 1967. Detailed planning for completion of simulators and trainers for the L1, and for international recovery forces to recover spacecraft returning from the moon, are to be completed within two weeks to a month from the date of the resolution. Meanwhile Tyulin reports that the launch of Voskhod 3 in May is no longer possible, and likely will be delayed until July. It is clear to Kamanin that Smirnov has effectively killed off Voskhod 3 in order to concentrate on the Soyuz, L1, and L3 programs.
In the previous days Kamanin has been preparing Vershinin and Rudenko for the struggle to ensure the Ministry of Defence's interests in space are preserved and defended. Malinovskiy, Smirnov, and Ustinov must be convinced of the righteousness of the VVS position on space crew preparation and training. At the beginning of 1966, Kamanin thought 1966 would be the year Russia would leap ahead again in the space race. At that time four manned Voskhod and four manned Soyuz flights were expected. Now the year is half over, and it is clear that the only remaining Voskhod flight will not go ahead, and it will be luck if even two Soyuz missions are flown. Instead of a year of triumph, 1966 will see the USA pulling far ahead in the space race. This is the fault of the incredibly poor management of the Soviet space program by Ustinov, Smirnov, Keldysh, and Malinovskiy -- but even more fundamentally due to the inept management of OKB-1 and TsUKOS. The Voskhod program was delayed, then destroyed by OKB-1's insistence on inclusion of their poorly thought-out and developed experiment in artificial gravity. VVS was always opposed to this experiment, yet OKB-1 dragged the program out for years trying to perfect it. Flights of the Soyuz spacecraft could already have occurred in 1962-1963, had Korolev not ignored VVS recommendations and insisted on perfecting a fully automatic rendezvous and docking system. Development of this system delayed the Soyuz project a minimum of three years.
Following the meeting with Mishin, Kamanin promises that the Voskhod 3 mission will be quickly revived and that the crews should refresh their training with the objective of a flight by 15 September. Kamanin notes the successful completion of the very ambitious Gemini 10 mission, which clearly shows the American intention to master space.
Mishin, Rudenko, and others have met with Beregovoi and support his selection as commander for the first Soyuz mission. Kamanin does not believe he is fit for the assignment, due to his age, his height and weight (that are the limit of the acceptable for the Soyuz). Gagarin reports that during a visit to OKB-1 the day before, he discovered that they were still going all out to prepare their own crews and train their own cosmonauts for Soyuz flights. Kamanin reassures him that the full power of the VVS, the General Staff, and the Ministry of Defence is behind the position that only VVS pilots will command the missions. Mishin is gloating over the latest spacesuit tests. Khrunov tried exiting from the Soyuz hatch in the Tu-104 zero-G aircraft. Using his full dexterity and strength, he had more success than in earlier tests. But Kamanin notes that designing a spacecraft hatch only 10 mm wider than the cosmonaut is hardly the basis for practical spaceflight or training. Later Kamanin plays tennis with Volynov and Shonin. Their Voskhod 3 flight is still not officially cancelled. They have been fully trained for the flight for months now, but no go-ahead is given. On Saturday, Tsybin presents to the General Staff OKB-1's concept for training of engineer cosmonauts. Tyulin, Burnazyan, and Keldysh have approved the plan, except they have substituted VVS engineer cosmonauts for those from OKB-1 for the first Soyuz flights. So this is the result of months of controversy - a position that there is no fundamental opposition to cosmonaut candidates from OKB-1. Kamanin sees the absolute need for his draft letter to be sent from the four Marshals (Malinovskiy, Zakharov, Krylov, and Vershinin) to the Central Committee. Mishin continues to "assist" the situation - it has been two weeks since he promised to submit the names and documentation for his candidates to the VVS, and he has done nothing.
Kamanin organises the cosmonauts into the following training groups:
Ustinov calls Gagarin, Komarov, and Leonov to his office to discuss their long-unanswered letter to Brezhnev. He asks about cosmonaut training for Soyuz flights, and surprisingly, Voskhod 3 (long buried by Mishin, though no resolution or decision ever cancelled the mission). He urges the cosmonauts to stop quarrelling and work more closely with OKB-1. Kamanin judges from the report of this strange conversation that Ustinov has a completely distorted view of affairs, as a result of falsehoods fed to him by Mishin and Smirnov. Shortly after this debriefing General Kuznetsov calls with the surprising news that Mishin has issued orders for work to resume in preparing Voskhod 3 for flight. But this is the last that is ever heard of the Voskhod 3 mission...
Komarov, Bykovsky, Khrunov, and Yeliseyev have completed zero-G training in the Tu-104 at Tyuratam, and need to get back to Moscow to complete simulator training. But continued bad weather at Moscow means that they will have to be flown by Il-14 to Gorkiy, and then get to Moscow by train. Kamanin notes reports on NASA's reorganised flight program for the Apollo program. Under the new schedule, the first attempt at a manned lunar landing will be possible in the first half of 1968. The first manned flight of the Apollo CSM has slipped from December 1966 to the first quarter of 1967. This makes it possible that the Soviets can make 3 to 5 manned spaceflights before the first Apollo flight - the flights of Soyuz s/n 3 and 4 in December 1966, Voskhod 3 in January 1967, and Soyuz s/n 3 and 4 in February 1967.
Crews are in training for Voskhod, Soyuz, Lunar L-1, Almaz, and 7K-VI missions. There will be 100 cosmonauts in training by February. Meanwhile the Americans have conducted 10 manned flights since the last Soviet manned flight in March 1965. The cosmonauts want Kamanin to be training 8 crews for L-1 translunar flights, but he only has 4 in training. He doesn't think it is worth to train more, since if one successful L-1 flight is conducted before the 50th Anniversary of the Soviet Union in November 1957, all subsequent flights will be cancelled. Additional Details: here....