Launched: 1966 June. Number crew: 2 .
It became clear within the Soviet Union in 1964 that development of the Soyuz spacecraft was delayed. Known American plans for their new Gemini spacecraft indicated that this would allow the United States to set new space records for the first time in the space race. To prevent his from happening, the Voskhod spacecraft series was conceived. These were modifications of the single-seat Vostok. One version was to carry up to three crew, another added an airlock for spacewalks, a third was to have an improved environmental control system for extended missions. Unlike Gemini and Soyuz, Voskhod could not maneuver in orbit, and therefore could not conduct rendezvous or docking operations. But they could be used to snatch from Gemini any new space firsts - first multi-man spacecraft, first spacewalk, and first in space for two weeks.
Voskhod 1 and 2 achieved the first two objectives, and Voskhod 3 was to accomplish the third. In October 1964 it was planned that the Voskhods 3 and 4 would fly in the second quarter of 1965, allowing single cosmonauts to set new space endurance records of first twelve, and then fifteen days. This would upstage the American plans to fly Geminis 5 and 7 on seven and fourteen day missions in the second half of 1965. But development of a new environmental control system allowing Voskhod missions of at least 15 days proved difficult and was complicated by rivalry between Soviet space medicine institutions. Problems with the Voskhod cockpit layout and radio control systems revealed in the first two flights required a major redesign of Voskhod subsystems in order to reach an acceptable level of safety.
Crew selection was contentious. Volynov and Katys were those best qualified for the flight, in the opinion of Kamanin, the cosmonaut commander. But others in the Soviet leadership were opposed to them - Volynov because he was Jewish, Katys because his father had been executed as an enemy of the state by Stalin and had half-siblings living in Paris. Volynov was then paired with Gorbatko, then finally with Shonin.
By March 1965 it was clear that the Soviets could not prevent Gemini 5 from grabbing a new space endurance record in the summer. The plan was for Voskhod 3KV s/n 5 to fly a precursor flight with dogs to prove the new environmental control system. Voskhod 3KV s/n 6 would follow no earlier than October 1965 with a manned 15 to 20 day flight. This would at least beat the Gemini 5 record and prevent Gemini 7 from regaining the lead for the Americans.
By August 1965, the flight was slipping toward the end of the year, which meant that Voskhod 3 now would probably fly only after Gemini 7 had set a 14-day flight record. Korolev was ill, and overburdened with simultaneously getting the Soyuz out of development, achieving the first soft landing of a robot probe on the moon, and getting the immense N1-L3 project started. He secretly instructed his managers to concentrate resources on completing Soyuz development, and quietly abandoned completion of Voskhod.
However at this juncture the Soviet military was thrown into a panic by military experiments conducted aboard Gemini 5. They demanded an immediate Soviet counterpart. Ballistic missile detection and other military experiments were added to Voskhod 3. Korolev also had a pet project - an artificial gravity experiment - deploying a tether between Voskhod 3 and the spent last stage of its booster. It was also now thought that the flight would have to go for 20 days to definitively upstage the Americans. This would require development and qualification of yet another environmental control system version. Focus on getting the flight into space was being lost in the face of all of these additional requirements and Korolev's secret go-slow instructions.
By November 1965 the Soviet space program was in crisis. The cosmonauts had written a letter to Brezhnev, complaining of the lack of focus and clear management lines of the Soviet space program. Flight of Voskhod 3 had slid to February 1966, even with the deletion of the artificial gravity experiment.
Korolev's unexpected death in January 1966 did not stop work on the project, and perhaps even encouraged his successor, Mishin, to carry on. Launch was now set for March 1966, but development problems with the parachute system and the environmental control system during February and March further delayed things. It proved impossible to qualify the ECS for manned missions any longer than 18 days. Nevertheless, Voskhod s/n 5 was finally launched under the cover name Cosmos 110 on 28 February 1966. It completed a 21 day mission fairly successfully, and the way seemed finally clear for Voskhod 3 to launch. Then a failure of a version of the Voskhod booster in April caused the mission to be postponed again until the cause could be identified. Finally, at a meeting on 10 May 1966, the spacecraft was declared ready for launch by 25 May. Smirnov, Chairman of the Military-Industrial Commission, then stunned the participants by announcing that the Soviet government saw no further purpose in the flight. It would not represent enough of an advance on the Gemini series to impress the world.
In the new era of Brezhnev's stagnation, the flight could not be officially cancelled, since party resolutions ordering it to occur were never rescinded. The spacecraft remained in the assembly building at Baikonur. As late as October 1966 Mishin was instructed to prepare Voskhod 3 for flight again. But he knew that was a sham order, and he passed similar sham orders to his staff, that were in turn ignored. So Voskhod 3 was never cancelled -- it just faded away…
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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...
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.
Kamanin meets with an engineering delegation from Kuibyshev. They are seeking a close relationship with the cosmonaut cadre in development of the military reconnaissance version of Soyuz, which they are charged with developing. They have already been working with the IAKM for over a year in establishing he basic requirements. Kamanin finds this refreshing after the arms-length relationship with Korolev's bureau. Meanwhile Gemini 7 orbits above, and there is not the slightest word on the schedule for Volynov-Gorbatko's Voskhod 3 flight, which would surpass the new American record.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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...
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:
Kamanin organises the cosmonauts into the following training groups:
Rudenko agrees with Kamanin's plan, except he urges him to assign more cosmonauts to the Soyuz 7K-OK group, and include OKB-1 cosmonauts in the 7K-OK, L1, and L3 groups, and Academy of Science cosmonauts in the L1 and L3 groups.
These cosmonaut assignments were in constant flux, and many cosmonauts were assigned to train for more than one program - resulting in multiple claims in later years that 'I was being trained for the first moon flight'.
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.
The investigative committees unanimously concluded that the problems with Cosmos 133 were not due to any fundamental design defects, but rather poor pre-launch quality control and testing which did not reveal the problems. All Soyuz 7K-OK spacecraft will be reworked to remove the problems by 15 December. The go-ahead is given to launch Soyuz s/n 1 between 15-18 December. Only Mnatsakanyan, designer of the automatic docking system, objects to the idea of a single spacecraft test flight. Tsybin reports that over four hundred system and subsystem qualification tests have been completed on Soyuz. However some vacuum tests in the TBK-60 chamber, and tests of the back-up parachute system and emergency recovery system will not be completed until 10 January 1967. Tsybin is ordered to accelerate the work so that the entire spacecraft is qualified for manned flight by 5 January. Mishin states that, assuming the flight of s/n 1 is successful, the manned flight of Soyuz s/n 3 and 4 can begin by 29 January 1967. Kamanin is reminded that Smirnov's cancellation of the Voskhod 3 launch in June, based on the promise that Soyuz would fly by October, has instead resulted in almost two years without a Soviet manned spaceflight.
Later Kamanin learns that Malinovskiy is dying of cancer and will not return to work. Kamanin prays for his own health in the remaining five to seven years until his retirement. He will be able to retire peacefully only once Soviet voyages to the lunar surface have become routine.
Apollo 8 has been launched. Kamanin recalls that he first saw a model of the Saturn V during his visit to Washington DC with Titov in 1962. At that time the Soviet Union planned to fly the N1 in four years, but the only manned spacecraft on the drawing boards after Voskhod was the Sever. Khrushchev didn't give a go-ahead for the lunar program until 1964. In the gap between Voskhod and Soyuz flights, when the American Gemini program seized the lead, the USSR could have achieved a record by flying Volynov for 18 days in Voskhod 3. But this was cancelled at the last minute by the leadership because the Voskhod had 'no development potential'. Ustinov, Smirnov, Pashkov were responsible for this decision, which put the USSR permanently behind in the space race.