Space Explorations Failures / Catastrophes

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Space Explorations Failures / Catastrophes

Postby Aeternitas » Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:30 pm

Katastrofy z vesmiru.

Death of Vladimira Komarov

Smrt ruskeho kosmonauta Vladimir Komarova (Death of Vladimira Komarov):

The last radio transmission - , "cursing the people who had put him inside a botched spaceship." - Vladimir Komarov, is about to, literally, crash full speed into Earth, his body turning molten on impact.

Convinced he will never make it back to Earth; he's talking to Alexei Kosygin — then a high official of the Soviet Union.

The space vehicle is shoddily constructed, running dangerously low on fuel; its parachutes — though no one knows this — won't work

U.S. listening posts in Turkey hear him , angry, desperate, in tears - .the end was closing in on him.

The Cosmonauts, Vladimir Kamarov and Soviet hero Yuri Gagarin, the first human to reach outer space. The two men were close; they socialized, hunted and drank together.

In 1967, both men were assigned to the same Earth-orbiting mission, and both knew the space capsule was not safe to fly. Komarov told friends he knew he would probably die. But he wouldn't back out because he didn't want Gagarin to die. Gagarin would have been his replacement.

The story begins around 1967, when Leonid Brezhnev, leader of the Soviet Union, decided to stage a spectacular midspace rendezvous between two Soviet spaceships.

The plan was to launch a capsule, the Soyuz 1, with Komarov inside. The next day, a second vehicle would take off, with two additional cosmonauts; the two vehicles would meet, dock, Komarov would crawl from one vehicle to the other, exchanging places with a colleague, and come home in the second ship. It would be, Brezhnev hoped, a Soviet triumph on the 50th anniversary of the Communist revolution. Brezhnev made it very clear he wanted this to happen.

The problem was Gagarin. Already a Soviet hero, the first man ever in space, he and some senior technicians had inspected the Soyuz 1 and had found 203 structural problems — serious problems that would make this machine dangerous to navigate in space. The mission, Gagarin suggested, should be postponed.

He'll die instead of me. We've got to take care of him.

- Komarov talking about Gagarin

The question was: Who would tell Brezhnev? Gagarin wrote a 10-page memo and gave it to his best friend in the KGB, Venyamin Russayev, but nobody dared send it up the chain of command. Everyone who saw that memo, including Russayev, was demoted, fired or sent to diplomatic Siberia. With less than a month to go before the launch, Komarov realized postponement was not an option. He met with Russayev, the now-demoted KGB agent, and said, "I'm not going to make it back from this flight."

Russayev asked, Why not refuse? According to the authors, Komarov answered: "If I don't make this flight, they'll send the backup pilot instead." That was Yuri Gagarin. Vladimir Komarov couldn't do that to his friend. "That's Yura," the book quotes him saying, "and he'll die instead of me. We've got to take care of him." Komarov then burst into tears.

On launch day, April 23, 1967, a Russian journalist, Yaroslav Golovanov, reported that Gagarin showed up at the launch site and demanded to be put into a spacesuit, though no one was expecting him to fly. Golovanov called this behavior "a sudden caprice," though afterward some observers thought Gagarin was trying to muscle onto the flight to save his friend. The Soyuz left Earth with Komarov on board.

Once the Soyuz began to orbit the Earth, the failures began. Antennas didn't open properly. Power was compromised. Navigation proved difficult. The next day's launch had to be canceled. And worse, Komarov's chances for a safe return to Earth were dwindling fast.

All the while, U.S. intelligence was listening in. The National Security Agency had a facility at an Air Force base near Istanbul. Previous reports said that U.S. listeners knew something was wrong - VERY wrong!



Soyuz 1 was launched on April 23, 1967 at 00:32 UTC from Baikonur Cosmodrome, making Komarov the first Soviet cosmonaut to fly in space twice.

Problems began shortly after launch when one solar panel failed to unfold, leading to a shortage of power for the spacecraft's systems. Further problems with the orientation detectors complicated maneuvering the craft. By orbit 13, the automatic stabilization system was completely dead, and the manual system was only partially effective.
The crew of Soyuz 2 modified their mission goals, preparing themselves for a launch that would include fixing the solar panel of Soyuz 1. However, that night, thunderstorms at Baikonur Cosmodrome affected the booster's electrical system, causing the mission to be called off.

As a result of Komarov's report during the 13th orbit, the flight control director decided to abort the mission. After 18 orbits, Soyuz 1 fired retrorockets and reentered the Earth's atmosphere. Despite the technical difficulties up to that point, Komarov might still have landed safely. To slow the descent, first the drogue parachute was deployed, followed by the main parachute. However, due to a defect the main parachute didn't unfold: when preparing the ship, the heat shield was made thicker and therefore heavier and main parachute equally larger. The container where it was kept was not made bigger and the main parashute had to be hammered inside with wooden hammers.

Komarov then activated the manually deployed reserve chute, but it became tangled with the drogue chute, which did not release as intended. As a result, the Soyuz reentry module fell to Earth in Orenburg Oblast almost entirely unimpeded, at about 40 m/s (140 km/h; 89 mph); Komarov died on impact. At impact there was an explosion and an intense fire that engulfed the capsule. Local farmers rushed to try to put it out.
The Soyuz 1 crash site coordinates are 51.3615°N 59.5622°E, which is 3 km (1.9 mi) west of Karabutak, Province of Orenburg in the Russian Federation. This is about 275 km (171 mi) east-southeast of Orenburg. There is a memorial monument at the site in the form of a black column with a bust of Komarov at the top, in a small park on the roadside.

Eight years after Komarov's death, a story began circulating that Komarov cursed the engineers and flight staff, and spoke to his wife as he descended, and these transmissions were received by a NSA listening station near Istanbul. Some historians regard this to be untrue, although recordings of the incident reportedly exist.

Komarov was posthumously awarded a second Gold Star. He was given a state funeral, and his ashes were interred in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis at Red Square, Moscow.



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Re: Space Explorations Failures / Catastrophes

Postby ArthurOsborne » Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:33 am

Pretty tough situations for astronomers..Thanks for sharing solar panels videos as it justifies what hard work these guys do..
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