Questions tagged [soviet-union]

The Soviet Union was a world power and major player in the space race. It dissolved in 1991 into individual states, the largest of which is the Russian Federation.

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Why did the Soviet Union stop exploring Venus in 1985?

Wikipedia has a list of missions to Venus. The Soviet Union has the first and highest number of both attempts and successful missions to Venus. Starting in 1961, they often attempted more than one ...
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How did 20 radio observatories track balloons of the 1985 Venus-Halley (VeGa) mission in Venus' superrotating winds at an altitude of about 54 km?

Links in Phys.org's recent The detection of phosphine in Venus' clouds is a big deal, and here's how we can find out if it really is life lead to: Aerial Platforms for the Scientific Exploration of ...
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Why was Voskhod 1 at an inclination of 64.7° degrees while Salyut 6 launched from the same latitude was at 51.7°?

This answer to Have any Soviet-era astronauts reported seeing Earth's aurora or related luminescent atmospheric effects? mentions sightings from both Salyut 6 and Voskhod 1. While Salyut 6 orbited for ...
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Have any Soviet-era astronauts reported seeing Earth's aurora or related luminescent atmospheric effects?

Earth's aurora and related luminescent atmospheric effects are generally quite dim, and mostly but not always located in the general area of Earth's magnetic poles. That means to be seen easily by eye ...
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Did the unmanned orbital test of the Buran shuttle yield any science results?

This question was inspired by the question Did Sputnik 1 tell us more than “beep”? The Soviet Buran programme only had one orbital flight, mission 1K1, on 15 November 1988. Did that mission yield any ...
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Did Sputnik 1 tell us more than “beep”? What science was improved by information gained from its orbiting the Earth?

Sputnik 1 was the first artificial satellite launched by humans to orbit the Earth. This answer begins: Sputnik had just one single job: Prove its existence by sending a simple "beep" ...
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Isolation experiment in the Soviet Union in 1967

I heard about an isolation experiment in the Soviet Union in 1967 where 3 men were closed in for over a year. One name was Andrej Boschkow (or something like that), but I could not find any more ...
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What are the teeth on the edge of Venera 13 and 14?

From top to bottom, Venera 9, 10, 13A, 13B, 14A and 14B. Venera 13 and 14 have some kind of teeth on the edge of the lander. What purpose do these serve? Why didn't Venera 9 and 10 have them?
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How do Russians enumerate old Soviet space missions?

How are old Soviet space missions numbered in Russia? Were the earliest missions actually given a number, or are they referred to by their cosmonaut, or by a spacecraft nickname instead? Does the ...
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How close to a building has a Soyuz landed?

Soyuz capsules are designed to land onto land. To avoid the small chance of harming people or property, they are usually targeted to land in remote parts of Kazakhstan. However, some landings aren't ...
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What were the first Soviet spacecraft to use an internal docking tunnel?

The first crew transfer between space vehicles was from Soyuz 5 to Soyuz 4. It was done outside the spacecraft by Aleksei Yeliseyev and Yevgeny Khrunov. The first U.S. crew transfer was during Apollo ...
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Why were there two Soyuz 39?

Why were there two Soyuz missions numbered 39? There was Soyuz 7K-T No.39 in 1975, and Soyuz 39 in 1981. Questions about similarly confusing numbering by NASA: Why did Apollo mission numbering skip ...
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Missing Launch Vehicle

Early Soviet era launch vehicles had a variety of designations, e.g. the well known Vostok launcher and its derivations have been known as the R7, 8K72, Semyorka, SS-6, Sapwood, A-1 and SL-3 . I'm ...
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Why were two simultaneous command transmissions interpreted by Kosmos 57 as an order to begin the descent?

This answer to Encryption in radio system points to the Wikipedia article Kosmos 57 which says: The unmanned spacecraft was destroyed on its third orbit around Earth. Two ground control stations, ...
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Why did Voskhod 2 carry two cosmonauts when Voskhod 1 proved it could carry three?

Voskhod 1 was the first flight of that particular spacecraft. It carried 3 cosmonauts. The other Voskhod flight -- Voskhod 2 -- carried only two cosmonauts. One of the cosmonauts performed the ...
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Why do Soviet and Soviet-derived rockets hot-stage instead of using ullage motors?

I am only aware of one US rocket that used hot-staging for maintaining proper ullage during stage seperation--the Titan family. Otherwise, US rockets tend to use reaction control systems or small ...
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How did the U.S.S.R manage to rotate the N-1 from horizontal to vertical?

The title says it all - but I heard that NASA considered horizontal integration for the Saturn V couldn't be considered, as lifting the rocket to a vertical position would require an immense ...
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Are Zond 2 and Venera 4 basically the same spacecraft design? What were the differences?

The question Which deep space spacecraft had main dish antennas that were perforated or made from mesh? shows some images of Venera 4, and there's one below. This answer to When did ion propulsion ...
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How did the USSR track Gagarin's Vostok-1 orbital flight? Was tracking capability an issue in the choice of orbit?

For the USA's Mercury flights, a number of tracking stations were installed around the globe. John Glenn's first orbital flight was tracked with them, plus a number of ships. (Tracking stations used ...
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What are these objects near the Cosmonaut's faces?

The obituary "Aleksei Leonov, First Man to Walk in Space, Dies at 85", includes this photo: What are the white objects alongside each of the cosmonaut's mouths? Are they microphones? If so, why two? ...
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Is there any work in English that gives a systematic treatment of Soviet/Russian rocket engines?

There seems to be some piecemeal information online such as RussianSpaceWeb.com, and of course, Sutton's History of LPRE gives an anthropological treatment of Soviet/Russian rocket engine lineup ...
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Does the depiction of water blobs in the Salut-7 movie reflect an actual event?

In the beginning of the very cool Veritassium video The Bizarre Behavior of Rotating Bodies, Explained, the host Derek Muller says: In 1985, cosmonaut Vladimir Dzhanibekov was tasked with saving ...
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What did Luna 3's illuminator illuminate and why did it need a cover?

This comment below this answer to How was it possible for the Apollo 11 to film and take pictures with such radiation? links to the svengrahn.pp.se post Luna 3 - the first view of the moon's far side. ...
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How did Luna 3's pivoting antennas and ribbon antennas work?

This comment below this answer to How was it possible for the Apollo 11 to film and take pictures with such radiation? links to the svengrahn.pp.se post Luna 3 - the first view of the moon's far side. ...
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Were Soviet plans for a manned lunar landing always lunar orbit rendezvous?

There are three basically three ways to get a person to the moon and back: Direct. One spacecraft launches from Earth, lands on the moon, takes off again, and lands back on Earth. It may shed parts ...
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Were Soviet missions to Skylab ever considered?

The question How was Skylab's orbit inclination chosen? gave some rationale as to why Skylab was in such a high inclination (close to today's ISS at 51.6). Was there ever consideration (during and ...
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What is/were the Soviet/Russian qualifications for a capsule communicator?

The person in mission control responsible for speaking to American crews is called the capsule communicator or CAPCOM. Historically this person has been another astronaut -- as they would have the ...
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What radio frequencies were used by the Soviet space program circa 1961? (“Lost Cosmonaut” recording)

The recent Joe Scott video The Mysterious "Lost Cosmonaut" Recording | Random Thursday describes radio recording said to have been made by the Judica Cordiglia brothers from Italy in the early 1960's. ...
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How was the cosmonaut of the Soviet moon mission supposed to get back in the return vehicle?

In the Soviet Moon mission, for which the ill fated N-1 launcher was built, we know that the cosmonaut responsible for landing on the moon was to transfer from the equivalent of the command module to ...
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Where in space did Luna 2 release its sodium?

Wikipedia's Luna 2 says: ...the spacecraft released a sodium gas cloud so the spacecraft's movement could be visually observed. NASA's NSSDCA/COSPAR ID: 1959-014A says: On 13 September the ...
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What “fuel more powerful than anything the West (had) in stock” put Laika in orbit aboard Sputnik 2?

The BBC World Service Radio Witness History podcast Laika, the first dog in space contains a short audio clips from some vintage 1950's British news. At 02:30 in a ...
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What Soviet signals (if any) attempted to scramble communication and sabotage Apollo missions?

The NPR.org news item and audio podcast JoAnn Morgan: The Only Woman In The Firing Room During Apollo 11 features an excellent interview with JoAnn Morgan and other KSC personal. It's a short but ...
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Was launch pad 110R ever used again after being obliterated on 3 July 1969?

A few weeks before the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Soviets attempted the second unmanned launch of their own lunar launch vehicle, the N1. This occurred at pad 110R (also called 110/38) of the ...
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Were Soviet spacecraft production facilities as widely dispersed as American production facilites?

The geographic location of facilities to produce components of American spacecraft has long been influenced by politics. High-ranking members of Congress would often pressure NASA officials to award ...
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How did the Vostok ejection seat safely eject an astronaut from a sealed space capsule?

Wikipedia's Yuri Gagarin says: At about 23,000 feet (7,000 m), Gagarin ejected from the descending capsule as planned and landed using a parachute. and the section Vostok_programme; Vostok 3KA ...
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How exactly were solid-fuel rockets added to the parachute lines of the Voskhod capsule?

This answer notes that Voskhod: ...added a small solid-fuel rocket to the parachute lines. It fired as the descent module neared touchdown, providing a softer landing. How exactly did they safely ...
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When did soviet capsules begin using retropropulsion immediately before landing?

Wikipedia's Yuri Gagarin says: At about 23,000 feet (7,000 m), Gagarin ejected from the descending capsule as planned and landed using a parachute. and the section Vostok_programme; Vostok 3KA ...
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Explanation of single-burn trajectories from Lunar surface to Earth surface

I learned of the fine book Soviet Robots in the Solar System from this excellent answer. One chapter in it describes how the Soviets had extreme mass limitations on their lunar sample return vehicle ...
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Luna 15 - Any official confirmation of objectives?

Russia's Luna 15 crashed into the lunar surface shortly after Apollo 11 landed. It's widely considered a failed sample return mission, but did Russia ever officially announce that sample return was ...
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Does anyone have pictures of the “lunodrom” that Russia constructed to test the first rover?

Was reading another question involving the Lunokhod missions and then I stumbled across this wikipedia page which stated: In mid-1968, at the facility KIP-10 or NIP-10 (КИП-10 or НИП-10)[3] in the ...
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What are the questions and issues related to Kosmos 482's configuration and eventual reentry?

The Space.com article Failed 1970s Venus Probe Could Crash to Earth This Year describes Kosmos 482 (1972-023A, 5919), a 1972 Soviet Venus lander spacecraft that got stuck in LEO instead. Since the ...
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Was the Soviet N1 really capable of sending 9.6 GB/s of telemetry?

On the Wikipedia page for Soviet N1, it says of the control system: The telemetry system relayed data back at an estimated rate of 9.6 gigabytes per second on 320,000 channels on 14 frequencies. ...
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What systems were used onboard Buran to determine its position during reentry and landing?

Since Buran has managed to return without crew on board, I assume computers had to know its position relatively accurately as it approached the runway for landing. How was this achieved?
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How did Lunokhod 1 become “lost” in 1971; in what ways did astronomers “look for it” after that?

The Smithsonian Magazine article Lost Soviet Reflector Found on the Moon says: There are actually five retroreflectors on the Moon: three placed by Apollo astronauts and two that sit atop Soviet ...
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Was splashing down on the USSR-controlled territory a possibility for Apollo missions?

From what I understand, the planned landing areas for Apollo command modules were pre-programmed beforehand and happened in the South Pacific. Was there any remote possibility of an emergency ...
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Did the Soviet Union put an unmanned satellite in “very low orbit”above the Kármán line which used aerodynamic attitude control?

This interesting, archived page https://www.webcitation.org/618QHms8h?url=http://www.fai.org/astronautics/100km.asp which I found in this answer, says: Later in the same decade (or very early in ...
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Did a Soyuz fly with a Union Jack?

In this schematic of a Soyuz rocket, the payload fairing is depicted with the flag of the USSR on one side, and what appears to be the flag of the United Kingdom on the other. Did the Soyuz ever fly ...
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Is this rocket design from 'The Americans' credit sequence real?

In the opening credit sequence of the TV show 'The Americans', a schematic of a rocket with 5 strap-on boosters is briefly shown: The diagram appears immediately after an elevation view of a Soyuz ...
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In what ways did the Soviet Union “observe the Apollo Moon landings closely”?

@DarkDust's comment says: If the USSR had had just a tiny amount of doubt whether the landings were faked, they would have used that for propaganda. Loudly! They observed the landings closely and ...
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Was the R-7 the first two stage rocket of the Soviet Union?

The first US two stage rocket was bumper, a combination of a german V2 liquid fuel rocket with an US second stage. The Soviet Union had the R-1 and R-2 based on the V-2. In this list, the R-7 is ...