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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Would the Lunniy Korabl be able to dock with the Oryol spacecraft?

As a successor to the Soyuz program, Russia is currently planning the Oryol/Federatsiya, at first for LEO flights and eventually for lunar ones. Russia wants to build a lunar space station (similar to ...
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Who designed the cool-looking Orbita Molniya tracking station at Khabarovsk? What does it look like inside?

Wikipedia's Orbita (TV system) says: Orbita (Russian: орбита) is a Soviet-Russian system of broadcasting and delivering TV signals via satellites. It is considered to be the first national network of ...
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How exactly did ground stations track the early Molniya satellites?

Wikipedia's Orbita (TV system) says: Orbita (Russian: орбита) is a Soviet-Russian system of broadcasting and delivering TV signals via satellites. It is considered to be the first national network of ...
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How were Soviet/Russian aircraft used to track and/or communicate with spacecraft?

Russian Space Web's Russian ground control and tracking network mentions A Soviet Iluyshin-18 aircraft configured to maintain communications with spacecraft. in the sidebar and includes the small ...
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What was it actually like driving the Lunokhod lunar rovers live from the ground? What were some of the biggest challenges?

This answer to How (the heck) did Lunokhod 2 drive, navigate and survive a ~40 kilometer drive over four months on the Moon using 1970's technology? discusses some of the technologies that made this ...
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How (the heck) did Lunokhod 2 drive, navigate and survive a ~40 kilometer drive over four months on the Moon using 1970's technology?

Mashable.com's Every rover, ranked by distance traveled on the moon and Mars; The 13 rovers, ranked. calls attention to this amazing feat, and a review of basic statistics and discussions on odometry ...
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Gagarin not ejecting from capsule

I'm currently reading a dutch book about the earlier days of manned spaceflight (Ruimtevaart B. van der Klaauw). Published in 1962 In a chapter about Vostok 1 the book reads as following Translated ...
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What was the first Soviet/Russian spacesuit to use closed-loop ventilation?

The spacesuit used for the first spacewalk used open-loop ventilation, venting exhaust gases into space: On reaching orbit in Voskhod 2, Leonov and Belyayev attached the EVA backpack to Leonov's ...
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Was the teletype machine on MIR the first printer in space? Is there a photo, and what frequencies were used?

Seeing the video KK5IM 2021 Shack Tour spotted in The Ham Shack lead me to What paper size do they use on the International Space Station? which begins: We know they have at least one printer on the ...
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At what moment during his flight did Yuri Gagarin eat?

Gagarin's flight in space was rather short, but he still had time to eat two tubes of meat and one of chocolate. The flight schedule on Wikipedia doesn't mention a meal. At what moment during his ...
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Venera 13/14 Design specifications

Does anyone know where I could find design specifications, plan sets, or other documentation for the Venera 13 or Venera 14 spacecraft? These are Soviet spacecrafts from the 1980s. I suppose if ...
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Premature detonation of explosive bolts when landing on hot Venus?

@Uwe's comment below Parachute material used for the Venera probes to survive 500 °C raises an interesting issue. Venus is really hot, and pyrotechnic actuators (e.g. explosive bolts, frangible ...
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How did the Venera Probes manage to safely descend to the surface of Venus?

I have a two part question in reference to the answers provided for the linked question below: Why did the Venera missions land so close together? The answer stated: ”Not only did they land near local ...
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Parachute material used for the Venera probes to survive 500 °C

The Venera landers of the former Soviet Union were quite successful on the very hot surface of Venus. Which material was used for the parachutes to survive 500 °C? What about cotton wool? Yes this ...
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Attitude control of rockets with RD-107 engines

This question is specifically about the Soviet engine RD-107, (although it can be generalized) a version of which was clustered in Soviet rocket 8K71 which launched their "Sputnik". Each ...
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Why were Bion 6, Bion 7 and Bion 9 launched at the times they were? Was it related to thermal management for their living cargo?

An answer to Have any living organisms been intentionally launched into polar orbits? says (in its entirety currently): Yes. The highest inclination orbit with animals I could find are Bion 6, Bion 7 ...
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What is this long truss associated with Mir?

Google translations: From roscosmos.ru Flight from station to station (Перелет со станции на станцию) 35 years ago, on February 20, 1986, the first module of the Mir orbital complex was launched into ...
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Was Fidel Castro ever in a Soviet spacecraft?

I was looking at a Roscosmos news item Russian monitoring tools track the stage of the rocket that launched the module of the Chinese station about the reentering Long March 5B This situation will ...
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Did Salyuts have windows?

I am trying to find out if Salyut space stations had windows or not. If they had, how big were they?
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Did Yuri Gagarin really telephone officials in Moscow to come pick him up?

A farmer and her daughter observed the strange scene of a figure in a bright orange suit with a large white helmet landing near them by parachute. Gagarin later recalled, "When they saw me in my ...
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What led Yuri Gagarin to believe his hatch was not properly sealed?

While still on the launchpad for his historic first human spaceflight, Yuri Gagarin radioed that the spacecraft's hatch was not correctly sealed: Following a series of tests and checks, about forty ...
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Has an astronaut ever gone into a docked capsule to take a photo out one of its windows?

A discussion below this answer to Did anybody on the ISS photograph this partial eclipse? How long did it last? How did they safely photograph it? has me wondering if astronauts can ever see "up&...
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Why did Luna 16 go to the Moon at night? (Extreme cold vs robotic sampling & launch back to Earth)

While landing on the Sun at night has obvious advantages1 I'm curious why Luna 16 landed on the Moon at night. It was a complex mission involving robotic sample retrieval and a sample return launch ...
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Which of the former Soviet republics have sent a cosmonaut into space?

The Soviet Union was composed of 15 Union Republics for much of its history and at the time of its dissolution in 1991. Which of the 15 former Soviet republics have sent a cosmonaut into space, ...
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What was the first Soviet spacecraft that could recharge its battery it each orbit? Where were the photovoltaic cells made?

Sputnik 1 (/ˈspʌtnɪk, ˈspʊtnɪk/; "Satellite-1", or "PS-1", Простейший Спутник-1 or Prosteyshiy Sputnik-1, "Elementary Satellite 1") was the first artificial Earth ...
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What were Mars 2's conical aerodynamic braking shield and "gunpowder" engines?

The Soviet Mars 2 and Mars 3 lander missions were the first (human-made) spacecraft to reach the surface of Mars with Mars 3 the first successful landing. They both carried Prop-M's; the first wheel-...
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Is a cheap English translation available of Tsiolkovsky's "Outside the Earth"?

Anyone know where to pick up a copy of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky's science fiction book titled "Outside the Earth" (alternately titled: "Beyond the Planet Earth" and "Beyond ...
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Who uses a countdown, and who doesn't?

I just learned that the Russians don't use a countdown when launching a rocket. I saw that in a YouTube video and found a Reddit discussion that confirms it. That makes me wonder who does and who ...
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Soviet Luna 16 Spacecraft

Is the Soviet spacecraft Luna 16 still working and transmitting temperature & radiation levels? Attempts to Google the results of Luna 16 have failed, possibly because the results are in Russian.
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How many Soviet space missions have had at least one tortoise?

Science Alert's These Are 7 of The Strangest Experiments Humans Have Ever Done in Space talks about two tortoises that flew aboard Zond-5 spacecraft on 2 September 1968, then later goes on to say: We'...
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Russian Chibis suit

The Russian Chibis suit is operational since 1971 and is used aboard the ISS, are there recent developments in this technology? How effective has it been found in counteracting the tendency of fluids ...
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Docking orientation of Soyuz 4 and 5

I was discussing with a friend about the risk of solar panels colliding with each other if the rates imparted during undocking of similar crafts are higher. Which led to the question, then, why not ...
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What was the first successful demonstration of a fuel cell in space?

Hydrogen fuel cells (together with batteries) were used for electrical power in the Apollo program, where it was recombined with oxygen on board to produce electricity. Doing chemistry in practical ...
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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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How did the first manned flight re-entry happened?

How was Yuri Gagarin brought back to the Earth? Did he do entry himself, by ground control, or by software?
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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 ...