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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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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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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 ...
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Did Soviets/Russians perform any crewed (intentionally) suborbital flights?

Gagarin went directly to the orbit - the first manned flight was orbital. I don't know about any other Soviet or Russian spaceflights that wouldn't be orbital - except for some odd aborted launch or ...
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Why did the Soviets skip the suborbital phase?

The old adage goes "It's easy to get to space, much harder to stay there." Yet the first manned soviet flight was orbital - Americans took a good several suborbital flights before reaching the orbit. ...
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Why did Sputnik 1 have four antennas?

Sputnik was only launched a few hundred kilometers above Earth, and transmitted only a simple beeping signal. What was the purpose of having four antennas? Wouldn't one be powerful enough?
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Did TASS officially name the Baikonur Cosmodrome in 1950's instead of 1961?

Just read this wiki article on Tyura-tam, the actual location of the Cosmodrome. It says: In the mid 1950s, the Soviet Union announced that space activities were being conducted from the Baykonur ...
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What budgetary and technical impact did the N1 program's failure have on the Soviet Union's space program?

After the failure of the N1 program, what impact did this have on the budget for the space program of the Soviet Union? What technical impacts did it have? For example, did other missions suffer ...
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What caused the N1 to become a failure?

What were key factors that made the N1 the recipe for disaster it became for the USSR? Especially when the USSR was the Space King at the time?
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Is DRAKON Still in use Today?

DRAKON is a Russian language standard programming interface which was created for the Soviet space program. It had the added benefit of being a visual language, and possibly the first for the Soviet ...
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Why were early Soviet spacecraft spherical?

Sputnik's ball shape is instantly recognizable to most of us: I was looking at the Wikipedia page for Luna 1, and saw it was also a ball-shaped spacecraft: Why do these spacecraft have a spherical ...
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Is there any truth to the claims of cosmonauts lost in space?

I've heard that during the space race era, many of the Soviet cosmonauts were lost in space. Or at least, such were the claims of some. So I wonder, is there any truth in these claims, or was that ...
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Were there significant instances of cooperation during the Space Race?

Earlier I asked about espionage during the Space Race. Were there any significant instances of cooperation during the Space Race? More specifically, I'm asking about cooperation: between the non-...