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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25
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4answers
7k views

Is there any advantage in launching spacecraft from a high latitude, or why was Plesetsk built so far north?

For launching satellites or other spacecraft, there is a significant advantage in being close to the equator: angular momentum helps in gaining initial speed and one can launch into any inclination. ...
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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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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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3answers
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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 ...
8
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1answer
535 views

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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3answers
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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 ...
4
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2answers
144 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
115 views

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. ...
2
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1answer
256 views

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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1answer
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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. ...
31
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1answer
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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 ...
30
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1answer
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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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3answers
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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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5answers
929 views

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-...
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1answer
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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 ...
4
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1answer
148 views

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. ...
4
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1answer
373 views

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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2answers
708 views

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 ...