Questions tagged [vostok-program]

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52
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1answer
11k views

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 ...
34
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4answers
6k views

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 ...
26
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2answers
3k views

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 ...
21
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3answers
6k views

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 ...
20
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1answer
3k views

How was the "female" SK-2 different from the "male" SK-1 spacesuit?

The SK-1 was the spacesuit worn on the Vostok 1-5 flights. The same article describes the SK-2 suit as "[a]lmost exactly the same as the SK-1 but designed for a woman". It was worn by ...
18
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1answer
3k views

Why were there two cosmonauts shown in the movie "Gagarin"?

Today I saw movie "Gagarin" and in the bus scene towards the first flight; there were two cosmonauts. If Gagarin was chosen to fly first then why was the second guy present? What was his ...
17
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2answers
1k views

Highest apogee of a Soviet/Russian crewed spacecraft?

I wonder which Soviet/Russian crewed spaceflight reached the highest apogee and how high. For America, the highest apogee ever reached is 1,368 kilometers (~ 850 mi) by Gemini 11 (except that America ...
17
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2answers
1k views

What was the globe instrument in Vostok 1?

This image was attached to the Wikipedia article on Vostok 1 with a perfunctory caption "Part of the Vostok 1 instrument panel". I'm interested in the globe in the center. What is the name of this ...
12
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1answer
2k views

Has USSR/Russia launched humans on any rocket not derived from R-7?

The Soviet Union's first crewed launch, Vostok 1, was on a Vostok booster, derived from the R-7 ICBM and Sputnik satellite launcher with an additional stage added. The Soyuz boosters used today by ...
12
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1answer
1k views

Was the SK-1 spacesuit tested in flight prior to Gagarin's historic mission?

April 12 is the 60th anniversary of the first human spaceflight, Vostok 1. As no human had previously been to space, it was also a test of the SK-1 spacesuit that cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin wore. This ...
8
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1answer
445 views

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 ...
8
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1answer
210 views

How did the pilot lockout on Vostok 1 work?

The entire mission would be controlled by either automatic systems or by ground control. This was because medical staff and spacecraft engineers were unsure how a human might react to weightlessness, ...
7
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1answer
213 views

How was the Vostok capsule stabilized for spin during descent, after the equipment/maneuvering module had detached?

The spherical Vostok capsule separated from the rest of the spacecraft when beginning descent. The center of gravity was "below" the cosmonaut's couch, so the capsule didn't tumble. But what prevented ...
6
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1answer
277 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
497 views

Did the heat shield of the Vostok 1 capsule ablate during reentry?

This Wikipedia article (in german) has some information about the heat shield of Vostok 1. The heat shield was made from asbestos, its thickness was increased from 3 cm to up to 18 cm. The weight of ...
5
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1answer
237 views

What kept Vostok/Voskhod from tipping or rolling upon landing?

Considering that the reentry capsule of Vostok and Voskhod were spherical, what kept them from rolling or tipping after landing? Soyuz has a flatter bottom, so I would expect this to be less of an ...
5
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1answer
143 views

Urine collection for early russian astronauts

Alan Shepard infamously urinated in his spacesuit on the launchpad. His flight was supposed to be short, so nobody thought that he might have to go during the mission. In the following space missions, ...
4
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1answer
369 views

Could Vostok 1 deorbit on its cold gas thrusters?

Citing the Wikipedia article: The orbit's perigee and apogee had been selected to cause reentry due to orbital decay within 10 days (the limit of the life support system function) in the event of ...
4
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1answer
141 views

How did Gagarin's flight affect improvements to the Vostok capsule?

Every spaceflight is an opportunity to learn what does not work well and to improve the vehicle for the next flight. Did Yuri Gagarin's first human spaceflight yield any changes to the capsules or ...
4
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0answers
344 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. ...
3
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1answer
604 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
149 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
513 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 ...
1
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1answer
220 views

What were the reasons the American space-race era rockets didn't use boosters?

Many families of rockets use booster rockets, most notably the R-7 rockets that the Soviet and later Russians use. In comparison the American space-race era rockets mostly didn't. For example, the ...
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0answers
71 views

How is the anniversary of Vostok 1 celebrated in the U.S. space community?

Sixty years ago, the first human spaceflight was celebrated in the Soviet Union as a great technical and historic victory. Americans at the time were concerned that the United States was losing the ...