54

Gagarin learned about the problems with the hatch when the hatch was reopened. From Roscosmos: В 7.30 С.П. Королев поинтересовался о самочувствии у Ю.А. Гагарина. Казалось, что все идет согласно графику подготовки второго дня, но вдруг, когда до пуска оставалось несколько десятков минут, случилось непредвиденное. Слессари-монтажники Н.И. Селезнев, В.И. ...


40

As was common for spaceflight, there was a primary crew for the mission (Gagarin) and a backup. Gagarin was the primary crew, and his backup was Gherman Titov (who would fly Vostok 2 four months later). Both of them prepared for the mission in the same way, down to having the same schedule the day before and being transported to the launchpad together. So it ...


33

The SK-2 suit differed from the SK-1 suit mainly in the enclosure cut-out that took into account the specific features of a female body. The enclosure featured a decreased shoulder breadth, an increased hip girth and a decreased opening in the neck partition. In accordance with the decreased shoulder breath, the restraint system of shoulder joints was ...


31

The Answer is on a page by Sven Grahn. No ocean going tracking ships were used. Only ground stations on the territory of the USSR. In the other answers some russian sources about the use of tracking ships were found, so the information from Sven Grahn may be partialy wrong. Short waves were used for long distance (5000 km) transmission even beyond line-of-...


26

According to this NASA page someone was killed when his space suit was ripped during a test of the ejection system. Korolyovs [Korolevs] reaction to Dolgov's death was to take a number of urgent and clever measures. First he had the exit hatch made larger. Secondly, he increased to two seconds the interval between shooting off the hatch and the ...


18

No, it never happened. However besides the failed N1 program and cancelled Buran missions the Soviet Union also made several successful (or partially successful) test launches of spacecrafts that were designed to be manned. First was a series of Zond space probes (numbers 4-8) that flew circumlunar missions launched by Proton-K with Block D booster. Those ...


17

Ships were used to receive telemetry. Work in the ocean took place on February 12, 1961. At this time, preparations for the launch of the world's first manned spacecraft Vostok were completed. At the Control Center, a decision is made to use a tracking ships for telemetric monitoring of the onboard equipment of the spacecraft. On April 12, 1961, ...


15

According to this source (in Russian; includes communication log and post-flight debriefing) the only ground stations that are listed as those that were communicating with Gagarin were located in USSR. This leads to conclusion that there were no other tracking stations located elsewhere. The list of the stations: Located at launch site (Baikonur). ...


15

I've found that language barrier problem exists. There are many info in Russian that have no proper translations in English. There were space tracking ships too. Information that USSR had not them at the time is not correct, the first ships were equipped in 1959-60. Sources: 1. http://niskgd.ru/pages/qa.htm quotes: Первые 6 судов, что начали работу до ...


15

From russian wikipedia: Another instrument helped to the pilot to decide when to start manual operation to return to Earth - it was a small globe with a clock mechanism, which shows the (calculated, not measured) current location over Earth. It followed the craft position as calculated with the mechanical computer inside, following parameters initially ...


14

The hatch blew off and the pilot was ejected in a seat. He then separated from the seat and descended on a parachute. This was all kept quiet because of the contemporary FAI rules about manned spacecraft.


13

Прототипом первого космического скафандра СК-1 был высотный костюм «Воркута», разработанный для летчиков истребителя-перехватчика Су-9. Важнейшей отличительной чертой стал шлем, который при падении давления автоматически захлопывал забрало. Для этого в шлем был встроен специальный датчик. The prototype of the first space suit SK-1 was the Vorkuta high-...


12

The earliest mention of the northern lights that I was able to find is the memories of the Voskhod-1 crew. «Наибольшее впечатление на всех нас произвело полярное сияние, которое нам удалось наблюдать в районе Антарктиды за несколько минут перед выходом из тени. Картина была такая: горизонт, затем тёмное небо, затем верхний слой яркости, подсвеченной луной, ...


12

This article sheds light on some details. There was an air defense base nearby. They raised the alarm before Gagarin landed. An officer announced "We are working on space now!" which made everyone excited. Then they started to watch the skies. First they saw the Vostok spacecraft, then the catapult chair descending on its own parachute. The third ...


11

As a complementary answer, there's one example of a Soviet spacecraft build for manned spaceflight, but without an actual crew onboard during high altitude flights. Soyuz 7K-L1 "Zond" was a member of the Soyuz family of manned spacecraft, intended to be the command module of the cancelled Soviet lunar programme. A number of Zond test missions were ...


11

Voskhod 2 was I think the highest altitude crewed Soviet flight, reaching 475 km (295 mi) apogee. This was Leonov's spacewalk flight; I don't know if the high apogee was related to that. The Mir-bound flights usually went to around 300-400 km (190-250 mi; the station's orbit varied considerably over its lifetime), and the prior Salyut stations orbited lower ...


11

For Vostok, the controls were really not all that impressive by today's standards. The picture below shows the control and information panels on Vostok spacecraft. Here, 1 is the information display (orientation, status lights, ...), 2 is a 2-axis joystick and 3 is the control panel. Quite ascetic, as you can see. The lockout was electrical. You can clearly ...


9

In addition to previous answers: This source (in Russian) http://epizodsspace.airbase.ru/bibl/i_tsk/zv-reis.html contains Gagarin's post-flight debriefing. His exact words regarding ejection were: "Жду катапультирования. В это время приблизительно на высоте 7 тысяч метров происходит отстрел крышки люка № 1. Хлопок, и крышка люка ушла. Я сижу и думаю, не ...


7

The heat protection material on the Vostok spacecraft is a resin-drenched asbestos fabric. https://habr.com/ru/post/230445/ Heat protection was mainly asbestos fabric, impregnated with bakelite resin. The maximum thickness of thermal protection in the frontal part was 110 mm, and the minimum - 40 mm in the rear. http://epizodsspace.airbase.ru/...


6

Not likely. For early manned missions, rendezvous wasn't a requirement, so thrusters provided only for rotation, not for translation. According to this reference: In each of the two [redundant] sections of 8 [thrusters] there were 2 thrusters each for pitch and yaw and 4 for roll. Depending on how the thrusters were offset from the craft's center of ...


6

To summarise information already provided in the comments, there was nothing that prevented Vostok and Voskhod spherical reentry capsules from tipping or rolling after touchdown due to inertia of the impact. If landed on a flat terrain, the capsule shouldn't roll too far after the impact though as the capsule's center of gravity was lower than the ...


5

В полете Ю. А. Гагарин пообедал. Из контейнера питания он достал щавелевое пюре с мясом, мясной паштет и шоколадный соус. После еды с помощью мундштука попил консервированной воды. Акт глотания не нарушался, и был сделан важный вывод о том, что в условиях космического полета можно принимать пищу и пить воду. Следует сказать, что большинство космонавтов с ...


5

Back in those early days of space exploration, the manned missions were formally Soviet missions, since Russia was only one of 15 socialistic republics of USSR. Korolev himself was born in Ukrainian SSR and started his studying in Kiev. As a side note, I myself had a priviledge to study at Kiev Politechnical University in that same room Korolev had been ...


4

According to Wikipedia, Voskhod's requirement to put multiple crew members in a sphere the same size as Vostok forced elimination of the earlier spacecraft's ejection seat (and in the case of Voskhod 1, eliminated pressure suits as well!) and drove the new landing technique: The lack of ejection seats meant that the Voskhod crew would return to Earth ...


4

The Vostok capsule wasn't stabilized during reentry. Friction from reentry was probably the major factor to not let it spin wildly. I couldn't find information about other flights, but the first one (Vostok-1) is described with following phrases from Gagarin's debriefing: Как только выключилась ТДУ, произошел резкий толчок, и корабль начал вращаться ...


4

There isn't that much of a difference after all. It's mostly a matter of perception because the R-7 family evolved into many different variants, so it feels like most Soviet launch systems use liquid boosters. Proton, for example, doesn't use any strap-on boosters. The following "early ICBM" designs of the early 60's are actually pretty similar: R-7 with ...


3

«Восток-2» имел некоторые отличия от первого «Востока». Была доработана радиосвязь, заменена телевизионная система. Телеметрию дополнила коротковолновая система «Сигнал», которая служила для пеленгации корабля и дублировала передачу основных медицинских параметров. Vostok-2 had some differences from the first Vostok. The radio communication was improved, ...


3

According to Space Exploration and Humanity: A Historical Encyclopedia: During Vostok, Voskhod, and Soyuz flights, urine and feces were entrained in an air stream and collected for disposal at the end of the mission Spaceflight Life Support and Biospherics makes the same claim. This suggests, remarkably, that there was a form of space toilet aboard or at ...


1

Two variants of the Globus retained in my collection - in the foreground from Voskhod, in the background installed in the Soyuz TM panel is the later version)


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