There were victories, there were defeats, but they are the young generation knows little.
It is well known that the Soviet Union launched the first space satellite, living being and man. During the space race of the USSR to the extent possible, sought to overtake and surpass America. There were victories, there were defeats, but they are the younger generation that grew up after the collapse of the Soviet Union, there is little that he knows, because space success, according to the Internet, is the destiny of the American astronauts.
The first flyby around the moon
Launched 2 January 1959, the satellite “Luna-1” was the first spacecraft that successfully reached the moon. 360-kg spacecraft that carried on a Soviet coat of arms had to reach the lunar surface and to demonstrate the superiority of Soviet science. However, the satellite missed, after 6,000 miles from the lunar surface. The probe released a cloud of sodium vapor, which for some time was shining so bright, that allowed to track the satellite motion.
“Luna-1” was at least the fifth attempt of the Soviet Union to land on the moon, a secret information about the previous failed attempts are stored in the folder “top secret”.
Compared to modern space probes “Luna-1” was extremely primitive. It had no engine, and the electricity supply was limited to the use of primitive batteries. The probe had no cameras. Signals from the probe stopped coming three days after launch.
The first flyby of another planet
Launched February 12, 1961 the Soviet space probe Venera-1 was supposed to make a hard landing on Venus. This was the second attempt of the USSR to launch a probe to Venus. Landing capsule “Venera-1” also had to deliver to the planet the Soviet coat of arms. Although most of the probe, as expected, had to burn when entering the atmosphere, the Soviet Union hoped that the reentry capsule reaches the surface, automatically making the USSR the first country to reach the surface of another planet.
The start and the first communication sessions with the probe were successful, the first three treatment indicated normal operation of the probe, but the fourth took place with a five-day delay and showed a fault in one of the systems. In the end the contact was lost when the probe was at a distance of about 2 million kilometers from Earth. The space ship drifted in space at a distance of 100,000 kilometers of Venus and was not able to get data for course corrections.
The first spacecraft photographed back side of the moon
Launched October 4, 1959, the satellite “Luna-3” was the third spacecraft successfully launched to the moon. In contrast to the two previous probes “Luna-3” was equipped with a camera for photographing. The task that was put before the scientists was to use the probe to take a photo of the back side of the moon, which at that time had never been photographed.
The camera was primitive and difficult. A space ship could make only 40 pictures, which were to be removed, manifested and dried on the spacecraft. Then side a cathode-ray tube had to scan the developed image and to transfer data to the Ground. The transmitter was so weak that the first attempts of transfer of images failed. When the probe, having made an orbit around the moon, close to Earth was received on 17 photos are not of very high quality.
However, scientists were excited about what they found on the image. In contrast to the visible side of the moon, which was flat on the reverse side were the mountains and the dark region.
The first successful landing on another planet
17 August 1970 launched the spacecraft “Venera-7”, one of two Soviet spacecraft-Gemini. After a soft landing on the surface of Venus probe was supposed to deploy a transmitter to transmit data to Earth, setting a record as the first successful landing on another planet and to survive in the atmosphere of Venus, the lander was cooled to -8 degrees Celsius. Soviet scientists also wanted the lander remained in a calm state. Therefore, it was decided that the capsule during entry into the atmosphere of Venus would be connected to the carrier as long as the resistance of the atmosphere will not cause them to split up.
“Venus-7” entered the atmosphere as planned, but for 29 minutes before touching the surface of the drag chute broke and broke. Initially considered that the lander could not withstand the attack, but later analysis of the recorded signals showed that the probe gave temperature readings from the planet’s surface for 23 minutes after landing, as expected the engineers who designed the spacecraft.
The first artificial object on the surface of Mars
“Mars-2 and Mars-3” spacecraft-Gemini, launched one day apart from each other in may 1971. Spinning in orbit around Mars, they had to map its surface. In addition, these spacecraft is planned to launch the landers. Soviet scientists had hoped that these landing capsule will be the first man-made objects on the surface of Mars.
However, the Americans are ahead of the USSR, first reaching the orbit of Mars. “Mariner 9”, which also started in may 1971 reached Mars two weeks earlier and became the first spacecraft to orbit Mars. Upon arrival, both American and Soviet probes found that Mars is covered by a global dust veil that prevented data collection.
Although the lander “Mars-2” crashed lander “Mars-3” has successfully landed and began transmitting data. But after 20 seconds the transfer stopped, was passed only a photo with hardly discernable detail and low light. Likely, the failure occurred due to a major sandstorm on Mars, not given to the Soviet apparatus to make the first clear pictures of the Martian surface.
The first returned an automated system that delivered samples
NASA had rocks from the lunar surface, taken by astronauts of “Apollo”. Soviet Union, failing to land the first men on the moon, was determined to overtake the Americans in an automated space probe to collect lunar soil and shipping it to the Ground. The first Soviet probe, “Luna 15”, crashed during landing. The next five attempts fail near the Earth due to problems with the booster. However, the sixth Soviet probe “Luna-16” was successfully launched.
After landing near the Mare fecunditatis, the Soviet station took samples of lunar soil and placed them in the recovery vehicle started and returned samples to Earth. When the sealed container was opened, the Soviet scientists received a total of just 101 grams of lunar soil, compared to 22 pounds, delivered on the “Apollo-11”. The Soviet model was carefully investigated, it was found that the structure of the soil on the qualities is close to the wet sand, but it was the first successful automatic return lander.
The first spacecraft for three people
Launched 12 October 1964 “Voskhod-1” was the first spacecraft capable of delivering into space more than one person. Although “Sunrise” was declared by the Soviet Union, the new spaceship, in fact, it was an upgraded version of the device that was taken into space by Yuri Gagarin. However, for the Americans, who at that time had no vehicles even for a crew of two, it sounded impressive.
Soviet designers thought “Sunrise” is unsafe. They continued to argue against its use until, until the government bribed them with the offer to send into orbit one of the constructors as an astronaut. However, in the security design of the spacecraft had a number of serious concerns.
First, it was impossible emergency ejection of the cosmonaut in case of unsuccessful start, it was not possible to construct a roof for each astronaut.
Second, astronauts in the capsule was so crowded that they could not wear spacesuits. As a result, in case of depressurization, they would have died.
Thirdly, a new boarding system, consisting of two parachutes and braking of the engine was tested before the flight only once.
Finally, the astronauts had before the flight to follow a diet to the total weight of the astronauts and the capsules were small enough for launch.
Considering all these serious problems, it was just amazing that the flight went flawlessly.
The first person of African descent in space
18 Sep 1980 “Soyuz-38” flew to the orbital space station “Salyut-6”. On Board was a Soviet cosmonaut and the Cuban pilot Arnaldo Tamayo Mendez, who became the first person of African origin who went to space. His flight was part of the Soviet “Intercosmos” program, which allowed other countries to participate in Soviet space missions.
Mendez remained on Board the “Salyut-6” during the week, but he spent more than 24 experiments in the field of chemistry and biology. Investigated its metabolism, structure and electrical activity of the brain, and reshaping bones in microgravity. Upon returning to the Ground, Mendes was awarded the title “hero of the Soviet Union” — the highest award of the USSR.
Because Mendez was not American, America didn’t have that achievement, so for US the first African-American in space in 1983 became Gaillon Stuart Bluford, a member of the crew of space Shuttle “Challenger”.
First docking with a dead object in space
11 February 1985 silent Soviet space station “Salyut-7”. At the station there is a cascade of short circuits, disconnect all the electrical systems and plunge the “Salyut-7” in a frozen dead state.
In an attempt to save the “Salyut-7” of the USSR sent two astronauts-veterans for the repair station. The automated docking system was not working, so the astronauts had to get close enough to try to make a connection in manual mode. Fortunately, the station was stationary and the astronauts were able to make a dock, first demonstrating that it was possible to dock with any object in space, even if he is dead and unmanageable.
The crew reported that inside the station is covered with mold, the walls were covered with icicles, and the temperature was -10 degrees Celsius. Work to restore the space station took place over several days, the crew had to check out hundreds of cables to determine the source of malfunctions in an electrical circuit, but they managed it.
Were not only achievements, and also tragedy
June 30, 1971, the Soviet Union was looking forward to the return of three of the world’s first cosmonaut, who spent more than 23 days in orbit. But when the capsule landed, the crew inside was not followed by any signal. Opening the hatch, ground officials found three dead astronauts with dark blue spots and streaks of blood from his nose and ears. What happened?
According to investigators, the tragedy occurred immediately after separation of the descent module from the orbital module. The valve in the descent module remains open and less than two minutes the capsule released all the air. When the pressure fell, the astronauts quickly suffocated, not being able to locate and close the valve before they lost consciousness and died.
There were other deaths, but they occurred during startup and passing through the atmosphere. The accident of the spacecraft “Soyuz-11” occurred at the height of 168 kilometers, when the astronauts were still in space, making them the first, and only, lost in space.
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