Voskhod the first opportunities

Once Vostok had completed the proving and development flights, the subsequent Soyuz programme would be based around a vehicle large enough to accommodate up to three cosmonauts on each mission. In addition to having a commander and flight engineer on each crew, the third place could be made available for research cosmonauts, including representatives from the Academy of Sciences. Before that, however, the introduction of the reconfigured, multi-seat Vostok as Voskhod in 1963 (purely designed to beat the introduction of the American two-man Gemini) gave the Soviets the opportunity to select, train and fly a non-pilot cosmonaut. The original plans for Vostok included missions that have subsequently been identified as "Vostok 7-13''. These were high-altitude, ten-day duration flights (for biomedical and radiation studies), including the development of EVA equipment and procedures and proving flights for new spacecraft systems and hardware. Though these missions did not take place, some of these draft plans evolved into the series of Voskhod missions scheduled for 1964-6 (although in fact, only two manned missions in the series were actually flown). However, since Voskhod was essentially an "upgrade" of the automated Vostok, it would require no more than one "pilot", creating the opportunity to fly one or two cosmonauts from other organisations.

Voskhod: For the initial flight of this "new" spacecraft, the pilot-commander would come from the Air Force pilot and engineer group. Korolyov had previously suggested that space research scientists, physicians and engineers should be selected to train for future flights, with the engineers coming from his own OKB-1 design bureau since they had worked on spacecraft theory, design and fabrication for years. Initially opposed to the idea, the Soviet Ministry of Defence relented and screened up to thirty "passengers" and thirty "physicians", from which six would be selected for actual cosmonaut training. During April and May 1964, the Academy of Sciences and the Ministry of Health selected thirty-six candidates, but only fourteen passed the medical board examination. From these, ten candidates (eight physicians and two scientists) were reviewed by the Credential Committee on 28 May, with five nominated for training. Only one of these, Dr. (Eng) Georgy P. Katys, then aged 37, was from the Academy of Sciences. Fourteen OKB-1 engineers were also nominated, and on 17 May eight were medically qualified, but only one (Konstantin Feoktistov) was nominated to undertake space flight training for the engineer's seat. The training group for Voskhod consisted of nine air force pilots and engineers, a test pilot from the Ministry of Aviation Production, and four physicians, plus Feoktistov and Katys. After receiving "cosmonaut training'' for only about six months, Katys was selected as back-up to Feoktistov for Voskhod on 9 October 1964. Shortly after the mission, Katys was stood down from his temporary role as "cosmonaut".

Katys. Georgy Petrovich was born on 31 August 1926 in Moscow. After graduating from school in the seventh grade, he entered the Moscow Motor Building School, followed by the Auto-Mechanical Institute, from which he graduated in 1949 as a mechanical engineer. Completing his post-graduate research work at the Baumann Higher Technical School, Katys received his Candidate of Technical Sciences (CTSc - his degree) before becoming involved in space research at the Academy of Sciences (AN) from 1953. He completed his doctorate studies at the Institute for Automatics and Telemechanics in 1962 and was subsequently employed at several industrial and defence institutes. He was suggested for cosmonaut training in 1962/1963 but was over the imposed age limit and was not considered. However, he was assigned to the Voskhod training group in 1964. During subsequent investigations into his background by the KGB, it was found that he had relatives in France and that his father, Petr I. Katys, who was employed by the Ministry of Post and Telegraph, had been executed during the repressive years of the Josef Stalin regime. Even though he was posthumously exonerated in 1957, his alleged anti-social history seems to have had a detrimental impact on his son's progression as a cosmonaut.

Voskhod 3 and 4: Following the success of the Voskhod mission carrying Feok-tistov, Katys returned to the institute to prepare his own programme of in-flight experiments for space flight. These included an electro-optical device for Earth observations, which had both scientific and military application. To operate this instrument, scientist-cosmonauts would need to be assigned to future crews, and in April 1965, the experiment was approved for flight. Katys was himself considered for assignment to the fifteen-day Voskhod 3 mission in November 1965 that would carry his experiment and trained for some time alongside mission pilot Boris Volynov. However, as he was essentially only selected to operate both a gravity experiment and his own electro-optical device, when these instruments were seriously delayed in October 1965, Katys was replaced by pilot candidate Viktor Gorbatko. Katys was assigned to a back-up role for a while, with no chance of flying into space, until the flight itself was cancelled in late 1966. Prior to this, there remained some chance of flying his experiment on Voskhod 4 and Katys was briefly selected to fly with pilot Georgy Beregovoy. But their training had not started when that flight was also cancelled, along with the rest of the Voskhod programme, in favour of the more advanced and versatile Soyuz.

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