Group flights

As Titov attempted to sleep, he became nauseous. However, he had no problem with eating and drinking, briefly took control of the spacecraft, and used a film camera to record the view from his cockpit window. Re-entering Earth's atmosphere, Vostok 2 experienced similar separation problems to those on Vostok 1, but Titov made a safe return to Earth by parachute after 17 orbits. Although later missions would continue to extend flight times, this was unlikely to provide the stream of propaganda


Despite rumours that Tereshkovo suffered from severe space sickness in orbit, and was uncommunicative with ground controllers, Vostok 6 still fulfilled all of its goals.

demanded by the Kremlin, and longer missions alone could provide little in the way of new scientific data or engineering results. With the limitations of the Vostok spacecraft itself, there was only one way to proceed - a so-called "group flight".

After a series of delays (largely caused by problems in development of Zenit, a spy satellite that took priority for R-7 launches in late 1961), specialist training for a group of cosmonauts IT got under way in early 1962. ■ 4 Nevertheless, when Vostok 3 mgj^kI

blasted off, piloted by Andrian ■ Nikolayev, on 11 August 1962, I the world had little idea of what ■ to expect. Precisely 23 hours IV 32 minutes later, as Vostok 3's ■ orbital path took it back across ■ . / v Tyuratam, Pavel Popovich's Vostok / '

4 rose to join it, arriving in orbit ■ I m A just 6.5km (4 miles) away. The ■ f MI^I cosmonauts were able to establish ■«■■RiiM

1997- k

1 Vv

1 Vv


2004- A^er his return to Earth, Gagarin was feted as a notional hero and sent on a world tour that saw him treated like a

2005- movie star. Here, he studies newspaper coverage of his

2006- Myht with his wife, Valentino, and Nikita Khrushchev.


Titov, seen here in the bus with his backup Nikolayev (right), was the fittest of the first trainees and the one who had coped best in the isolation tests. This made him the obvious choice for the first longer-duration spaceflight.


Nikolayev's tolerance of isolation troining earned him the nickname Iron Man and the chance to set a new endurance record. He later married fellow cosmonaut Valentino Tereshkovo, though the marriage eventually collapsed.


Nikolayev's tolerance of isolation troining earned him the nickname Iron Man and the chance to set a new endurance record. He later married fellow cosmonaut Valentino Tereshkovo, though the marriage eventually collapsed.


direct radio contact between the spacecraft before they gradually drifted apart. When the they returned to Earth within minutes of each other on 15 August, Nikolayev had been in space for four days.

Although Korolev wanted to continue the Vostok programme, he was overruled - work on the Voskhod modification was to take priority. But the last paired Vostok mission saw another propaganda coup, as Valery Bykovsky's Vostok 5, launched on 14 June 1963, was joined in orbit two days later by Valentina Tereshkova, the first female cosmonaut, in Vostok 6. Tereshkova was an expert parachutist and one of a group of women trained for flight by Kamanin and Korolev. The two cosmonauts returned to Earth on 19 June, marking the end of the Vostok programme.


Just a month short of his 26th birthday when he took to the skies aboard Vostok 2, Gherman Stepanovich Titov (1935-2000) is still the youngest person to have travelled in space. Born in a small village in the Altai region, he trained as a pilot at Stalingrad, before his recruitment to the Soviet cosmonaut programme. His day-long flight in 1961 made him an international celebrity, and the Kremlin propagandists sent him on tours around the world. From 1962, he retrained as a test ^^^^^^^^ alongside some of the other cosmonauts, and led the team training to fly

HP ▼ ^^^ spaceplane. However, the spacesickness he suffered nf aboard Vostok 2, coupled Jj^Q^mHBB with a tendency to clash with L his superiors, meant that he never flew in space again.


Muscovites crowd around a car radio reporting the formation flight of Vostoks 3 and 4. Although the Vostoks were unable to manoeuvre in orbit, it would be three years before the US could improve on this early space rendezvous.


Popovich's flight was intended to continue after Vostok 3's return to Earth, but confusion broke out when he reported storms (groza) below. This was an agreed codeword to indicate nausea, and so an early landing was ordered.


Nikita Khrushchev parades Valentina Tereshkova and Valery Bykovsky in Moscow's Red Square following the successful mission of Vostoks 5 and 6. Bykovsky's five days in orbit set a record for lone spaceflight that stands to this day.


Grissom looks cheerful moments before climbing oboord Liberty Bell 7. The window in the enlorged escape hatch can be seen behind him.

2 May 1961

A planned launch of the Freedom 7 capsule is scrubbed due to cloud cover. The identity of the astronaut onboard is revealed to the press.

4 May 1961

The launch of Freedom 7 is delayed for a second time due to bad weather.

5 May 1961

Freedom 7 finally launches at 09:34, on a 15-minute suborbital flight. Shepard is the first American in space.

25 May 1961

President John F. Kennedy makes his famous speech to Congress, vowing that an American will walk on the Moon before the decade is out.

18 July 1961

Weather delays the planned launch of Liberty Bell 7.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment