When the Almaz and DOS programmes were initiated, no one could have predicted that such hardware would form the core of a space station at the turn of the century, but the Russian-built Zarya (‘Dawn’) and Zvezda (‘Star’) modules are key parts of the fnternational Space Station. And certainly not even Sergey Korolev could have dreamed that his Soyuz spacecraft would still be in use ferrying crews to this station. This legacy is truly the best of monuments to the lost crew of the first space station.
One day, a space crew will depart from a space station to head once again for the Moon, as a stepping stone to the planets. These future space travellers will owe a tremendous debt of thanks to cosmonauts Georgiy Dobrovolskiy, Vladislav Volkov and Viktor Patsayev, whose names are by now written between the stars.
The Mir orbital complex. (Courtesy NASA)
Two Soyuz TMA spacecraft docked with the International Space Station. (Courtesy NASA)
The Zvezda and Zarya modules that form the core of the International Space Station are the direct legacy of Salyut and its heroic crew. Korolev’s legacy is evident from the two Soyuz and one Progress spacecraft docked with the station. (Courtesy NASA)
1. Mishin, V. P., Why Didn’t We Fly to the Moon? Znaniye, 12/1990, Moscow, 1990 (in Russian).
2. Gubaryev, V. S., Russian Space, Book 3. Exmo, Algorithm, Moscow, 2006, pp. 390-412 (in Russian).
3. Loskutov, A., ‘Tenable Gene’ (Interview with Mishin’s daughter), Daily News, Moscow, No. 8, 18 January 2007.
4. Novosti kosmonavtiki (in Russian)
No. 12, 2002 (Eulogy for Nikolay Rukavishnikov)
No. 3, 2003 (Necrology for Kerim Kerimov)
5. Molchanov, V. E., About Those Who Did Not Reach Orbit. Znaniye, Moscow 1990 (in Russian).
6. Soviet Cuban (Krasnodar), No. 29, 5 August 2005 (Interview with Konstantin Feoktistov).
7. Biographies of cosmonauts www. astronaut. ru
8. Tracking ships www. ski-omer. ru
Interviews by the author:
1. Marina Dobrovolskaya, 24 May 2007
2. Svetlana Patsayeva, 1 August 2007
3. Dmitry Patsayev, 5 September 2007
The immortal crew of the world’s first space station – Viktor Patsayev, Georgiy Dobrovolskiy and Vladislav Volkov.
 KETs – Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovskiy
 DOS – Long-duration Orbital Station
 The ‘O’ in the abbreviation OKB-1 is the word ossobeniy, which can also be translated as ‘particular’ or ‘experimental’.
 The UR-500 rocket first flew in July 1965, and became known as the ‘Proton’ after its first scientific payloads.
 Funktsionalno-Gruzovoy Blok.
 Transportniy Korabl Snabzheniya.
 In effect, it was a Hubble Space Telescope designed for observing the surface of the Earth.
 This KSI capsule had the designator 11F76.
 A kilovolt-ampere (kVA) is equivalent to a kilowatt (kW).
 In the case of Soyuz-P, the ‘P’ stood for Perehvatchik, meaning ‘interceptor’.
 The ‘R’ stood for Razvedchik, meaning ‘intelligence gatherer’.
 Such a rapid time scale would prove to be impracticable, owing to the slow pace of the development of the Soyuz spacecraft on which Zvezda was based.
 The designation ‘VI’ stood for Voenniy Issledovatel (Военый исследовател), meaning Military Researcher.
 ‘TK’ stood for Transportniy Korabl, meaning ‘transport spacecraft’.
 The designers of the American MOL made the same compromise, placing the hatch in the heat shield of the Gemini spacecraft. An unmanned test flight demonstrated that the hatch could survive reentry, but no manned mission was ever flown.
 This special-purpose gun was designed by Aleksandr Emmanuelovich Nudelyman.
 In fact, the Americans did not have such a capability.
 The ‘S’ stood for Snabzheniya, meaning ‘supply’, so the role of this spacecraft was to transport a crew and their immediate supplies.
 The ‘G’ stood for Gruzovoy, meaning ‘cargo’, so the ‘SG’ model was a cargo transporter.
 A decade later, a modified form of the 7K-SG was launched as Progress 1 to resupply Salyut 6.
 Note that whereas the large Almaz was able to accommodate a straightforward conversion of an aircraft cannon, Nudelyman had to develop a much more compact weapon for the smaller Soyuz-VI.
 The main habitable compartment of the Skylab space station was the fuel tank of the second stage of a Saturn IB launch vehicle, so the basis for Raushenbakh’s idea is obvious.
 This was to be the 7K-T (‘T’ for Transportniy, or ‘transporter’) version of the Soyuz spacecraft.
 It was one of these cores which, some 13 months later, was successfully launched as the world’s first space station.
 On the original Almaz, this forward hatch would have enabled the crew to enter the station from the capsule mounted on the front at launch.
 According to Mishin, Ustinov ordered that the first visit to the station should last one month.
 The pioneering spacewalker was Aleksey Leonov in 1965.
 Soon after this, Shonin was admitted to the Burdenko Hospital in Moscow suffering from depression. On being discharged in March 1971 he was urged to undergo a lengthy medical treatment. He recovered, but never flew in space again. He died from a heart attack in April 1997.
 In accordance with Soviet tradition, the first space station did not bear the number ‘1’. If the first example of a new type of spacecraft were to be numbered, it would make evident that a series of such vehicles were planned, and the Soviet Union went to great lengths to keep its plans secret.
 The ships were named Morzhovets, Kegostrov and Academician Sergey Korolev.
 Kubasov’s mind may have been distracted at this time, because in Moscow his wife was giving birth to their second child: son Dmitriy.
 The first two Soviet spacewalkers were Aleksey Leonov, on the Voskhod 2 mission in March 1966, and Yevgeniy Khrunov, who made the transfer from Soyuz 5 to Soyuz 4 several minutes ahead of Yeliseyev.
 After the death of Stalin in 1953, Stanislav Kuraytis was rehabilitated and granted a PhD degree, but he died soon thereafter.
 The eight TsKBEM engineers selected for the first group of civilian cosmonauts were Sergey Anyokhin (commander), Vladimir Bugrov, Vladislav Volkov, Georgiy Grechko, Gennadiy Dolgopolov, Valeriy Kubasov, Aleksey Yeliseyev and Oleg Makarov.
 Later in 1966, Yeliseyev divorced his first wife and married Larisa Ivanovna Komarova, who was an engineer at the TsKBEM.
 After 1975 TsUP-E controlled only manned military missions to the Almaz stations.
 The Molniya (Lightning) satellite was in a highly elliptical orbit with a 12-hour period and the highest point of its orbit over the Soviet Union.
 In December 1971 Cosmonaut Yuriy Gagarin joined the network. At 45,000 tonnes, it was made the flagship of the fleet. All ten tracking ships had their home ports either at Odessa in the Black Sea or at Leningrad in the Baltic.
 In cyrillic the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) is Союз Советских Социалиста веских Республик (СССР). It is sometimes written as Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik (SSSR).
 Soyuz 5 was able to be launched with three cosmonauts and two EVA suits because it was a 7K – OK, as opposed to a 7K-T, and because by serving as the passive vehicle in the Soyuz 4/5 mission it had carried less propellant and no active docking system – it had the lighter passive unit. Furthermore, for half of its three days in space Soyuz 5 had only one man on board. The fact that the 7K-T that would have flown as Soyuz 12 would have been required to carry the extra air, water, food and apparatus needed to sustain the planned 30-45-day visit to DOS-1 would have made it difficult to accommodate in the orbital module two spacesuits and the ancillary air tanks.
 In fact, two days before Apollo 13 was due to launch in April 1970 NASA had exchanged a member of the prime crew with his backup, owing to a medical concern.
 Георгий Тмиофеевич Добвольский
 In 1968 this institution was renamed the Y. A. Gagarin Academy.
 In his 13 years as a military pilot Dobrovolskiy accumulated 330 hours of flying time in UT-2, Yak-11, La-9, R-39 and MiG-15 aircraft. At first sight this might appear an unimpressive figure, but it should be remembered that as of 1955 his job combined flying with administrative duties, and later he worked more as a manager than as a pilot. Although a total of 330 hours was one of the lowest accumulated flying times among the pilots of the second group, it was still one-third greater than that of most members of the first group!
 At this point the L1 group had 11 men; the military cosmonauts were Leonov, Popovich, Byelyayev, Volynov, Klimuk, Voronov and Artyukhin, and the civilians were Makarov, Rukavishnikov, Grechko and Sevastyanov.
 If all had gone well with Soyuz 1 in April 1967, this docking would have been with Soyuz 2. The loss of Vladimir Komarov created an opening in the crew assignments for the second attempt at this important task, and Volynov was added to the group.
 In June 1967 a civilian cosmonaut from the Soviet Academy of Sciences, Yershov (who was an expert in navigation systems) joined the 11-man L1 group, then in January 1968 Voloshin replaced Byelyayev and at the same time Bykovskiy and Kuklin were added to the group; making a total of 14 cosmonauts: 9 military and 5 civilians.
 Владислав Николаевич Волков
 In fact, Anyokhin was a colonel in the Air Force and a former test pilot. Interestingly, despite losing an eye in 1945 during a test flight, 21 years later he was nominated by the TsKBEM as a civilian cosmonaut and given command of the group of cosmonaut-engineers.
 It is impossible to prove, but it is likely that Kamanin ordered the Air Force doctors to pass only half of the cosmonaut-engineers sent to the TsPK by the TsKBEM, in order to minimise the number of civilians available to compete with his military cosmonauts for flights.
 These two were Nikolay Rukavishnikov and Vitaliy Sevastyanov.
 Red Star, the newspaper of the Soviet Army.
 Виктор Иванович Пацаев
 The tatar warriors were from Mongolia.
 By this time, Viktor could already speak German. He mastered English several years later, while working at OKB-1.
 To be precise, if all three members of Leonov’s crew wore the patch, then in the case of Kubasov it is not apparent in the photographs available to the author.
 The commander’s couch was in the centre, the flight engineer to the commander’s right and the research cosmonaut to the commander’s left. Spanning the cabin in front of them was a panel of instruments, switches and indicator lights.
 ‘Zarya’ means ‘Dawn’.
 Spacecraft radio call-signs were stones – Soyuz 10 was ‘Granit’ (‘Granite’) and Soyuz 11 was ‘Yantar’ (‘Amber’); Dobrovolskiy was ‘Yantar 1’, Volkov was ‘Yantar 2’ and Patsayev was ‘Yantar 3’.
 When Sputnik was launched in 1957, this town was the nearest large population centre on the track of the rocket’s ascent, so the launch site came to be known as the Baykonur cosmodrome.
 The Kettering team’s first success was Sputnik 4 in 1960. Its achievements included detecting signals from the Voskhod spacecraft in October 1964 prior to the completion of its initial orbit; identifying the location of the Soviet cosmodrome at Plesetsk in 1966; and the first Western detection of signals from the first Chinese satellite in April 1970.
 Although commonly described by Western observers as the ‘orbital module’, the Russian term for this part of the Soyuz spacecraft, bitovoy odsek, is more appropriately translated as ‘habitat module’.
 The ‘free volume’ of a module was that which was available to the crew after all of the apparatus had been installed.
 The managers had accepted Rukavishnikov’s suggestion that sleeping bags be carried on the Soyuz.
 American astronauts would refer to this as ‘lock on’.
 Whereas a bactericidal kills bacteria outright, a bacteriostatic is capable of inhibiting the growth or reproduction of bacteria, and so serves to improve the immune system.
 The acronym for the Athlete suit was TNK owing to its cyrillic name of Trenirovachniy Nagruzniy Costyum (Training Loading Suit).
 On Soyuz 9 Nikolayev and Sevastyanov had tested an apparatus (Athlete-1) intended for this purpose, but it was fixed to the wall of the orbital module and they could use it only at specific intervals.
 At an altitude of 300 km, the station’s orbit would be lowered by about 90 metres per day.
 This unit is now popular by the Chibis name.
 A contemporary Soviet source said that each man was to have two sessions in the ODNT per week, but owing to technical problems this was not feasible, and only two cosmonauts performed the ‘vacuum’ test, and only once during the mission. One was Dobrovolskiy and the other was very probably Volkov.
 The term Cosmovision was coined by the journalists for the TV shows from Salyut, not the name of the television programme(s) that participated in broadcasting them.
 Astronauts on some Gemini missions had previously conducted astronomical photography.
 An angstrom is 1 x 10-10 metre, and is the unit in which spectra are measured. The human eye is sensitive from 4,000 to 7,000 angstroms, running from violet to red respectively. The Orion telescope was designed to observe in the ultraviolet.
 Dobrovolskiy had concluded that the enthusiasm of a man exercising alone soon waned; it would be better for the crew to exercise jointly, since then they would be able to encourage one another. As commander, he may have been thinking of Volkov, who had missed several exercises earlier in the mission.
 Dobrovolskiy’s frustration at the workload was in part because the mission planners had drawn up the schedule of scientific experiments without appreciating the time that it would take to perform them in the weightlessness environment of space – it always took longer than it had during terrestrial training. Even before they could start an experiment, they had to prepare the apparatus, locate and read the instructions, unpack any samples or devices and install them. Naturally, as commander, he worried about his crew’s performance. It was demoralising for them to be judged by the TsUP to have fallen behind the schedule. However, in retrospect, it is evident that this crew was inadequately trained to conduct a large scientific programme – they were simply not ready.
 Although Salyut had four solar panels and could draw on the panels on the docked Soyuz, it had much more apparatus, and to supply the required electricity the designers had had to reduce the brightness of the illumination in some parts of the station. (Indeed, in pictures taken during the mission it is hard to see the details at the rear of the main working compartment.) This made it difficult to operate the apparatus which was installed in these areas.
 Specifically, they measured accommodation and convergence.
 Mayak (Beacon) was a popular radio programme.
 If this were to be done, and the Soyuz 12 launch was on schedule, then Rukavishnikov would establish the world record for the shortest interval between successive missions: 101 days.
 In Russian: radiochastotniy masspektrometer (радио-частотный масс-спектрометар).
 Recall that 7K-T was the model of the Soyuz in use at that time.
 Kamanin was already planning to fly to Yevpatoriya on 16 June at 4 p. m. Prior to his flight, he went to the TsPK and met Popovich (on the eve of the latter’s trip to Paris with Sevastyanov), Khrunov (about to visit the United States) and Volynov (who again asked Kamanin to be included in one of the forthcoming crews). Around 1 p. m., when Kamanin was having lunch, Shatalov approached him with the news of the fire on the station. Kamanin went straight to the airport and at 2.05 p. m. his Tu-104 departed for Yevpatoriya.
 Vera Patsayeva worked at the Central Scientific Research Institute of the Academy of Sciences (TsNIIMash), which was adjacent to the TsKBEM’s main building in Kaliningrad.
 In fact, Soyuz transmissions continued until 21 June, then nothing more was heard until 24 June.
 On Russian trains which travel for many days and nights, some wagons provide roomettes in which passengers can have privacy.
 In assuring the controllers that he was taking meticulous notes, Volkov, who was well aware of how he caused problems for his colleagues, flight controllers and even his boss Mishin, may have been trying to make amends as the mission approached its conclusion.
 Specifically, Kegostrov was to monitor the braking manoeuvre if this were scheduled for the second orbit after Soyuz 11 undocked from Salyut, and Bezhitsa would do so if it occurred on the third orbit.
 He observed the star Vega (alpha Lyra).
 Mignonette is the common name for a small family of herbs and shrubs that inhabit arid regions.
 The Era investigation, which began on 16 June, was to detect high-energy electrons at orbital altitude.
 Dobrovolskiy was referring to the speed at which the human eye adapts to rapidly changing lighting conditions. Although he was able to determine the direction of the station’s motion after watching the surface of the Earth for a while, if he quickly switched his attention to another area that was differently illuminated then it took a while to perceive the motion which he knew to be occurring.
 Note that although the Soyuz 9 record was 18 days, the International Astronautics Federation required an endurance record to be exceeded by 10 per cent to recognise it as having been ‘broken’; hence the delayed congratulations.
 The situation could have been worse – the catastrophic N1 launch failure of July 1969 had destroyed the launch pad! Fortunately, two N1 pads had been constructed.
 When Vladimir Komarov’s capsule struck the ground at high speed, the ‘black box’ was destroyed by a combination of the shock and the subsequent fire. The design had been strengthened in order to survive a recurrence of such an event.
 When the direction of the force is from the feet toward the head, the body is exposed to the maximum load. The optimal position is when the force acts at an angle of 10-15 degrees to the chest-to – backbone direction (known as ‘breast-spin’) because this minimises the component from the head to the feet.
 The height sensor is a gamma-ray altimeter (Таммалучевой высотомер’).
 The root cause of Komarov’s death was the thermal treatment of the descent module and the placing of the parachutes into their containers. Because the parachute containers of both the Soyuz 1 and Soyuz 2 descent modules did not have hatches when they were sent for the application of their thermal treatment, the technicians decided not to ask for the hatches to be supplied and instead ‘closed’ the openings using improvised covers that did not form a hermetic seal. During the treatment, some molecules of the thermal protective material penetrated the containers and coated their walls, thereby both reducing their volumes and making the smooth interior surfaces rough. When the treatment was finished, the technicians tried to put the parachutes into their containers and, on finding that they would not fit, opted not to inform their managers but instead (according to Mishin) to use some kind of tool to force them in. It is ironic that the early problems suffered by Soyuz 1 led to the cancellation of the launch of the second spacecraft for this joint mission, as otherwise both crews would almost certainly have been killed.
 The recovery team found the pilot, drogue and reserve parachutes at the landing site; the main chute was destroyed inside its container by the fire that followed the crash.
 While sailing towards the assigned station, the crew of Bezhitsa heard the terrible news of Soyuz 11 on Radio Moscow.
 A further complication was that owing to the difficulty in achieving a hermetic seal of the hatch prior to undocking, the cosmonauts were initially 20 minutes behind the flight plan.
 In addition, neither Stafford or Leonov knew that in 1975 they would command the two spacecraft of the joint mission involving an Apollo and a Soyuz spacecraft.
 The poet referred to Viktor Patsayev as Vitya, Georgiy Dobrovolskiy as Gosha and Vladislav Volkov as Slava.
 Aleksandr Matrosov was made a Hero of the Soviet Union during World War II for sacrificing himself in an assault on an enemy bunker, and in so doing preserving the lives of his colleagues.
 This was reported by The Sunday Times, but there is no direct evidence for this in the radio communications following undocking. However, it is not inconceivable that the cosmonauts had problems with breathing after a long day of transferring the final materials to the Soyuz and the stress resulting from the difficulty encountered in closing the hatch.
 In all other respects, of course, the Soyuz was more sophisticated than the Voskhod, particularly in having an escape system in case of a malfunction in the launch vehicle.
 Three pressure suits would have weighed a total of about 80 kg, and there would have to have been additional apparatus to support them independently of the cabin environment. The Soyuz spacecraft simply was not designed for such a configuration.
 In making this remark, Mishin gave the impression that he expected that a cosmonaut would hold his finger in place to stem the air leak right through the re-entry process, until the capsule was in the atmosphere. However, the real value in interrupting the leak in this manner would have been to buy the time required to close the manual shutter on the valve. Yet there was no tank to replenish the lost air.
 Kamanin has interpreted Mishin’s remark about a cosmonaut stemming the air leak by holding his thumb over the hole literally, and is criticising the expectation that this could have been sustained as the deceleration loads increased and forced the crewman back into his couch. In fact, if all that was intended was to buy time to close the manual shutter in the valve, then this criticism of the idea does not apply.
 When asked about this by the author, the cosmonauts’ children Marina Dobrovolskiy and Svetlana and Dmitriy Patsayev could not confirm Leonov’s remark. Also, his remark about Vera Patsayeva is not recorded in her meticulous diary.
 Here Feoktistov told Vera Patsayeva of the defect noted by Shatalov. The automatic shutter took the form of a ball fixed in its ‘nest’ by a screw, but the screw on valve No. 1 was not fastened properly and the shock of the pyrotechnics unseated the ball from the nest.
 As explained earlier, there was a small pyrotechnic charge in each valve to release the ball from its nest. Both valves were on the same electric circuit.
 As may be inferred from Mishin’s remarks, he made contradictory accounts in interviews given many years later. The fact that Leonov says he discussed the valves with the crew proves that they were aware of their settings, because they decided to use the settings which were specified in their onboard instruction. The thrust of Mishin’s argument was that he wished to place the blame on the crew’s training (which was the responsibility of Kamanin) rather than on the design of the craft by his bureau.
 In view of the poor workmanship and the fact that there were no post-flight checks until after the Soyuz 11 accident, a decompression at this phase of the mission was an accident waiting to happen, and if it had not occurred on Soyuz 11 it may well have done so on a later mission.
 In Sokol-K, the ‘K’ was for ‘космос’, the Russian word for ‘space’.
 This test could last six days because the unmanned spacecraft placed a lower load on its batteries.
 DOS-2 was DOS-7K No. 2, 17K No. 122.
 Although recruited as military cosmonauts, the fact that Kolodin and Voronov were not military pilots meant that they were unlikely to be assigned as spacecraft commanders.
 The irony, of course, was that Salyut was a civilian development of Almaz, and as Ustinov had realised early on, launching a scientific station first would serve as a maskirovka to hide the real project.
 Rodion Malinovskiy and Andrey Grechko (Ministers of Defence from 1957 to 1967 and 1967 to 1976 respectively) and Marshals Konstantin Vershinin and Pavel Kutakhov (Commanders in Chief of the Air Force from 1957 to 1969 and 1969 to 1984) had persistently urged that that the construction of the first Almaz station be accelerated.
 DOS-3 was 17K No. 123 and DOS-4 was 17K No. 124.
 The Kaliningrad mission control facility was designated TsUP-M, to distinguish it from TsUP-E at Yevpatoriya.
 Although Semyonov was a leading figure in the DOS programme, he probably supported Mishin on this issue simply through loyalty to his boss. However, it is also possible that Semyonov realised that owing to the problems faced by the N1 the lunar programme was likely to be cancelled, whereupon the TsKBEM’s only option would be the DOS programme.
 OKB-456, later to become Energomash.
 The loss of the OPS-1 station does not count in this context, because it was not a TsKBEM project.
 When launched, this was named Radio1.
 ‘Почему мы не слетали на Луну?’
 Mishin outlived his mentor, Sergey Afanasyev, by five months.
 It is now part of the Khrunichev Centre.
 RKK stands for Raketno-Kosmicheskaya Korporatsiya, which means Space Rocket Corporation.
 Fizichesko-Tehnicheckiy Institut.
 ‘Ракеты и люди’.
 ‘Семь шагов в небо’.
 ‘Траектория жизни’
 In fact, Kamanin’s ceased to be in charge of cosmonaut training on 25 June 1971, a few days before Soyuz 11 was due to return to Earth.
 ‘Скрытый космос’.
 Interestingly, it was at this time that the Voskhod 3 mission was cancelled, and Shatalov had been a member of the backup crew.
 ‘Трудные дороги космоса’.
 ‘Ждзнь – капля в море’.
 In 1999 this became the Russian Cosmonautics Federation.
 One Astronomical Unit (AU) is defined as the mean radius of the Earth’s orbit of the Sun.
 Such ships had already been named after Sergey Korolev, Vladimir Komarov, Yuriy Gagarin and Pavel Belyeyev.
 The fate of Cosmonaut Vladislav Volkov is uncertain. It was very likely sold to a private company and scrapped. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the largest tracking ships Academician Sergey Korolev and Cosmonaut Yuriy Gagarin were anchored in Odessa in Ukraine. Despite protests from Russia, both were sold to a private company that broke them up and sold the scrap to India in 1996.