A summary of space exploration of the USSR, types of missiles and the most significant victories in this field. Part 1

Good afternoon, my dear reader. Your venerable servant, like millions of boys born in the Soviet Union, dreamed of becoming an astronaut. I did not become one, due to my health, and as it does not sound strange, growth. But the distant and unknown cosmos attracts me to this day.

In this article, I want to tell you about such interesting and truly cosmic things as launch vehicles and the payload that they delivered to outer space.

Dense space exploration began in the middle of the third five-year period, after the end of World War II. Active development was carried out in many countries, but the main leaders were naturally the USSR and the USA. The championship in the successful launch and launch of the launch vehicle from PS-1 (the simplest satellite) to near-Earth orbit belonged to the USSR. Before the first successful launch, there were as many as six generations of rockets and only the seventh generation (R-7) was able to develop the first space velocity at 8 km / s to overcome gravity and enter Earth orbit. Space rockets originated from long-range ballistic missiles, by forcing the engine. First, I’ll explain something to you. A rocket and a spaceship are two different things.

The rocket itself is just a means of delivering a spacecraft into space. This is the first 30 meters in the picture. And the spacecraft is already mounted on a rocket at the very top. However, there may not be a spaceship there; anything can be located there, from a satellite to a nuclear warhead. Which served as a great incentive and fear for the powers. The first successful launch and launch of a satellite into orbit meant a lot to the country. But most important of all, a military advantage.

The launch vehicles themselves, until the first successful launch, have only an alphanumeric designation. And only after fixing the successful conclusion of the payload to a given height, they get the name.

To the piggy bank: “Sputnik” - became the 8K71 (R-7) intercontinental ballistic missile, as well as the well-known ball with four antennas, which it launched into space. It happened on October 4, 1957.

Here is the very first artificial satellite PS-1 passes the final test of all systems.

PS-1 in space. (picture is not original shooting)

Five months later, another Sputnik 3 launch vehicle (8A91) was launched. Such a short development gap was due to the fact that the first launch vehicles could lift a payload of several kilograms into space, and launch from PS-1 on board was only the first goal against the USA. When the Americans accepted the fact that the USSR overtook them in the race for first place in space, they began to redouble their strength to finish their missiles. The USSR had to again get ahead of the United States and create a rocket that could launch a payload per ton into space. And this, after all, is already a real threat. Who knows how to launch such a rocket and send it to Washington? And Sputnik-3 was just the first missile, with a payload of 1300 kg.

Launch vehicle "Sputnik". On the left are three satellites, which he put into orbit of the earth.

There was nuclear hysteria in the USA even without it. In kindergartens, schools, factories, and factories, endless exercises began in the event of a nuclear strike. This was the first time that the Americans had nothing to oppose the USSR. Intercontinental ballistic missiles can reach the USSR in 11 minutes. A nuclear charge can fly from space much faster. Of course, all this is too complicated to really think so. But fear has big eyes.

By the way, here's another thing to add to the piggy bank: What do you think, how long does a rocket fly into space? An hour or two? Maybe half an hour?
To reach an altitude of 118 km, a rocket takes approximately 500 seconds, which is less than 10 minutes. An altitude of 118 km (100 km) is the so-called Karman line, where aeronautics becomes completely impossible. It is generally accepted that a flight is considered space if the Karman line has been overcome.

The missile is really American, but this picture very successfully reflects the atmosphere of the earth and the transition points.

The third rocket was the Moon. The USSR, seeing the futile attempts of the Americans, with their capitalist system, where the rocket is not built by the state, but by private companies that are interested in a greater degree of profit than in the space race, began to think about flying to the moon. And already on December 2, 1959, the booster rocket (8K71), by equipping with the third stage (“E” block), successfully set off towards our cause of the ebb and flow. Could have been done before, but due to developing self-oscillations, the launch vehicles were destroyed in flight at 102-104 seconds. And only after installing hydraulic damper blocks in the fuel systems did the rocket successfully reach ... the heliocentric orbit and became the first artificial satellite of the sun. And all because of the neglect of the propagation time of the AMC radio command (automatic interplanetary station).

The next launch vehicle was the Vostok 8K72. He then flew to the moon in September 1959 and successfully threw back the Luna-2 AWS, and a couple of pentagons with symbols of the USSR.

Launch vehicle "Vostok" standing on a pedestal at the Exhibition of Economic Achievements in Moscow.

Two metal pentagons with the symbols of the USSR sent together with AMS-2 to the moon.

(After this luck, the Americans began to build a pavilion where they decided to make a film about landing on the moon. Joke.) On October 4, the same year, a similar rocket with AMS Luna-3 was launched, which for the first time in the history of mankind, was able to photograph the opposite side The moon. Making ordinary Americans cry, hiding in a corner. Since, unfortunately, the moon on the other hand is absolutely the same and there are no moon parks and lunar cities on it.

Another side of the moon. 1959 year.

Korolev was in full swing planning to launch man into space, and therefore, in complete secrecy, a life support system for man in space was being developed. Sputnik series spacecraft launched on May 15, 1960. It was the first prototype of the Vostok satellite, which was used for the first manned space flight.

Copy of Sputnik spacecraft

The Sputnik-2 spacecraft was not intended to return to earth. But still it was decided to send a living creature into orbit. It was a beautiful mongrel named Laika. She was found in one of the dog shelters. They were selected according to the principle - white, small, not thoroughbred, as it should not be picky about food. 10 dogs were selected, of which only three were selected and tested. But one was waiting for posterity, and the other had an inborn curvature of the paws and it was left as technological. Scientists have developed a feeding system, twice a day, a sewage system and have performed a small operation to implant sensors. One was placed at the ribs and the other at the carotid artery to monitor breathing and heart rate. Laika was sent into space on November 3, 1957. Having made the wrong calculations in thermoregulation, the temperature in the ship rose to 40 ° C and within 5 hours the dog died of overheating, although the flight was calculated for 7 days (oxygen supply of the ship). Laika was doomed from the start. Many workers participating in the experiment were morally depressed for a very long time. The Western press reacted very negatively to this flight and TASS broadcast another seven days of information about the well-being of the dog, although the dog was already dead.

Laika. She was the first living creature to be in space, but without a chance to return.

The Sputnik-4 spacecraft was created to study the life support system and various situations related to the flight of a person into space: a doll 164 cm tall and weighing 72 kg was sent on it. After four days of flight, the satellite deviated from the planned course and at the beginning of braking instead of entering the atmosphere was thrown into a higher orbit, after which it could not return to the atmosphere in the planned mode. The wreckage of the satellite was found in the middle of the main street in the town of Manitawack in the US state of Wisconsin, which was a hint.

The remains of Sputnik-4 in the middle of the main street in the town of Manitawac in the US state of Wisconsin.


1. Photographic equipment; 2. The lander; 3. Cylinders of the orientation system; 4. Instrument compartment;
5. Antennas for telemetry systems; 6. Brake propulsion system; 7. Sun orientation sensor;
8. The builder of the vertical; 9. Antenna of a software radio link; 10. Antenna of a radio reconnaissance system

After this incident, every two months, there were launches on launch vehicles Vostok, of any representatives of the fauna of the earth. In July, the dogs Chaika and Lysychka were launched, but unfortunately, on the 19th second of the flight, the side rocket of the first stage collapsed, as a result of which it fell and exploded. Dogs Seagull and Chanterelle died.

The first dogs flew into space on a returning spaceship (lander).
Unfortunately, they were not destined to return.

And in August 60th, two of our prides, Squirrel and Strelochka, made a successful flight! But write the following information in your piggy bank: Together with Squirrel and Strelka, there were 40 mice and 2 rats on board. They spent 1 day and 9 hours in space. Shortly after landing, Strelka had six healthy puppies. Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev personally asked one of them. He sent it as a present to Carolyn Kennedy, daughter of US President John F. Kennedy.

Squirrel and Arrow, the first dogs to return from space.

On board the Sputnik-5 were not only dogs, but also such cute rats.

In December of the same year, the launch of Sputnik-6 was. The crew of the ship were dogs Mushka and Pchelka, two guinea pigs, two white laboratory rats, 14 black mice of the C57 line, seven mice of hybrids from mice SBA and C57 and five white outbred mice. A series of biological experiments, including research on the feasibility of flying nageophysical and space rockets of living creatures, monitoring the behavior of highly organized animals in such flights, as well as studying complex phenomena in near-Earth space.
Scientists have studied the effects on animals of most factors of a physical and cosmic nature: altered gravity, vibration and overload, sound and noise stimuli of various intensities, the effects of cosmic radiation, hypokinesia and physical inactivity. The flight lasted a little more than a day. At turn 17, due to a failure of the brake control system, the descent began in an off-design area. [1] It was decided to destroy the device by undermining the charge, in order to exclude an unplanned fall on foreign territory. All living creatures aboard perished. Despite the fact that the device was destroyed, the mission objectives were fulfilled, the collected scientific data were transmitted to the Earth using telemetry and television.

Dogs Mushka and Little Bee before flying into space.

After this incident, there were two more successful and one not so good launches of Vostok rockets. The Americans were indignant and every day they became more and more vague and more vicious and in every possible way intercepted encrypted signals and tried to decrypt them, but they endured fails.

A spy photo taken by U.S. intelligence decoding the broadcast code from Sputnik 6

on April 12, 1961, the USSR launched its final strike and sent Yura into space on the same launch vehicle in the Vostok-1 spacecraft, which completed one revolution around the earth and landed at 10 hours 55 minutes. To understand what the Vostok-1 spaceship is, I will give its overall characteristics:

• The mass of the device is 4.725 tons;
• Diameter of the tight case - 2.2 m;
• Length (without antennas) - 4.4 m;
• The maximum diameter is 2.43 m

(As I wrote above, I'm not an astronaut, I just had the opportunity to sit in a similar apparatus on the ground.) This is a very uncomfortable aircraft, I will tell you. With my height of 190cm, it was extremely uncomfortable to sit in a bucket chair, and even in a spacesuit. Therefore, Gagarin was selected by height, weight and health. (170/70 / excellent) But even Gagarin most likely felt uncomfortable in such a tiny capsule.

The Vostok lander and a chair next to which is ejected.

I want to note that the first human flight was completely automatic, but Jura could switch the ship to manual control at any time. For this, it was necessary to enter a special security code to turn off the automation, which was in a sealed envelope, which was in an egg, an egg in a duck, a duck .... in short before the flight, Korolev whispered this code to Yurka, is it still enough? And everything was done for the sake of the fact that no one knew how the human nervous system would behave in space and whether he would go crazy. Therefore, the code for manual control was placed in an envelope that only a sane person could open.

Our common pride!

I want to tell you some interesting details about the first human flight.

Gagarin was that one "Cedar".

The launch of missiles always falls on uneven times.

In 9-57 Gagarin waved his hand personally to the president of America, flying over it.

Bus carrying astronauts to the rocket, blue.

The same bus.

Gagarin could refuse a flight at any moment, and he would be replaced by Titov, who in turn could be replaced by Nelyubov.

Pencils in space are best tied. By the way, due to weightlessness, ordinary fountain pens do not write in space.

During the descent of the spacecraft, due to problems in the brake-propulsion system, the ship began to rotate for 10 minutes with an amplitude of a full revolution of 1 second. Gagarin did not begin to scare the Queen and streamlined the emergency situation, which speaks of his steel nerves. All descent vehicles of the Vostok type land on a ballistic trajectory, which leads to overloads of up to 10 ji. In addition, the ship is very hot and wildly crackles in the lower atmosphere, which can put a lot of pressure on the psyche. When the ship reaches a mark of 7 km above the ground, the astronaut is ejected, which descends separately from the descent vehicle on their own parachutes. What is a bailout on a Vostok ship? When the descent vehicle launches a parachute and the speed from 900 km / h gradually drops to 72 km / h, under the astronaut’s seat, a pyrotechnic charge is triggered and the chair, together with the astronaut, whistles into free fall. Then the astronaut should have time to detach from the chair and already independently descend by parachute to the ground. And this is with wild overloads, constant fear and distrust of automation. After ejection, Gagarin’s oxygen valve did not work and he began to choke. After some time, the valve opened and Yura took a deep breath. When the parachute opened, it began to be demolished straight to the Volga. Let me remind you that the water in April is a little cold and he was again a hair's breadth from death, and his ability to maneuver with the help of slings saved his ability. I think, beyond words, that he managed to suffer a little with this little time. It was worth it. Yuri Alekseevich Gagarin, the most famous (contemporary) man on earth who ever lived.

During descent, the capsule begins to burn in the lower atmosphere.

The parachute opens at a speed of 900 km / h. A

capsule lands at a speed of 7 m / s.

This is how the descent vehicle burns.

Pre-launch check of all systems.

Korolev does not hide his excitement, communicates with Gagarin during the flight.

The most famous person on the planet!

On the cover of Time magazine.

On the cover of Life magazine.

But he himself was very modest.

On this I will finish the first part about space exploration of the USSR. If you are interested in continuing, I will be happy to write. Later I will talk about other countries, including the United States, which have also done a lot in this area of ​​activity.

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