[FPSPACE] Soyuz 1

Geert Sassen geertsassen at gmail.com
Fri Mar 18 15:20:12 EDT 2011


I seem to remember we discussed this before on fpspace.

There were several failed parachute (drop) tests of Soyuz cabins (both
before and after Soyuz 1) and I wonder whether the footage you are revering
to isn't about one of these tests. It it was a drop-test that would explain
why it was camera-taped and why recovery personnel was very quickly on the
spot. I seem to remember reading somewhere that the parachute-ropes were
accidentally cut at great altitude during one drop-test (as they were on
Zond-6 ) in which case the cabin would indeed come down without any
parachute visible.

Although it was a somewhat different construction, the actual Vostok 2
cabine also smashed to pieces during a failed drop-test for the Voschod
parachute-system, in that case also no parachutes were deployed.

The Kamanin account as mentioned in 'Challenge to Apollo' seems to indicate
quite clearly that nobody actually saw Soyuz 1 crash, it came down far
off-target and helicopters only reached the wreckage after it was already on
the ground. However, it is mentioned that 2 parachutes were clearly visible
next to the burning wreckage, the drogue chute and the reserve-chute.

As you mention also, no account mentions any communications with Komarov
after completion of retro-fire, which seems likely also as the only antenna
was attached to the main-chute lines which never deployed. Furthermore,
there is no indication Komarov was aware that there was a problem with the
parachute-system, the in-orbit problems were completely unrelated to this
failure although he was probably aware of the various landing-problems
during the unmanned flights. It might always be possible that the US (using
better equipped listening-posts) picked up some final communication-attempts
which the soviet recovery-forces didn't receive but AFAIK nothing has ever
been de-classified on this.

Regards,

Geert.

>
>
> What bothers me is whether this is the actual film of the crash, because I
> have the Windfall Interview tape transcripts (courtesy of Phil Clark) done
> for the NOVA Soviet space program series back in 1990, and Mishin (one of
> those interviews not broadcast on the TV series special) was saying that the
> Red Air Force personnel were completely clueless as to where Komarov came
> down…..and Mishin spent many hours waiting before they took him near the
> crash site….if my memory serves me correctly….
>
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> Additionally, they had played on the Russian broadcast TV documentary a
> tape of the last couple of minutes of communications from space….once
> Komarov engaged in reentry, no more communications—at all.  Nothing
> afterwards.  Nothing after post-reentry, according to the TV documentary.
>
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> Thought you might like to know.
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> Peter
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>


-- 
Geert Sassen
http://www.facebook.com/geert.sassen
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