I almost forgot about Soyuz 11! Today in 1971 the crew of Soyuz 11; Georgi Dobrovolsky, Vladislav Volkov and Viktor Patsayev; died during landing as a result of their Soyuz depressurizing (among other problems). They were the first crew to stay on a space station, Salyut 1.
This photo is after the press conference that confirmed Volkov, Dobrovolsky and Patsayev as the Soyuz 11 crew. The original crew was taken off when it was discovered on a X-ray that crew member Valery Kubasov might have tuberculosis. Left to right: Volkov, Dobrovolsky, head of cosmonaut training Nikolai Kamanin, Patsayev, Vladimir Shatalov and Nikolai Rukavishnikov, both of the Soyuz 10 crew.
Another photo from the same session as this one. Vladimir Komarov helped Yevgeni Khrunov on the left and Yuri Gagarin assists Alexei Yeliseyev on the right. I’ve found out that this is from training of the planned Soyuz 1 and 2 missions. Soyuz 1 would dock to Soyuz 2 with Khrunov and Yeliseyev transferring from 2 to 1. However the flight of Soyuz 2 was cancelled when Soyuz 1 went so badly. Gagarin was Komarov’s backup. Khrunov and Yeliseyev eventually made a transfer in 1969 on the Soyuz 4 and 5 mission.
This is my new favourite crew portrait. Here’s the Soyuz T-8 crew: Aleksandr Serebrov, Vladimir Titov and Gennady Strekalov. Usually cosmonauts keep their hands in their laps, but I love how Titov is holding onto Serebrov’s arm. Unfortunately during launch the radar antenna used to dock with Salyut was damaged and they could not dock with the station. The crew had to return back to Earth after only 2 days in space. (1983)
Some Landing Place Markers
When Soyuz TMA-05M landed this past week, a landing marker was put in, which I had never seen before. So I did a bit of investigating. I wasn’t able to find many like the Soyuz TMA-05M one, most of the markers are permanent statues.
Two cosmonauts celebrate their birthday today. Interestingly both are Aleksandrs and have a moustache. Aleksandr Lazutkin had a 184 day mission aboard Mir in 1997. He is now the head of the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics in Moscow. Aleksandr Poleshchuk also spent time on Mir for 179 days in 1989.
It was everybody’s favourite day at Baikonur: press day! The Soyuz crews train, play games, exercise and plant their traditional trees all while being closely followed by photographers and video cameras. Though I suppose the cosmonauts are glad when it’s over and not have a lens pointed their direction.
The crews of Soyuz TMA-06M left Star City for Baikonur yesterday. Their families saw them off. They even had a cheering section when they landed in Kazakhstan. They launch on October 23. (I covet Yevgeny Tarelkin’s wife’s coats. She had a red one at Red Square and now a houndstooth one.)