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    History of Soviet Space Program

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    Big_Gazza

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    Re: History of Soviet Space Program

    Post  Big_Gazza on Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:01 pm

    According to Perminovs book "Difficult Road to Mars" the cause of the systemic failures observed in the 1974 armada of Mars 4,5,6 & 7 were due to faulty microchips.  Some bright spark had the idea to save a few rubles by replacing the gold in the chips with aluminium.  Somehow this idea went ahead, and it wasn't until the probes were built and commited to the launch window that it was discovered that the modifications lead to corrosion of the connection points.  It was decided to launch anyway, and the result was that chip failure resulted in mission losses.  Mars 4 orbiter missed its orbital injection, Mars 5 entered orbit but was lost soon afterwards when the electronics enclosure was vented to space, Mars 6 lander was crippled with the loss of Mars 4&5 as the lander relied on orbiters to maintain commlink during descent as the flyby-only bus would drop below the local horizon prior to landing, and the Mars 7 lander missed and entered solar orbit.  Its unknown if Mars 6 survived the landing, and telemetry showing it gyrating wildly on its parachute, but without the orbiters to act as radio relays, the landing science was always going to be lost.

    Mars 3 does however have the honour of being the first successful lander. NASA MRO images have located Mars 3 and its landing hardware (heat shield, braking rocket & parachute) and the lander appears to be deployed with its petals open and the lander upright. It seems that the cause of the loss of transmission was not a lander failure, but the Mars 3 orbiter (acting as radio relay) prematurely dropping below the local horizon (as evidenced by simultaneous cutout of both redundant transmitters).  Mars 3 orbiter was supposed to be injected into a 24 hr orbit, but a loss of fuel during flight prevented a sufficiently long engine burn and resulted in a highly elliptical 13 day orbit.  Instead of being available for relaying the first TV scan and then revisiting the landing zone the next day, the orbiter dropped below the horizon too soon and took more than a week to return, after which the landers batteries were long dead.  

    BTW the loss of Phobos 1 by erroneous command was due to there being old software routines still present from testing.  Instead of being deleted prior to launch, they were left in place, and the transmitted codes accidentally triggered the test routines and shutdown the attitude control system.

    Soviet failures at Mars were a combination of bad engineering decisions, bad luck, unreliable technology, and inflexible hard-wired spacecraft that were unable to be reprogrammed to alter the mission in light of unanticipated circumstances.  They can tantalisingly close on a few occasions however, particulary the Mars 3 lander...
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    Big_Gazza

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    Re: History of Soviet Space Program

    Post  Big_Gazza on Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:35 pm

    George1 wrote:
    Now the group set up by Egorov is trying to find out where Mars-6 is. The spacecraft entered the atmosphere of Mars in 1974. Immediately after landing it ceased all transmissions. According to one version, the breakdown was caused by a Martian storm that caught the probe while its soft landing engines were being started.

    “According to the telemetry data, the spacecraft opened its parachute,” Egorov says. “We have been trying to find it, but so far to no avail. In the pictures that we have, we have noticed some dots that might have been produced by a descending module, but so far we have not gathered enough supporting evidence. We are waiting for new pictures of the area where the spacecraft presumably landed.”

    Actually, radio contact was lost with Mars 6 lander during parachute descent when the Mars 6 fly-by bus descended below the local horizon. The Mars 6 lander was fitted with telemetry uplink for use during decent (which Mars 2&3 didn't have) but it was intended to use radio repeaters on Mars 4 & 5 orbiters to rely the lander signals to earth, but the previous failures of both orbiters meant that the Mars 6 fly-by bus had to be used, and its trajectory meant that it only cover the lander for a portion of its descent. It is possible that Mars 6 did successfully land, but we won't know until its remains are imaged.

    Keep in mind that the 1974 launch window was less favorable than the 1972 window of Mars 2/3, and the spacecraft had by necessity a lower mass. The mass was insufficient for each spacecraft to both enter orbit and drop a lander, so Mars 4&5 were orbiters, while Mars 6&7 were fly-bys which dropped landers as the flew past.
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    Big_Gazza

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    Re: History of Soviet Space Program

    Post  Big_Gazza on Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:44 pm

    kvs wrote:The recent spectacular Proton launcher failure was due
    to outright sabotage where a critical sensor was hammered into place upside down.   If the average
    aerospace worker was acting like some village idiot, then Russia would simply have no space program.
    So this is not a sample of "typical Russian work ethics".

    Yes, sabotage is entirely possible. Whoever installed the yaw sensor modules in upside down had to work hard to make them fit. On the other hand, designing these modules so that they can be inserted wrongly and still feed valid signals to the flight control system when the rocket is stationary is a gross design flaw. What is especially galling is that Protons 1st stage is very reliable, and this stupid error not only caused the loss of three Glonass satellites, but it gave the USA another opportunity to snicker and demean Russian technical capabilities. Combine this fault with the ongoing reliability issues with the Breeze upper stage and Russia has had a very bad patch of late. We can only hope that the appropriate lessons have been learned and these failures will no longer occur.
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    George1

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    Re: History of Soviet Space Program

    Post  George1 on Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:26 pm

    Cosmonaut Leonov Marks 50 Years Since Mankind's First Spacewalk



    Alexei Leonov was the first human to exit, float free and then reenter an orbiting spacecraft, during the Voskhod-2 spacecraft mission on March 18, 1965.

    KRASNOGORSK (Sputnik) — Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov will be in Krasnogorsk Wednesday to celebrate his spacewalk of 50 years ago, mankind's first.

    Leonov, who will turn 81 in May, was the first human to exit, float free and then reenter an orbiting spacecraft, during the Voskhod-2 spacecraft mission on March 18, 1965.

    "Seven emergency situations happened during the flight, which had never been described anywhere. The most serious of them […] when the navigation system failed," Leonov told journalists.

    The cosmonaut added that it took the rescuers three days to find the Voskhod-2 crew after their successful landing.

    The legendary space explorer attended the unveiling of Cosmonauts Alley in the city of Krasnogorsk near Moscow. A model of the Voskhod-2 is part of the new monument, installed at the site.

    The ceremony also featured a presentation of a new feature film about Leonov's historic spacewalk, set for theatrical release in 2016. The retired cosmonaut acted as a consultant on the project.

    Leonov is also set to unveil a memorial stone, celebrating his extraterrestrial exploits, at the Star City space training facility.

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/russia/20150318/1019662337.html#ixzz3Uju3hn8P
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    Rmf

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    Re: History of Soviet Space Program

    Post  Rmf on Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:47 am

    i am not so sure actually ,venus probes , flyby or orbiters+ landers , didnt have that many problems ,in  leningrad- svetlana institute was manufacturing transistors ince 1955 for military and civilian use and was reliable.

    although venus is closer then mars, orbital mechanics and ecoomical routes mean it travels about just as long as traveling to mars would take ,venus probes also had more sun radiation bursts and solar winds to whitstand ,even recent phobos -grunt probe was stuck in orbit -so mars does have some bad luck...
    sometime orbiters worked but landers didnt, or vice versa....
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    Big_Gazza

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    Re: History of Soviet Space Program

    Post  Big_Gazza on Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:28 pm

    Rmf wrote:i am not so sure actually ,venus probes , flyby or orbiters+ landers , didnt have that many problems ,in  leningrad- svetlana institute was manufacturing transistors ince 1955 for military and civilian use and was reliable.

    although venus is closer then mars, orbital mechanics and ecoomical routes mean it travels about just as long as traveling to mars would take ,venus probes also had more sun radiation bursts and solar winds to whitstand ,even recent phobos -grunt probe was stuck in orbit -so mars does have some bad luck...
    sometime orbiters worked but landers didnt, or vice versa....

    The Venus missions did not use the faulty chips. Mars 4-7 were launched mid-1973, while the first of the 3MS-derived spacecraft (Veneras 9 & 10) were launched 2 years later. It's significant that the heavy Venera orbiters all functioned well and the Mars orbiters/fly-bys were so dogged with problems. Its fair to say that the Soviets would have tried again, but given the tremendous success of the US Vikings (and that the Soviet Mars landers were so "agricultural" in comparison), they felt that any science returns would be overshadowed and only serve to demonstrate their inferior technical level. Its a great pity as I would have loved to see what images the Mars 3 lander mechanical scan camera could produce.
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    Rmf

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    Re: History of Soviet Space Program

    Post  Rmf on Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:43 pm

    well after the moon landing in early 70s there was a mini space race to send probes to nearby planets using good lauch windows to mars and venus.
    venus orbiters had some shieling and thus better cooling but electronics parts were taken from aborted mars missions because they were assembled and readied too late to launch.
    so i am taking strictly about orbiters- there wasnt difference between mars and venus orbiters.
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    George1

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    Re: History of Soviet Space Program

    Post  George1 on Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:46 pm

    Lavrov: Gagarin's Space Flight Marked New Era in Civilization History

    The first manned space flight marked a new era in the history of civilization, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia is celebrating Cosmonautics Day on Tuesday to commemorate the first manned space flight on April 12, 1961, when a booster rocket took into orbit the Vostok spacecraft with the first cosmonaut on board – Soviet citizen Yuri Gagarin.

    "It is hard to overestimate the importance of [the first] man's exit into outer space – the flight of the Vostok [spacecraft] marked a new era in the history of civilization, confirmed outstanding contribution of our country to world progress. Gagarin's deed represents heroism and selflessness of the Russian people, their capabilities to be at their best in [solving] the most sophisticated and truly epochal problems," the Russian foreign minister told the RT broadcaster.

    On April 7, 2011, upon Russia's initiative, the UN General Assembly proclaimed April 12 the International Day of Human Space Flight on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the first space flight by Gagarin. The resolution was co-authored by over 60 UN member states.

    Since 2001, many countries around the world have been holding Yuri's Night sponsored by the Space Generation Advisory Council, an official adviser of the UN program on using space equipment. It focuses on two events: the first manned space flight (April 12, 1961, Soviet Union) and the first manned flight under the Space Shuttle program (April 12, 1981, United States).

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/science/20160412/1037865840/lavrov-gagarin-space-flight.html#ixzz45bl53Fcj


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    starman

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    Re: History of Soviet Space Program

    Post  starman on Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:37 pm

    Vann7 wrote:
    I found amazing how similar other planets surface looks to some places in earth.. the sand and rocks are similar
    to volcanic zones in earth .. but the sky for sure very different.

    Another similarity is rarity of extant impact craters. Unlike Mars and the moon etc, Venus has a dense atmosphere, capable of burning up even large objects.
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    starman

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    Re: History of Soviet Space Program

    Post  starman on Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:40 pm

    GarryB wrote:There was a lot of speculation before the Soviets send probes to Venus that perhaps under all those clouds that Venus might be like a prehistoric Earth with dinosaurs and such like.

    Long before the Soviet probes, spectroscopic studies revealed the high CO2 amounts and negligible oxygen, so Venus was assumed to be lifeless.
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    starman

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    Re: History of Soviet Space Program

    Post  starman on Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:47 pm

    GarryB wrote:
    The lack of water would be a problem but it is almost certain there was water there in the past, and possibly a geological record in the rock of the surface to explore...

    I dunnoo...I heard Venus experiences periodic, catastrophic vulcanism, essentially turning itself inside out.
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    GarryB

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    Re: History of Soviet Space Program

    Post  GarryB on Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:07 pm

    At one point the earth had a molten surface too...


    At least once in its recent geological history the earth was an iceball where temperatures dropped out of control and the surface was covered in ice which reflected away heat and further cooled the planet in a runaway cycle... pretty much the opposite to Venus and its runaway heating problem.

    For quite some time the earth would have been uninhabitable by anything other than single cell organisms... but then some simple one cell organisms learned to create energy using the power of sunlight... photosynthesis... and the deadly byproduct of oxygen wiped out most of the existing population of the planet... those that survived lived in an oxygen rich environment... an energy rich environment...

    The first bacteria on venus could simply convert CO2 into O2... the opposite of the green house effect... get rid of all that CO2 and the clouds thin and IR radiation can escape into space... as the air cools liquid water will form seas and oceans and life becomes much more viable... it would certainly be hotter than earth but not necessarily a desert.

    Right now Antarctica is an ice cube but not that long ago Australia was attached to Antarctica and the water flowing around that large continent went around antarctica and up to near the equator.... both continents were tropical because the water was heated as it went past the equator and took that warmth south around the entire island.

    When Australia split the water could go around each continent so the water going around Australia remained warm while the water currents going around Antarctica stayed in southern latitudes and never got to the warm equatorial areas near Australia so the water going around antarctica cooled... as did the island continent of antarctia.

    What happened to Antarctica is what will happen to Europe if the gulf stream reverses and the warm water from the equator stops moving up past Europe to mix with Arctic water...


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    starman

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    Re: History of Soviet Space Program

    Post  starman on Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:54 pm

    GarryB wrote:At one point the earth had a molten surface too...

    But not for around 3.8 billion years.


    At least once in its recent geological history the earth was an iceball where temperatures dropped out of control and the surface was covered in ice which reflected away heat and further cooled the planet in a runaway cycle... pretty much the opposite to Venus and its runaway heating problem.

    I would question "out of control." The ice ages affected only higher/middle latitudes. Plenty of thermophilic creatures like crocs survived, albeit in a reduced area closer the equator than before or since.

    The first bacteria on venus could simply convert CO2 into O2... the opposite of the green house effect... get rid of all that CO2 and the clouds thin and IR radiation can escape into space... as the air cools liquid water will form seas and oceans and life becomes much more viable... it would certainly be hotter than earth but not necessarily a desert.

    Life predated the oxygen poisoners, which off the top of my head appeared around 2 billion years ago. If life got started around the same time on Venus--c 3.7 billion years ago--and developed at the same pace, I'm not sure it would've survived long enough to obviate/mitigate a runaway greenhouse effect.

    Cookee

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    identify flight suit

    Post  Cookee on Thu May 04, 2017 11:15 pm

    Gents looking for help identifying the green suits the cosmonauts are wearing in the below picture. photo is circa '75. Any help is greatly appreciated!



    Cook
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    PapaDragon

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    Re: History of Soviet Space Program

    Post  PapaDragon on Thu May 04, 2017 11:28 pm

    Cookee wrote:Gents looking for help identifying the green suits the cosmonauts are wearing in the below picture. photo is circa '75. Any help is greatly appreciated!



    Cook

    Photo is from Apollo Soyuz Test Project

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo%E2%80%93Soyuz_Test_Project

    I think those are just cosmonaut uniforms. During mission they wore Sokol pressure suits.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokol_space_suit
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    George1

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    Re: History of Soviet Space Program

    Post  George1 on Thu May 04, 2017 11:58 pm

    Cookee wrote:Gents looking for help identifying the green suits the cosmonauts are wearing in the below picture. photo is circa '75. Any help is greatly appreciated!

    Cook

    Introduce yourself pls

    http://www.russiadefence.net/f6-member-introductions-and-rules


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    Cookee

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    Re: History of Soviet Space Program

    Post  Cookee on Fri May 05, 2017 12:37 am

    [quote="PapaDragon"]
    Cookee wrote:Gents looking for help identifying the green suits the cosmonauts are wearing in the below picture. photo is circa '75. Any help is greatly appreciated!



    Cook

    Photo is from Apollo Soyuz Test Project



    I think those are just cosmonaut uniforms. During mission they wore Sokol pressure suits.



    yes any idea what their military designation is? cant find anything on actual flight suit. just space suit like the sokol you pointed out. thanks

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    George1

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    Re: History of Soviet Space Program

    Post  George1 on Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:23 pm

    Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Leonov to publish book about Yuri Gagarin’s death in air crash

    More:
    http://tass.com/science/960475


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    George1

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    Re: History of Soviet Space Program

    Post  George1 on Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:08 am



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