Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome; landing
near Orenburg (40 km from Novoorsk / 3 km of Karabutak).
launch, Soyuz 1 engineers are said to have reported 203 design faults to party
leaders, but their concerns "were overruled by political pressures for a series
of space feats to mark the anniversary of Lenin's birthday. It is not clear how
much of this pressure resulted from the need to continue beating the United
States in the Space Race and have Soviets first on the Moon, or to take
advantage of the recent setbacks in the U.S. space program.
was the first manned test of the new developed Soyuz spacecraft
. It was
planned, that a second Soyuz spacecraft should be launched shortly after Soyuz
1 and that two cosmonauts of
travel in space from one spacecraft to another. But the launch of
officially scrubbed due to heavy rain over Baikonur.
The problems in
this mission began shortly after the launch. A solar panel could not be unfold
and so the spacecraft had a shortage of power for its systems. The spacecraft
also could not be maneuvered (problems with orientation detectors). Later on
the stabilization system was down and the manual system could be used only
partially. So the mission was aborted and that may probably the reason, why
The problems onboard ended in a precipitated landing. The
first automatically controlled retrofire in the 16th orbit failed, so Vladimir
tried it again (successful) in the 18th orbit.
had only little control, he might have survived, but
the main parachute, which was put out in a height of 6,5 km did not deploy due
to a failure of a pressure sensor and the manually deployed reserve chute
became tangled with the drag chute. As a result, the Soyuz reentry module fell
to Earth in Orenburg Oblast almost entirely unimpeded, at about 40 m/s (140
km/h; 89 mph); Vladimir
Komarov died on impact
. At impact there was an explosion
and an intense fire that engulfed the capsule. Local farmers rushed to try to
put it out.
It is told, that his dispairing calls for help have been
heard from western radio amateurs. This seems to be wrong. At the moment when
the reserve chute did not deploy and Vladimir
recogniced that he will not survive, the spacecraft
was only 6000 meters above the ground. At this point FM broadcasting
transmissions were not able to receive in foreign countries.