ISS-63 mission


ISS-62/63

ISS crew:

Commander -
Christopher Cassidy
Flight engineers:
Anatoly Ivanishin
Ivan Wagner
Robert Behnken
Douglas Hurley


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60th anniversary of the launch of the first Vostok spacecraft

May 15, 2020

 On May 15, 1960, a three-stage launch vehicle Vostok was launched from the Baikonur launch site carrying an experimental prototype of the Vostok spacecraft in order to conduct flight tests under the program of the first manned mission into space.

Development of our countrys manned spacecraft began in OKB-1 (now known as RSC Energia) by the Government Resolution dated May 22, 1959. In as little as one year the OKB-1 design team led by the Chief Designer Sergei Pavlovich Korolev completed development of the main systems and equipment of the new spacecraft, and the Pilot Production Plant No.88 (now known as ZAO ZEM of RSC Energia) built the first units of this product in cooperation with other companies in the rocket and space industry. For the debut flight test of the design, an unmanned engineering model of the spacecraft was used, which had no life support system, landing equipment or thermal shielding of the descent vehicle.

After a successful launch, the spacecraft ran through a four-day cycle of functional checks on the onboard systems and reliability of its structure. On May 19, 1960, on command from the ground the retrorocket was fired to initiate the reentry with subsequent separation of its modules. But due to a failure in the attitude control system, Vostok went into a higher orbit instead of the planned descent trajectory, thus performing its first orbital maneuver. The spacecraft modules continued their flight in orbit for several more years and eventually left orbit and re-entered because of the natural atmospheric drag in the upper atmosphere.

The developmental testing program of unmanned spacecraft made possible the worlds first manned space mission of the Vostok spacecraft on April 12, 1961, which ushered in the age of manned spaceflight for the whole world.

 

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