ISS-64 mission


ISS crew:

Commander -
Sergey Ryzhikov
Flight engineers:
Sergey Kud-Sverchkov
Kathleen Rubins
Michael Hopkins
Victor Glover
Shannon Walker
Soichi Noguchi



On the occasion of the 85th anniversary of Vladislav Volkov

November 25, 2020

 November 23 marks the 85th anniversary of pilot cosmonaut of the USSR Vladislav Nikolaevich Volkov. His working career started at OKB-1 (now known as RSC Energia), where he resolved to dedicate his life to space exploration.

Vladislav Volkov graduated from the electromechanical department of the Moscow Aviation Institute in 1959, the year that saw the beginnings of the Soviet lunar program. During that period the unmanned probe Luna-1 was sent towards the Moon and became the first artificial satellite of the Sun. It was followed by Luna-2, which was the first to reach the lunar surface, and Luna-3, which was the first to photograph the far side of this natural satellite of Earth. While still being a student, he goes to the place where such machines are being built under the direction of the Chief Designer of OKB-1, Sergei Pavlovich Korolev!

Vladislav Volkov found himself in the right and important place at the most interesting time for developers of space hardware. Those were years of hard and interesting work. It was the time when, for the first time, living things Belka and Strelka came back from space, and then Yuri Gagarin orbited Earth in the spacecraft, among the developers of which was Vladislav Volkov. He started his career as a technician in the 10th department of OKB-1, after that he worked as engineer in the 4th department. Starting from September 4, 1961, he held the office of the deputy lead designer for Vostok spacecraft, taking part in the design, tests and launches of those spacecraft. Starting from February 16, 1962, he worked as the deputy lead designer for Vostok and Voskhod spacecraft. When Korolev made his appeal for the engineers and designers who developed space hardware on the ground to go into space, Vladislav applied for admission to the cosmonaut corps.

May 11, 1964 became the most important day in his life. Along with other candidate cosmonauts, he was summoned by Korolev who outlined to them the general prospects for spaceflight. He said that spacecraft of the future would have more sophisticated controls than Vostok-series spacecraft, that they would be designed for longer stays in orbit and conducting in space various scientific and engineering experiments. Korolev was certain that pretty soon there would be crews in space consisting of people in various professions, and that would become essential when we would go to the Moon, Mars, Venus. He was talking about the new spacecraft, which would soon be given the name of Soyuz, and eventually become the most well-known spacecraft on this planet.

It took Vladislav Volkov five years to travel the road towards his first mission. It was as late as May 23, 1966, that he was put on the list of candidate cosmonaut testers of TsKBM by the order of V.P.Mishin. From September 1966 through December 1968 he trained at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center as the flight engineer of the passive Soyuz (7K-OK) spacecraft under the program Docking, first as a member of the team, and since January 1967 as a member of the backup crew. From February through September 1969 Vladislav Volkov trained as the flight engineer of the main crew of Soyuz-7 and went on to take part in the first mission where three spacecraft flew in formation.

The second space mission of cosmonaut Volkov took place in 1971. Its objective was to deliver the crew of Soyuz-11 to the first orbital station Salyut-1. On June 7, 1971, the spacecraft commander Georgy Dobrovolsky, researcher Victor Patsayev and flight engineer Vladislav Volkov left Earth onboard Soyuz-11. Having completed a successful docking, the crew spent twenty two days on board the station, and completed all the scheduled tasks. On the day of the landing, June 30, 1971, the crew of Soyuz-11 died as a result of emergency depressurization of the descent vehicle.

Cosmonaut No.20 Vladislav Volkov died when he was 36. During his short life he managed to do a lot. The next spacecraft in the Soyuz series was redesigned, and, for additional protection, just as a safeguard, ever since then all the crews have been wearing pressure suits Sokol during launch, landing and docking. But the most important thing is that he loved his work and did it so well that he was twice awarded the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union.

Using spacecraft which will fly around Earth, especially when large long-term orbital stations are established, it will be possible to carry out many tasks of the national economy. This will make easier the hard work man does on the ground in order to make life more beautiful!. These are the words from his last interview before the launch, which he said to a reporter from Izvestia newspaper and to us who live in that future now.




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