ISS-64 mission


ISS-64

ISS crew:

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


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60th anniversary of the flight of Mushka and Pchyolka

December 1, 2020

On December 1, 1960 a Vostok launch vehicle was launched form the Baikonur cosmodrome carrying the third satellite-spaceship 1K, which was one more prototype of the future manned spacecraft Vostok. The spacecraft carrying onboard the dogs Mushka and Pchelka fully completed the program of flight design tests, but had to be destroyed during re-entry because of an off-nominal situation.

Development of our countrys manned spacecraft began in OKB-1 (now known as RSC Energia) by the Government Resolution dated May 22, 1959. In just one year the design team under the leadership of the Chief Designer Sergei Pavlovich Korolev completed development of core 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 test units in cooperation with other companies in the rocket and space industry. Experimental unmanned spacecraft 1K with biological objects onboard were intended for tests of spacecraft systems and radio controls, life support system trials and study of effects of space environment on living things.

The third 'satellite-spaceship' continued the research program of the previous mission of the dogs Belka and Strelka, who had successfully returned to Earth. This time the ejectable container with the test subjects, dogs Mushka and Pchelka, two light-haired female dogs four years old, who had received pre-flight training at the Moscow Institute for Bio-Medical Problems. In addition to this the pressurized cabin of the spacecraft housed cages with guinea-pigs and mice, test tubes with fruit flies, vials with plant seeds, biological tissues and DNA samples, bacterial cultures, viruses and enzymes. Physiological parameters of the dogs were recorded in flight using sensors, data from which were transmitted to ground tracking stations along with the spacecraft telemetry. Well-being and motion behavior of the animals under conditions of prolonged zero gravity were monitored using TV equipment and motion sensors.

On December 2, 1960, in its eighteenth orbit, the spacecraft switched to the reentry mode after completion of the one-day program of experiments. As a result of a malfunction in the retro engine control system, it ended up in an off-nominal orbit and self-destructed to avoid an uncontrolled landing outside the USSR borders. The tragic death of the four-footed crew notwithstanding, the data obtained in the course of the mission of the third satellite-spaceship 1 once again verified the engineering solutions adopted in preparation for manned space missions. The program of developmental testing of unmanned satellite-spaceship spacecraft made possible the worlds first manned mission of Vostok spacecraft on April 12, 1961.

 

 

 

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