ISS-64 mission


ISS crew:

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



Life trajectory

February 8, 2021

 On February 7 Konstantin Petrovich Feoktistov would have been 95. A lead systems engineer of the first manned spacecraft Vostok, developer of Voskhod and Soyuz spacecraft and Salyut and Mir orbital stations, deputy general designer of NPO Energia and the worlds first engineer to travel in space, who was selected for that mission by S.P.Korolev himself. He was one of the most striking, outstanding and amazing personalities in the history of spaceflight. The quickest wit I ever met, as B.Y. Chertok once said.

All who knew Konstantin Feoktistov remember him as a determined, unrelenting character who could never be intimidated by high and mighties. That character stems from his childhood. As a boy of ten, having read the book by Y.Perelman Interplanetary Travel, he resolved that he would become a builder of space vehicles and fly to the Moon. That was back in 1936, and nobody at the time took that resolution seriously. Except himself. He made it to his dream, in spite of the fact that the path to it took him through the war, to which he ran away from home as a 16-year old. He became a scout, who went behind enemy lines on multiple missions. And he even managed to survive after an execution by a firing squad, when, on one mission, he was captured by the Nazis.

After the victory he came to Moscow to study. In 1949 K.P. Feoktistov graduated from Moscow Higher Technical School (now known as Bauman Moscow State Technical University), specializing in mechanical engineering. He took a job at our company in 1957 when he already was a highly skilled professional, a candidate of engineering science. He had under his belt an experience of working at the Special Design Bureau 385 of the USSR Ministry of Armament in Zlatoust and the 4th Research Institute of the USSR Academy of Artillery Science as a member of M.K. Tikhonravovs team.

K.P. Feoktistov was appointed chief of section at 9th (systems engineering) department of Special Design Bureau 1. He immediately became a prominent figure. He took part in the development of the first artificial Earth satellite. He made a significant contribution to the development of preliminary design of Vostok spacecraft and the launch vehicle that put this spacecraft in Earth orbit: For example, it was Feoktistov who proposed that the descent vehicle of the future Vostok spacecraft should be spherical in shape. In January 1962 K.P. Feoktistov became the head of 9th department of Special Design Bureau 1.

And after the first team of cosmonauts was established, he gave a series of lectures about Vostok spacecraft design to the members of the first, Gagarins team. And in October of 1964, three years after Gagarin, he himself went into orbit as a member of the crew of the first multi-seater spacecraft Voskhod, along with Vladimir Komarov and Boris Yegorov. His only mission into space, which lasted just a little more than one day, made him a celebrity forever. K.P. Feoktistov was the worlds first civilian in space, and what is more, he flew in a spacecraft of his own design. Setting out into space, he had not joined the communist party, and he remained the only non-party man among Soviet cosmonauts, moreover, he only enrolled into the cosmonaut corps four years later, in 1968.

The flight in the first spacecraft of the new Voskhod series was one of a kind. It was the first time when three cosmonauts went into orbit at once, and they flew their mission without spacesuits. S.P.Korolev knew that he was taking a great risk putting into one capsule three couches, which did not have their dedicated parachute systems, and seating into them a crew who were wearing ordinary track suits. Record breaking for that time were the orbital altitude (408 kilometers), the spacecraft mass (over 5 tons) and mission duration (more than 24 hours).

Ever since then, Konstantin Feoktistov was travelling three roads at once: he continued to develop new space hardware, to train for future missions, to pursue science. He made a huge contribution to the development of manned spaceflight. He was an active participant in the Soviet lunar program. Feoktistovs role in the development of orbital space stations can hardly be overestimated: He was deputy project manager for long-duration orbital station DOS-7K. His engineering proposals became the basis for Apollo-Soyuz program, he was one of the TsKBEM representatives at the talks with US specialists. K.P. Feoktistov was one of the authors of the idea to re-fuel in orbit the new-generation space stations that had two docking ports, which prompted the development of the unmanned logistics spacecraft Progress. In the capacity of deputy chief designer of Soyuz T spacecraft, he took an active part in the development of the procedure for rendezvous and docking of Soyuz T-13 spacecraft (piloted by V.A. Dzhanibekov and V.P.Savynikh) with the derelict orbital station Salyut-7.

For 13 years, starting with 1974, Konstantin Feoktistov was deputy general designer of NPO Energia. The first multi-modular habitable orbital station Mir was designed under his direction. He was a member of the senior management for the Energia-Buran project.

Until he reached the retirement age, he was a member of the cosmonaut corps, he was training for missions, including those on the spacecraft of the Soyuz T series which he had developed, and he even planned to take part in a space mission dedicated to the study of the effects of space environment on elderly people.

But, in spite of such work load, K.P. Feoktistov always found time to pursue science. As far back as 1967, when he was forty, he became doctor of engineering and a prominent scientist. In 1990, when he left Energia, he did not retire, but moved to his alma mater, Bauman MSTU. Professor Feoktistov read lectures there for 15 years. He was a corresponding member of the International Academy of Astronautics, and authored more than 150 scientific works and 20 inventions.

Konstantin Petrovich Feoktistov was awarded two Orders of Patriotic War, I Class, Gold Star of the Hero of Soviet Union, orders of Lenin, Badge of Honor, two orders of the Red Banner of Labor and many medals; he also was a winner of Lenin and State Prizes.




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