ISS-65 mission


ISS crew:

Commander -
Akihiko Hoshide

Flight engineers:
leg Novitskiy
Petr Dubrov
Mark Vande Hei
Robert Shane Kimbrough
Megan McArthur
Tomas Pesquet



60th anniversary of the launch of Satellite-Spaceship Four

March 9, 2021

On March 9, 1961, a three-stage launch vehicle was launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome, carrying the first flight model of satellite-spaceship 3KA Vostok designed for manned missions into space. The spacecraft with the dog called Chernushka onboard has fully accomplished the mission of flight development testing and opened the door to manned exploration of low-Earth orbit.

Development of our countrys manned spacecraft began in OKB-1 (now known as RSC Energia) located near Moscow under direction of Chief Designer S.P.Korolev in accordance with the Government Resolution dated May 22, 1959. The preliminary stage of the program called for conducting during 1960 a series of experimental flights of unmanned spacecraft 1K to test spacecraft systems and radio controls, to verify life support system performance and study effects of space environment on living things. Based on the successful completion of flight tests of the spacecraft and the launch vehicle, specialists of OKB-1 embarked on preparations for the worlds first space mission with a human onboard.

To assure the safety of the cosmonaut, S.P.Korolev made a decision to carry out the manned mission only after successful completion of two consecutive launches of spacecraft carrying biological payloads. By early 1961, the manufacturing plant of OKB-1 has built and shipped off to the Test Range No.5 (now known as Baikonur cosmodrome) a consignment of unmanned spacecraft. Satellite-Spaceships 3KA No.1 and No.2 were outfitted with flight models of onboard systems and equipment, required for manned mission support. The principal passenger in the spacecraft was a canine test subject Chernushka, one of the four-legged alumni of the Institute for Biomedical Problems in Moscow. Also placed in the descent vehicle was an ejection seat with an anthropomorphic dummy wearing a pressure suit who was given an unofficial name Ivan Ivanovich. Placed inside the dummy were containers with mice, guinea pigs, and other biological test subjects for studying effects of space radiation.

After completion of the one-orbit mission, the spacecraft went into de-orbit mode. During descent Ivan Ivanovich was automatically ejected and landed by parachute in the designated landing area, while the descent vehicle carrying the dog Chernushka successfully landed 260 km away from Kuibyshev (now Samara). The results of the mission of 3KA No.1 provided the data required for further improving the reliability of the new hardware and assisted in planning the optimal duration of the upcoming manned space mission.





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