ISS-66 mission


ISS crew:

Commander -
Tomas Pesquet

Flight engineers:
Petr Dubrov
Mark Vande Hei
Robert Shane Kimbrough
Megan McArthur
Akihiko Hoshide
Anton Shkaplerov



60 years of Orel Space Flight

August 6, 2021

On August 6, 1961, a three-stage launch vehicle Vostok was launched from the 1st Pad of the Scientific and Research Test Site No.5 of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR (today the Baikonur Cosmodrome), which delivered the spacecraft-satellite 3KA No.4 Vostok-2 to near-earth orbit carrying the second cosmonaut of the planet German Stepanovich Titov. The first-ever daily manned flight has proved the possibility of long-duration human survival and performance in space environment.

The daily space flight program of the cosmonaut with call sign Orel continued the triumphant one-orbit mission of Yuri Gagarin in April 1961. At this, the Vostok-2 spacecraft developed by OKB-1 engineers (today RSC Energia) led by Chief Designer S.P. Korolev was modified to extend the flight duration to one week. After being injected into orbit, German Titov for the first time tested a manual spacecraft orientation and stabilization, performed shooting of the Earth's surface and space using a hand camera, maintained a permanent radio communication with the ground control center and monitored the state of the spacecraft onboard systems. In addition, the on-board cosmonaut activities included food intake, sleeping and exercising to check the human performance in zero gravity. Throughout the flight, Titov's television image and his physiological data were transmitted to ground via radio telemetry links for medical analysis and monitoring by the ground sites.

In 25 hours 11 minutes, the Vostok-2 spacecraft circled the Earth 17 times, covering a distance of more than 700 thousand kilometers. In the 16th orbit Titov reported to Earth on completion of preparations for returning to the ground, and on August 7, 1961 at 10:18 Moscow time he safely landed near the village of Krasny Kut, Saratov Region.