|Call sign:||Rubin (Ruby)|
|Spacecraft:||Soyuz 7K-OK #4, |
active docking system
|Launch:||April 23, 1967 00:35 UTC|
|Landing:||April 24, 1967 03:24 UTC|
51.13° North, 57.24° East
|Duration:||1d 2h 49m|
|Orbital period:||1h 20m 42s|
Soyuz 1 Crash Site SE of Orenburg near the Russian-Kazakhstani border.
Soyuz 1 (Russian Союз 1, Alliance 1) was part of the Soviet Union's Soyuz space program and was launched into orbit on April 23, 1967, carrying a single cosmonaut, Colonel Vladimir Mikhailovich Komarov, who was killed when the spacecraft crashed after return to Earth.
Originally it was planned to launch a second Soyuz 2 into orbit on the next day carrying 3 cosmonauts - Valery Fyodorovich Bykovsky, Yevgeny Vassilyevich Khrunov, and Aleksei Stanislavovich Yeliseyev - and two of those were planned to do a space walk to Soyuz 1. However shortly after launch problems already began, when one solar panel failed to unfold. This led to a lack of power to the spacecraft's systems. Also, maneuvering the vehicle failed due to problems with the orientation detectors. At first, the crew on the second Soyuz was planned to fix the solar panel of Soyuz 1, however heavy rain at Baikonur made the launch impossible, and so Soyuz 1 was deorbited as soon as it orbited above the USSR again. The main parachute did not unfold due to problems with a pressure sensor, and the manually deployed reserve chute tangled, making the spacecraft fall to Earth nearly unbraked. Komarov was killed when it impacted. Later inspection of the Soyuz 2 spacecraft showed the same problem with the parachute, which would have doomed all four cosmonaut if the launch would have proceeded as planned. The original mission of Soyuz 1 and 2 was later done by Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5.
Some sources claim that Soyuz 1 was rushed into launch before it was ready for publicity reasons. This fatality delayed the launch of Soyuz 2 and Soyuz 3 until October 25, 1968. This eighteen-month delay eventually doomed Soviet plans of landing a cosmonaut on the Moon.