Vostok 2

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Vostok 2
Operator OKB-1
Harvard designation 1961 Tau 1
SATCAT № 168
Mission duration 1 day, 1 hour, 18 minutes
Orbits completed 17.5
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft Vostok-3KA No.4
Manufacturer OKB-1
Launch mass 4,731 kilograms (10,430 lb)[1]
Crew
Crew size 1
Members Gherman Titov
Callsign Орёл (Oryol - "Eagle")
Start of mission
Launch date August 6, 1961, 06:00 (1961-08-06UTC06Z) UTC
Rocket Vostok-K 8K72K
Launch site Baikonur 1/5[2]
End of mission
Landing date August 7, 1961, 07:18 (1961-08-07UTC07:19Z) UTC
Landing site Krasny Kut
50°51′10″N 47°01′14″E / 50.85276°N 47.02048°E / 50.85276; 47.02048[3]
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Perigee 183 kilometres (114 mi)
Apogee 244 kilometres (152 mi)[4]
Inclination 64.93 degrees
Period 88.46 minutes

Vostok2patch.png Gherman Titov 2.jpg


Vostok programme
Manned flights
← Vostok 1 Vostok 3

Vostok 2 (Russian: Восток-2, Orient 2 or East 2) was a Soviet space mission which carried cosmonaut Gherman Titov into orbit for a full day on August 6, 1961 to study the effects of a more prolonged period of weightlessness on the human body.[1] Titov orbited the Earth over 17 times, exceeding the single orbit of Yuri Gagarin on Vostok 1 − as well as the suborbital spaceflights of American astronauts Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom aboard their respective Mercury-Redstone 3 and 4 missions. Indeed, Titov's number of orbits and flight time would not be surpassed by an American astronaut until Gordon Cooper's Mercury-Atlas 9 spaceflight in May 1963.

The flight was an almost complete success, marred only by a heater that had inadvertently been turned off prior to liftoff and that allowed the inside temperature to drop to 50 °F (10 °C),[5]:113 a bout of space sickness, and a troublesome re-entry when the reentry module failed to separate cleanly from its service module.[6]

Unlike Yuri Gagarin on Vostok 1, Titov took manual control of the spacecraft for a short while. Another change came when the Soviets admitted that Titov did not land with his spacecraft. Titov would claim in an interview that he ejected from his capsule as a test of an alternative landing system; it is now known that all Vostok program landings were performed this way.[1][7]

The re-entry capsule was destroyed during development of the Voskhod spacecraft.[5]:117

As of 2013, Titov remains the youngest person to reach space. He was a month short of 26 years old at launch.[8]

Crew[edit]

Position Cosmonaut
Pilot Gherman Titov
First spaceflight

Backup crew[edit]

Position Cosmonaut
Pilot Andrian G. Nikolayev

Reserve crew[edit]

Position Cosmonaut
Pilot Grigori Nelyubov

Mission parameters[edit]

Mission highlights[edit]

Gherman Titov launched from Gagarin's Start at Baikonur Cosmodrome on 6 August 1961 at 0600 UTC aboard the Vostok 2 spacecraft. Radio personality Yuri Levitan interrupted Radio Moscow programming with an announcement of the flight at 0745 UTC.[6]

Nausea set in as Titov escaped Earth's gravity, which caused him to vomit when he tried to eat one of his planned meals. Soviet space program officials suspected disturbance of Titov's vestibular system was to blame, leading them to begin early investigations into what is now known as space adaptation syndrome, or space sickness. Titov is believed to be the first spacefarer to experience the condition.[6][9][10]

Commemorative pin from Vostok 2 Mission

Titov took manual control of the spacecraft's attitude for a time as he passed over Africa on his first orbit and would again at the end of the seventh orbit; the controls were reported to function well. Titov exchanged greetings with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev as he passed over the Soviet Union at the end of his first orbit, replicating Gagarin's feat.[1][6] During his flight the first manual photographs were taken from orbit, thus setting a record for modern space photography. He also was the first person to film the Earth using, for ten minutes, a professional quality Konvas-Avtomat movie camera.[11][12]

A camera aboard the spacecraft transmitted smiling pictures of Titov to the ground as he passed over Soviet territory on the fifth orbit. Titov settled down to sleep during the seventh orbit; he awoke over eight hours later, 37 minutes after the scheduled end of his sleep period.[1] Sleep did not relieve Titov's serious discomfort; he still felt very ill after awaking. After 12 orbits Titov suddenly began to recover, and became "completely functional and fully fit".[13]:293–294

Detailed information about the radio frequencies used by the spacecraft were made public before Titov's flight; listening posts around the world picked up voice and telemetry signals from Vostok 2, allaying suspicions that the spaceflight might have been faked.[6]

As on Vostok 1, the Vostok 2 service module failed to detach from the reentry module when commanded and reentry began with the former still attached; the conjoined modules gyrated violently until aerodynamic heating burned through the straps still holding them together. Titov ejected from the capsule as planned and parachuted separately to land at 0718 UTC on 7 August 1961, near Krasny Kut, Saratov Oblast.[6]

The Vostok 2 landing site coordinates are 50°51′10″N 47°01′14″E / 50.85276°N 47.02048°E / 50.85276; 47.02048, which is 11.5 km South of Krasny Kut, Saratovskaya oblast in the Russian Federation. At the roadside site are two monuments dedicated to the Vostok 2 mission. The larger one is a 9 meter tall, silver painted stone sculpture, that resembles a single bird's wing pointed skyward. The center of the wing has a series of looping openings, one atop the next, that resemble a row of feathers. To the right of the wing sculpture is a 2 meter high, silver painted square stone block, with a rounded corner on the front side. A portrait of Titov, wearing a space helmet, is on one side of the stone block, the other side contains red painted text commemorating the mission.[14][15][16]

In 1964, the Vostok 2 spacecraft was reused as a ballast weight in a test of an experimental parachute system planned for the Voskhod spacecraft. The prototype malfunctioned, shattering Vostok 2 into tiny pieces.[5]:117

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "The First Day In Orbit" (PDF). Flight (London: Iliffe Transport Publications) 80 (2736): 208. 17 August 1961. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  2. ^ "Baikonur LC1". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  3. ^ "Google Maps - Vostok 2 Landing Site - Monument". Retrieved 2010-12-25. 
  4. ^ a b "Missiles and Spaceflight" (PDF). Flight (London: Iliffe Transport Publications) 80 (2741): 467. 21 September 1961. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  5. ^ a b c Francis French; Colin Burgess (2007). Into That Silent Sea: Trailblazers of the Space Era, 1961-1965. Lincoln, Nebr.: University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 978-0-8032-1146-9. OCLC 71210133. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f Grahn, Sven. "The flight of Vostok-2". Sven's Space Place. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  7. ^ Ezell, Edward Clinton; Ezell, Linda Neuman (1978). "The Partnership: A History of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project". NASA History Series (NASA) (NASA Special Publication-4209). Archived from the original on 2007-08-23. Retrieved 2009-03-17. 
  8. ^ Wade, Mark. "Astronaut Statistics". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  9. ^ ""Group Space Flight" Described − Part 2" (PDF). Flight (London: Iliffe Transport Publications) 82 (2791): 389–391. 6 September 1962. Retrieved 2009-03-17. 
  10. ^ Oman, Charles M.; Lichtenburg, Byron K.; Money, Kenneth E. (17 January 1990). "Symptoms and Signs of Space Motion Sickness on SPACELAB-1". In Crampton, George. Motion and Space Sickness (illustrated ed.). CRC Press. p. 218. ISBN 0-8493-4703-3. 
  11. ^ "Titov". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
  12. ^ "The first pictures of Earth marks 50 years". Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
  13. ^ Siddiqi, Asif A. Challenge To Apollo: The Soviet Union and the Space Race, 1945-1974. NASA. Archived from the original on 2006-10-08. 
  14. ^ "Google Maps - Vostok 2 Landing Site - Monument Location". Retrieved 2010-12-27. 
  15. ^ "Google Maps - Vostok 2 Landing Site - Monument Photo". Retrieved 2010-12-27. 
  16. ^ "Google Maps - Vostok 2 Landing Site - Monument Photo closeup". Retrieved 2010-12-27.