Vladmir Komarov: the last words of the cosmonaut who fell from the sky

Vladmir Komarov: the last words of the cosmonaut who fell from the sky
Vladmir Komarov: the last words of the cosmonaut who fell from the sky
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Vladimir Komarov was one of the Soviet Union’s best test pilots, but he became popularly known as “the man who fell from space”. The reason? During the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Soviet Union, Komarov participated in a mission that had a fatal outcome.

The block celebrations took place in 1967. Many of them were carried out on the ground, but some also included a space mission. The idea was to send two spacecraft into Earth’s orbit: one was Soyuz-1, with Komarov on board; the second was Soyuz-2, which would arrive the next day with another cosmonaut.

The objective was for the two spacecraft to meet. Afterwards, Komarov would leave Soyuz-1, do a spacewalk and go to Soyuz-2, while one of the 2 cosmonauts would go to 1, and then both spacecraft would return to Earth.

The problem, however, is that there were a number of flaws in the plan. In the book Starman: The Truth Behind the Legend of Yuri Gagarin, science journalist Piers Bizony and producer Jamie Doran report that when Gagarin and other technicians inspected the spacecraft, they found more than 200 structural flaws.

Some of them were so serious that they would put the mission at risk if the spacecraft went into space. Despite a 10-page report being written indicating each of the problems, there were no changes.

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In the work, the authors claim that Komarov’s friends tried to convince him to refuse to fly on the spacecraft. However, the cosmonaut knew that if he refused the mission, Gagarin would go in his place — and, aware of the great risks involved, Komarov stuck to his decision.

Plaque on the Moon honoring deceased astronauts, including Komarov (Image: Public domain via NASA/Wikimedia Commons)

Ultimately, Komarov went into space, and it wasn’t long before problems began: the ship’s solar panels failed to open and it was left with little power for its operations. He was ordered to return, but the capsule began to spin and Komarov lost control of it.

As a result, the spacecraft fell to the ground with a force comparable to that of a 2.8-ton meteorite. According to the book, detectors in the United States picked up Komarov’s last words, which were “This damned ship! Nothing I put my hands on works right,” along with screams of rage.

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Official Soviet records report that Komarov said he “felt excellent, everything was in order.” He then added, “Thank you for conveying all of this. [A separação] occurred”.

In the video below, you hear Komarov’s last words (in Russian), translated into English:

Source: IFLScience

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Vladmir Komarov words cosmonaut fell sky

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