The brave Soviet cosmonaut, having got out of the hatch of the Voskhod-2 ship, made a step in history. He easily separated from the ship and swam to the side for the length of his rope-halyard, which was connected to the spacecraft. Before returning back to the ship, the astronaut took a cine-camera from the bracket, wrapped a halyard on his arm and entered the gateway. Specialists of the NGO Zvezda designed the space suit Berkut specifically for the spacewalk. And the spacewalking exercises themselves were carried out on board the Tu-104 aircraft, in which the full-size model of the Voskhod-2 spacecraft was installed. After some time, the Americans also made their spacewalk, but it happened already on 3 June 1965 of the year, so that the Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov was forever the first person to go into outer space.
18 March 1965 year news about the first space walk in the history of mankind caused real shock and delight in the world. It is important to understand that this happened at a time when the United States and the USSR were very keenly competing for superiority in space exploration. The flight of the Voskhod-2 spacecraft was regarded at that moment as a very serious propaganda success of the country of the Soviets, as well as a blow to the national pride of the Americans.
It is clear that for the survival of a person in a vacuum, special clothing was needed, which was developed by the NGO Zvezda. On their first flights, Soviet cosmonauts went to the SK-1 rescue spacesuits, which weighed just 30 kg. They were equipped with autonomous oxygen supply in case of a possible accident, and also possessed positive buoyancy - in case instead of landing astronauts there would be a splashdown. However, for going out into space and active work, fundamentally different “costumes” were needed, which would have protection from solar radiation and cosmic cold, a thermal control system, and a powerful life support system.
The Berkut spacesuit was created specifically for spacewalk, it was significantly different from the model in which the cosmonauts flew on the Vostok. To increase its reliability, an additional reserve pressurized shell was introduced into the suit. The top jumpsuit was sewn from a special metallic multi-layered fabric - screen-vacuum insulation. In fact, the spacesuit was a thermos, which consisted of several layers of plastic film coated with aluminum. A special pad of screen-vacuum insulation was also installed in shoes and gloves. The outer clothing had to protect the astronaut from possible mechanical damage to the airtight part of the spacesuit, since such clothing was made of very durable artificial fabrics that were not afraid of low and high temperatures. The spacesuit at the same time significantly burdened, added weight and a new life support system. This system was in a special knapsack and, in addition to the ventilation system, also included two oxygen cylinders of two liters each. On the case of the knapsack was fixed fitting for their refueling and window gauge, designed to control pressure. In the event of a contingency situation in the airlock, there was a backup oxygen system, which was connected to the spacesuit with a hose.
The total weight of the spacesuit approached 100 kg. Therefore, during the earth training sessions, the astronauts had to ride in a kind of “runner” that supported the hard part of the spacesuit. However, in conditions of weightlessness, the weight of the space suit did not play any significant role. Significantly more interference created air pressure, which filled the hermetic shell, making the suit unyielding and tough. The astronauts had to with notable effort overcome the resistance of their own vestments. Later, cosmonaut Alexei Leonov recalled: “For example, in order to squeeze a hand in a glove, you needed an effort in 25 kg.” It is for this reason that during the preparation of the astronauts for the flight of physical form a lot of attention was paid. Daily Soviet cosmonauts ran crosses or made jogging on skis, intensively engaged in weightlifting and gymnastics.
Changed and the color of the spacesuit. "Golden eagle", in order to better reflect the sun's rays, was made white, not orange. A special light filter appeared on his helmet, which was supposed to protect the astronaut's eyes from bright sunlight. The created spacesuit was a real miracle of technology. According to the firm conviction of its creators - it was a product more complicated than a car.
After the first successful flight into space of the Voskhod-1 multi-seat spacecraft in the USSR, the following goal was set - the realization of a man’s spacewalk. This event was supposed to be a significant milestone in the Soviet lunar program. To prepare for this mission, the new ship, the Voskhod-2, was modified compared to the Voskhod-1.
In the Voskhod-1 spacecraft there was a crew of 3-x astronauts. The cabin of the ship was so tight that they were aboard without spacesuits. In the ship "Voskhod-2" the number of seats was reduced to two. At the same time, a special airlock Volga appeared on the ship. At the time of launch, this airlock was in the folded state. In this state, the dimensions of the chamber were: diameter - 70 cm, length - 77 cm. Weighing airlock 250 kg. In space, the airlock was inflated. The dimensions of the chamber in the inflated state were: length - 2,5 meter, outer diameter - 1,2 meter, inner diameter - 1 meter. Before the descent of the ship from orbit and landing, the airlock was fired from the spacecraft.
Since the ship "Voskhod-2" was intended for two people, there was another cosmonaut besides Leonov on it. One person was a navigator (he also went out into outer space), the second was a commander who piloted the ship. Alexey Leonov was able to ensure that his friend Pavel Belyaev took the place of the commander on his ship. Belyaev was 10 years older than his friend and met the end of World War II in the Far East in the cockpit of a fighter, carrying out combat missions against the troops of Japan. He was a skilled and brave pilot. Leonov was able to achieve his appointment, even though the doctors were very worried about the leg injury that Pavel Belyaev received while performing a parachute jump.
Alexey Leonov was born in 1934 year in the tiny village of Listvyanka, located in Western Siberia (Kemerovo region). When he was 3, his father was repressed. Leonov was denounced as the enemies of the people, while the authorities closed their eyes to the fact that neighbors looted their property. However, Alexey is always reluctant to recall these events. Already in his childhood, the boy discovered in himself the talent of an artist, but nevertheless decided to go another way. He successfully graduated from military school and became a fighter pilot.
Shortly after graduating from college, Alexey received an offer to try his hand at a competition in the cosmonaut corps. Leonov managed to get a place in the squadron, he became one of twenty of his members, among whom was Yuri Gagarin, who made his first space flight in 1961.
At that time, no one yet knew how the human body would react to a spacewalk. For this reason, all Soviet cosmonauts were subjected to very intense training. Conducted tests were supposed to show how far it would be possible to push the mental and physical boundaries of the human body. Later, Alexey Leonov recalled: “The astronaut had to be physically prepared. Every day I ran at least 5 kilometers and swam 700 meters. ”
At one time in the cosmonaut training center, the game of hockey was banned. This happened after several people were injured during this game. Instead, astronauts were offered volleyball, basketball and football. Space flights subjected the human organism to high overloads. Therefore, during training, candidates rotated in centrifuges - sometimes this led to loss of consciousness. Also, the future astronauts were locked in the isolation chamber or pressure chamber in conditions of prolonged solitude. Such experiments were dangerous, since there could be a fire in the chamber saturated with oxygen.
And such an accident really happened in 1961 year. Then, during a training session in the pressure chamber, Valentin Bondarenko accidentally dropped a cotton swab with alcohol onto a closed spiral of a hot stove. As a result, the fireball literally swallowed it up. Bondarenko died a few hours later in the hospital from the terrible burns he received. After this incident, engineers began to use ordinary air during training. So the path to space was not just thorny and difficult, but it also contained real dangers to life.
Going out into space
Even the exit space itself could have ended tragically for Alexey Leonov, but then everything worked out, although during the flight a sufficient number of abnormal situations were recorded. At the time of the USSR, this was simply ignored, though it surfaced relatively recently. The crew of the Voskhod-2 pursued trouble during the spacewalk and at the time of landing, but in the end everything ended well, and Alexey Leonov is still alive today, the famous Soviet cosmonaut 30 in May 2014 turned 80 years.
At that moment, when Alexey Leonov 18 March 1965, scrambled out of his spacecraft and saw himself at a height of 500 kilometers above the surface of our planet, he did not feel movement at all. Although in reality he was racing around the Earth at a speed that was many times faster than the speed of a jet plane. Before Alexey, a panorama of our planet, unprecedented by anyone, opened up like a giant canvas, which was saturated with contrasting textures and colors, vibrant and vibrant. Alexey Leonov will forever remain the first person who could see the Earth in all its glory.
At that moment, the Soviet cosmonaut simply took hold of the spirit: “It’s hard to even imagine what it was. Only in space, you can feel the majesty and gigantic dimensions of the human environment — you will not feel this on Earth. ” Five times the astronaut flew away from the Voskhod-2 spacecraft and returned to him again. All this time, “room” temperature was successfully maintained in his spacesuit, while the working surface of the “Berkut” was heated in the sun to + 60 ° С, then cooled in the shade to -100 ° С.
At that moment, when Alexey Leonov saw the Yenisei and the Irtysh, he received a command from the captain of the ship Belyaev to go back. But Leonov didn’t manage to do this for a very long time. The thing turned out to be that his spacesuit in a vacuum was greatly swollen. So much so that the astronaut simply could not squeeze into the hatch of the airlock, and there was no time to consult about this situation with the Earth. Leonov tried to try, but they all ended without result, and the oxygen supply in the spacesuit only lasted for 20 minutes, which inexorably melted away (the astronaut spent 12 minutes in space). In the end, Aleksey Leonov decided to simply relieve the pressure in the spacesuit and, contrary to the instructions issued, ordering him to enter the gateway with his feet, he decided to “float” face forward. Fortunately, he did it. And although Leonov stayed in the open space of all 12 minutes, during this time he managed to get soaked up as if a whole tub of water was poured onto him - so great was the physical exertion.
Solemn meeting of members of the crew of the Voskhod-2 spacecraft - Pavel Belyaev (left) and Alexey Leonov, 1965 year
The second unpleasant situation occurred already at the exit from orbit. The crew of the Voskhod-2 could have become the first crew to have died when returning from orbit. During the descent to Earth on board, there were problems with the detachable service module, which led to the rotation of the capsule with astronauts, who were experiencing very strong overloads. The tumbling stopped only when the cable connecting the module completely burned out and the capsule with the astronauts was free.
The second mistake crept into the calculations of the TsUP engineers, as a result of which the capsule with the astronauts landed hundreds of kilometers from the calculated point. The astronauts were in the deaf Siberian taiga. Only after 7 hours after landing, a monitoring station in West Germany reported that it had detected a coded signal that the astronauts had sent. As a result, the astronauts spent the night in the forest, waiting for the rescuers. They had to go out of the taiga on skis, but already there, on the “big” land, they were greeted as real heroes and space explorers.