Soviet Disasters in Space drop outs edited

Soviet Disasters in Space drop outs edited


Closed captioning funded by
A & E networks>>Narrator: For decades,
the Soviet space program was shrouded in secrecy. It was a history of public
successes and hidden disasters … which claimed more
than 160 lives. It wasn’t until the end
of the cold war, and the collapse of the Soviet Union
in 1991, that the secret history of Soviet space disasters was
finally revealed. The Soviet mission to dominate
space would ultimately become nothing more than a dusty dream. But during the 1960s, two space programs are in full gear
with the moon as their goal. Each superpower desperately
wants to be the first to put a man on the moon. To put their cosmonauts
on the moon, Russia needs a rocket big enough to get them there.>>N1 was a super rocket,
counter part to American Saturn. to launch Soviet counterpart
to Apollo to the moon.>>Narrator: By the late 1960s,
the Saturn-5 has proven itself as NASA’s workhorse. By early 1969, the Soviets are
preparing to launch the N-1. Unlike the Saturn, it is
Top-Secret. While the Saturn-5 uses 11 huge engines in three stages,
the Soviet N1 relies on a complicated array
of 42 smaller engines. There are 30 engines
in the first stage alone. Eight more in stage two,
while the third stage has the four final engines. But, with more engines,
the risks multiply. …
Michael Cassutt
Author “Who’s Who in Space”
…>>There’s three huge stages
and 30 engines in the first stage, all built by
a manufacturer that was not particularly experienced
in building rockets. It was an aircraft engine
builder. It was horribly complicated.>>Narrator:
The gigantic takeoff pad is readied as the launch date for the
mammoth rocket draws near. On February 21st, 1969,
the Soviets launched the unmanned N1. Liftoff goes smoothly, then
70 seconds into flight, the engines malfunction. The rocket is completely
destroyed and so, it seems, are Soviet hopes of beating America
to the moon. But the Soviets still believe
the N1 can succeed. On July 3rd, 1969, two weeks
before the “Apollo 11” launch, the Russians send
up a second N1.>>By time it cleared the tower,
this launch vehicle had shut down all of its engines except
one, which ultimately caused the vehicle to tip over and come
down crashing, like that, onto the launch facility totally
destroying the launch facility and knocking the turning
tower gantry off its turning base and also leveling one of the
lightning towers completely. It was like a tactical nuke
blast.>>Narrator: The damage is
devastating. It is two years before
the Soviets will be able to use the rocket facility again. But America is right
on schedule. On July 16th, 1969, “Apollo 11”
takes off for its historic journey to the moon. For four days the world waits
to know its fate. What no one but American
intelligence and NASA know is that the Soviets haven’t given up. Three days earlier they’ve
launched Luna 15, a secret unmanned moon probe,
in a standard rocket.>>They were going to go
to the moon, pick up a bit of dirt, take it back, and say,
“Look … look at how clever we Soviets are. We’ve gone there, we’ve brought
back some soil without risking human life, at a fraction
of the cost, and look at how much money the Americans wasted
in this silly political competition with us. “>>Narrator: If the two rockets
perform according to plan, they will be in the moon’s orbit
at the same time. NASA keeps the news
from the public. But Apollo astronauts Michael
Collins, Neil Armstrong, and Buzz Adrin are informed.>>My father never expressed any
concern on my part, And I think …
he is a good enough engineer to understand the probabilities
of there actually being some sort of a collision. Space is a very big place
and the prospect of two spacecraft colliding is pretty
unlikely.>>Narrator: The next day,
Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong become the first people
in history to set foot to set foot on the moon. Armstrong is the first off
the spacecraft.>>That’s one small step
for man, one giant leap for mankind.>>Narrator: The “Apollo 11”
mission is a shining achievement for the American space program. The Luna 15 meets a darker
and little known fate as it crashes into the lunar surface. The high drama of the moon race has its origins in
the V2 missile programs of Nazi Germany. By the end of World War II,
America and Russia are moving into position for the cold war. Both countries want Germany’s
rocket research.>>The fact that Nazi Germany
spent all that money, and used all those people, including
the slave laborers to build rockets to bombard london, saved
the American and Russian missile and space programs a decade
or more.>>Narrator: America acts
quickly. Within months of the war’s end,
100 of the top German rocket men are in the United States. The press is told they are truck
drivers, but the Germans know what they will be working on …
rockets. Among them is Wernher Von Braun,
the director of the Nazi V2 program and the man who will
help lead America to the moon. As important as the Germans
were, it was the rockets themselves, the V2s, which would
be the foundation for both the American and Soviet missile
programs. The Soviet missile program is
led by an unlikely figure, Sergei Korolev, a rocket
scientist who had spent years in a gulag prison, a victim
of Stalin’s purges.>>In those days it was
necessary for just one of your colleagues to say
you were disloyal. And a colleague, we think, made
the claim that he wasn’t working seriously on the rockets that
were for the military defense program, but had these fantasies
about space. In any case, Korolev gets
arrested, sent to the gulag, almost dies, works in the gold
mines. Was there for … it’s not clear
how long, maybe as long as a year.>>Narrator: Korolev is rescued
because of his mathematical education, aeronautical
knowledge, and personal connections, but mostly
because the Soviet military needs him to design planes. Out of prison, one of Korolev’s
jobs in the 1950s is to counter the threat of America’s
Strategic Air Command. America’s huge bomber fleet is
armed with nuclear warheads and on-call 24 hours a day. To the Soviets it’s like
a dagger pointed at their throat. By 1957, Korolev is ready
to test his own creation, the R-7 intercontinental ballistic
missile, or ICBM. Korolev’s R-7 has four strap-on
boosters that can power it into interplanetary altitudes
and then explode it into American soil. The R-7 is revolutionary: the first missile that can
deliver a nuclear warhead from one continent to another. But Korolev’s new engine design
is not yet dependable. Meanwhile, a world away
in New Mexico, America is having its own struggles with its
modified V2. Finally, on August 21st, 1957,
Korolev’s R-7 became the world’s first ICBM to fly successfully,
disintegrating harmlessly, as planned, thousands of miles
from its launching point. Suddenly, President Eisenhower
is in political trouble. He’s put America’s resources
into its huge arsenal of B-52s, instead of missiles. Congress quickly declares that
America is in danger … on the wrong side of a missile
gap. October 4th, 1957, another shock
for America. The Soviets send Sputnik 1 into
space on top of another Korolev R-7 rocket. It is the first successful orbit
of a man made satellite, and the United States is left
reeling by the unexpected display of Russian rocket know
how. President Eisenhower tries
to quell American panic.>>Our satellite program has
never been conducted as a race with other nations. I consider our country’s
satellite program to be well designed and properly scheduled
to achieve the scientific purposes for which it was
initiated.>>Narrator: Just four weeks
after Sputnik1’s success, the Soviets launch “Sputnik 2.”
This time with a passenger: a dog named Laika,
meaning barker. Laika survives for several days
in space. “Sputnik 2” is another
impressive success for the Soviet Union.>>This is a country that had
been Marched on, stomped on … and had a long, you know,
years of, decades of, feudalism. And suddenly, in the ’50s
and ’60s, they’re being told, “You are the best
and exhibit “A” is our space program, which is the best
in the world. ” This was the first time that
the Russian people had ever believed that they were a superpower.>>Narrator: Under pressure
from the Russians, The Unites States rushes
to get an American satellite. On December 6, 1957,
a Navy-designed Vanguard rocket Is ready, or so the U.S. thinks.
The grapefruit-sized satellite it carries is America’s answer
to Sputnik.>>And a huge, huge ball of fire
rising up perhaps 100 feet.>>Narrator: It’s a humiliating
failure for the United States. At the U.N., Soviet delegates ask
if the United States might wish to receive foreign aid
under Moscow’s program of technical assistance
to backward nations. But there is much Khrushchev is
keeping secret.>>We never saw video footage
or TV footage of the Soviet rockets blowing up, because it
was done in secrecy. And even the R-7 only flew
successfully on its fourth attempt, whereas the U.S.
Program was in the full limelight of the media.>>Narrator: On
January 31st, 1958, America finally gets its first satellite
into orbit. It’s the Army’s Explorer 1,
and it uses a rocket built under the direction of Wernher
von Braun. Eisenhower makes a decision that
will change America’s space program forever … He unifies
all research into one department. In October of 1958, a new
National Aeronautics and Space Administration … NASA … takes
over the job. NASA’s first step is to choose
seven pilots who will be America’s first men in space. To the country they are more
than astronauts, they are a nation’s hope to restore
its technological self-esteem.>>We went for military test
pilots who were all in their 30s … in fact,
John glenn was 40 … who had degrees or a lot of experience
in engineering, whereas the Russians got a bunch
of younger men who were not remotely well educated
by the Mercury standards. They didn’t need to be very
experienced, they just sort of needed to be healthy
and trainable.>>Narrator: Sergei Korolev,
seen here next to his wife, would lead this group
into the frontier of space. Six would become Russia’s first
cosmonauts. One would become Russia’s first
casualty. These cosmonauts would be
the Soviet’s answer to NASA’s Mercury seven.
¶ But no amount of training can
eliminate human error. In March 1961, Valentin
Bondarenko becomes the first casualty of the Soviet program.>>Valentin Bondarenko was
the youngest member of the first group of 20 Soviet cosmonauts
and he made a very forgivable human error. He literally removed
an electrode and used an alcohol soaked cotton swab to clean
the place where the electrode or probe had been on his skin
and just flicked it toward a table. Unfortunately it landed on a hot
plate that he had to cook food during this test and it just
sparked. And the pure oxygen environment
fed anything that was in it, caught on fire, and they could
not get him out in time.>>Narrator: Inside the Soviet
missile program competition between rival divisions
is fierce. One key player is
Marshal Mitrofan Nedelin, a man of great bravery and even
greater arrogance. He is so determined to develop
a rocket that can replace Korolev’s r- 7 as Russia’s icbm
that he fuels his new rocket with a volatile mixture
so dangerous it’s known As Devil’s Venom.>>Marshal Nedelin wanted to be
present at a very close distance. He instructed his team to bring
a chair, to place his just next to the rocket. So, everyone understood it was
a violation of the rules, But he was a big boss so he was
sitting there. And every rocket scientist,
every engineer, thought “should I stay behind the walls,
or should I go to sit next to the Marshal? Otherwise I would be considered
as a coward. ” And dozens of people moved close
to Marshal Nedelin. And then, unfortunately, there
was a big accident. there was a huge explosion
and everyone, including Marshal Nedelin, was killed.>>Narrator: The fire burns
for hours, fed by millions of pounds of kerosene
and liquid oxygen. Those not burned outright
by the flames are splashed with the corrosive acids
of the rocket fuel. few escape. In all, more than 150 people die
in the gruesome accident. The Soviet ICBM program is set
back by the disaster, but Korolev continues to forge
ahead with his plans to send a cosmonaut into orbit. His answer to NASA’s Mercury is
the Vostok, a huge craft that weighs nearly five tons. NASA is just as determined.
They plan to jump ahead of the Soviets by putting
an American into space In May 1961. Astronaut Alan Shepard is chosen
to pilot the first manned “Mercury” rocket. Nobody is sure if Shepard’s
rocket, or Shepard, can survive the flight. But the Soviets surprise NASA. At the last minute they announce
that they will launch a man into orbit on April 12th, 1961,
one full month before NASA’s launch. The cosmonaut chosen is
Yuri Gagarin, hand picked by Sergei Korolev.>>He liked the idea that
Gagarin was a simple son of a peasant family, big smile
on his face. And I think the reaction was
really very, very chemical, you know, personal.>>Narrator: On April 12th,
the 27-year-old Yuri Gagarin sets out to make history. A Vostok capsule, powered
by Korolev’s R- 7 rocket, is The vehicle that will take
the first man into orbit around the earth. Gagarin makes one earth orbit
in “Vostok 1.” The flight goes flawlessly,
but there is an important secret the Soviets are keeping.>>We didn’t hear it officially
from the Soviets at the time, because they were presenting
the fiction that he had landed in his spacecraft.
Because the international Aeronautical rules required that
a pilot had to take off in his aircraft and land to set
a new record. And they were treating this
as a new world record … the first space flight. So they just flat-out lied
about it. The genius of the original
design was, “Well, let’s just punch him out of there and let
him parachute down. ” It’s like, “it’s too hard
for him to land in the spacecraft, let’s get him
out of the spacecraft at 20,000 feet. ” And that’s what they did.
They just fired him out of it.>>Narrator: Gagarin is hailed
as a conquering hero around the world. The Soviet Union has upstaged America once again. Between 1961 and 1963 the
Russian star shines brighter than ever as each Vostok flight
confirms the Soviet’s mastery of space. Valentina Tereshkova is out
to achieve another first for the Soviets as the first
woman in space. She is to pilot “Vostok 6″
into history. Tereshkova takes off
on June 16th, 1963. In another blow to American
pride, she logs in more flight time … 48 orbits … Than all
the male Mercury astronauts combined. With Tereshkova’s safe return
the Vostok series comes to a triumphant end
and emphasizes the the Soviet’s lead in the space race.>>Narrator: America’s
Mercury flights end in 1963, having failed to overtake the
Soviets in the space race. The next U.S. Space program,
Gemini, is gearing up for its first launch
in March 1965. It will put, not one, but two
men, in space and provide practice in docking maneuvers
crucial to the success of a moon landing. The Russians feel pressured
by Gemini. Khrushchev orders Korolev
to beat the Americans into space with, not two men, but three,
inside a capsule with a pressurized interior. Three can be crammed
into the new Voskhad spacecraft, but not safely.>>There were three cosmonauts
sent up in a Voskhad capsule, which is basically just
a modified Vostok. And now, the Vostok’s had only
carried one person. To squeeze three people in it
meant you had to take away their pressure suits and there
was no escape system. So, if the rocket blew up,
or something went wrong during the launch, the three men
just fried.>>Narrator: October 12th, 1964,
it is the first Voskhad launch, And for the first time
thSoviets will not be using An ejection seat. The cosmonauts will return
to earth inside their capsule. Retro-Rockets and parachutes
slow their descent And the three-Man crew lands
safely, deep in Russia. The Americans have been beaten
into space again. In the spring of 1965 the
Soviets are readying a second Voskhad mission for another
space age first. Pavel belyayev and alexei leonov
are the crew. Their mission … The first walk
in space. There is no third cosmonaut
on this trip, the extra space is Needed for their spacesuits. Leonov trains hard on earth,
but in space there are dangers No one anticipates. On March 18th, 1965, leonov
begins his historic space walk.>>Leonov was really a guinea
pig. He was trying out something that
had never been done before. His spacesuit was pressurized,
obviously, because space is A vacuum. So, if you didn’t wear
a spacesuit your blood would Boil and you’d die very quickly. Unfortunately, while he was out
in space, the air inside His suit pushed it out. It was rather like a balloon. So, he was much bigger than
he would normally have been. Now, when he tried to squeeze
back into the air-Lock entrance He couldn’t fit. So, he therefore kept gradually
dropping the pressure, hoping That it would become small
enough so that he could fit in. And eventually he had to drop it
below the permitted safety Limit, in fact, before he could
just about squeeze in feet First. But it was a real struggle.>>Narrator: Leonov’s problems
aren’t over. He and belyayev land off-Course
and spend a cold night alone In the Russian wilderness before
being rescued. The world is told nothing
of the flight’s flaws. For Korolev, the mission is
another success, and the last Of the voskhad series. He can concentrate now
on the spaceship that will take His cosmonauts to the moon …
The Soyuz. The Soyuz has been
in development since sputnik … Nearly seven years. The huge spacecraft weighs
almost 7 1/2 tons … 1 1/2 times The mass of its predecessor
the voskhad. However, the first Soyuz manned
flight is still two years off.>>”Gemini 12,” “gemini 12.”>>Narrator: The Americans,
meanwhile, continue flying Gemini missions. Between 1965 and 1966, gemini
amasses almost 1,000 hours In space … The Russians voskhad
only 26. America has caught up
in the space race. The testing of Korolev’s Soyuz
spacecraft moves forward Under pressure from the Soviet
leadership. It is at this crucial point that
Korolev, the master Of the Soviet space program, is
hospitalized for routine Surgery.>>He goes into the hospital,
for what was supposed to have Been a simple operation,
and he thought he was going To be in over the weekend
and back to work on Monday morning. The surgeon discovers he’s got
a huge, malignant tumor the size Of a fist. He issues an emergency call
to get help, they can’t find Help. It was over the weekend.
They tried to fit an oxygen mask On him and because he had had
his jaw broken in the Gulag They couldn’t fit it properly.>>Narrator: The operation fails
and Korolev is given a state Funeral. Ironically, he is honored
in death as his could not be in life. The new chief designer is
vasili Mishin, Korolev’s former Second in charge. Although a talented engineer,
he lacks Korolev’s organizational skills, political
connections, and sheer bullying Power. The loss of Korolev will haunt
the Soviet space program for years to come. On January 27th, 1967,
during a routine training mission in the “Apollo 1”
command module, a fire breaks out. It quickly flares out of control
in the oxygen-rich atmosphere inside the capsule. Within 16 seconds the three
astronauts are dead. The disaster is horrifyingly
predictable and preventable. The cause … Bad wires, faulty
installation and poor quality Control in a spacecraft packed
with flammable materials. The Apollo disaster might have
been avoided had the Soviets Told the truth about
valentin bondarenko’s death In 1961. It will be two years before NASA’s next manned flight. The American disaster provides
the Soviets with an irresistible opportunity to retake the lead
in the space race. They rush the Soyuz
in to readiness for a launch in the Spring of 1967. Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov is
scheduled to pilot the new Soyuz spacecraft.>>Narrator: Soyuz engineers
asked Brezhnev for more time to perfect “Soyuz 1,”
but Brezhnev refuses. They must launch on time.>>It seems likely that
the “Soyuz 1” was A fundamentally flawed
spacecraft. And that the cosmonauts,
the designers, those people that really understood the program
believed that they were likely to have a very big problem
with it.>>Narrator: On
April 23rd, 1967, “Soyuz 1,” With cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov
is launched. The mission gets off
to an ominous start.>>”Soyuz 1,” unfortunately,
lost a solar panel, And therefore didn’t have enough
power to stay up long enough For “Soyuz 2” to come
and rendezvous with it. So they decided to take Komarov
back down again.>>Komarov was having just
a difficult time orienting The spacecraft, getting it to do
what he wanted. The real problem was that
the parachute system just Suffered a series of failures. The first chute did not deploy
properly and then did not separate properly. The emergency chute fouled
withhat and the spacecraft Never slowed down. It just hit the earth at, how
ever many … 250 miles an hour.>>Narrator: Komarov has
no chance. The crash is so thunderous
recovery teams cannot even Distinguish human remains
from the wreckage. Details of the disaster are
a closely guarded secret. Komarov will be remembered,
however. He is the first person to die
during a mission to space.>>Narrator: By 1968, America’s
Apollo program is back on track after the Apollo 1 disaster. That same year the Russians
struggle to iron out the problems of Soyuz. And the Soviets do just that. On October 30th, 1968, “Soyuz 2”
and “Soyuz 3” return successfully from a joint
mission in space. For the first time a Soyuz
spacecraft has returned to earth with its cosmonaut alive. Two months later,
on December 21st, 1968, “Apollo 8” takes Frank Borman,
Jim Lovell, and William Anders around the moon. The Soviets must respond
if they are to stay in the race. The Russians answer
the challenge on January 14th, 1969, when “Soyuz 4” and “Soyuz 5” make
the world’s first link-Up between manned spacecraft. The Soviet dream of reaching
the moon is tantalizingly close. But to get there they need
the massive N1 rocket. It is the only Soviet rocket
powerful enough to reach the moon. First envisaged by Korolev
in 1961, the N1 is finally ready For its first test launch eight
years later. On February 21st, 1969,
the N1 finally takes off. The N1 finally takes off. If performs beautifully
for approximately 70 seconds. With the N1 disaster,
the Soviets lose all hope Of winning the moon race,
but they still have hopes The N1 will get there before
the end of the decade. Five months later they launch
another N1. And the Soviet dream of reaching
the moon goes up in flames. On July 20th, 1969, the race
to the moon ends in triump for America. The mysterious surface that has
fascinated humanity for so long fnally is conquered.>>That’s one small step
for man, one giant leap for mankind.>>Narrator: However,
the Soviets do not give up their dreams of glory in space. Instead they simply exchange
moon landings for space stations. The construction of the salyut
space stations during the 1970s becomes the burning focus
of the Soviet space program. The first of Russia’s space
stations is the Salyut 1. This Soviet animation shows that
Salyut 1 has four cylinders of differing diameters
and lengths. Three of them are pressurized.
The fourth, which houses the propulsion unit, is open
to space. The Soviets plan to launch
the salyut space station unmanned. Later, a three-man crew, flying
separately aboard a spacecraft will dock with the station. In April 1971 the world’s first
space station is successfully Put into orbit. Having reached orbit
successfully, the station is Ready for its first occupants. Vladislav Volkov, Georgi
Dobrovolski and Viktor Patsayev Will be the “Salyut 1″‘s first
visitors. In order for all three to fit
into the “Soyuz 11” they must Leave behind their pressurized
suits. The Soviets had been sending
cosmonauts into space this way since “Voskhad 1.” It’s a big risk, but they’re out
to make history. On June 6th, 1971, the three
cosmonauts are launched in “Soyuz 11” from the baikonur
cosmodrome. “Soyuz 11” docks successfully
with the salyut station.>>This mission was the first
time the Russians had had A space station up there.
The whole country, from Kiev To Vladivostok, had been
thrilled to watch these guys on television for weeks. They came to know them,
they knew each of them.>>Narrator: After
an unprecedented 23 days In space, it is time
for the 3 cosmonauts to come>>They had contact up until,
basically, the moment Of retrofire, the valve that was
supposed to open in the lower Atmosphere to let fresh air
in opened earlier, and let The life-Sustaining air out. The air whistled out of that
space craft in the space Of about 30, 40 seconds.>>And as a result, the capsule
was depressurized, patsayev Actually got out of his seat
and recognized what the problem Was but was unable to close it
fast enough.>>And when the rescue crews
came to open up the capsule, They wondered why everything was
so quiet, there were no radio Communications going on.
And they found these three men Just strapped in their seats,
just lying there.>>Narrator: The cosmonauts
cannot be revived. Without pressure suits,
their blood has literally Boiled. The Soviets have lost
the dangerous gamble to fly Without pressure suits. By the three cosmonauts
and their families. The Soviets would startle
the world by agreeing to a joint The united states. For the U.S., it would be
the last of the historic “Apollo” missions. The world’s first docking
between spacecraft from two Different nations is complet
on July 17th, 1975.>>It was a soft docking.
>>Ha ha! They’re secured.>>Glad to see you here.>>Narrator: The hostility
between the superpowers that has Cost so many lives and so much
money is dissolved in the good Will of the moment.>>Narrator: By the 1980s,
the Soviet visits To their salyut space stations
had become almost routine. Had become almost routine. On September 26th, 1983,
“Soyuz t10” is rolled out To the launch pad as cosmonauts
Vladimir Titov and Gennadi strekalov anxiously
await an evening liftoff.>>During the last minute
of the countdown, a fire broke Out at the base of their “Soyuz”
launch vehicle. Both Titov and strekalov have
said that they were sitting There knowing, they could see
flames rising, they knew Something was wrong, but nothing
was really happening. They had to wait for a launch
control team to initiate The abort. So it was a nerve-wracking
20 seconds waiting. “When are they going to get us
t of here?” And the automatic escape system,
which had never been tested With people on board, got
its test. The solid rocket motor
on the front of the “Soyuz” Fired, pulling the vehicle,
I think, about four Or five miles high.>>Narrator: Cosmonauts Titov
and strekalov have come within Moments of a fiery death. While both will fly again
on later, successful missions, This aborted launch is ner
officially recognized. As the 1980s continue, so does
NASA’s new space shuttle, as it Replaces the old “Saturn 5”
workhorse. For the first time in six years,
Americans are going into space.>>Four, three, two, one, zero.
>>And we have liftoff. Liftoff of America’s first space
shuttle.>>Narrator: While the shuttle
is perceived as a great success, The reality is that it’s much
more expensive than The “Saturn 5” to operate. The “Saturn 5” to operate.
And many in NASA think it’s A costly mistake. However, this doesn’t keep
the Soviets from craving shuttle Technology.>>The key member of … Who was
responsible for military Industrial complex, he said,
“there is one critical argument. Americans are doing it. Americans are doing it.
Do you think they e stupid? Do you think they e stupid? They are very pragmatic,
and if they are doing it, it Means that they know something
else. Let’s follow their example. “>>NarratoR: Rumors began that
the reason for the remarkable Similarity between the U.S.
Space shuttle and Soviet “buran” Is not engineering,
but espionage.>>I’ve seen their “Buran,”
which is the title they use For their shuttle, and it does
look very much like our shuttle. I suspect that they probably had
drawings. And they were never classified,
I don’t think they would have Been very hard to get. I would be hard-Pressed to say
they stole them … In fact, if they wrote in,
we might have sent them to them. I think they have very capable
engineers if they could develop A system like that, but I don’t
think they did.>>I believe it was designed
independently. And even if its shape looks
familiar, you know, the shape is Dictated by aerodynamics.>>The Soviet shuttle flew once.
Now it’s in a city park In Moscow. It’s in gorky park. Basically, they ran out
of money. I mean, at a time where
in 1990 their budget started Going steeply down, the “buran”
was just eating up a lot Of money. And so, as a result, it’s
sitting in a park right now.>>Narrator: Soviet resources go
instead to their Third-Generation space station.
It’s called “mir,” meaning Peace. On February 20th, 1986, “mir” is
successfully launched. “Mir” has six docking ports,
which allow unmanned scientific Modules to dock with
the station. It’s remarkably flexible. Modules can return to earth when
their missions are complete To be replaced by new modules
carrying different experiments. While the Russians were able
to fund the initial construction Of “mir,” the cosmonauts have
had to result to some unusual Capitalist antics to keep it
afloat.>>The Russian cosmonauts these
days have a really difficult And ironic job. They’re asked to do
an increasing number of kind Of really cheap things, like
milk commercls and things. And they hate it. And you can understand that.
They’re cosmonauts. They shouldn’t have to do milk
commercials.>>Discovering a magnificent
picture of “Mir” crossing the horizon.>>Narrator: “Mir” was meant
to last only five years. It is now approaching
its 13th birthday and is Fighting the American perception
that it’s outdated equipment Ready for the cosmic junk yard.>>Certainly a lot of things
broke. The Soviets, or the Russians
now, have demonstrated that They can improvise when problems
come up. Now, often, they do it in ways
that makes us very nervous. And the risk they take is quite
often more than we would like to take.>>When something goes wrong up
there, ever since 1971, They have to fix it up there. And that’s given them
an expertise and sort of seat of the pants repairs that
Americans have only read About in books. And it’s the one thing that
people in NASA are kind of sniping and making snide
comments about how the Russian program is falling apart.
It’s the one thing that It’s the one thing that
we really realize that the Russians have over us is
that type of experience.>>Narrator: In the 1990s,
the strengths of both The Russian and American space
programs would finally come programs would finally come
together. By May 2001, the 2 nations,
along with 14 other countries, Would complete the world’s first
international space station. The Soviet space program led
the race to the moon from 1957 to 1967, but due
to the program setbacks, The technological advancements
of the united states ultimately prevailed. But despite the bitter cold war,
the universal quest for knowledge endured. Today, global cooperation
in space is a reality.

65 Comments on "Soviet Disasters in Space drop outs edited"


  1. Interplanetary altitudes? Doesn't anybody fact check these things? The R7 could barely lob the stripped down Sputnik into orbit.
    So the rocket that killed Nedelin had more than one type of engine – one that burned LOX and Kerosene, and the 'Devil's brew' fuels of nitric acid and hydrazine. Interesting, but foolish – for an ICBM that required so many types of fuel to be hauled out into the field the logistics would be horrendous, because these fuels degrade with time.

    Reply

  2. More V2 fell on Holland than London. Von Braun should have been strung from the nearest lamp post.

    Reply

  3. @16:18, The R16 was fueled by Nitric Acid and Hydrazine (UDMH), not Liquid Oxygen and Kerosene as stated here.

    Reply

  4. That American expert who made light of the Buran: the Buran (first of the fleet) launched successfully one time and landed autonomously without an astronaut aboard. It was destroyed in a hangar collapse after the USSR ceased. The article at the Gorky amusement park was a test article, never flew, is now at the All-Russian permanent cultural exhibit in Moscow.

    Reply

  5. So, Yuri Gagarin really didn't qualify fully for his vaunted title. He made it into space, but couldn't land his craft. But of course, the Soviet apologists will ignore that.

    Reply

  6. We know the 'truth' about the dog now. She did not survive several days, she died of suffocation in a few hours.

    Reply

  7. So many lies and misinformation in this video then of course its American made which explains it all, the Americans are the best at lying and covering shit up to make themselves look better than they really are, just look at their history books full bold faced lies they cover up the fact they(Christian Americans) slaughtered 50 million native Americans for their land an because they refused to worship the magic invisible man in the sky in their history book they make themselves out to be the victims in that total lies, nothing America or an Americans says should be taken as fact. if it wasn't for the Russian the weak Allied forces would have lost WW2 they were nowhere near beating The Nazi till Russia got involved that is how arrogant the Americans and the Jew are.

    Reply

  8. This is one of the VERY BEST space documentaries I have EVER seen. It and the 1994 "Moonshot" documentary are the two BEST I have seen!!!

    Reply

  9. After the Apollo 1 disaster, Kraft called a meeting. The accident, IIRC happened under the watch of Cape Canaveral, not Houston, but every piece of the equipment was inspected and checked off by Mission Control's engineers. Kraft was not kind to his engineers. He basically told them, "You did this. You are the reason these astronauts died. The buck stops with us, and we failed these men." That changed the whole attitude of Mission Control. It wasn't until budget cutbacks and other things outside of Mission Control's influence that quality got so bad again. For decades these guys stepped up their game, and took their jobs a lot more seriously. They began to feel personally responsible for the astronauts.

    Imagine how that conversation would go over with today's Berkeley or MIT snowflakes? The there isn't enough room for the safe space required.

    Reply

  10. What a piece of garbage. Whoever did this piece has no clue about history and rocket engineering….

    Reply

  11. Though If you take The Nedelin Disaster out of the picture, by the numbers I think more Americans have died is genuine space travel related incidents

    Reply

  12. Von Braun looks like Eddie Haskel. It looks like he knows if it were not for his being a useful egghead he probably would have been convicted of war crimes at Nuremberg for using slave labor to build the V-2 rockets' most hazardous components.

    Reply

  13. No mention of the Soviet woman cosmonaut that was lost in space? A few ham radio operators heard some of her final transmissions.

    Reply

  14. Liaka died in a few hours as the heat shield failed and the environmental control system was overwhelmed.

    Reply

  15. This is a terrible litany of american ignorance/arrogance. Now the yanks buy rocket engines off the russians, 20 year old designs out-performing anything else.

    Reply

  16. Jeez, the narrator blames the deaths of poor Chaffey etc on the russians not having told them of a similar fire death in russia. This is pure american horseshit – designed for home-consumption i guess.. The cause was the idiocy of having a pure oxygen atmosphere.

    Reply

  17. "They say there was a cosmonaut who orbited Earth before Yuri Gagarin, but he was not loyal enough to hold his breath."

    Reply

  18. …so, US went more nazi then SSSR after WWII and got to the moon first? Great. So, whose rockets US are using for servicing space station today, again?

    Reply

  19. Saturn launch vehicle has 83 rockets not including the escape system. Most of them point the wrong way. Much more than 11

    Reply

  20. Ive stopped at 6min. 100% propaganda! The Soviet program was never based on German tech. That was the US program. The russians had Korolev!
    And both USA and CCCP went to space cuz of Korolev dream! Von Braun was a weapon maker and thats all.

    Reply

  21. People are laughing at the New Mexico shot around 8:38 that has apparent ocean. That's not ocean, that's famously ephemeral White Sands salt lake. Once a year the monsoon seasonal rains overwhelm the great glacial dam on Angel Fire peak, causing the lake on Angel Fire Peak to breach the dam and flood down to the White Sands Missile Range. Along the way, the river water picks up salt, and it's so salty by the time it ends in White Sands that cars can float on it. It happens every late July.

    Reply

  22. RE: Luna 15. The program is incorrect. The news media mentioned the Soviet lunar probe at least once before Apollo 11 attempted its landing, so NASA did not "keep the news from the public".

    Reply

  23. Great objectivity. When one Russian dies at the beginning of space exploration with incredibly low budget, they are real assholes, when 3 of them dies a little later with no security exit a bit later they are still assholes, but when 12 American dies with HUGE budgets, without security exit, TWICE on the same system… (=24 including a civilian) they are… what are they? Would you remind me? Oh it never happened. Disaster in space are only a Russian thing. When USA kill 24 for money they are nice because they are the good guy. When Russia kills 3 for science and exploration, they are bad. Hooooo bad!!!
    Oh and I almost forgot. The 3 guys in USA who died in the flames. It was Russia's Fault! Yes you bet right! They didn't say few years earlier to the world, that fire in pure oxygen are dangerous! Seriously! Can you believe that?

    Space is a beautiful adventure. They all knew, I'm not here to blame anyone. Nor am I anti-Americans. Far from that. But please stop bashing USSR space exploration. They were just geniuses. They had very few death during missions. Much less than US and for reasons that show less shame indeed. So just stop being so stupid. And take back your program to Moon and Mars now, it's our human kind's duty to go to other planets and colonize the universe. Our adventure, but our duty because only way to survive. Thanks/Love.

    Reply

  24. Wasn't there a Soviet moon shot that was sending back strangely human looking telemetry, right until it hit the lunar surface. They denied it of course. Heard that several times.

    Reply

  25. The flown Buran was destroyed in a hangar collapse in Kazakhstan along with the last Energia booster. The one in Gorky Park was the second built, and the third and fourth uncompleted vehicles are in a hangar in Kazakhstan collecting dust.

    Reply

  26. Every thing the Russians do is a Mega disaster, matter of fact the entire country is a disaster 🤣🤣🤣

    Reply

  27. 8:18 INTERPLANETARY ALTITUDES. How high is "interplanetary altitudes"? Better yet, how high are the people who made this documentary?

    Reply

  28. Filmmaker Stanley Kubrick may have helped NASA fake the first lunar landing.
    And as for Virgil I. Grissom, Edward H. White and Roger B. Chaffee — three astronauts who died in a fire while testing equipment for the first moon mission? They were executed by the U.S. government, which feared they were about to disclose the truth.

    Reply

  29. This nothing more than Cold War Propaganda. It's so childish that today's generation of Americans must be cringing. lol

    Reply

  30. the americans drove the russians to make a space shuttle becouse they saw that the russians do what the americans do, so they wait for the timing in technoligie and financial aid to build the american space shuttle at a timing on wich the russians are poor as shit or bout to be poor as shit. and murica wins space race once and for all

    Reply

  31. Komarov's final transmissions to ground command were picked up by a listening station in Turkey before he impacted with the ground.

    He was cursing the engineers and politicians who'd damned him to fly in a flawed and doomed spacecraft.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *