Soviet Disasters in Space

Soviet Disasters in Space


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
on 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. For fear of what would happen if they
have allowed the world to know Korolev’s name. 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. NASA is under pressure, too,
to get a ….. 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. That, too, involved a fire
in an oxygen rich atmosphere. Devastates the American effort.
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.>>It was clear that
the administration wanted Because it, of course, was to be
launched along with another Soyuz, in which there would be
a rendezvous, if not a docking Maneuver. And this was all going to happen
at the 40th anniversary Of the glorious October
socialist revolution.>>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 Finally 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 w 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, Woulcomplete 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.

100 Comments on "Soviet Disasters in Space"


  1. US 'NASA' Never Went To The Moon. That Was a Fucking HOAX, They Fake The Moon Landing. Everybody's knew it.

    Reply

  2. USSR
    First object in Space
    First man
    First woman
    First animal
    First orbit
    First spacewalk and many more first's

    USA
    First man on the moon

    America won the SPACE RACE

    Reply

  3. When USA Got first man in space, had it something to do with the CIA stealing and dissasembling the USSR luna 5 (E-6) probe? They "borrowed" it from the world show about year earlier.. Thats what I call an innovation!

    Reply

  4. neil armstrong is a liar. he never stepped foot onto the moon surface at first. we all know superman did. I saw it in a movie decades ago!

    Reply

  5. And today Elon Musk uses the Russian way of designing rockets as they are much more efficient, just much harder to get right as a lot of things has to synchronise, probably easier today with better computers

    Reply

  6. dont you think this is real history channel its all lost now to programs like storage wars, pawn shop, etc, wasnt the history written or documanted after cold war? we miss old days, they can make documentaries on events in other countries colonial period of commonwealth countries how british managed these complex governance etc

    Reply

  7. How to make propaganda through documentaries: there is the impression that Soviets actually had no success in space or that they were even responsible for American accidents…..

    Reply

  8. Israel send unmanned machine of some kind to the moon but it crashed too hard and broke down. This happened like two months ago. Nobody talks about it.. people don't care about space, in the news you just see natural disasters and wars. For now going to the moon would be very important in my opinion, so we could invent something new that could change the world. We still live in the 60's. No new inventions have been made. Just modifications. You could think that smartphone is a new invention, well maybe but in theory somebody tought about it long time ago, the time just were not ready before 2008. If we would go to the moon. EU, China, India, Israel, Russia, someone? That would be nice contination for the progress. Unmanned travels are ok. No need to send anybody to die there. The risk is too big because people don't have same amount of money what America had

    Reply

  9. Someday the USA might be able to send a man to the moon, since they claim its no possible now, so much propaganda!

    Reply

  10. gagarin WAS NOT the first man in space as 1st reported over 20years ago in the evening london papers, they couldnt risk him dying in a crash, they sent up their top test pilot!!!!

    Reply

  11. Through all that time even the NAZI Von Brown said they used Goddard's Liquid Fuel Design engines and Brown said he infringed on an American Rocket Inventor its all history if you played with rockets as a kid?  Rocket Science from impulse to to other dynamic forces is a future of secrecy I will never live to see disclosed.

    Reply

  12. While assembling a satellite, buddy smokes a cigarette … Nixon wanted a reusable space planes. Buran did not have engines in its design.

    Reply

  13. Why are they saying in this video the Soviets based their space programs on the Nazis if Koroliev was punishd by Stalin before the start of WWII? Looks like their dates don't match or their lies are contradictive.

    Reply

  14. " Fake news, there has never been a soviet disaster in space. Putin told me so, I believe him ! " – Donald Trump

    Reply

  15. Komarov was swearing like a sailor at the administration on his way down…his remains had the size of a 3 year old child

    Reply

  16. I'm russian around trying to get parts for my space ship. . . .I need to hire someone to get the parts for me

    Reply

  17. "The Soviet mission to dominate space would eventually become nothing more than a dusty dream"… I mean…. if it makes you feel better then sure…
    The USSR put the first sattelite in space, the first living being (a dog) into space, the first man into space, they put the first objects onto another world, they built the first space station etc etc… but because NASA managed to put a man on the moon they won the space race and 'merica dominates space travel forevermore? I think to ignore the achievements of the Soviet space program is intellectual dishonesty at best.

    Reply

  18. I am not Russian (not either from a post-soviet country, I am also not from the US). I find this documentary to be bad. A good documentary (more if it is about technology/science) should present the facts, good or/and bad, without this kind of criticism.

    Reply

  19. Well, they say that the American Apollo 11 was a fake thing… with no air on Moon, how can flag be weaving ?

    Reply

  20. Breznev wanted Soyuz to fly to commemorate the October Revolution, so the flight took place in April (???) maybe it was to have a result to show on the 1st of May…

    Reply

  21. Also, the Buran present in Gorky Park was not the real Buran, but one of the prototypes used for testing… (lots of wrong informations, it seems)

    Reply

  22. The biggest failure was the death of Korolev which ended their shot of getting to the moon.

    Reply

  23. For a bunch of Russian peasants, on a peasant budget, they did quite well. Pity the government wasn't mature or sophisticated enough to admit to mistakes. But that's what you expect from peasants.

    Reply

  24. I heard Kamarov crying and screeming before he burns up in the atmosphere.
    In another program.
    Maybe it was fake.
    Moonlanding too?

    Reply

  25. Easy to develop an space program today with a lot of data, fast hardware and powerful engines. But in the past, they venture into an unknow territory, limited in every aspect, those people paved the way to the modern space program.

    Reply

  26. ugh, this documentary sucks. too much time spent talking about the american side of the space race which i would be surprised if anyone hasent heard a hundred times

    Reply

  27. typical American crap episode. it does not show alone CCCP disasters but also USA. and it goes further, to show the whole space program, both Russia and USA:

    Reply

  28. Word, AS the is populesond, ertd HARRP control frefekzion elektronik wow, HARRP the populosend

    Reply

  29. Why was the empty metal box @16:15 so important that 3 firefighters risked their lives?
    Does anyone know??

    Reply

  30. The Russians never solved the problem of dealing with the heat and pressure inherent with large rockets. This meant that they had a far more complicated setup with far more engines. The US DID solve that problem and that's why they got there first.

    Reply

  31. Typical American! Always managing to rubbish or belittle others' achievements, but aren't even capable to present an error-free video… hahahhh. And by the way: So many things they claim to have invented, were simply improvements, created by other, perhaps less resource rich countries. Of course, these facts are simply left out. (I am NOT against Americans in general, just against the bigheaded ones.)

    Reply

  32. Why are Americans fiding mistakes in Russian achievements? 24:20 why is this smug happy over the fact the someone got tumor?

    Reply

  33. lyka survived? bullshit. that poor thing died because of enormous heat and radiation at the time of radiation

    Reply

  34. Should of put the ppl pushing for the rockets to take off early pritty sure would saved a few lives

    Reply

  35. Gagarin was the most unfortunate man of his time. He flew all around the Earth and felt back to the USSR.

    Reply

  36. repeating same content two times? that's why it is over one hour… tumb down for dishonesty…

    Reply

  37. You missed mentioning America putting a monkey into space. Also Alan Shepard ' Mercury flight was sub-orbital unlike Yuri Gurgarin's full orbit of Earth. And most importantly, you did not mention the near disaster of Apollo 13. But still, an interesting video.

    Reply

  38. What do you expect out of drunken thoughtless commies?
    14:43… The only thing the Soviets have is idiocy so they are damned proud of it, they polish and nurture it so that they can be the first to reach the ultimate depths of….idiocy.

    Reply

  39. 0:53
    "Nothing more than a dusty dream" ???
    Don't forget Yuri gagarin, if he would not that day
    We must still be dreaming of about space flights!
    Gagarin had a full orbital flight (Shephard had a half orbital)
    Everyone remembers the first, not the second or third.
    Everyone remembers Neil Armstrong, but no one the second.(even I didn't remember now… Ha ha!)
    You must think before speaking this very line!!!

    Ooh I found out
    It's…Buzz Aldrin

    [ This episode is a typical American episode, showing their highness in the sky, even at that time… don't take comments seriously]
    Ha! Ha!! Ha!!!

    Reply

  40. Don't worry about the dropouts – It's good of you to take the time and trouble to post this Interesting documentary. If a viewer doesn't like It, well, they don't have to watch It, do they !?!  I certainly enjoyed It – a few seconds of blank screen doesn't bother me, neither should It bother anyone else. Thanks, Billotto.

    Reply

  41. Not a big fan of soviet system, but i found the saltiness and gloating to the misfortune of their scientists in this video a bit unprofessional

    Reply

  42. 2019 and man still not gone to the moon it's all a hoax, I love these comedy shows. Iss=international spoof station

    Reply

  43. US propaganda show 101. They should stick with ancient aliens and mermaids- that's their level.

    Reply

  44. I remember in the early 60s at school, my pro-red math teacher gushing&gushing&gushing 'bout the soviet genius who used Lobatchevskyian instead of Euclidean math for the more accurate launching of their satellites into orbit, & who were therefore much more suck-cess-foul than the Amerikans.

    But he kept to Euclidean math nonetheless.

    Reply

  45. USA propaganda, irrespective of the truth of the events. You could say all this about the US space programme. Challenger killed 2 crews, as a result Russia now has the last laugh as America can only get about via Soyuz.

    Reply

  46. Gosh it s annoying how these so called documentaries made in the US distort so much realities. From ancient histories, to the 2 world wars to the space race. Typical yahoo brainwashing nonsense. Get your facts straight " history " channel.

    Reply

  47. 8:20 "interplanetary altitudes, and then explode it into (…)" neither N1 nor SaturnV were not necessary at all to get to the Moon…

    Reply

  48. 10:50 USSR brought USA to their knees then… And for Soviet People that was America beating Germany in Europe and Japan in Asia… so they were happy to beat America in this next chapter of human tragedy on this planet… Such a simple minds… It would be enough just use any sport challenge instaed of killing… but tell it to those psychos in power…

    Reply

  49. It’s getting increasingly harder to like, let alone tolerate, the USA and many of its people.
    They have such a simple, jaundiced and dangerously inaccurate view of the world and it’s history.
    I lived in NYC for 2 years, great city, but my god the people are so insular. It’s really not a global city…provincial mentality.

    Reply

  50. Firstly, the USSR never sought to “dominate space”.

    And as for “a dusty dream” NASA has been relying on Russia’s Soviet-era Energia Rockets to get Americans into space because the rockets are better, and cheaper. That’s a fact, unlike most of this video.

    Reply

  51. American people should be thankful to ussr, if ussr never acheived Sputnik 1. Probably USA don't go to moon in 1969. Even NASA found to counter Soviet space program. No ussr, no moon landing. Once JFK cried , & say his brother, how America defeat Soviet Union in space race, launched a satellite, create big space station,land on moon. Then , jfk Target to moon landing. American people arrogant, no doubt. But they should be thankful to Russian people. Who kicked American ass, & they acheived moon landing.🤗

    Reply

  52. How nice. The Americans were so desperate to beat the Soviets at the 'space race' that they were perfectly OK with using a Nazi war criminal (Werner von Braun) to get what they wanted. Amoral cnuts.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

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