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Soyuz 3: Getting the Soviet Union Back Into the Moon Race

2 Nov 2018, 14:05 UTC
Soyuz 3: Getting the Soviet Union Back Into the Moon Race
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Early 1967 proved to be a disastrous time for both the American and Soviet manned space programs with the loss of astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee in the Apollo 1 pad fire on January 27 and the death of cosmonaut Vladimir Komorov in the crash landing of Soyuz 1 on April 24. As the investigation and subsequent recovery of the Apollo program took place under the watchful eye of the American public, similar efforts took place behind the scenes in the Soviet Union with the Soyuz program. By October of 1968, both nations were poised to restart manned flights of the Apollo and Soyuz in the hopes of resuming their race to be the first to land humans on the Moon.

The Origins of the Soyuz
The origins of the Soyuz spacecraft, including today’s updated Soyuz MS which ferries crews to the International Space Station, can be traced back to a series of design studies performed at OKB-1 (the Russian acronym for “Experimental Design Bureau – 1”) starting in December 1961 under the direction of the pioneering Soviet aerospace engineer, Chief Designer Sergei Korolev. The Soyuz complex, as it was called starting in April 1962, ...

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