October 12 – Voskhod 1

Voskhod 1, all five tonnes of it, the first manned spaceflight to carry a crew of more than one, was launched by the USSR from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on October 12th 1964 carrying cosmonauts Vladimir Komarov, Boris Yegorov and Konstantin Feokistov into an orbit varying between 111 and 209 miles for a rather short mission of just over a day.

An interesting “first” for Voskhod 1 was that it was the first spaceflight to omit spacesuits from the luggage list.  Voskhod (the name is Russian for “sunrise”) was apparently built for two cosmonauts, but the powers that be decided it would be more impressive to send three up, so something had to be left behind to keep the baggage allowance under the limit.  I presume they decided that if the crew did ever need to leave the craft in a hurry at 200 miles above the Earth, not being able to breathe might only be the first of a whole host of problems, so the spacesuits were left behind.

Spacesuits were grudgingly allowed on the follow-up flight, Voskhod 2, but only because part of the mission involved opening the door.

Mission patch for Voskhod 1
Mission patch for Voskhod 1

Despite only being in space for 24 hours, the crew of Voskhod 1 managed to miss one of the most significant political events of the decade.  During the flight, Nikita Krushchev was removed from power (sorry: “retired due to age and ill health”) to be replaced by the youthful and ever jovial Leonid Brezhnev.

Very Quick Language Lesson:  today’s picture contains the letters CCCP, about which the main thing to say is that as it’s in Cyrillic script, it’s not pronounced CCCP but SSSR, and stands for Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik.

2013  –  Discovery of NEO (Near-Earth Object) 2013 TV135, which had passed close by the planet a little under three weeks previously.  At the time of discovery, 2013 TV135 was rated “1” on the Torino Scale (meaning the chance of a collision was unlikely).  It has since been downgraded even further.