Category: cosmos

gusgrissom: Thinking today of Soviet fighter p…


Thinking today of Soviet fighter pilot and cosmonaut Valentin Vasiliyevich Bondarenko (February 16, 1937 – March 23, 1961), one of the first men to give his life in the name of space exploration. He was killed 57 years ago in an accidental fire during a 15-day endurance experiment.

Valentin was hardly 24 years old when he died, the youngest man in the first cosmonaut group, and still the youngest person ever to be selected as a cosmonaut or astronaut. His fellow cosmonauts called him Valentin Junior or “zvonochek” (Tinkerbell). He was a son, brother, husband, and father. His little boy, Sasha, would grow up to become a pilot like his lost father. Valentin loved sports, especially soccer, and was unbeatable at table tennis. He had a lovely singing voice and was embarrassed at excessive attention. He once saved a little boy from a 5-story fall by climbing up the side of the building on a drainpipe and carrying him to safety. He was training for a manned spaceflight at the time of his death, and was killed just 19 days before Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space.

The Soviet Union lied about his death for decades. The cover-up lasted until 1986, when Valentin was finally recognized by the government for which he gave his life, and the world became aware of one of the first casualties of the space age. In 1991, a crater on the far side of the moon was named Bondarenko in his honor.

lightthiscandle: 5/4/62: “Astronauts Alan Shep…


5/4/62: “Astronauts Alan Shepard (left) and John Glenn (center) seem to be equally puzzled with Soviet Cosmonaut Gherman Titov as to how photographers want them to pose during a picture taking session at a reception at the Soviet embassy. Other guests included numerous Washington officials, ambassadors and newsmen.”

gimbal–lock: August 7, 1961 Gherman …


August 7, 1961

Gherman Stepanovich Titov

in the cabin of the plane after the successful completion Vostok 2.


gimbal–lock: “Sometimes people are saying that God is out…


“Sometimes people are saying that God is out there. I was looking around attentively all day but I didn’t find anybody there. I saw neither angels nor God.“ 

Gherman Titov (1962)

scanzen:Vladimir Komarov during training before his second and…


Vladimir Komarov during training before his second and last spaceflight. In: Galambos Tibor – Emberek a világűrben. Kossuth Könyvkiadó, Magyar-Szovjet Baráti Társaság, Táncsics Könyvkiadó, 1975.

fuckyeahhistorycrushes: Vladimir Komarov and Yuri Gagarin.  Two…


Vladimir Komarov and Yuri Gagarin.  Two amazing cosmonauts with a lot of firsts in the Soviet Space Program- and we’re talking major accomplishments like the first man in space, first man to command a multi-man space crew, first man to go to space twice…..  

They were also such good friends that both tried to keep the other from taking part in a doomed-from-the-start space flight- Komarov wouldn’t refuse to fly because that meant Gagarin would be chosen, and Gagarin showed up on launch day demanding to take Komarov’s place.  Sad spoiler alert: the decision did end up costing Komarov his life (and adding another sad first to his record- first man to die in a space flight).

humanoidhistory:A portrait of Yuri Gagarin watches over the…


A portrait of Yuri Gagarin watches over the construction of a test version of the Soviet Union’s Buran space shuttle, 1980s.

captain-star-gazer: Two heroes and best friends united forever…


Two heroes and best friends united forever and betrayed by their ill-fated destinies: Yuri Gagarin and Vladimir Komarov.

Vladimir Komarov’s death seems to have been almost scripted. Yuri Gagarin said as much in an interview he gave to Pravda weeks after the crash. He sharply criticized the officials who had let his friend fly.

Komarov was honored with a state funeral. Only a chipped heel bone survived the crash. Three weeks later, Yuri Gagarin went to see his KGB friend. He wanted to talk about what happened. As the book describes it:

Gagarin met Russayev at his family apartment but refused to speak in any of the rooms because he was worried about bugs. The lifts and lobby areas were not safe, either, so the two men trudged up and down the apartment block’s echoing stairwells.

The Gagarin of 1967 was very different from the carefree young man of 1961. Komarov’s death had placed an enormous burden of guilt on his shoulders. At one point Gagarin said, “I must go to see the main man [Brezhnev] personally.” He was profoundly depressed that he hadn’t been able to persuade Brezhnev to cancel Komarov’s launch.

Shortly before Gagarin left, the intensity of his anger became obvious. “I’ll get through to him [Brezhnev] somehow, and if I ever find out he knew about the situation and still let everything happen, then I know exactly what I’m going to do.” Russayev goes on, “I don’t know exactly what Yuri had in mind. Maybe a good punch in the face.” Russayev warned Gagarin to be cautious as far as Brezhnev was concerned. “I told him, ‘Talk to me first before you do anything. I warn you, be very careful.’ ”

The authors then mention a rumor, never proven (and to my mind, most unlikely), that one day Gagarin did have a moment with Brezhnev and he threw a drink in Brezhnev’s face.

Guess what!I hope Yuri has really done that to that idiot.Yuri was right.And omg,I wish I could tell him that he was not to blame for anything that happened to his friend.Nothing worse than carrying the burden of feeling guilty for a best friend’s death.I do really understand sweet Yuri’s pain.It’s clear that he might have gained some powerful enemies,after criticizing his superiors.Therefore,the reason for me to back up the theory that defends Yuri being murdered.Some people just cannot handle the truth and failure.It’s very possible that they could have seen Yuri as dangerous…Poor angel,was no threat to anybody,he just wasn’t afraid of standing for what was right.And probably that’s what got him killed. 🙁

gagarin-senpai: sovaesth: Юрий Гагарин в Париже, 1963г. Yuri…



Юрий Гагарин в Париже, 1963г.

Yuri Gagarin in paris, 1963.

Pretty aesthetically pleasing