Soviet Firsts in October Space History

Forty-five years ago today — October 12, 1964 — the Soviet Union placed the first three-man crew in space when cosmonauts Vladimir M. Komarov, Konstantin P. Feoktistov, and Boris B. Yegorov launched aboard Voshkod-1. In addition, Feoktistov was the first civilian in space.

And forty years ago yesterday — October 11, 1969 — the Soviets started a three-day launch series that resulted in the first time that three different spacecraft, with seven cosmonauts total, were in orbit simultaneously. Soyuz-6 was launched on the 11th, carrying cosmonauts Georgi S. Shonin and Valeri N. Kubasov. Soyuz-7 launched 40 years ago today, carrying Anatoliy V. Filipchenko, Vladislav N. Volkov and Viktor V. Gorbatko. And then on the 13th, Vladimir A. Shatalov and Aleksei S.Yeliseyev launched on Soyuz-8. All of these missions launched from Baikonur, in what is now Kazakhstan.

Two thoughts:

1. Considering that the latest crew to depart the International Space Station landed in Kazakhstan over the weekend, and that Soyuz rockets and capsules will soon be the only man-rated system to ferry people to and from the ISS, it’s safe to say that the “workaday” approach of the Soviet space program has proved very robust indeed.

2. Do you think they planned these missions for October in honor of the Bolshevik Revolution?

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