Soyuz 11 disaster in space electricity song billy elliot

The next Salyut crew, scheduled to launch aboard Soyuz 11, were three experienced fliers: Valery Kubasov, Alexei Leonov, and Pyotr Kolodin. Prior to launch, Kubasov was suspected of having contracted tuberculosis, which caused the Soviet space authorities to replace this crew with their backups, Georgi Dobrovolski, Vladislav Volkov and Viktor Patsayev, who launched on June 6, 1971. A Successful Docking

After the docking problems that Soyuz 10 experienced, the Soyuz 11 crew used automated systems to maneuver within a hundred meters of the station. Then they hand-docked the ship. However, problems plagued this mission, too. The primary instrument aboard the station, the Orion telescope, would not function because its cover failed to jettison. The cramped working conditions and a personality clash between the commander Dobrovolskiy (a rookie) and the veteran Volkov made it very difficult to conduct experiments. After a small fire flared up, the mission was cut short and the astronauts departed after 24 days, instead of the planned 30. Despite these problems, the mission was still considered a success. Disaster Strikes

Shortly after Soyuz 11 undocked and made an initial retrofire, communication was lost with the crew far earlier than normal. Usually, contact is lost during the atmospheric re-entry, which is to be expected. Contact with the crew was lost long before the capsule entered the atmosphere. It descended and made a soft landing and was recovered on June 29, 1971, 23:17 GMT. When the hatch was opened, rescue personnel found all three crew members dead. What could have happened?

Space tragedies require thorough investigation so that mission planners can understand what happened and why. The Soviet space agency’s investigation showed that a valve which was not supposed to open until an altitude of four kilometers was reached had been jerked open during the undocking maneuver. This caused the cosmonauts’ oxygen to bleed into space.

"At approximately 723 seconds after retrofire, the 12 Soyuz pyro cartridges fired simultaneously instead of sequentially to separate the two modules …. the force of the discharge caused the internal mechanism of the pressure equalization valve to release a seal that was usually discarded pyrotechnically much later to adjust the cabin pressure automatically. When the valve opened at a height of 168 kilometers the gradual but steady loss of pressure was fatal to the crew within about 30 seconds. By 935 seconds after retrofire, the cabin pressure had dropped to zero…only thorough analysis of telemetry records of the attitude control system thruster firings that had been made to counteract the force of the escaping gases and through the pyrotechnic powder traces found in the throat of the pressure equalization valve were Soviet specialists able to determine that the valve had malfunctioned and had been the sole cause of the deaths." The End of Salyut

The USSR did not send any other crews to Salyut 1. It was later deorbited and burned up on reentry. Later crews were limited to two cosmonauts, to allow room for the required space suits during take-off and landing. It was a bitter lesson in spacecraft design and safety, for which three men paid with their lives.

As humans continue to explore space, there will be more deaths, because space is, as the late astronaut Gus Grissom once pointed out, a risky business. He also said that the conquest of space is worth the risk of life, and people in space agencies around the world today recognize that risk even as they seek to explore beyond Earth.