Posts Tagged ‘soviet russia’

The space race was big news and in 1960, Komarov was picked, a Soviet test pilot and aerospace engineer, he was picked to be a cosmonaut. He was going to be one of the first man to go into low-earth orbit; alongside him was Yuri Gagarin, he was the first human that went into space.

The USSR decided to be brave several years later or just criminally reprehensible. They wanted to capture a docking between two Soviet spaceships in space. The Soyuz 1 would carry one cosmonaut and a second would have two more and one in space both spaceships would dock. The men would then switch spacecrafts and one would return to earth, a plan doomed from its very creation.

Soyuz 1 was to be Komarov’s craft, he knew it was doomed and so did a great many but the officials were going ahead with it regardless. Komarov knew it was pretty much a suicide mission, he also knew however that if he backed out his friend Gagarin was next to go in.

Komarov and Gagarin both showed up on April 23rd, 1967. This is the same year the US lost three astronauts in the Apollo fire. Gagarin apparently made strange demands and demanded a pressure suit, some through he may have intended to delay the launch. The mission went off according to the plan, well until Soyuz 1 made it to space. The ship did not operate properly and did not have enough fuel, one of the solar panels was compromised and when the capsule set for descent the parachutes did not open.

The parachutes failing and then their back-up entangling with a canopy meant to fill the larger spelt the demise of Komarov. The exact conversation has never been disclosed by the USSR, an unofficial account says in a sate of hysteria when he spoke with Alexsei Kosygin, a high ranking official, who cried with him saying that he was a national hero. He had a brief call with his wife about what to tell their children and they both plummeted through Earth’s atmosphere. It hit the ground with the force of a 2.8 ton meteorite. Some also say that he died screaming and cursing the people who contributed to his death.

His charred and unrecognisable body was then recovered and given an open casket, state sponsored funeral with military honours. It is worth mentioning again at this stage the stories about the alleged conversations and curses are speculation and probably just urban legend. What is worth mentioning is his incredible bravery and contribution to science and the exploration of space.

Fallen Astronaut.jpg
By NASA – Original image at http://history.nasa.gov/alsj/a15/as15-88-11894HR.jpg Another: http://images.jsc.nasa.gov/luceneweb/caption_direct.jsp?photoId=AS15-88-11894, Public Domain, Link

 

Now DO NOT watch this if you have a weak constitution, you’re very easily upset or you are going to find yourself feeling uneasy about this. I am warning you because I personally love and adore animals but curiosity has got the better of me…

The link will be at the bottom but it’s up to you, please do not say I haven’t warned you.

The main bulk of why I posted this is actually more to do with it being Vintage footage, whilst a little gruesome in nature it also has some very interesting information.

The footage I picked was a particular man, Sergey Sergeyavich Bryukhonenko, he was a Soviet Scientist during the Stalin era. His research was vital to the development of open heart procedures in Russia, but he is primarily remembered for a machine – the autojektor.

Basically it was a primitive heart and lung machine, the device was used with various results on canines and can also be seen in the video below.  He was posthumously awarded the Lenin Prize.

The video is in the public domain and can be downloaded as part of the Prelinger Archives, the version I watched was English dubbed and it’s a very controversial watch.

I think the most poignant part for me would be at what point is a display of science more about the shock value than the actual use? Clearly we’re looking at a very old video, it’s from the 1940’s but you can clearly see that this is something akin to Frankenstein but the reality makes it more shocking, of course that’s if you believe it to be real.

These kind of things can vastly turn into an outcry about the hideous behaviour, how could they! Well lets be honest this isn’t today’s world we’re looking back at people who most likely felt this was the best approach. The only thing I would say is that I am glad it is not something I was part of.

Part One

Part Two