Almost cosmic catastrophes occurred, part 2

Continues the story of cosmic catastrophes, which were prevented by foresight designers rocketry, MCC hard work, determination and a high crew training, or just luck.

Soyuz-5 h4>
 January 18, 1969. "Soyuz-5" with cosmonaut Boris Volynov returns to Earth after a successful mission. "Soyuz-4" and "Soyuz-5" made the first Soviet manned docking. Astronauts Eliseev and Khrunov, started with Volynov crossed in space suits in the "Soyuz-4". Eliseev, Khrunov and launched in the "Soyuz-4" Shatalov has landed safely on January 17. And Volynova arose deadly problem. Established landing ship "Union" includes the separation compartments. Household and instrumentation equipment compartment burned in the atmosphere, and the lander comes in to land.

However, instrumentation equipment compartment (PAO) did not want to be separated. His weight has changed the balance associated compartments and, instead of entering the atmosphere a thermal shield forward, "Soyuz-5" flying "upside down»:

Thermal protection layer covers the entire surface of the landing vehicle "Soyuz", but it varies, and a thin layer on top of the can provide protection only for a short time. The cabin is beginning to fill with fumes - metal hatch began to melt, began to smolder rubber gasket. What did Volynov? Anticipating the imminent death and not being able to do anything, he feverishly filled logbook and dictating what is happening on-board tape recorder - that this information has helped in the investigation of accidents and saved those astronauts who fly after him. Fortunately, the accident did not happen. Precaution designers was enough. Layer of thermal protection enough to the point where PAO burned so to fall off on their own. But the problems did not end. Lander (SA) began to rotate. Rotational inertia could violate disclosure parachute. Before Volynov looming fate Komarov, who died on the "Soyuz-1" due to the failure of the parachute system. Here's how he describes what was happening:

At an altitude of 80-90 km CA, separated from the PAT, began to "tumble", and then gradually moved to the rotation around the longitudinal axis. At 10 km the parachute system worked. After the release of the main canopy parachute lines began to twist into a bundle. Then there was a sudden stop rotation of the SA, and there was a rattle of metal. It creaked earrings, to which are attached strand parachute. Fortunately, the parachute is not "formed", and CA began to rotate in the opposite direction, and so he moved to the ground. Therefore, the landing was extremely tough. The blow fell on the shoulders and neck and was so strong that I had there was a fracture of the roots of the teeth of the upper jaw, but remained alive ... Christ the lodgement. Then I opened the hatch, as from Gary was hard to breathe. Ash rained down on me, which was turned sealing rubber, and the hatch was formed "cap" of foamed heat-resistant steel ... i>
 And even after boarding adventure did not end there - before a solemn meeting of the terrorist who decides to assassinate Brezhnev, confused and opened fire on the astronauts, releasing the full clip of the two pistols. Driver was killed, was wounded KGB officer on a motorcycle, and one of the bullets grazed his overcoat Leonova, who was traveling in the second car.

Apollo 12 h4>
 Got nervous terrestrial services flight "Apollo 12". The fact is that on ascent launch vehicle was struck by lightning twice. With the turmoil which started a on-board alarm through MCC qualification and astronauts, handled quickly , and the mission was not abnormally completed. But looming over the astronauts far more terrible danger - a bolt of lightning could burn pirovybrasyvateli parachutes, and in the process of landing parachutes simply would not open. Check pirovybrasyvateli astronauts could not, a firm confidence in the rejection was not, save astronauts and was quite impossible. Therefore, MCC, without even informing the astronauts of this danger, continued the mission. Fears were not justified - parachute opened normally, but I think someone in Houston added gray hair.

Apollo 13 h4> And about the "Apollo 13" is the separate publication with a fairly detailed story .

Apollo 15 h4>
 August 7, 1971. The crew of the "Apollo 15" returns to Earth. Behind a very successful mission to the stay on the moon for three days and a trip to the moon first "car." At an altitude of 7200 m starts parachute system - dropped parachute compartment cover, introduced two braking parachute, and, after twenty seconds, the three main ones. All three parachutes normally disclosed. Next step - discharge of residues of toxic fuel system controlled descent. Drained and nitrogen tetroxide, hydrazine somehow damaging three of the six lines of a parachute. Parachute collapses:

And then it was useful foresight designers. The fact that the parachutes "Apollo" margin calculated - for a normal landing lack two of them. Astronauts splashed down just a little more speed to normal. If fuel components perezhgli two parachutes of three, then only the integrity of the ship and the lives of the astronauts would be threatened.

Soyuz-15 h4>
 Flight "Soyuz-15" almost led to the first space "accident." In the process of rapprochement with the station automatic docking system "Igla" perceived distance to the station is 350 meters away as 20 miles and gave momentum booster for faster convergence. Closure rate rose to 20 m / s (72 km / h!) When permitted to 0, 3 m / s. Collision saved only permissible when "dvadtsatikilometrovaya" distance lateral velocity - "Union" flew past the station at a distance of 40 m. The crew did not realize what was happening and did not intervene in the management. Working "Needle" after flight station deployed ship and repeated deadly maneuver two more times. As a result in the abnormal situation sorted out first PCO. "Needle" is off but the manual rendezvous and docking was not enough fuel. Early "Union" had a very small supply of fuel for the rendezvous and docking, which several times led to the disruption of the flight program.
After the flight to the commission investigating the incident, there was a conflict - the developers of the system management blamed the Cosmonaut Training ("the situation was obviously abnormal, why they did not intervene?"), Methodists CPC protected ("You did not give us this failure and its signs of recognition"). Now, with the height posleznaniya, it is seen that in this incident to blame both sides. Developers control system too believed in his system to carefully analyze the possible failures. Methodists CPC also seems to strongly believe in automation, because I do not have studied the possible problems on their own initiative. After such an incident with "Soyuz-23" problem of the quality of crews got stronger measures were taken in 1980 on the "Soyuz-T-2" system failure automatic docking is not plucked flight program, and in 1982 on the "Soyuz-T 6 "astronauts intervened control almost immediately after the failure of automation, demonstrating excellent training.

The Union-18-1, also known as the Union-18A h4>
 April 5, 1975. By the orbital station "Salyut-4" starts the ship that is to receive the name of "Soyuz-18", with cosmonauts Vasily Lazarev and Oleg Makarov. Nuisance begins in the separation of the second and third stages. At 289 seconds of flight gives the command to turn off the engine of the second stage. Because of the failure relay simultaneously with this command is issued the command to reset the tail section of the third stage, but only three of the six castle. Third stage engine is already gaining traction, this craving broke the remaining locks, and finally separated tail section:

Abnormal process separation steps has led to angular perturbations - stage with the vehicle began to rotate at a speed of 20 ° / s and deflected along the other two axes at a speed of 5 ° / sec. At 295 seconds of angular perturbations become incompatible with the normal continuation of the flight, automatic control system has formed a team of "launch vehicle accident" and was engaged in saving the lives of astronauts. The ship was separated from the third stage, divided into compartments, lander turned a thermal shield and moved forward in landing mode. Revealed a second problem - a system controlled descent during an accident "lost" the correct position of top and bottom, and, instead, to reduce congestion, prolonging the process of braking, turned CA "burying" it into the atmosphere even more:

As a result, congestion has reached life-threatening 21, 3 g (with a maximum of emergency in 15 g). After 21 minutes after the start of the ship landed in the Рудном Altai , flying from the start of 1574 km. Recalls cosmonaut Oleg Makarov:

The launch was normal, flying, waiting for the inclusion of the third stage. But ... the engine suddenly silent. Siren wailed, lights up the banner "Crash PH" car spun sharply and darted around the cabin, "sunbeam". In the first moments we do not even understand what happened. After a few seconds it became clear that there was some kind of denial of the rocket, and our ship automation separated from it.
Tried to contact with the Earth, but the radio was not. In the subsequent analysis revealed that radio was one-sided: the Earth we have heard good and P.I.Klimuk shouted into the microphone, causing us, but we did not hear him. We tried to figure out where to land. Most of all concerned that we could get to China, because then we have with that country had a strained relationship. There was a viscous wait ...
While landing place figured out, weightlessness stopped and stepped overload. We did not anticipate that it will be so big. It is known that a person becomes unbearably hard at 10-fold overload, as we have it was so much more. Became "go»
vision: first, it turned into black and white, and then began to narrow the angle of view. We were in a near syncope, but still did not lose consciousness. While reloading presses, just think that it is necessary to resist, and we fought back as best they could. With such a huge overload when unbearably difficult, it is recommended to scream, and we shouted struggled, although it seems it was in a strangled croak.
A few minutes later overload slowly began to subside. The first thing little breather and began to rebound. At this time, the parachute system worked. Landed, lander slightly swayed and stopped. We got out and found himself on a hillside covered with snow depth of five feet. Less than half an hour ago we flew from Baikonur, there was 25 ° C, and are in the mountains in sub-zero temperatures. Made a fire - warmed. Soon, the search plane. We got into the lander and established radio contact with him. We asked where we were, we were informed that we had landed in the Soviet Union in the Altai.
We were able to evacuate the next day. All night we did not sleep, and sat by the fire, discussing our emergency flight. That's when I think about what kind of fellows are the people who foresaw this emergency. In emergency conditions, all the automated systems of the ship worked and clearly wrong. It was like a fairy tale, thanks to the people in most unfamiliar to us, we will happily "returned from the dead." It was an awesome feeling some
miracle. That night we agreed with Vasily Lazarev that continue to this day we celebrate as our second birthday ... i> blockquote>
 After this flight algorithm of the system controlled descent changed - now in an accident lander began to rotate evenly, making a ballistic descent, which eliminates the effects of orientation errors.

Soyuz-Apollo h4>
 Almost ended in tragedy American portion of flight "Soyuz-Apollo". The problem arose again in the area of ​​planting and draining residual fuel. Now, because of the wrong switch exhibited toxic nitrogen tetroxide was come into the cabin, "Apollo." Astronaut Vance Brand fainted. Threatened with the same fate and the two remaining astronauts. But Thomas Stafford already took out the emergency oxygen masks. Wearing one of them, he quickly gave Dick Slayton mask and put it on the Brand. Astronauts received 0, 3 ppm of nitrogen tetroxide with a lethal dose 0, 4 ppm and lain two weeks in the hospital.

Soyuz 23 h4>
 Expedition "Soyuz-23" (crew Vyacheslav Zudov and Valery Rozhdestvensky) to the orbital station "Salyut-5" wholly taken pure bad luck. September 15, 1976, on the second day of flight, the area has become a distant approach to work abnormally automatic docking system. There are strange fluctuations ("fluctuations") signal that the control system perceived as deviations from the path of convergence of the ship, and began to actively maneuver. Enable docking and orientation engines leads to real deflection that system extinguished new impulses, wasting precious fuel wasted. And it, as we remember, in the early "Union" was very small. The crew did not recognize the problem and did not react to abnormal maneuvers the ship. With the analysis of the situation will only coped MCC - docking canceled. I had to return to Earth "empty-handed". And here waiting for the real danger.
Night landing, as in the case of the "Soyuz-15", held regularly, but by bad luck ended a phenomenal hit in Lake Tengiz. Night, blizzard, and landing on the ice of the lake! Salt water lake closes the contacts, and, after shooting the main parachute opens spare. Lander because the parachute falls to one side. Antennas are under water, with helicopters rescue seems that "Union" drowned. The reality is not much better - Roll CA led to the fact that breathing valves were covered with snow and water, and can only breathe indoor air. Rescuers found the ship, but by this time become terminated regeneration cartridges, reducing the oxygen from carbon dioxide.

The lander "Soyuz-23" in the water. Nearby in a rubber boat rescuer Nicholas Chernavskii which, alone, could have only moral support to astronauts. I>

The crew began to experience oxygen starvation. A blizzard is not allowed to use helicopters. By morning the weather improved, but it was necessary to act very quickly - one of the astronauts had already lost consciousness. In violation of all regulations, with the risk to break the helicopter, rescuers began to tow the "Union" Trailing behind a parachute:

Recalls lifeguard Joseph Davydov:

Just before the flight tests were conducted in Feodosia towing lander with a crew on board helicopters and boats. Refined methods, determine the mode of towing, so that the door is not knocked out water pressure, and the crew drowned. I participated in these trials, and now I was clear that the rescue crew of "Union" can only be towed. But these recommendations are based on testing results have not been made to the operating instructions of rescuers and their violation under adverse circumstances could bring to court and jail.
Time for reflection and consultation with the leadership of the flight was not.
I offered Nikolai Kondratiev begin towing:
- Instructions forbidden! - Parried Kondratiev.
- Well, and that we will wait until they suffocate? Nick, where our comrades! Really, following the instructions, we wait for their death - I urged. - We keep the speed of seven kilometers and everything will be fine, I checked.
- And you think you can fly long at this rate? Engines overheat! Grobanemsya yourself! - Kondratyev said, continuing to keep the helicopter over the lander.
- So what? Let's wait until they suffocate? Forgiveness to us with you, Nick, will not!
- Borttehnik, doctor, you are witnesses representative Cosmonaut Training Center tells me to tow the machine.
- If I could have your order! I beg you, I beg you! You're the commander, and only you, unfortunately, can make the final decision. A responsibility I am willing to share with you. And in the presence of the crew repeat that insist on towing - no other solution. Either life or death.
Kondratiev translated from a helicopter hovering in the slow forward movement. In the open door, I watched as the lander out of the icy bitter-salty slush and crawled behind the helicopter. Two hundred meters machine moving, throwing off the ice. Kondratiev watched in suspense for the device speed, maintaining called me speed - seven kilometers. He periodically peeking in half-open shutter cab. And though it broke the cold air on the face of the Kondratieff voltage were beads of sweat. And suddenly the unexpected.



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