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Phoenix Project 1909 Kosmonaut Yuriy Gagarin

The Gagarin was the largest Soviet research ship. He was twice as large as the Titanic. Displacement of the ship was 45,000 tons (for comparison: the Titanic had a displacement of 28,000 tons). Launched in 1970 at Leningrad, the Gagarin had a hull design similar to that of a tanker. The 773 ft. long ship has 4 dish type antennas arrayed in-line amid-ships. This spacecraft/satellite tracking vessel is based in the Black Sea at Odessa. The ship was named after the Soviet Union's first cosmonaut, who died in a 1968 aircraft accident.

This vessel was the latest and also the largest, most ambitious of the Soviet tracking ships. In 1971, the Baltiysky Zavod passed to the customer the floating command-measuring complex "Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin" project, 1909 ( "Phoenix"), which became the flagship of the Soviet space fleet. It was not only the largest of the local research vessels - it had no equal in the world. The project was developed in CDB "Baltsudoproekt", under Chief Designer D.G.Sokolov.

Baltic factory adjusted plans to build a ship. For this deadline the next tanker was moved to the customer. NIS "1909 Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin" was built on the basis of the tanker project in 1552 In March 1969, work began on the stocks, after seven months, "Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin" was launched. Terms of vessel in the sea trials as a mooring, so the factory and the state, were difficult. The acceptance of the supervisors involved not only factory OTC and representatives of the customer, but also the entire crew, a scientific expedition in full strength. During the completion of the vessel the widow of Yuri Gagarin with children cosmonaut Vladimir Shatalov, E.Leonov and head of the Center of preparation of cosmonauts A.Kamanin at the plant visited at the plant. On July 14, 1971 on the ship raised the National Flag of the USSR. Two days later the ship went from Leningrad to the port - Odessa.

Total displacement of the vessel was 45 000 t, the maximum length - 231.6 m, width - 31.0 m, depth - 15.4 m, draft - 8.5 m Steam turbine power plant capacity of 19,000 hp. provided a full speed of 18 knots, cruising range of 000 miles was 20. Endurance ship on stocks of provisions, fuel and oil was designed for 130 days, on fresh water reserves - 60 days. The crew was 140 people, scientific and engineering staff of 215 people comprised the expedition.

The vessel was created with significant unification of the body, the main power plant and the partial use of a number of systems such as the tanker ship "Sofia". This significantly reduced the time and cost of construction of the ship. "Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin" had high seaworthiness, and it allowed the crew to perform a variety of tasks in all areas of the oceans in all sea conditions. The ship set a passive damper, by which the amplitude of the roll has fallen by more than three times. Thruster easier control at low speeds and when docking, allows to keep the ship on course during communication sessions.

The body was divided over the entire length of the watertight bulkheads into eight compartments, and height - 11 storeys formed decks and platforms. In this regard, the ship was equipped with nine lifts, including seven passenger. Above the bottom of the second floor were the lower, middle and upper platform. Ther were located storage tanks the boiler, diesel fuel, fresh water, ballast tanks, several laboratories. In the second compartment two tiers took a sports hall, and above it was kinolektsionny room on the upper platform. In the seventh compartment located power, it occupied the eighth slot machine and boiler room. The upper platform and all located above the tiers were already above the waterline. The hull had ice reinforcement. The next stage was the upper deck. It housed the cabin crew and expedition, laboratories, two dining rooms. Part of the upper deck along the right and left sides was open.

More were two tiers above the superstructure - deck 1 tier and an outdoor deck. They stretched for most of the length of the ship from bow to stern. The tiers were included in the overall strength of the body and along with the top deck, three platforms, longitudinal and transverse bulkheads its increased rigidity and reduced deformation of the hull in rough seas. There were salons, laboratories, wardroom and the crew of the expedition, two cabin vacation. Deck 1st tier along the vessel had an open gallery. On the upper deck towards the stern were installed two parabolic antennas barbettes diameter of 25 m. K Barbet fastened antenna designs, they are partitioned by weight of antennas on the longitudinal and transverse bulkheads of the hull.

Above the weather deck superstructure consisted of two parts - the bow and stern. In the forward superstructure followed the lower tier of the bridge appeared. In addition to cabins and laboratories in this tier was installed barbet one of the two 12-meter parabolic antennas. Aft of the bridge was the radio room, even higher on the navigating bridge and chart room -rulevaya. multiple antennas work on top of the bridge site, including the second 12-meter parabolic. The upper bridge arranged at the level of 25 m above the waterline.

The ship made its first voyage in 1971. It looked as if it had been converted from the hull of a super tanker, as indeed it had. The first account spoke of its having over 120 laboratories. Its scientific instrumentation came direct from scientific institutes rather than from industrial enterprises, and units were designed for easy installation and replacement so that the ship could keep up to date as technology advanced. It was designed to operate away from home base for as long as six months at a time. It had a 19,000 horsepower turbine power plant. The library had 10,000 books. Its theater seated 300 people. There were nine elevators, three swimming pools, and a sports hall big enough for a football match. There was also an automatic telephone exchange.

The ship was described as having over 100 antennas, and via Molniya satellites could reach almost any telephone in the Soviet Union around the clock. It was capable of receiving high data rates from satellites and amplifying weak signals at planetary distances. There were over 1,250 compartments in the ship. The Kosmonaut Yuriy Gagarin has a displacement of 45,000 tons, a speed of 18 knots, has a length of 231 meters, and a width of 31 meters.

Late in December 1971, a photograph appeared showing this ship anchored in Odessa, getting ready for its first operations. The first big dish antenna just behind the bridge was like a regular Orbital antenna for communication with Molniya. One of similar size was apparently intended to make trajectory and orbital data measurements. The two largest dishes, further back were intended for deep space work. In the same photograph were the 17,500 ton Kosmonaut Vladimir Komarov and the almost 21,500 ton Akcademik Sergey Korolev. An accompanying article noted the new ship had 11 decks, and spoke of its many marvels, including a precision navigation system which permitted the antenna to correct for movements of the ship, movements of star fields, and also correct for angles of list and yaw in relation to the ship's course, and even for distortions in the ship's hull caused by heavy seas. This ship is also air conditioned throughout. Slightly different statistics credited it with eight elevators and 260 seats in its theater.

Still another account counted 130 antennas in addition to the four main dishes. The ship's horsepower was listed as 19,500. It also has roll dampers and two maneuvering rudders in the bow and a third in the stern.

The major antennas were listed as ranging from 12 meters to 25 meters in diameter.

The new tracking ships were a great advance over such vessels as the Ilichevsk and Krasnodar , used for space support in 1957 and long since disappeared.

The basis of the special equipment of the ship "Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin" was a large ship's radio engineering command-measuring complex "Photon". He was able to work simultaneously with two space objects, passing the command; performing trajectory measurements, telemetry; providing a two-way telephone and telegraph communications with the astronauts, the reception of scientific information. The complex had four parabolic antennas - the first two from the bow with a diameter of 12 meters, third and fourth -. with a diameter of 25 meters. They were transmission and reception of radio signals in the centimeter, decimeter and meter waves. Aft 25-meter antenna single-reflector, the other two - two-antenna. The mass of each 25-meter antenna was 240 tonnes, 12 meters - 180 tonnes.

Radio communications with the astronauts and the remote control were possible by separate connected and telemetry stations (except the main command of the measuring system). In this case, use was connected and separate telemetry antenna. The vessel operated 75 antennas of various types and purposes. Office space radio system was automated. For ballistic calculations, information processing and management were two mainframes shipboard systems and more specialized. binding system measures and the geographic coordinates of the points in the ocean, where the sessions were held, and the course of the ship, on-board angles, pitching and yawing. On "Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin" it was presented branched complex variety of instruments and devices.

To determine the geographic coordinates of the vessel used for navigation satellites. Gyroscopic devices to within a few arc minutes gave information about the course of the ship, on-board, pitching and yaw; induction and sonar logs - on the ship's speed through the water and seabed. The optical finder responsive to the position of supporting coastal landmarks. Measuring parameters and subject to pitching in rough seas, they were required to calculate the correction in determining the radial velocity of the satellite.

In addition to these devices in the reference system, the ship had a complex of usual navigator equipment. Parabolic antennas have a three-axle stabilization, which takes into account pitching. It was provided opto-electronic devices, measuring deformation of the body - bending angles in the center plane and the plane of the water line. Data strains received in antenna stabilization.

The main link with the ship flight control center provided a multi-channel radio link via relay satellites "Lightning". In this way passed on the command, trajectory, telemetry, scientific, telegraph and telephone, and television information. By using the same radio channel went associated with the operation of a scientific expedition. The nose is also a parabolic antenna with three-axle stabilization, with a diameter of 12 meter was used for the transmission and reception of signals from satellites "Lightning". In addition to radio communications that was used by the expedition, the ship was equipped with a conventional set of communication tools. He was available to the crew and provides navigation and seamanship.

The vessel was equipped with two saloons for relaxation, a library with reading room, kine hall with 250 seats, a gym with a swimming pool, two outdoor swimming pools on the deck saloon with 60 seats for the commanders of the crew and expedition, two dining rooms for 100 beds, spacious storage, galley, bakery and snack. Medical unit consisted of the operating room, hospital, ambulance, X-ray, physiotherapy and dental surgeries.

During the period from 1971 to 1990, "Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin" made 19 expeditions flights lasting from one to 10 months spent in sailing a total of more than 9 years, took place in the seas and oceans around half a million miles. Forwarding routes covered mainly the Atlantic Ocean. The most typical area in which the sessions were held more often - Northwest Atlantic off the coast of Canada (near Sable Island). There were the most favorable conditions for the control and management of flight of the orbital complex "Salyut", and since 1986 - the orbital station "Mir". The day was held to six full sessions. This communication sessions with the orbital station and the entrance to their transport ship "Soyuz", "Progress" module "Quantum", "Quantum 2", "Crystal" and other (especially when docking, landing, astronauts activities in outer space) were the main content of the expeditions of this vessel.

"Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin" participated in programs of interplanetary flight several stations such as "Mars" and "Venus." Its task is to monitor the operation of the engine accelerating stages of launch vehicles in the translation of stations with an intermediate orbit on an interplanetary trajectory. Adopted on board telemetry data after decryption quickly came to the Mission Control Center. The ship participated in the control and management of flight of many other orbital and interplanetary space objects.

The space fleet was completely disbanded in 1995. In 1991, Gagarina was privatized by Ukraine, and soon titanium was too expensive for the Black Sea Shipping Company. It is still unknown what happened to the ships library and museum, where the portrait of Yuri Gagarin, presented to the crew by Anna Timofeevna Gagarina, disappeared. In 1996, Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was sold at a price of $ 170 per ton. It was a shame to sell scientific pride in scrap metal, so the name of the vessel was covered with paint, leaving only the letters "Agar".

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Page last modified: 02-12-2019 17:59:20 ZULU