Project 1917 Kosmonaut Vladimir Komarov
In April 1967, upon returning to earth, the Soyuz-1 spacecraft was dropping at too high a speed, which led to the death of cosmonaut Vladimir Mikhailovich. In the same month, it was decided to give NIS the name “Cosmanaut Vladimir Komarov” or KVK, as its testers called it for the sake of brevity on the screens and displays in the Mission Control Center (MCC). In terms of the number of employees, the scientific expedition to KVK was seven times higher than the one on the largest ship of the first generation - Dolinsk. This comparison alone allows us to imagine the superiority of new NIS over previous vessels in terms of equipment saturation and scientific potential.
By the time the design of the R/V “Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov” began, the space fleet included 6 vessels capable of performing the simplest operations to control space flights. The rapid pace of development of Soviet space exploration required a multiple expansion of the tasks solved by the agencies. A need arose for a vessel of a universal type, which would be able to completely replace a stationary measuring station working with near-Earth and interplanetary space objects anywhere in the World Ocean.
The Komarov was originally launched in 1966 as the dry cargo vessel, Genichesk (built at Kherson Shipyard). The Komarov, named in honor of the Soviet Union's first space fatality, was converted for use as a tracking ship at Leningrad in 1967. In April 1967, the ship was named after the USSR pilot-cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov. To create the required number of rooms, it was necessary to increase the height of the side by 2.5 m, the width of the vessel by 2.7 m with the help of additional onboard boules. The construction was completed by sea trials in July 1967. The 510 ft. Komarov displaces 17,500 tons, and has 2 large/1 small radome type antennas. The Komarov's home port was Odessa.
When creating the R / V “Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov”, for the first time, pitching equipment was used for measuring radial speed, for the first time personnel protection against radio emissions from powerful ship transmitters was applied. This was the first of the greatly improved Soviet tracking ships. Having the spacecraft control and communication facilities onboard, the station was regarded to be a totally new type of the ships – the very first in the native marine space fleet, supporting moon expeditions and space flights, manned space stations and automatic interplanetary stations.
During the conversion, the ship underwent significant structural changes. To ensure the required number of laboratories and office space, the side height was increased by 2.5 meters, and the bow and stern superstructures were changed. To ensure better stability of the vessel with the help of additional onboard boules, the width in the middle part was increased by 2.7 meters.
To install parabolic antennas, a gyrostabilized platform was used, capable of maintaining a horizontal position with an accuracy of 15 minutes at a wind speed of up to 20 m / s and sea waves up to six points. Two parabolic antennas with a diameter of 8 meters and a weight of 28 tons each made it possible to maintain radio communication with space objects up to near moon distances. For the first time, these antennas were used when working with the automatic interplanetary stations Zond-4 and Zond-5. The third parabolic antenna with a diameter of 2.1 meters and weighing 18 tons provided automatic tracking of the satellites and generated signals to correct the antenna pointing program.
To protect against wind, the antennas were covered with spherical radiotransparent shelters with a diameter of 18 meters for large and 7.5 for small. To cool the parametric amplifiers with liquid nitrogen, the vessel was equipped with a cryogenic unit. To ensure protection of operating personnel from high-frequency radiation, shielding of premises was first applied and an alarm was introduced to warn of the operation of transmitting equipment at all points of the vessel where there is a risk of exposure.
The power supply for general ship consumers was carried out using a 900 kW power station, and a separate power station with a capacity of 2,400 kW was used for expeditionary equipment. Air conditioning and ventilation systems in laboratories, residential and public buildings maintained a constant temperature of about 20 ° C with a change in outdoor temperature in the range from -30° to +30°C.
To Western intelligence it appeared to be a converted merchant ship hull of about 11,000 gross tons with an enlarged superstructure and several large radomes. It was first spotted by the West on a voyage through the English Channel while outbound from Leningrad to Havana, Cuba, which harbor it often frequented.
TASS in June 1970 said the ship has 1,000 or more berths, that it was built in 1967 at Leningrad, and had special computers and laboratories on board." Pravda Ukrainy of June 23, 1970, said that it operated during the Soyuz 9 flight with a total complement of 240 men, including 125 scientists."
The Russians also said that communications between some spacecraft and Moscow can be maintained on a real-time basis even when not in direct view of the Soviet Union by having the Kosmonaut Vladimir Komarov served as a relay point on Earth, with a further relay from the ship via one of the Molniya 1 satellites which shares mutual visibility between the ship and the Soviet Union. This type of relay was first mentioned in connection with the Soyuz 6-7-8 flights of October 1969.
After completion of sea trials, on August 1, 1967, the Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov left Leningrad on his first expeditionary flight. The vessel was a postscript to the port of Odessa and became part of the Black Sea Shipping Company ( PMP ). Over almost 22 years of operation, the ship completed 27 expeditionary voyages lasting from one to eleven months, during which time about 700,000 nautical miles were traveled , which is about 13 years of “clean” sailing. It took part in the flight control of space objects of almost all types, including the Salyut , Mir orbital stations , the Progress , Soyuz spacecraft , the Venus and Vega interplanetary stations .
From the last voyage, the ship returned to Odessa on May 22, 1989. The vessel was relocated to the Baltic Sea basin and converted for use for scientific purposes, but on a different profile. In 1994, it was decommissioned and sold at the price of scrap metal at the Indian port of Alang . The cutting of the ship ended on November 3, 1994.
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