Vladimir Komarov was a Soviet cosmonaut who fell from space and died tragically. He is the first human to travel space two times and also the first human who died in a spaceflight.
Komarov was one of the most highly skilled engineers and cosmonauts for the Soviet Union at that time.
During Cold War, the US and Soviet authorities were competing for conquering space so fast. Their sick competition made the stage for the tragic death of Komarov.
Let’s explore Vladimir Komarov’s life and the tragic story…
Life of Vladimir Komarov
In 1927 March 16, Vladimir Mikhaylovich Komarov was born in Moscow. He grew up with his sister Matilda. His family was so poor that his father worked different little-paid tasks to feed his family.
Vladimir Komarov was so talented from a very young age. His education started in 1935 formally. In his school, he showed an extra talent in mathematics. But his education process turned to an end when World War II started and he became a laborer like his father.
From a very young age, Komarov wanted to become an astronaut. He was so desperate to make his dream real.
In 1942, Komarov joined the ‘1st Moscow Special Air Force School’ to make his dream a reality. He was graduated in 1945 with honors from a flight school. And by this, he reached one step closer to becoming an aviator.
After completing various training sessions he joined the Soviet Air Force as a lieutenant in 1949.
Vladimir Komarov had a great career in the Air Force. In 1952, he became the chief pilot of a segment of the Soviet Air Force. In 1959, Komarov became senior engineer-lieutenant.
Because of his dedication and talent, Vladimir Komarov was selected as a cosmonaut for the Soviet space program.
Komarov’s first flight as a cosmonaut was Voskhod-1 in 1964 with two more cosmonauts Konstantin Feoktistov and Boris Yegorov.
The Tragic Accident
During the space race between the Soviet Union and the United States, on 1967 April 23, the Soviet space program launched Soyuz 1.
That was the first flight of a Soyuz spacecraft and the vehicle was with some errors.
Vladimir Komarov was selected for the flight. It was his second spaceflight and the last one too.
Also Read: Dyatlov Pass Incident – A Mystery Since 1959
The design of the Soyuz 1 spacecraft’s capsule was too small to escape for a cosmonaut in an emergency case. Besides that, the spacecraft had a few more errors.
In a space journey, the vehicle should be designed perfectly. Cause a simple mistake in the design can create a stage of a horrible tragedy.
Komarov knew all of that. But he took this dangerous step for his nation.
Before the mission, Komarov and other cosmonauts informed the authority about the lack of perfection of the capsule. But the authority denied their concerns.
After arriving at the orbital space, the spacecraft failed to open solar panels properly. So the capsule faced energy and navigation difficulty at first.
When the capsule was re-entering the earth’s atmosphere after too many attempts of Vladimir Komarov, the module’s parachute was failed to deploy. The capsule crashed on the ground. The remaining of the unfortunate cosmonaut was nothing but a piece of human charcoal.
Vladimir Komarov became the first man who died on a spaceflight.
After the accident, Vladimir Komarov was named a national hero. Soviet authorities delayed the launch of Soyuz 2 and Soyuz 3 after the tragedy.
The USSR circulated stamps with an image of Komarov to honor him in 1964.
History should have a different role for the fallen cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov. Still, he got high respect from his nation, but he could perform more great adventures into space if he was alive.
The Soviet Union could save his life if they were more careful about the mission.
Today’s space industries are more advanced. We have companies like Elon Musk‘s SpaceX with revolutionary spacecraft technology. An error like Soyuz 1 is impossible today, but space is mostly unexplored. Humans should be more careful before any new kind of spaceflight.
Source – Wikipedia