The Voskhod space crafts were little more than modified Vostoks with the ejection seat removed allowing for a larger crew and in Voskhod 2's case, an airlock. To accommodate the larger crew the cosmonauts on board Voskhod 1 did not wear space suits.

The Voskhod (Sunrise) program allowed more propaganda firsts but did not progress the Soviet's technology to reach the moon. Like the Vostoks the Voskhod had no ability to manoeuvre in space and were controlled automatically as with their origins, in the design of the unmanned sputniks. The American Gemini craft in contrast were designed to allow the crew to manually pilot the vehicle. The Soviets reluctance to allow their cosmonauts to pilot their craft and the lack of new technologies allowed the Americans to catch up in the space race.

Voskhod Mission Summary 1964 - 1965

VOSKHOD 1Komarov, Feoktistov, Yegorov1964-10-12161 day
VOSKHOD 2Leonov, Belyayev1965-03-18171 day
VOSKHOD 1: With the American Gemini missions set to start, the Soviet Union raced to get a multi-manned mission into space to claim the propaganda coup over the Americans. Voskhod 1 was up for 16 orbits and was crewed by three cosmonauts. Vladimir Komarov was the flight commander, Konstantin Feoktistov an engineer (who helped design the Voskhod) and Boris Yegorov a doctor (who examined Gagarin after Vostok 1). The "extended duration" flight only lasted 24 hours before returning, which may have had more to do with Premier Khruschev being ouster more than anything else.
VOSKHOD 2: Voskhod 2 was launched days before the American two manned Gemini 3. Crewed by cosmonauts Alexei Leonov and Pavel Belyayev, Leonov became the first man to perform a space walk (EVA). After the 20 minute space walk, Leonov had difficulty re-entering the airlock as his space suit had ballooned up. Once safely onboard the telescopic airlock was jettisoned after the spacewalk.
Failure of Voskhod 2's automated re-entry systems resulted in it landing 600 miles off target in a forest in the Urals. A damaged telemetry antenna meant that the rescue teams took 2.5 hours to locate the landed craft and the crew had to spend the night sheltering from wolves before ground crew could recover them.
A year after the Voskhod program Korolev, the Soviet's chief designer and brains behind the early successes like Sputnik and Vostok, died of cancer. His influence was clearly evident after his passing.


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