Kolyma's Shadow: An Alternate Space Race

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by nixonshead, May 11, 2014.

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  1. Astronomo2010 Well-Known Member

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    Jan 3, 2010
    another great update . The soviets are going to be so Jealous , The NACAA is going to land on the Moon. Cant hardly wait for the next chapter .
     
  2. Michel Van Well-Known Member

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    Liege Belgium Europe
    nice update

    although there is issue with Columbia capsule
    in post is say there no need for EVA, but it got a Payload bay in service module.
    So how get the data of those instruments into Capsule ? (Apollo crew made EVA to get tapes from SIM bay)

    are Film from cameras feed into capsule like Spy sat and Data recorder installed in side Capsule ?
     
  3. Shevek23 Spherical Cow-poke

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    I guessed this is how they'd do it. Recorder in the capsule, why not?
     
  4. Kirk Kerman Kerbal Rocketeer

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    Well, I tried to launch the Zarya on my new M-1, but my apparent upper stage curse struck again and the engine on the second stage refused to start. I fixed the problem, but I son't have enough time to try it again tonight. The first stage burn looked really nice though, so here are my screenshots:

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  5. Tonyq Well-Known Member

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    Mar 1, 2008
    Hurray - I've been lurking around this thread for months, since the Zarya/ Kuznetsova anomaly, hoping we'd get another female cosmonaut, eventually.

    Does anyone have any objections if I insert a little vignette about Kotova? It seems to be a shame not to have a bit more to say about her background, career and spaceflight?
     
  6. Tonyq Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    [​IMG]

    Vladimir Chelomei chats to Soviet Air Pilot, Senior Lieutenant Lidiya Vladimirovna Kotova, as she sits atop the UR500 Proton booster, waiting to become the first woman in space, September, 1973.
     
  7. nixonshead Well-Known Member

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    Apr 1, 2013
    Hi everyone! I’m back at last, so time I caught up with your comments!

    He seems to have been an interesting character, very young for the amount of power he attained IOTL and ITTL. But with a weak heart… maybe… ;)


    Great work Kirk Kerman! I like the sloping cone best from a visual point of view, though the engineer in me figures that the straight cylinder may be more likely - but so boring! Can you give us the dimensions for the conical stages?

    Will you be adding a fairing? Unlike the original R-6 launched Zarya, M-1/Zarya-B has a fairing and escape tower similar to OTL’s Soyuz (the switch to kerolox means the fireball of a launch failure would be too big for ejection seats, aside from mass issues and concerns after Kuznetsova’s ejection).

    Seconded :D

    Good question. Kubrick ITTL didn’t make Dr. Strangelove, but he’s still a great director with considerable cache from his other work, but without the excitement of Apollo (and this is before the announcement of Columbia, remember) the studio may have been a bit tighter with the chequebook. I’d guess therefore that Space Odyssey comes in a little cheaper that OTL’s 2001, especially as they don’t need to build that elaborate rotating set ITTL.

    Yeah, I was aware of the OTL movie that had been largely disowned by Rhodan fans. The TV show ITTL will largely take that film’s place in terms of being detested by the core fans, but it will introduce a generation of younger fans to sci-fi, especially in the US.

    Indeed, we had quite a discussion over HAL. For me the “submarine movie” aspect of the Soviet crew moving in creating a sense of menace takes on much of the claustrophobic fear aspect created by HAL IOTL. As for dubbed dialogue, given the style of OTL’s film, it wouldn’t surprise me if Kubrick gave no dialogue to the Soviets!

    These are all fair points and well argued. The idea is that early in his first term Muskie wanted a poster-child for a more general technology-led renaissance of American industry, as well as something impressive as a legacy for the upcoming bicentennial (which he hoped to still be in office for). Von Braun and Gilruth convinced his advisors that a Moon mission was within grasp for relatively little cost. Making it a civilian-led programme was about disassociating this publicity stunt from the military, which the counter-culture is beginning to react against (exemplified in extremis by the US-Nazi Moon Base conspiracy theory), as well as playing up the links to the civilian economy. As we’ve seen, this did indeed end up with Columbia falling between stools in Congress, especially as the costs escalated, but never quite enough to see the project cancelled. However, I suspect Muskie has had several moments when he regretted ever raising the idea, as the political fights just didn’t seem worth the pay-off, especially as his wider theme of industrial renewal is failing to materialise. Maybe once people actually see Americans around the Moon...

    Regarding the cultural aspects you mention, there is a basic starting assumption that spacemen will be military, but most try to distance themselves from that. The Far Frontier is much more about a lawman than a soldier, whilst the Rhodan TV show is such a pastiche that its portrayal of the military in space (as far as this features in stories, which isn’t much) can’t be taken at all seriously. Space Odyssey does present a heavily militarised future in space (without Dr Stragelove there would be nothing to stop Kubrick making it explicit that those are nuclear bombers orbiting the Earth), but this is hardly presented in a positive light, and the finale shows the futility of human conflict in the face of the vast unknowns of the cosmos (at least that’s one reading - as IOTL, I suspect there are as many interpretations as there are viewers!). So the broad presentation of a militarised space programme in popular culture is that it’s perhaps inevitable, but hardly desirable.

    Anyway, I hope that’s helped clarify where I was coming from!

    I look forward to hearing them!

    I have no idea what you mean ;)

    e of pi has been kind enough to add the Minerva-B specs to the Wiki. The heaviest configuration (used for Columbia) can throw up to around 11t to the Moon.

    For Columbia itself, I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to create a render in time for the posts, and I haven’t yet put the data on the Wiki, but the basic characteristics are a conical Command Module of about 2.9m wide by 2.75m tall, married to a cylindrical Service Module of about 8’ long. The Command Module masses in at 3.4 tonnes with the SM at 2.3t, and 5t of propellant to give a total mass at launch of 10.7t. (NB: This compares to about 3.7t all-up for OTL’s Gemini). Columbia’s base crew is for 2 people, with an eye to possible future expansion to 3. It is powered by fuel cells and has a duration of about a week, though this could be extended for future Earth-orbital versions requiring less delta-v. Incidentally, delta-v comes in at around 1900m/s, enough for entering and leaving lunar orbit.

    Sorry, no time :(. I hope to correct this during the hiatus, including something for Brainbin’s guest post. For Chasovoy, think something like OTL’s OPS module or Tiangong.

    Good guess ;) I agree, the Gusmobile was notoriously tiny and I just can’t see anyone wanting to be stuck in there for a full lunar mission, especially not if they’re used to a roomy Mk.II Dynasoar (don’t forget the DEL!).

    Well, I’d yes-and-no to this. Don’t forget that IOTL Apollo was designed before Gemini, so the precedent of Mercury isn’t overly constraining on the shape. OTOH, Columbia doesn’t have the luxury of Apollo’s mass budget, so that’s what drives a more Gemini-like solution (a taller cone than Apollo, but without the snout of Gemini).

    Hmm, actually my original intention was that it was supposed to be a manned test (he’s already made unmanned tests), but I seem to have missed out describing a crew! I’ll ponder and possibly ret-con this.

    Thanks, I’ll try not to keep you waiting too long!

    For the Earth orbital tests and the first lunar flyby, they won’t be making spacewalks in order to lower the associated risks and give more time for space suit adaptations. The first missions will only use SM instruments that don’t need an EVE, and camera’s will all be in the CM. Depending how the first flights go, later missions may include an EVE.


    No objections from my side, though I’ll let you know if anything conflicts with the established story. Great picture, I’ll add that to the Wiki if I may!

    Thanks again to everyone for your patience and readership! A huge thanks to e of pi and Brainbin for their support and collaboration on this. I’ll try not to leave you waiting too long for Part-IV!
     
  8. Kirk Kerman Kerbal Rocketeer

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    Location:
    Texas
    With a Zarya at 1.25m wide, the third stage for M-1bis is 1.875m wide, while the second stage goes from 1.875m-2.5m, and the first stage goes from 2.5m-3.75m

    Hah, I've been having tons of "fun" wrestling with Procedural Fairings to get one that doesn't make the capsule stick out.

    Yeah, that's what I have in the VAB. I'm currently (not really, I have a ton of work right now) trying to boost the stats for the Proton from the TantaresLV pack.

    EDIT: I probably should have included this: the most recent (and possibly final) version of my M-1:
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    The upper stage curse has once again struck, with my computer crashing in the middle of orbital insertion.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2015
  9. Threadmarks: "The First Woman in Space - Part 1"

    Tonyq Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Yes, feel free to use that image in any way you see fit. It is a composite image from the Soviet era movie 'Taming the Fire'.

    "The First Woman in Space - Part 1"

    Although it would have suited the Soviet leadership for the first woman in space to be someone from a humble, peasantry background, the fact Chelomei seized the initiative, and declared his intention to put a woman aboard a solo Orel mission, prevented that happening.

    Recognising that Orel required a highly skilled pilot, in early 1972 Chelomei contacted the leadership of the Soviet Air Force and asked them to nominate candidates who would be suitable for training as cosmonaut-pilots and who could be readied for a space mission within 12-15 months.

    Chelomei was probably already aware that, for several years, the Soviet Air Force had maintained a small group of elite female pilots, who were groomed to beat female aviation records for speed and altitude. Many such records had been set by the American pilot, Jacqueline Cochrane, and it suited the Soviet ethos to train their own girls to gradually chip away at Cochrane’s record portfolio.

    The female pilots were invariably recruited from local flying clubs, aligned to the DOSAFF organisation, (Volunteer Society for Cooperation with the Army, Aviation and Fleet), where they would usually be established flight instructors, or from the ranks of the national aerobatic team. The women trained to fly MIG-15’s and 17’s to condition them to flying jets, before graduating to specially prepared MIG-21’s, designated the E-33, for the record attempts. Well-known pilots such as Natalya Prokhanova, Marina Solovyova and Evghenia Martova had all passed through this regime in the late 1960’s, and into the Guinness Book of Records.

    By early 1972, the latest generation of this small, but elite and skilled group, included 26 year old Senior Lieutenant Lidiya Vladimirovna Kotova. Lidiya had been born just after the end of the Great Patriot War in the small city of Tambov. Her father had been an Air Force pilot who was highly decorated during the war, and who would go on to become career military officer, eventually reaching the rank of Major-General.

    As a teenager, Lidiya Kotova wanted to follow her father’s footsteps into aviation, but it was a difficult field for women to enter. She began by joining the local flying club in Tambov when she was fifteen, learning to parachute, before being trained to fly gliders. Perhaps helped by her father’s rank and reputation, she was permitted to learn to fly when she was seventeen, which girls were not usually permitted to do, and soon after her first solo flight in 1963, she became one of the club’s instructors.

    In 1964, Kotova attended the prestigious Moscow Aviation Institute, where she studied Aeronautical Engineering, while continuing her flying at the MAI’s own club, developing her skills in aerobatics, and competing in regional competition, against male pilots, many twice her age.

    Upon graduation in 1967, Kotova had just joined the national aerobatic squad where she stayed for 3 years, being included in the Soviet teams that competed in the World Aerobatic Championships in Magdeburg, East Germany, in 1968, and at Hullavington, UK in 1970. However Kotova’s real ambition was to fly jets, and in late 1970, possibly with her father’s influence, she was offered an Air Force commission and a place in the elite female squad, which the commander, Alexander Fedorov, was seeking to refresh. Kotova joined the Air Force with the rank of Junior Lieutenant, and, despite her status, was officially described as a flight instructor, to ensure there was no suggestion that the women were combatants.

    In mid-1972, the Soviet Air Force had responded to Chelomei’s request for would-be cosmonauts, by forwarding seven service files to Chelomei’s bureau which was probably the extent of Fedorov’s entire female squad.

    Chelomei arranged for all seven to be interviewed and subject to the usual thorough cosmonaut medical, physical and psychological examinations. Two were eliminated during the tests, and two others, who had indicated a reluctance to be considered for spaceflight, were discounted.

    This left three candidates, Major Marina Solovyova, who had already set a world speed record, piloting a specially adapted MIG-21 to over 1500mph, in 1967, Captain Galina Korchuganova and Lieutenant Lidiya Vladimirovna Kotova, who had both trained in, and had flown, similar aircraft at both speed and altitude, but had not actually set any records.

    This trio, Solovyova, Korchuganova and Kotova, had already been carefully assessed before joining Fedorov’s elite flight squad, and had shown themselves to be highly skilled pilots, and courageous, but sensible, risk-takers. At their first meeting Chelomei set out his plans and expectations, but also the risks they’d be exposing themselves to. He emphasised that there would be just one female spaceflight to take place in late 1973. It was a final chance to walk away, but all three women committed to the project, without hesitation, and were seconded to Chelomei’s bureau from 1st August 1972, to begin cosmonaut training.

    Notes - this sub-plot involves real people from OTL, wholly fictional characters, and those which are a composite of real pilots and cosmonauts, which may be identifiable of those who have followed this era of Soviet spaceflight and aviation.
     
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  10. nixonshead Well-Known Member

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    Apr 1, 2013
    Looks good! Ideally I'd like to have something a bit more Soyuz-like for the fairing (grid fins, for example), but I love the overall shape, and it stays within the 4.15m diameter limit.

    Love it! I'm guessing you're planning a Part 2? Let me know if you want anything clarified about the Orel, or anything else, to help put it together!
     
  11. Kirk Kerman Kerbal Rocketeer

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    Well, I wouldn't be too sure that it's within the limit, you still have to scale it up so that the Zarya can fit people instead of kerbals.
     
  12. Tonyq Well-Known Member

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    Mar 1, 2008
    Thanks.
    Yes. I think there will be four parts. Part 3 is written, and Part 2 is in the works. Should have something else up by early next week.
     
  13. Shevek23 Spherical Cow-poke

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    Location:
    Reno, Nevada USA
    I like the Kotova story thus far; in particular Chelomei taking women cosmonauts seriously and not as a regime stunt.

    Is there any particular OTL knowledge of Chelomei's character that would support the idea that he'd be more serious about women playing truly equal roles in space than the typical prevailing mentality that OTL history (and ATL thus far) has made all too painfully obvious?

    Bolsheviks are supposed to be gender-blind and so the obvious paternalism of the regime was an embarrassment to them, Yankees of the '60s could be more forthright in their male chauvinism. But while Soviet history did indeed place women in positions that would be almost unthinkable in the West, it just about never put them in positions of real power. They could become fighting generals in the Great Patriotic War, but never led the nation--I can't name a single one in the Politburo unless Lenin's wife sat there; Kollontai had the next-highest position but I don't think she was ever allowed into the inner circle--just trusted with some delicate but peripheral tasks.

    Besides bucking the general trend of the space apparatchiks, I imagine that Chelomei will suffer some blowback from the male cosmonaut corps. Those guys must have felt a keen sense of competition with their male comrades; which would be permitted to travel in space at all, which would get the plum, famous missions--which would be killed on some half-baked spacecraft and be erased from history? To have women threaten to displace them from their rare opportunities might lead to some serious pushback.

    During WWII, Jackie Cochran fought hard for the "privilege" of women being allowed to be ferry pilots for the aircraft being built for the war effort; even the plain rationality of having women, defined as they were as non-combatants, handle the logistics of moving warplanes to where men could use them thus freeing up all those men to operate in the danger zones was barely sufficient to overcome resistance.

    So--when a number of planes and their women pilots were lost because someone had poured sugar into the fuel tanks, Cochran kept it quiet. She was afraid if the news got out all her pilots would be grounded.

    I'm wondering, with some dread, if pushback of that sort of level might happen in TTL's Soviet Union of the 1970s.:eek:

    And then wondering if someone might take the high ground and push back against the reactionaries, and Bolshevism might live up to its feminist theory a little better ultimately.

    I should note that Chelomei of ATL anyway is attempting something that the Soviets OTL didn't do until the Americans were finally ready, with Sally Ride's first mission, to put the second woman in space. Then and only then did the Soviets put up the second, their second, just weeks before Ride's launch, and send one to the current Salyut station.

    Chelomei is doing what he is doing with the Americans presenting no such "threat."

    Now, it has just occurred to me for the author's main story line--if President Muskie really wanted to double down on Columbia being a project that will somehow be seen as an alternative to rather than extension of the Military-Industrial Complex, he should perhaps have considered including women in the Lunar astronaut corps!:)

    Say, start grooming a married couple to be the first to land on the Moon? "People from the planet Earth came in peace for all humankind?":cool:
     
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  14. nixonshead Well-Known Member

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    Apr 1, 2013
    Ah, sorry, my misunderstanding. So maybe a more conservative straight-cylinder version would still win out… :(

    Looking forward to it!

    I’m afraid I don’t have any clear information on his views of female cosmonauts one way or the other IOTL. Regarding his motivation for trying it in 1973 ITTL, it’s far less about competition with the Americans than it is about Chelomei’s competition with Mishin and his political backers. Ever since Khrushchev’s ouster, Chelomei has been trying to rebuild the political capital he lost, and part of his strategy for that is to make the bosses look good. The world’s first female space traveller is a title still up for grabs, something easy to accomplish, and perhaps most importantly, something that Mishin explicitly screwed up in 1963. A decade on, the general (extremely patronising!) mood that space travel is something too dangerous to risk women with will have been moderated enough that Chelomei feels he can persuade those in power that the prestige reward outweighs the fear of another screw-up (after all, they managed to keep the last one secret).

    I’m sure TASS will be loudly proclaiming the feminist principles of Socialism as demonstrated by the flight, but the ideological aspects won’t have had much to do with the decision to fly.

    As for a backlash from the cosmonaut corps, don’t forget ITTL the Soviets have two groups, one each for Zarya and Orel, with very little contact between the two. Chelomei’s Orel flyers will probably be mollified by the knowledge that a) Kotova’s flight is intended as a one-off stunt, and b) it lets them get one-up on Mishin’s spam-in-a-can crews. The Zarya flyers on the other hand will probably be talking up how effeminate the Orel team are. If members of the two groups happen to find themselves in the same bar, expect trouble...

    A married couple? That’d certainly get TTL’s equivalent of the “Secret NASA Sex Experiments” urban legend off to a flying start! :eek:

    As discussed in the post, the first Lunar flight is relying on experienced Air Force astronauts, but future missions will carry civilian scientists. There’s no particular reason one of them couldn’t be female. There might be some concern over the PR aspects of having a man and woman sharing a cramped capsule for a week (IOTL US mixed crews had to wait for the far roomer Shuttle), but I expect that as per OTL the first American woman in space will happen more as a result of general trends in wider society towards equality making it less of a big deal rather than for purely symbolic reasons.


    I remember spotting a comment about the Tisha B'Av War, and how this holiday is a much less important one than Yom Kippur, which of course was the date of the equivalent conflict IOTL. The comment seems to have disappeared, but I just wanted to thank the poster (sorry, I forget who) for pointing this out, as it wasn’t something I was aware of (though I guessed it wouldn’t be as important as Yom Kippur). ITTL, the use of the holiday as the date of the planned attack isn’t actually so important. I knew it would happen in the summer, as the absence of Shelepin and consequent paralysis of the Soviet leadership seeped into the consciousness of the Arab leadership, plus the necessary time to prepare and coordinate details. Tisha B’Av just happened to be at about the time I was thinking anyway, so it seemed a convenient date to go for, as even if it’s not a very significant holiday it would still likely leave Israel slightly less prepared than on a normal weekend. Waiting until Yom Kippur, two months later, would give that much more time for their plans to be discovered (although they had been anyway) and for the international situation to change.

    Such was my reasoning, anyway! Do please let me know if it seems unlikely or if a better date suggests itself. The war itself I saw as pretty much an inevitable result of the geopolitics of the region.
     
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  15. naraht Well-Known Member

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    Dec 7, 2010
    That was mine, and I originally read it as Tu Bishvat, not Tish B'Av.

    Tu Bishvat is the equivalent of Arbor Day and I was really objecting to that. Tisha B'Av which is what you actually had is the date of the destruction of both the first and second temples and commemorates the expulsion of the Jews from Israel.Oddly enough they are the only standard Jewish holidays whose names named by day and month (sort of like 4th of July) (the 15th of Shevat and 9th of Av respectively)

    But it sounds like the decision to go to war was made with much less preparation than in OTL 1973, so picking a Jewish holiday would be less of a concern than other issues.

    Also, another thing to consider in iTTL, (to the point of possible Retconning the last part of the war description). With the US support of Israel weaker in the war, with Saudi forces apparently not participating and particularly without the followup sale of arms supplies and appropriations by the Nixon administration, there may not be a complete embargo by Saudi Arabia and OPEC.
     
  16. Threadmarks: "The First Woman in Space - Part 2"

    Tonyq Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Here you go!

    "The First Woman in Space - Part 2"

    Chelomei knew that bringing the three women into the small cosmonaut team was likely to upset the male members, especially those awaiting their first spaceflight. He knew he could easily demonstrate their professional skills and competence for the task, the political and funding dividend that would accrue from the resulting propaganda success, and the fact there would only be one female flight. But he was concerned at how the women might be treated on a day to day basis, when his attention was elsewhere.

    To counter these concerns, Chelomei arranged for the experienced Orel cosmonaut Vladimir Shatalov to take personal charge of the small female platoon’s training, and to act as their coach and mentor. It was an obvious action to take, to remove most of the potential issues. From the beginning of their training, the approximate timescale towards a female spaceflight was set. One of the trio was to be ready to attempt an orbital flight by late 1973.

    The women moved to quarters in the cosmonaut training facility at Chkalovsky Air Base, near Moscow, where Chelomei's small cosmonaut cadre were trained. The existence of a female cosmonaut group was kept from the Soviet media and public, and certainly from the overseas media. Chelomei wanted to ensure the maximum impact, and to create an atmosphere of surprise and awe, when the day arrived for a brave Soviet girl to ride a rocket into orbit.

    Cosmonaut training was essentially divided into three main component parts; technical training on the theory of rocketry and spaceflight; practical training on flying and controlling the Orel spacecraft, in both nominal and unplanned situations; and physical and mental conditioning to the rigours and stresses of orbital flight.

    Although Shatalov maintained overall control of the pace and direction of the training and was responsible for providing objective and detailed progress reports direct to Chelomei, the training relied on contributions from many specialists; engineers, spacecraft designers, doctors, psychologists and veteran cosmonauts. The women were regularly exposed to 8G’s in the huge Swedish built centrifuge, undertook isolation tests for up to seven days, and practised for surviving unplanned landings in remote areas far from immediate rescue or civilisation.

    Doctors were also curious about the impact of spaceflight on female physiology and were keen to gather data on this aspect, both throughout training, and subsequently, during the actual flight.

    Chelomei’s fears about the reaction of the men were largely unfounded. They were smart enough to see the bigger picture and to recognise that these were no ordinary Russian women, but were qualified to be there. In fact, from a social and recreational point of view the men and women mixed well, possibly too well! Chelomei and Shatalov eventually realised that, like the men, these women were risk takers, who put their lives on the line, and so lived hard and played hard, and despite the fact that two of the women were married, eventually they felt it necessary to issue a warning that any elicit intimate relationships would result in the male party being expelled from the team!

    Shatalov’s schedule required the three women to train for six days a week through until May 1973, which was a demanding routine. There were regular tests and examinations, both theoretical and practical, and pressure to keep passing was intense. However after the final series of such tests, Shatalov was delighted to pass all three out, as Test Cosmonauts. They were now eligible for assignment to a spaceflight, although they all knew that only one would receive this opportunity.

    So, in late-May, a planned period of vacation began, for a period of four weeks, which would be followed by flight programme specific training and preparations, and then the spaceflight itself. Chelomei and Shatalov knew that they had pushed the women hard over the previous months, and both men wanted them to be completely refreshed, re-energised and focused on the task ahead, when they returned. To achieve this, Chelomei sent the trio, and a small team of ‘minders’ to the Black Sea resort of Sochi where they stayed in a well appointed sanatorium normally the preserve of Party officials, where they were able to relax and fully recharge their batteries.

    For some of the Sochi period, Solovyova and Korchuganova’s husbands joined the group. Both men, who were also in the military, were fully aware of what their wives were being readied to do, and whilst understandably rather anxious, were outwardly supportive. Kotova did not enjoy this same level of personal support, as she was in a long term relationship with a man she had met while studying at MAI, but who had gone on to a career in the civilian Yakolev design bureau. As he was a civilian, and they were not married, she could not, officially at least, tell him what she preparing to do, and he certainly couldn’t join the wholly military gathering in Sochi.

    However, Lidiya Kotova was unconcerned - her mind was already focused on what might happen when the vacation was over and they returned to the training centre.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
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  17. nixonshead Well-Known Member

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    Apr 1, 2013
    Thanks for clarifying, naraht! An interesting point on the Saudi influence on the OPEC embargo, and something I'll have to consider in preparing Part-IV. It could be as you say that I end up ret-conning Saudi involvement in the fighting.

    Another great chapter!

    The only part I'm not sure about is Star City. I suspect a TTL equivalent does exist (it was pretty standard Soviet practice to create dedicated towns for worker in large enterprises - and in fact is still Russian practice with their Vostochny cosmodrome!), but as mentioned the Orel and Zarya (Chelomei and Mishin) astronaut corps are separate groups, with the Zarya group being the larger of the two (larger crews, plus support to Chasovoy). Combined with Chelomei's long eclipse, I'd suspect that the Zarya crews get the bigger, more prominent "City", with Orel crews perhaps having a "Base" similar (or even attached to) an air force base.

    Not a show-stopper, but something to think about.

    Looking forward to the next!
     
  18. Tonyq Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Thanks for the kind and encouraging words. To be honest I did think about whether Star City was appropriate, and checked back through the thread for clarification - do you want to suggest an alternative wording and I'll edit it?

    Part 3 just needs a bit of polishing, as I wrote it before Part 2, and so some aspects are no longer quite right. Will post it prior to Easter though.

    BTW, everything in that chapter is based on real events in OTL but pertaining to the Tereshkova group, the embargo on intimate relations, the trip to Sochi.
     
  19. nixonshead Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    The early test flights for Orel were done at the State Red Banner GK Scientific Research Institute VVS (GK NII VVS) at Khodynka, according to Part-II Post#4, so that would be the most likely candidate. Khodynka Field is 7km from the centre of Moscow and was the site of many Russian aviation firsts, as well as the MiG, Sukhoi and Yakovlev design bureaus, so it would be convenient for support of the Orel teams.

    However, a quick Google search shows that the OTL GK NII VVS was actually based at Chkalovsky, a military base used IOTL to support Star City (incidentally, the location from which Gagarin took off on his final, fatal flight IOTL). My locating it at Khodynka could have been an error on my part. Also, looking at the map, Khodynka is pretty much in the heart of Moscow, which would seem a risky place to conduct test flights, especially for potential new secret spaceplanes.

    So I think I'll ret-con the post to show GK NII VVS at its OTL location of Chkalovsky. This will be the base for the Orel cosmonauts and they'll conduct atmospheric testing and training from Chkalovsky, and they'll use that name to refer to it rather than Star City or similar. Space launches of Orel remain from Tyuratam, which is also the primary landing strip. Orel's air-breathing engines probably don't have the fuel to self-ferry between Chkalovsky and Tyuratam, so I expect they get their wings clipped and sent by train if they need to travel between the two.

    Sound reasonable?
     
  20. Tonyq Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Yes, that does make sense and I have edited the earlier post accordingly.
     
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