Death of a Russian Cosmonaut

Starman: The Truth Behind the Legend of Yuri Gagarin is coming out next month and it sounds pretty amazing.

…The space vehicle is shoddily constructed, running dangerously low on fuel; its parachutes — though no one knows this — won’t work and the cosmonaut, Vladimir Komarov, is about to, literally, crash full speed into Earth, his body turning molten on impact. As he heads to his doom, U.S. listening posts in Turkey hear him crying in rage, “cursing the people who had put him inside a botched spaceship.”…


Read more here

Comments

  1. #1 feralboy12
    March 19, 2011

    I had a little tree frog named Yuri once. I named him Yuri because he rode in my rocket. Twice, with no ill effects. (Multiple redundant safety features helped.)
    I kept him under observation for a couple of weeks, then released him.
    It sounds like I treated my frog better than the Soviets treated their national hero.
    The more transparant space program in the U.S. caused some embarrassment in the early years when our rockets were blowing up, but its always harder to cut corners when the whole world’s watching.

  2. #2 dean
    March 19, 2011

    I read the NPR article yesterday – the description of events is haunting. The inclusion of the picture of Komarov’s remains seemed (to me) to be a gratuitous addition to the summary.

  3. #3 Orjin krem
    March 19, 2011

    I had a little tree frog named Yuri once. I named him Yuri because he rode in my rocket. Twice, with no ill effects. (Multiple redundant safety features helped.)

  4. #4 gwen
    March 19, 2011

    That was such a sad and poignant story of a friendship, and ultimately a death which should never have happened. Thank you for putting it up, I remembered his death (and watched the deaths of the astronauts on tv), but did not know the circumstances.

  5. #5 David Anderman
    March 24, 2011

    This story is mostly bogus, although Komarov did die at the end of the flight. Short summary: although there were problems during the flight, none of them were considered fatal at the time. The actual event that caused the crash was a big surprise to everyone.

    At most, Komarov may have complained about the poor design of the spacecraft, but to allege that there was crying and such is like claiming that the crew of Apollo 1 were killed by an assassin.

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    March 24, 2011

    David, have you read the book?