A sonic tribute to Russian cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov.
The final words of doomed Russian cosmonaut, Vladimir Komarov, were picked up by U.S. intelligence...
As Komarov hurtled towards earth and certain death in the stricken Soyuz 1 craft, he could be heard screaming and cursing the 'people who had put him inside a botched spaceship.'
U.S. National Security Analyst, identified in the book as Perry Fellwock, described intercepting Komarov's conversation with ground control officers in which he told them he knew he was about to die during the space mission in 1967.
The Russians planned to launch the Soyuz 1 with Komarov inside. A second vehicle with two additional cosmonauts would blast off the next day.
The two vehicles would meet and dock before Komarov would crawl from one to the other and come home in the second ship.
It was supposed to be a Soviet triumph to mark the 50th anniversary of the Communist revolution but as the book suggests, it was doomed to fail.
On inspection the Soyuz 1 had 203 structural problems - problems that would make it dangerous to navigate in space.
No one dared tell then Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev about the faults however for fear of being demoted, fired or sent to diplomatic Siberia. The mission went ahead as planned.
With less than a month to go Komarov met with demoted KGB agent, Venyamin Russayev, and told him: 'I'm not going to make it back from this flight,'
When Russayev asked why he couldn't just refuse to go Komarov said: 'If I don't make this flight, they'll send the backup pilot instead.
'That's Yura,' he said referring to Gagarin. '...and he'll die instead of me. We've got to take care of him.' Komarov then burst into tears.
Launch day arrived on April 23, 1967. Th Soyuz 1 blasted off without issue but the failures began almost immediately afterwards.
Antennas didn't open properly, power was compromised and navigation proved difficult.
The following day's launch was cancelled and so too were Komarov's hopes for getting back to Earth safely.
When the capsule did began its descent the parachutes failed to open - a small canopy came out but failed to pull the larger one from its storage bay. A backup parachute then became entangled with it.
The book then describes how U.S. intelligence 'picked up (Komarov's) cries of rage as he plunged to his death.'
Komarov smashed into plains near Orenburg, Russia with all the force of a meteorite. The craft was flattened and the buffer rockets in its base blew up on impact.
A heel bone was found among the ashes, according to Russayev, but there was little else left of Komarov.
He was honoured with a state funeral where his charred remains were in an open casket.
Gagarin never really got over his friend's death. He later died in a plane accident in 1968, a year before the U.S. reached the moon.
-DAILY MAIL REPORTER
The validity of Vladimir's rage and accusations in the final hour has been questioned, in fact there seems to be no recorded evidence beyond standard operating procedures, then a loss of signal. Apparently there are still secrets from Moscow's archives that have yet to surface but in either case Komarov's dedication to space exploration must not be forgotten.
Album listing in English:
Downscope - Soyuz 1
1 - Vladimir Komarov
2 - Vladimir Komarov (Valentina Version)
3 - Vladimir Komarov (Orenburg Version)
4 - Vladimir Komarov (Yuri Gagarin Version)
Equipment used for Союз-1 was primarily MU modular gear, the Korg MS2000, Korg EMX-1 drum machine, effects pedals and reel to reel tape.
NOTE: CD version with extra tracks coming soon.
released August 26, 2016
Music by Rimas Campe
Cover art by Rimas Campe
(c) 2016 alternating.bit music