Soviet And Russian Spacecraft Throughout History
Red Star In Space
The Soviet space programs have achieved many space exploration milestones. The Vostok program launched the first man and women into space! The short-lived Voskhod program that followed was cut short to develop the reliable Soyuz spacecraft. The Soviet’s even built and launched the Buran; the Soviet version of NASA's Space Shuttle! A new generation of spacecraft, the Federation, is currently under development.
Read About The Soviet & Russian Spacecraft!
- The first manned spaceflight was made by Yuri Gagarin aboard the Vostok-1 as part of the Vostok program. Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first women in space during the Vostok program aboard the Vostok 6.
- This was followed by the Voskhod program comprising a two-man spacecraft and on its second spaceflight achieved the first spacewalk!
- The Voskhod program was cut short to develop the three crew Soyuz spacecraft which was intended to take Soviet Cosmonauts to the Moon! Despite the lunar program eventually being cancelled after the failures of the N1 Rocket, the Soyuz would eventually become the most reliable way to low Earth orbit.
- The Buran spaceplane was the little heard about reusable Soviet spacecraft, which was the equivalent of NASA’s iconic Space Shuttle. The Buran launched on the Energia rocket and only flew one unmanned mission into space in 1988 before the program was cancelled on account of costs.
- With the breakup of the USSR, funds for space exploration were limited, so Russia continued to use their 1960’s Soyuz spacecraft to visit the Mir Space Station and ferry astronauts and cosmonauts to the new International Space Station (ISS).
- Russia is currently developing a new generation of spacecraft, the Federation, with the flexibility to be used for future missions to low Earth orbit, the Moon and possibly beyond to the planets!
Soyuz TMA-7 Spacecraft (Image credit: NASA)
Yuri Gagarin in Vostok 1
Soviet Buran Shuttle Baikonur Launch
Into the Heavens
Mir Space Station
Soyuz TMA Landing