The Voskhod (Russian: Восход, "ascent", "dawn") was a spacecraft built by the Soviet Union's space program for human spaceflight (see Voskhod programme). It was a development of and a follow-on to the Vostok spacecraft.
The craft consisted of a spherical descent module (diameter 2.3 meters), which housed the cosmonauts, and instruments, and a conical instrument module (mass 2.27 tonnes, 2.25 m long, 2.43 m wide), which contained propellant and the engine system.
The Voskhod spacecraft is basically a Vostok spacecraft that has had a backup, solid fuel retro rocket, added to the top of the descent module. The ejection seat was removed and two or three crew couches were added to the interior at a 90-degree angle to that of the Vostok crew position. In the case of Voskhod 2, an inflatable exterior airlock was also added to the descent module opposite the entry hatch. After use, the airlock was jettisoned. There was no provision for crew escape in the event of a launch or landing emergency. A solid fuel braking rocket was also added to the parachute lines to provide for a softer landing at touchdown. This was necessary because, unlike the Vostok, the crew lands with the Voskhod descent module.
In order to create more space inside the descent module, the cosmonaut's ejection seat was removed, meaning that the Voskhod crews would return to Earth inside their spacecraft, unlike the Vostok cosmonauts who ejected and parachuted down separately. The lack of space also meant that the Voskhod 1 crew did not wear space suits. Both crew members wore spacesuits on the Voskhod 2 mission, as it involved an EVA and used an airlock. The second crew member wore a spacesuit as a precaution against the possibility of accidental descent module depressurization. Because the crew was required to land with the descent module, a new landing system to slow the craft was developed. This added a small solid-fuel rocket to the parachute lines. It fired as the descent module neared touchdown, providing a softer landing than did Vostok. A backup solid-fuel retrorocket was added to the top of the descent module. The original Vostok spacecraft only had one liquid fuel retrorocket and no provision for backup. The Vostok did carry enough onboard supplies for a 10-day flight. This would allow for natural orbit decay and reentry if the retrorocket failed. Finally, the Voskhod 2 spacecraft carried a large inflatable airlock that allowed cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov to exit and re-enter the craft.
The airlock carried on Voskhod 2 weighed 250 kg, was 700 mm in diameter, 770 mm high when collapsed for launch. When extended in orbit, the airlock was 2.5 m long. It had an internal diameter of 1.0 m and an external diameter of 1.2 m.
Vostok 3KV (1964)
Auxiliary retrorocket module
Length: 0.6 m Maximum diameter: 0.3 m Total mass: 143 kg Propellant mass: 87 kg Thrust: 117.7 kN Propellant: solid Specific impulse: 224 s Delta v: 60 m/s
Voskod 3KD (1965)
Reentry Module: Voskhod SA. Also known as: Spuskaemiy apparat - Sharik (sphere).
Equipment Module: Voskhod PA. Also known as: Priborniy otsek.
Auxiliary Retrorocket Module
Auxiliary Retrorocket Module: Voskhod KDU. Also known as: Engine unit
Published - July 2009
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