TsAGI CENTENARY IN THE HISTORY OF AVIATION: Vostok-1
12 April 2018
The world celebrates Cosmonautics Day on April 12, the day that Yuri Gararin made the first flight into space 57 years ago.
The Vostok launch vehicle with spaceship Vostok 1was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome with the Soviet cosmonaut. Vostok 1 became the world’s first such vehicle to carry out that legendary flight. In all, there were six spacecrafts for manned flights in low Earth orbit.
A significant cycle of the Vostok programme studies took place in the Zhukovsky Central AeroHydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI.)
TsAGI professionals worked hard on the Vostok 1 dynamics and flight controls. Scientists suggested using acceleration dampers to combat the hovering, the same technology successfully used later on other space platforms.
TsAGI developed a unique aeroballistic range to study spaceship aerodynamics in hypersonic flight. A model was launched towards the supersonic air stream and its speed ratio became hypersonic. The experiments allowed studying many previously inaccessible phenomena, including the Vostok 1 capsule’s aerodynamic drag coefficient and its flow visualization picture. The descent trajectory in the atmosphere and its landing point were determined utilizing these experiments.
Vostok programme experts studied the orbital environment impact on humans and worked out the basic principles of spacecraft design and production. These principles subsequently became the basis for Soviet and Russian unmanned orbital spaceships.