50 Years Ago - Vostok Flyby

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The first of many 'planned' near misses, leading to the planned rendezvous of ships in space.


Vostok 4 was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome, with cosmonaut Pavel Popovich on board, a day or so after Vostok 3, marking the first time that two manned spacecraft were in orbit at the same time. The two Vostok capsules came within 6.5 km (4.0 mi) of one another and ship-to-ship radio contact was established.[28][29] Arthur C. Clarke would write later that the double launch "stunned the world", because the Soviet Union accomplishment "required synchronization of Herculean proportions at the launch site", with the second launch "at exactly the right moment to ensure the near-perfect rendezvous... only their fourth manned space flight," something well-beyond the American space program at the time

Nikolayev and Popovich made contact with one another via shortwave radio soon after their spacecraft approached one another; they would maintain regular ship-to-ship communications over the course of their mission in addition to their contact with the ground. Nikolayev reported sighting the Vostok 4 capsule after it entered orbit near him
_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vostok_3


Considering this was fifty years ago, and the launchers were really no more than ICBM powerplants adapted to shoot stuff at the moon with an indifferent maximum power output, to get to living occupants on top of them within 4 miles was an exceptional feat.

_http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/luna8k72.htm_
 

Lazarus

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Not forgetting also that the Computing resources available for the co-ordination (as well as all the other facets) was extremely primitive.

I'd suggest Log Tables and Slide Rules were a key part of the armoury back then.
 

Piltdownpaul

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Maybe they were still using them on the latest launch...:confused
 
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