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Historical aspects of the early Soviet/Russian manned space program - page 7 / 12

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HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

Fig. 5. Two views of the R-7 booster designed by Korolev and others that put Sputnik 1 and many other firsts into Earth orbit. This had 5 clustered engines each with 4 thrust chambers. Modifications of this design are still used (from Refs. 1 and 9).

ables that were monitored and telemetered back to Earth included electrocardiogram (chest lead), blood pressure, respiration rate, and motor activity (15). Food was automatically delivered twice a day. The heart rate was 103 beats/min before launch and increased to 240 beats/min during the early acceler- ation. However, after 3 h of weightlessness, it was back to 102 beats/min. Because the orbit of the spacecraft was very elliptical, the solar irradiation was higher than planned and the environmental chamber overheated. Apparently, no engineering work had been done on the payload of Sputnik 2 until after Sputnik 1 went up a month before. It is almost unbelievable that such a complicated payload could have been put together in such a short time, and the

triumph emphasizes the resourcefulness and the fly- by-the-seat-of-the-pants attitude of the Soviet de- signers in contrast to the much more cautious atti- tude of NASA, which came into being about 10 mo after the launch of Sputnik 1.

The flight of Laika was followed by the launch of Sputnik 3, which contained a large load of scientific instruments to measure upper atmosphere phenom- ena. Actually, Sputnik 3 required two attempts be- cause the first launch on April 27, 1958, failed as a result of problems with a rocket engine. The successful launch took place on May 15, 1958, and, although its payload was devoted to atmospheric physics, there was an interesting sidelight that is relevant to manned spaceflight. Part of its instrumentation was designed

J Appl Physiol VOL 91 OCTOBER 2001 www.jap.org

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