If you have a son or a daughter who wants to be an astronaut in the future, the least thing that you want them to do is to watch the movie Gravity (which most probably traumatized children in wishing to be next Buzz Aldrin). Another thing that you may not want them to do is to read this sad story about a Russian Astronaut named Vladimir Komarov. (Tip: Get your hankies ready because his story is far way better than Gravity.)
Komarov is not your ordinary wanna-be cosmonaut. His obstacle of becoming a cosmonaut was his status of being “medically unfit”. Although the odds were definitely not on his side, he took the training twice to prove that he can join the ranks of Russian astronauts. And with that dedication, he succeeded. Though he wasn’t really the man behind the rocket wheels, he was acknowledged as an engineer.
He’s not your ordinary smart kid inside the classroom. During his training at the Cosmonaut Training Center, he contributed a lot of designs for space ship. With a few more extra efforts, he was finally acknowledged as a true-blue cosmonaut.
And for his first assignment, he needs to command the Soyuz 1, one of the first takes of Russia to be the first one to reach the moon.
No one knew that things will start getting messy after having his first mission as a cosmonaut. And trust us, things are about to get a little bumpy on his way towards succeeding the goal of becoming one of the first few people in space.
Just like how the movie Gravity ruined the hopes and dreams of children of becoming an astronaut by showing them the real dangers of becoming one, Komarov saw probable dangers of his would-be space travel. He pointed out that the designs of the ship’s hatch that will be used on his mission were too small for a cosmonaut to exit safely. And despite various concerns and revisions asked by the cosmonauts, the Russian didn’t give much attention. As a matter of fact, it all came too concerning that Yuri Gagarin made a letter on their behalf, just to call the engineers’ attention.
Of course, Russians are known as one of the bravest people on the earth. So despite all dangers and concerns, Komarov went on with the journey, leaving his backup cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin back in earth.
And just like what Vladimir Komarov expected, things did not go according to plan.
Various complications were discovered on his ship as he tried orienting it around the earth. With radio failures here, solar panels not deploying there, Komarov did his best just to manually maneuver his hatch.
With the current haywires within the cranky spaceship, Komarov was ordered to return home.
Again, he did his best to manually maneuver the spaceship. But it wasn’t enough to ensure his safe trip.
Thanks to his faulty space ship, Komarov’s hatch failed to open up his chute. Komarov was completely hopeless. Nothing could ever change his fate as his hatch dived down the earth’s atmosphere. There were other reports saying that Komarov cursed and blamed the people who made the spaceship for his death. And after a few moments, his ship crashed on the earth’s stratosphere, killing him instantly. This made him the first person to ever die on a space mission.
Because of his bravery, he was awarded with various honors, reminding him that his death was not wasted. Komarov’s death served as a wake-up call for engineers to completely check everything before they send someone in space.
So kids; being an astronaut and or a cosmonaut is cool. But just like any other jobs, it has its dangers. Better not watch Deep Impact or Interstellar for the next few weeks.
(Cover Photo Source: Rare Historical Photos)