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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 25, 1961

REPORT OF THE RESULTS OF THE EXAMINATIONS HELD WITH COSMONAUT STUDENTS OF THE AIR FORCE’S COSMONAUT TRAINING CENTER

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    Results of examinations held with the core group of cosmonaut trainees at the Cosmonaut Training Center.
    "Report of the Results of the Examinations held with Cosmonaut Students of the Air Force’s Cosmonaut Training Center," January 25, 1961, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Selected, edited, and annotated by Asif Siddiqi. Translated by Gary Goldberg and Angela Greenfield. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/260539
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DOCUMENT No. 12

Results of examinations held with the core group of cosmonaut trainees at the Cosmonaut Training Center. – Asif Siddiqi

January 25, 1961

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COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF

OF THE AIR FORCE

CHIEF MARSHAL OF AVIATION

(VERSHININ)

January 25, 1961

REPORT OF the Results of the Examinations Held With Cosmonaut Students of the Air Force’s Cosmonaut Training Center

The examination commission appointed by Order Nº 003 of January 6, 1961 of the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Forces composed of:

Chairman

Cde. N. P. KAMANIN

Deputy Chairman

Cde. A. N. BABIYCHUK

Members

Cde. N. M. SISAKYAN

Cde. K. P. FEOKTISTOV

Cde. S. M. ALEKSEYEV

Cde. M. L. GALLAY

Cde. YU. M. VOLYNKIN

Cde. V. YA. KLOKOV

Cde. V. I. YAZDOVSKIY

Cde. YE. A. KARPOV

During the period January 17-18, 1961 it conducted work to take examinations from six cosmonaut students of a special group of the Air Force’s Cosmonaut Training Center.

The examinations were conducted:

a) on January 17, 1961 – for the layout, operation, and evolution of the practical habits of control of the object Vostok-3A on a working model in LII GKAT (the city of Zhukovskiy).

b) on January 18, 1961 – on special theoretical courses – in the Air Force’s Cosmonaut Training Center (at the “41st klm” platform).

The following student cosmonauts were examined:

Captain

V. F. BYKOVSKIY

Captain

A. G. NIKOLAYEV

Captain

P. R. POPOVICH

Senior Lieutenant

YU. A. GAGARIN

Senior Lieutenant

G. G. NELYUBOV

Senior Lieutenant

G. S. TITOV

PERFORMANCE OF THE TRAINING PLAN

The student cosmonauts studied from March 1960 through January 1961. The training process was organized in accordance with the training plans and cosmonaut training program approved by the Interdepartmental Scientific-Technical Council for Space Research under the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences[1] and the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force. At the same time as the educational training each student cosmonaut underwent deep clinical and physiological examinations and was subjected to five types of special tests and training exercises, including:

- tests in an altitude chamber (four times at “altitudes” of 5,000-16,000 meters);

- tests and training exercises in a heat chamber (9 to 10 times at a temperature of +70 C and humidity of 10%);

- a test in a vibration chamber (50 hertz at an amplitude of 0.5 mm for one hour);

- tests and training exercises in a centrifuge (9 to 10 times at 7 to 12 brief G-forces);

- a test in condition of isolation and long isolation from external stimuli (up to 10-15 days).

The training of the students was formed of eight special theoretical courses and five sections of various practical lessons, training exercises, etc.

Theoretical courses:

Marxist-Leninist training

- 46 hours

Missile and space technology

-96 hours

The layout and operation of the object Vostok-3A

- 89 hours

Aviation and space medicine

-122 hours

Astronomy

- 33 hours

Geophysics

- 22 hours

Celestial navigation

- 28 hours

Filming

- 65 hours

Practical lessons

- regular lessons in various types of general physical training (daily 40-50 minutes of morning study and 245 hours of planned educational sessions);

- practical lessons and training exercises during work on the mockup of Vostok-3A (object Nº 1 in OKB-1 – 34 hours, object Nº 2 in LII GKAT – 42 hours);

- special flights on a UTI-MiG-15 aircraft in which brief (up to 40-42 seconds) conditions of weightlessness have been created (four to five flights);

- parachute training (35-37 parachute jumps with a delayed deployment up to 50 seconds; one jump was made into water);

- study and training exercises to conduct telegraph communications (40-50 characters a minute).

The study plan and the cosmonaut training program of this group were performed completely.

THE RESULTS OF THE EXAMINATION

The student cosmonauts who took the examination showed an excellent knowledge of the layout and rules of operation of the object Vostok-3A, and also solid practical habits in controlling the object (in the mockup) applied to the different stages of flight, including special cases.

The students showed a solid knowledge of special theoretical courses.

The materials examined by the commission (personnel files, learning cards, official character references, clinical and physiological reports, reports of the overall physical condition, medical booklets, [individual] flight logs, and information received from various tests, research, and training exercises), allow [one] to judge that the student cosmonauts have successfully completed the training program and from the state of their health and also the level of the physical training condition achieved they meet the requirements which have been set for cosmonauts.

The commission also noted that during the training the student cosmonauts displayed initiative in the study of the equipment, took part in the development and improvement of various special equipment, increased personal discipline, organization, and took an active part in the social life of the unit.

On the basis of the examinations which were held and a study of the materials and documents the examination commission has come to the conclusion about the readiness of the students examined to perform the responsibilities of a cosmonaut. In the process the commission assessed the knowledge as:

Captain

V. F. BYKOVSKIY

- excellent

Captain

A. G. NIKOLAYEV

- excellent

Captain

P. R. POPOVICH

- excellent

Senior Lieutenant

YU. A. GAGARIN

- excellent

Senior Lieutenant

G. G. NELYUBOV

- excellent

Senior Lieutenant

G. S. TITOV

- excellent

The commission tentatively recommends the following order of the examined students for the first space flight:

1. Senior Lieutenant

YU. A. GAGARIN

2. Senior Lieutenant

G. S. TITOV

3. Senior Lieutenant

G. G. NELYUBOV

4. Captain

A. G. NIKOLAYEV

5. Captain

V. F. BYKOVSKIY

6. Captain

P. R. POPOVICH

CONCLUSIONS

The training process in the Air Force’s Cosmonaut Training Center is organized and conducted correctly.

The six student cosmonauts have acquired solid theoretical knowledge and practical habits which they will be able to use both in the period of preparation for spaceflight as well as in the flight itself.

In the entire set of medical tests, special training exercises, and official Party education the student cosmonauts:

Senior Lieutenant

YU. A. GAGARIN

Senior Lieutenant

G. S. TITOV

Senior Lieutenant

G. G. NELYUBOV

Captain

A. G. NIKOLAYEV

Captain

V. F. BYKOVSKIY

Captain

P. R. POPOVICH

are trained to perform the responsibilities of a cosmonaut.

The commission suggests the cosmonauts constantly continue to master of all new equipment and gear coming from industry, and to also maintain a high level of physical training.

CHAIRMAN OF THE EXAMINATION COMMISSION

DEPUTY CHIEF OF THE MAIN STAFF OF THE AIR FORCE

HERO OF THE SOVIET UNION

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL OF AVIATION

(KAMANIN[2])

DEPUTY CHAIRMAN OF THE EXAMINATION COMMISSION

CHIEF OF THE AVIATION MEDICAL SERVICE OF THE AIR FORCE

DEPUTY CHIEF OF THE MILITARY MEDICAL DIRECTORATE OF THE MINISTRY OF DEFENSE FOR AVIATION

CANDIDATE OF MEDICAL SCIENCES

MAJOR-GENERAL OF THE MEDICAL SERVICE     

(BABIYCHUK[3])

COMMISSION MEMBERS:

ACADEMIC SECRETARY OF THE DIVISION OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES OF THE

USSR ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, ACADEMICIAN

(SISAKYAN[4])

CHIEF OF A SECTOR OF THE 9th DEPARTMENT OF OKB-1 OF GKOT

CANDIDATE OF TECHNICAL SCIENCES     

(FEOKTISTOV[5])

CHIEF DESIGNER OF THE OKB OF PLANT Nº 918mOF GKAT

(ALEKSEYEV[6])

SENIOR RESEARCHER OF LII GKAT

HERO OF THE SOVIET UNION

HONORED TEST PILOT OF THE USSR

CANDIDATE OF TECHNICAL SCIENCES   

(GALLAY[7])

CHIEF OF THE STATE SCIENTIFIC-RESEARCH AND TESTING

INSTITUTE OF AVIATION AND SPACE MEDICINE

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL OF THE MEDICAL SERVICE

(VOLYNKIN[8])

DEPUTY CHIEF FOR POLITICAL MATTERS OF THE STATE SCIENTIFIC-RESEARCH AND TESTING INSTITUTE OF AVIATION AND SPACE MEDICINE

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL  

(KLOKOV[9])

DEPUTY CHIEF FOR SPACE MEDICINE OF THE STATE SCIENTIFIC-RESEARCH AND TESTING INSTITUTE OF AVIATION AND SPACE MEDICINE

DOCTOR OF MEDICAL SCIENCES, PROFESSOR

COLONEL OF THE MEDICAL SERVICE      

(YAZDOVSKIY[10])

CHIEF OF THE AIR FORCE’S COSMONAUT TRAINING CENTER

GUARDS COLONEL OF THE MEDICAL SERVICE

 (KARPOV[11])

January 18, 1961

Archival source: SOGUK [Smolensk Oblast’ State Cultural Enterprise] “OMM Yu. A. Gagarina.” Original. Autographs

[1] The “Interdepartmental Scientific-Technical Council for Space Research” was a scientific advisory body formed at the highest levels of the USSR Academy of Sciences by Central Committee and Council of Ministers decree no. 1388-618 on December 10, 1959.

[2] Nikolay Petrovich Kamanin (1908-1982) was deputy chief of the Air Force responsible for combat preparations.

[3] Aleksandr Nikolayevich Babiychuk (1911-?) was chief of the Military Medical Directorate for Aviation of the Ministry of Defense.

[4] Norair Martirosovich Sisakyan (1907-1966) was Academic Secretary of the Division of Biological Sciences of the USSR Academy of Sciences.

[5] Konstantin Petrovich Feoktistov (1926-2009) was a chief of a sector in Department No. 9 at OKB-1.

[6] Semyon Mikhailovich Alekseyev (1909-1993) was chief designer of Plant No. 918.

[7] Mark Lazarevich Gallay (1914-1998) was the senior researcher at the Flight-Testing Institute.

[8] Yuvenaliy Mikhaylovich Volynkin (1907-1998) was director of the Institute of Aviation and Space Medicine.

[9] Vasiliy Yakovlevich Klokov (1902-1968) was deputy chief for political matters of the Institute of Aviation and Space Medicine.

[10] Vladimir Ivanovich Yazdovskiy (1913-1999) was chief of the 3rd directorate at the Institute of Aviation and Space Medicine.

[11] Yevgeniy Anatol’yevich Karpov (1921-1990) was director of the Cosmonaut Training Center.

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