Humanity has already passed several important milestones in the field of modern space exploration. We’ve landed several humans on the surface of the moon, sent unmanned space probes to foreign planets, and we’re even developing plans to permanently colonize other celestial bodies.
In view of current and future achievements, however, we must not forget that the foundations of manned spaceflight were not laid for pure scientific interest, but rather because of the political turmoil of the time.
In order to prove to their hated adversary that their own nation possessed the most advanced technology ever, the United States and the Soviet Union shrugged off the loss of life during the Cold War.
We’d like to join you in taking a look at a somewhat lesser-known aspect of the “space race”. We look at the stories of some Soviet cosmonauts, which raise the crucial question of how much human suffering is acceptable in the name of technical progress.
1. Vladimir Mikhaylovich Komarov (March 16, 1927 – April 24, 1967) was a Soviet test pilot, aerospace engineer, and cosmonaut. In October 1964 he commanded Voskhod 1, the first spaceflight to carry more than one crew member. He became the first Soviet cosmonaut to fly in space twice when he was selected as the solo pilot of Soyuz 1, his first crewed test flight. A parachute failure caused his Soyuz capsule to crash into the ground after re-entering the atmosphere on April 24, 1967, making him the first human to die in spaceflight.
2. On June 16, 1963, aboard Vostok 6, Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to travel in space. After 48 orbits and 71 hours, she returns to earth, having spent more time in space than all American astronauts combined to date.
But was Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova the first woman to travel in space?
The recordings of Torre Bert.
The Judica-Cordiglia brothers are two former radio amateurs who made audio recordings that allegedly supported the conspiracy theory that the Soviet space program covered up the deaths of cosmonauts in the 1960s.
On May 19, 1961, the Torre Bert (Judica-Cordiglia brothers) listening station in northern Italy reportedly picked up a transmission of the voice of a woman, who sounded confused and frightened as her ship began to break up during atmospheric re-entry.
Is this the first woman in space?
The supposed recording of a Soviet spaceflight in 1961. A Russian woman is heard complaining about the increase in temperature inside the spacecraft before it was destroyed during re-entry into the atmosphere.
This recording was made by the Judica-Cordiglia brothers in 1961. It would be one of the many transmissions intercepted by the two brothers which prove the existence of the missing cosmonauts.
The following is a translation of what the woman said:
five… four… three… two… one… one two… three… four… five… come in… come in… come in… LISTEN… LISTEN! … ANSWER! ANSWER…. ANSWER… TALK TO ME! TALK TO ME!…I’M HOT!…I’M HOT! WHAT?… FORTY-FIVE?… WHAT?… FORTY-FIVE?… FIFTY?… YES… YES… YES… BREATHING… BREATHING… OXYGEN… OXYGEN… I’M HOT… (THAT) IS IT NOT DANGEROUS?… IT’S IS IT ALL… IS IT NOT DANGEROUS?… IT’S ALL… YES… YES… YES… HOW IS IT? WHAT?… TALK TO ME!… HOW SHOULD I TRANSMIT? YES… YES… YES… WHAT? OUR TRANSMISSION BEGINS NOW… FORTY ONE… THIS WAY… OUR TRANSMISSION BEGINS NOW… FORTY ONE… THIS WAY… OUR TRANSMISSION BEGINS NOW… FORTY ONE… YES… I’M HOT… I’M HOT… THAT’S ALL… IT’S HOT… I’M HOT… I’M HOT… I’M HOT… … I SEE A FLAME! … WHAT?… I SEE A FLAME!