85 years ago crashed stratospheric “Osoaviakhim-1”, three killed

85 years ago crashed stratospheric “Osoaviakhim-1”, three killed

85 years ago was wrecked by the Soviet balloon “Osoaviakhim-1”, in which was invested much effort and money. 30 January 1934 the ball has updated the world record up to the record height of 22 km, but after a few hours collapsed to the ground due to icing of the shell. Best stratosphere of the Soviet Union died. Burying heroes, the country has embarked on a new device.

In the early 1930-ies the Soviet Union experienced a boom of construction of free balloons designed to fly in the stratosphere, i.e., to a height of over 11 km, is the stratosphere. Aeronautics was passionate about the highest state and party officials who saw a record-breaking accomplishments very useful to the propaganda of the Soviet system.

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In the Kremlin knew that the flight of the stratosphere are very complex and expensive with a high risk of failure. Periodically received information about the accident from abroad. However, by undertaking refused. Haunted achievements of the Belgian stratonavtov Auguste Piccard: may 27, 1931, he took the altitude of 15.8 km. In response to high-altitude balloons began to create in all the advanced countries of the world.

Enthusiasm caused the successful flight of the stratosphere balloon “USSR-1” September 30, 1933, when the crew of Ernst Birnbaum, Konstantin Godunov and Prokofiev George managed to lift the machine to a record of 19 km It was actually the first record of global significance made by the Soviet Union in any field. Heroes were honoured at the highest level, and the writer Maxim Gorky addressed to them heartfelt message:

Bold your flight you have raised your country even higher in the eyes of the proletariat of the world and in the eyes of all honest people.

After the success of “USSR-1” the creators of the next device aimed at a new world record. Around the “Osoaviakhim-1” was originally developed in a festive atmosphere. The flight was supposed to be the next big achievement of the Soviet system: planned to reach no less than 20-km altitude.

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A balloon filled with hydrogen. Stratospheric balloon launched from Moscow Kuntsevo 30 Jan 1934 at 9 o’clock 7 minutes in the morning with a team consisting of commander Pavel Fedoseenko, flight engineer Andrey Vasenko and researcher Ilya Usyskin, he was 23 years old. By contrast, 35-year-old Fedoseenko was considered already very experienced stratonauts: so, back in the Civil war he headed the aeronautic detachment distinguished themselves on the southern front the red army and then participated in the storming of the Crimea. “Osoaviakhim-1” was preparing for flight with his direct participation. To the calculated weight added 180 kg of ballast. The maximum flight ceiling was determined as 20.5 km, but Fedoseenko wanted more.

First stratospheric balloon never rose to the height in the winter: it seemed too dangerous, and calculate all the risks and to determine in advance a potential threat to the technical means of that time did not allow. However, the crew has taken responsibility. In Aeronautics and in aviation in General, were in the middle of the “arms race”. The stratosphere did not want to miss the chance to set the achievement.

The flight was timed to held in Moscow of the XVII Congress of the CPSU (b). To accurately represent the significance of the moment, we note that the “Studio 1” was watched, without exaggeration, the whole country.

Messages about the phases of flight almost continuously broadcasted through the radio Comintern. For communication with the ground team had the call “Sirius”. On Board constantly received telegrams with congratulations. Fedoseenko, Vasenko and Usyskin were in high spirits, sent greetings to the party and the government. In one report they even offered to rename the stratosphere in honor of Joseph Stalin — is quite commonplace for the middle of the 1930s, and you shouldn’t look for attempts to curry favor with the leadership.

10:14 balloon reached an altitude of 19 km.

Greetings of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) led by Stalin! gave Fedoseenko on the radio. — Storm height of the 20-th kilometer!

At 11:59 the crew reported that they have reached record highs of 20.6 km and starts to decrease. At this time, the Board began the problem. The radio was constantly interrupted, in the air there is strong interference. In addition, poorly functioning device that absorbs carbon dioxide and moisture. From the strong heat of the sun in the balloon lost gas.

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However, with the earth’s emotional radioprotecao demanded is imperative to build on the success: “Storm pace, worthy of the Soviet Country!” — that was one of the last messages received by the team. In the end, the stratosphere before they are spent almost the entire ballast that promised serious problems upon landing.

After 12:00 communication with “STUDIO 1” was broken. The fate of the balloon and its crew about five hours didn’t know. The last communication with air received at 15:08 — “How do you think we are…”and then inaudible. Later it becomes known that at 12:45 a ham radio caught in the area of Gomel telegram follows: “the Attention, says the stratosphere, the transmitter is “Sirius”… Inform… the Balloon was in the area of precipitation that is frozen. We are in a hopeless situation. Covered in ice, falling. Waiting for the kick. Two of my friends in a bad condition… Coming soon blow.”