TOP
Tuesday,September 29,2020 10:54 AM

Gagarin''s spaceship designer dies at 92

By Vision Reporter

Added 19th September 2014 11:37 AM

A spaceship designer who worked on Yury Gagarin''s spaceship and was the last to shake his hand before liftoff, has died.

Gagarin''s spaceship designer dies at 92

A spaceship designer who worked on Yury Gagarin''s spaceship and was the last to shake his hand before liftoff, has died.


MOSCOW - A spaceship designer who worked on Yury Gagarin's Vostok spaceship and was the last to shake his hand before liftoff, Oleg Ivanovsky, has died at 92, according to the Russian space agency.
 
Ivanovsky was a senior designer at the facility codenamed OKB-1 which built the Vostok spaceship that blasted Gagarin into orbit in 1961.
 
"He participated directly in preparing the flight of the world's first cosmonaut," Roscosmos said in a statement.
 
"The last to shake the hand of the world's first cosmonaut before blastoff was Oleg Genrikhovich Ivanovsky. After that he closed the hatch of the ship," Roscosmos said, using his patronymic.
 
 
true
Oleg Ivanovsky, right, leads Yuri Gagarin to the Vostok spacecraft before the launch. (AP photo/ NPO Lavochkin Museum, HO)
 

Photographs published by Roscosmos show Ivanovsky, a slight man in blue overalls over a shirt and tie, helping Gagarin climb the stairs up to the spaceship and get into his seat.
 
"I squeezed into the cabin. I hugged him, shook his hand and gave him a slap on the helmet before getting out. A moment later and the hatch swung closed onto its locks," Ivanovsky remembered in a 2007 interview with Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily.
 
A tense moment followed as the chief designer, Sergei Korolyov warned that there was a glitch: the hatch's locks were not registering as hermetically sealed.
 
 
true
Getting set for the launch. (AP photo/ NPO Lavochkin Museum, HO)
 

Ivanovsky recalled he swiftly had to remove and replace the hatch, attached by 32 bolts, as Gagarin watched him in a mirror sewn onto his sleeve, while quietly whistling a song with the lyrics: "The motherland hears, the motherland knows..."
 
It turned out later that the hatch was in fact fine -- one of the light bulbs at mission control was simply faulty and flashed an error message by mistake, Ivanovsky said.
 
The engineers had a secret code they planned to use if Gagarin fell unconscious or started raving.
 
"Out of seven flights of Vostok ships before Gagarin's, only three were successful. And only two returned to Earth. So it was a big risk, of course," he recalled.
 
"But we did everything we could to make the flight safe according to the level of knowledge and the capabilities we then had."
 
 
true
The Soviet Vostok-1 spaceship with cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on board  blasts off on top of Rocket R-7 for the first manned trip into space from the  Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (AFP)
 

Ivanovsky was born in Moscow and fought in World War II, taking part in the Victory Parade on Red Square.
 
After the war, he studied at Moscow Energy Institute. He began working as a senior engineer in spaceship construction in 1957 and later worked on the Soviet Union's unmanned lunar missions.
 
"He was an incredible person, a hero who lived his life in the name of science and to benefit the motherland," Roscosmos said in a statement.

AFP

 

Gagarin''s spaceship designer dies at 92

Related articles

More From The Author

More From The Author