Because THIS IS MY LIFE.
I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS!!!
This Day in Space: 1927. Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov born. He would be the first person to die during a spaceflight.
So there’s a cosmonaut up in space, circling the globe, convinced he will never make it back to Earth; he’s on the phone with Alexei Kosygin — then a high official of the Soviet Union — who is crying because he, too, thinks the cosmonaut will die.
The space vehicle is shoddily constructed, running dangerously low on fuel; its parachutes — though no one knows this — won’t work and the cosmonaut, Vladimir Komarov, is about to, literally, crash full speed into Earth, his body turning molten on impact. As he heads to his doom, U.S. listening posts in Turkey hear him crying in rage, “cursing the people who had put him inside a botched spaceship.”
This extraordinarily intimate account of the 1967 death of a Russian cosmonaut appears in a new book, Starman, by Jamie Doran and Piers Bizony, to be published next month. The authors base their narrative principally on revelations from a KGB officer, Venyamin Ivanovich Russayev, and previous reporting by Yaroslav Golovanov in Pravda. This version — if it’s true — is beyond shocking.
Starman tells the story of a friendship between two cosmonauts, Vladimir Kamarov and Soviet hero Yuri Gagarin, the first human to reach outer space. The two men were close; they socialized, hunted and drank together.
In 1967, both men were assigned to the same Earth-orbiting mission, and both knew the space capsule was not safe to fly. Komarov told friends he knew he would probably die. But he wouldn’t back out because he didn’t want Gagarin to die. Gagarin would have been his replacement.
The story begins around 1967, when Leonid Brezhnev, leader of the Soviet Union, decided to stage a spectacular midspace rendezvous between two Soviet spaceships.
The plan was to launch a capsule, the Soyuz 1, with Komarov inside. The next day, a second vehicle would take off, with two additional cosmonauts; the two vehicles would meet, dock, Komarov would crawl from one vehicle to the other, exchanging places with a colleague, and come home in the second ship. It would be, Brezhnev hoped, a Soviet triumph on the 50th anniversary of the Communist revolution. Brezhnev made it very clear he wanted this to happen.
The problem was Gagarin. Already a Soviet hero, the first man ever in space, he and some senior technicians had inspected the Soyuz 1 and had found 203 structural problems — serious problems that would make this machine dangerous to navigate in space. The mission, Gagarin suggested, should be postponed.
“ He’ll die instead of me. We’ve got to take care of him.”
- Komarov talking about Gagarin
The question was: Who would tell Brezhnev? Gagarin wrote a 10-page memo and gave it to his best friend in the KGB, Venyamin Russayev, but nobody dared send it up the chain of command. Everyone who saw that memo, including Russayev, was demoted, fired or sent to diplomatic Siberia. With less than a month to go before the launch, Komarov realized postponement was not an option. He met with Russayev, the now-demoted KGB agent, and said, “I’m not going to make it back from this flight.”
Russayev asked, Why not refuse? According to the authors, Komarov answered: “If I don’t make this flight, they’ll send the backup pilot instead.” That was Yuri Gagarin. Vladimir Komarov couldn’t do that to his friend. “That’s Yura,” the book quotes him saying, “and he’ll die instead of me. We’ve got to take care of him.” Komarov then burst into tears.
Otters Who Look Like Benedict Cumberbatch: A Visual Examination.
All otters are from The Daily Otter, for all your ottery Tumblr needs!
First World Problems: Matt Smith edition
We have a life-size Dalek model in the front of the office, and he just said:
“That’s a Dalek. But you REALLY should know that! This is NOT obscure. It’s the most powerful evil thing there ever was.”
He is the wisest man.
LOCATION No. 7 CLIFF ISLAND
The location of this island will take us down the bay beyond Peaks Island, and about three miles due east from Long Island. Many stories have been written about Cliff Island. Some were fact and others were legendary. We will try to stay with the facts as close as possible. First a little about the geography of Cliff Island. It has great coves, low sand bars, and many lush pine groves; a nicer haven for the artist, scholar, or traveler, has not been found.
There is one prominent legend of the island that the natives keep alive. It concerns the notorious, “Captain Kief”, who was believed to be a smuggler and one-time pirate. He lived alone in a hut and during the stormy weather, would fasten a lighted lantern to his horse’s neck; riding up and down the narrow stretch of the island, in the hope of hiring passing vessels to their doom on the treacherous reefs. Unsuspecting pilots soon found their ships pounded to pieces and their cargoes salvaged and confiscated by this island ghoul. He got rich our of the spoils. Today the islanders hate to point out to the curious, the “Captain’s” own private graveyard, a pretty, grassy meadow which ever since has been known as “Kief’s Garden”, and where his innocent victims are said to sleep their long last sleep. Now the reader should understand, that by reading the preceding tale, you have a good location here on Cliff, for a real treasure hunt. The Author wishes you good hunting.
Much love to the Island.