Re: Sputnik 1

From: Chris Jones (
Date: Fri Jul 11 2008 - 20:34:14 UTC

  • Next message: Chris Jones: "Re: Sputnik 1"

    On 2008-07-11, Gerhard HOLTKAMP <> wrote:
    >  On Friday 11 July 2008 21:11, Jeff Umbarger wrote:
    >  > Also, there have been a number of recent technology shows on TV here in the
    >  > US about the "Space Race", that show that animation we may all be familiar
    >  > with of the Sputnik separting from it's nose cone. It's interesting to note
    >  > that there appears, in the animation, a puff of gas between the nose cone
    >  > and the satellite body. I never noticed it before but is anyone familiar
    >  > with the separation mechanism?
    >  >
    > There have been various backup systems to set Sputnik 1 free. In an excellent
    >  article about Sputnik 1 in the November 2007 issue of Spaceflight magazine
    >  Asif A. Siddiqi mentiones the following details: There was a mechanical
    >  pushing system on the launcher to impart a relative velocity of 2.73 m/sec to
    >  the satellite. There also was a pyrotechnical system to separate the
    >  satellite at a relative speed of 1.45 m/sec and also a spring-loaded
    >  mechanism that would separate the protective nosecone at a relative speed of
    >  0.643 m/sec. Yet another system involved a nozzle installed on the upper
    >  surface of the oxydizer tank that would vent gas from the oxygen tank at the
    >  moment of satellite separation to slow down the booster and also to change
    >  its attitude to prevent it from colliding with the payload.
    >  So the Russians put a lot of thought into this seemingly simple satellite!
    Well, no matter what its payload (and the design payload was a hydrogen bomb),
    it was likely to need a separation mechanism (or two, or three,
    or...).  Given all
    these backup systems, it seems very likely that the Soviet story is
    true  that they
    always intended to keep Sputnik 2 attached to the launcher, and the fact that
    they remained joined was not due to a separation failure, as some Western
    accounts had it.
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