Sergey Krikalev .. He was suspended in space after the collapse of the Soviet Union

2023-05-05 2023-05-05T14:39:11Z
طقس العرب
طقس العرب
فريق تحرير طقس العرب

Weather of Arabia - At the end of 1991, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union into 15 separate countries, the Russian astronaut, Sergei Krikalev, found himself in an unenviable position.

Cosmonaut Sergey Krikalev, in his thirties, went on a business trip to the Mir space station of the former Soviet Union in 1991. Although the plan was to return after 5 months, he was told that he could not return to his homeland, and that The country that promised him no longer exists. He was unable to leave until after almost double the period, as no one was able to organize his return due to the disintegration of the state and the absence of any party responsible for the space program and managing the return process.

In the end, Major Krikalev was able to return safely to Earth, after a period of time spent alone in space, and that experience became one of the most difficult challenges he faced in his life.

The story of cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev

Sergey Krikalev was in space as part of his extraterrestrial trip program when the Soviet Union collapsed on December 26, 1991. Overnight, he was unable to return to Earth, and ended up spending twice as long in orbit as he had planned. Officials refused to return it.

As tanks drove across Red Square in Moscow, barricades were built on bridges, and the era of Mikhail Gorbachev and the Soviet Union ended on that date.

Meanwhile, Krikalev was stuck in space, 350 kilometers from Earth, at the Mir space station, which became his temporary home, until he finally returned after long procrastination that threatened his safety and life. From that moment he was known as "the last citizen of the USSR".

When the Soviet Union disintegrated into 15 separate states in late 1991, Krikalev was told that he could not return to his homeland, because the country that promised to return him to the homeland no longer existed, and no one could follow the decision of his scientific program or manage and supervise his return process or even find an adequate budget she has.

Months before the bizarre situation, Krikalev, then a 33-year-old flight engineer, had blasted off to the Mir space station from the Soviet Baikonur Cosmodrome, located in Kazakhstan.

The Krikalev mission was supposed to last for only 5 months, which is the period for which the astronauts trained at the time for extraterrestrial missions, as no one was prepared to exceed the period, and the five months were the result of a long preparation process that took years of training, and it was not yet possible get over it. So the teams were replaced periodically to complete the work in space.

At that time, the sudden fall of the Soviet Union occurred, which affected the work program of the astronaut who was on the space station, and he was told that there was not enough budget to return him after the end of his mission.

A month after his supposed return date, Krikalev was still receiving the same answer via his contacts with Earth: "Mission Control asks you to stay there a little longer, because no one can currently prepare your return (to the country)."

Dangerous mission at Mir station.

Months passed like this, and according to the Russian magazine Russia Beyond, Krikalev was threatened with every passing day by the risks of muscular atrophy, radiation exposure, a higher risk of cancer, a weakened immune system, and poor circulation. And this is just a part of the total potential dangers to humans from a space mission for too long.

On the other hand, the space station on which Krikalev was suspended was called "Mir", which means "peace" in Russian. Even today it remains an example of the gigantic engineering that the Soviet Union was able to achieve.

The space station consisted of several units, and its assembly took a decade that extended from 1986 to 1996, and it was the first long-term space station inhabited by humans throughout its operation, until it was surpassed by the International Space Station in 2010.

Krikalev could have left individually, as there was an emergency return capsule on board the space station, and it was designated for returning to Earth in exceptional circumstances. But taking it would have meant the end of the life of the "Mir" agency, because its management was not handed over to an alternative team that would resume work on it. But he refused so that all this work would not be wasted.

By December 1991, Kazakhstan declared sovereignty and, therefore, control of the Baikonur cosmodrome. It demanded huge fees for its use, and as the market value of the Soviet ruble continued to drop rapidly, the government was unable to afford to return Krikalev.

In order to satisfy the Kazakh government and obtain a discount, Moscow appointed the first Kazakh astronaut ever, and proposed his participation in a new space crew to resume work at the "Mir" station and accelerate Krikalev's return. However, the new astronaut was not ready for such an operation, as he had not received sufficient training to spend a long time in space, and thus the idea failed.

Krikalev returns to Earth

Finally, after 3 more months, a joint Russian-German space mission managed to bring Krikalev back to Earth.

Krikalev finally returned to Earth on March 25, 1992, after Germany paid Kazakhstan $24 million to buy a ticket to replace him, with its astronaut Klaus Dietrich Flied.

Upon landing, a man appeared before the cameras with the four letters "USSR" on his suit emblazoned with the red Soviet flag, unable to stand, and could hardly get out of the space capsule that landed near the Kazakh city of Arkalyk.

One report described his appearance as "pale and sweaty like a piece of wet dough". By then, the entire world had heard of the Forgotten Space Victim.

Finally, the "last Soviet" citizen returned to Earth, weak and pale, suffering from osteoporosis and other health consequences, but he was happy, according to his media statements at the time, because he was finally "standing on solid ground."

Source: Al Jazeera

This article was written originally in Arabic and is translated using a 3rd party automated service. ArabiaWeather is not responsible for any grammatical errors whatsoever.
See More
Related News
The 10 worst countries for women's rights

The 10 worst countries for women's rights

The 5 most famous rules for successful trading

The 5 most famous rules for successful trading

Jordan | A year has passed since the historic hail storm that struck the capital, Amman...will it be repeated soon?

Jordan | A year has passed since the historic hail storm that struck the capital, Amman...will it be repeated soon?

Jordan | A dust storm affecting parts of the eastern desert

Jordan | A dust storm affecting parts of the eastern desert