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Voskhod flight had many “firsts” as well as some politics both explicitly and hidden. It was the first ever multi-crew flight and consisted of 3 spacemen – Vladimir Komarov, Boris Egorov and Konstantin Feoktistov. First time the civil personal was to fly to space – Egorov has been a doctor and Feoktistov designer engineer in Korolev OKB-1.

From the original crew of Volynov, Katys and Egorov, only Egorov remained due to his connections in the USSR Communist leadership while Volynov and Karys were replaced by Komarov and Feoktistov because of their “uncertain” past and nationality. Originally Korolev designed Voskhod to carry 2 cosmonauts, but Nikita Khrushchev, USSR leader, ordered to expand it to 3 ..  leaving no other choice than to send the crew with “one way ticket” approach – there was no room for catapult chairs and they had to wear only sport-style suits. The crew received minimal training and acted more like passengers rather than spacemen. Basically they were focused on passive monitoring and enjoyed a 24 hours ride in automatic mode.

During the flight the first ever live TV conference occurred between the cosmonauts and Earth. The crew asked to expand the flight for another day but Korolev was very keen to bring them back and refused to discuss this option. On the way back spaceship communications failed and it’s descend was only monitored by the tracking ships Dolinsk and Krasnodar. The relief came when the search and rescue plane reported the capsule on the ground and the crew waving around.

The last “political” touch of the flight came after the landing occurred and the crew had to be greeted by a new leadership (that actually did not happen) – Nikita Khrushchev was overthrown by Leonid Brezhnev initiated coup and nobody from the new political elite actually carried about another “great space achievement”.  

Despite the political turmoil the crew enjoyed a very welcome greeting from the people. Komarov continued his service as the military cosmonaut and tragically died in Soyuz 1 misfortune in 1967. Feoktistov continued to be a part of cosmonaut detachment until late 1980s but had no chance to fly. Egorov remained in a medical support team of Soviet space program.

Voskhod program was planned to consist of 7 manned spaceships including the all-women crew. But following Voskhod 2 and Korolev death in 1966 all the activities were suspended and the main focus was put on the more advanced Soyuz and flight to the Moon.

Voskhod 1 flight received less philatelic attention than previous Vostok flights but still remained on the higher end of the special cancellations and club covers wave. I do have a little bit of stuff once again due to focusing on other topics but I am sure I will close the gap in a proper time. After 1965 one can hardly find any philatelic commemorations of Voskhod flight besides 2014 – its 50th anniversary. A batch of special cancellations and official postcard were issued.

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