The chilling final moments of an experienced cosmonaut can be heard in a recording as he fell to his death…
Vladimir Mikhaylovich Komarov, who became known as the ‘man who fell from space’, died in April 1967 when Soyuz 1, a crewed spaceflight of the Soviet space program, crashed.
Many of the details surrounding Komarov’s death have been shrouded in mystery due to the secrecy of the Soviet Union. His death is covered in the controversial 2011 book, Starman, The Truth Behind the Legend of Yuri Gagarin, which has been described as being ‘rife with errors’.
What we do know is Komarov made numerous orbits around the Earth in his spacecraft and he struggled to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere after his mission was done and ended up plummeting to the ground before he died in an explosion.
On 23 April, 1967, Komarov’s final space mission journey took place and over the course of 24 hours he orbited the Earth 16 times.
One of the two solar panels that supplied energy for the maneuver failed to deploy, meaning Komarov was unable to complete the end goal of the mission. He was instructed to come back to Earth, however, re-entry would prove to claim his life.
Two more trips around Earth in an attempt to re-enter would follow before his final attempt. When he reached an altitude of 23,000 feet, Komarov’s parachute that was meant to deploy, failed to do so because the lines of the chute had gotten tangled during his re-entry issues.
The audio, which you can hear above, is from that terrifying moment. Starman claims he also said: “This devil ship! Nothing I lay my hands on works properly.”
However experts are skeptical of this, while reading the official transcript of Komarov’s final moments from the Russian State Archive, one of the last things he told colleagues was: “I feel excellent, everything’s in order.”
Just a few moments later he reportedly said: “Thank you for transmitting all of that. [Separation] occurred.”
The Starman book claims that Komarov’s spacecraft Soyuz 1 had ‘203 structural problems’ that became evident before the fateful flight. Komarov’s backup pilot, Yuri Gagarin, allegedly argued for their mission to be postponed.
Gagarin died the following year, 1968, in a plane crash and Komarov is now remembered and mourned for being the first known man to die in a spaceflight.