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Kolodin
Credit - Yves Dejardin Collection
Pyotr Ivanovich Kolodin Russian Engineer Cosmonaut. Born 23 September 1930.

Personal: Male, Married, One child. Born in Novovasilyevka, Ukraine. Soviet Air Force Graduated from Military Academy of Engineering and Radio engineering, 1959 RVSN Officer of Missile Troops.

Astronaut Career

Astronaut Group: Air Force Group 2 - 1963. Inactive Entered space service: 8 January 1963. Left space service: 20 April 1983. Cosmonaut training January 1963 - 21 January 1966. He was assigned to six different missions (including the fatal flight of Soyuz 11) but was always grounded for one reason or another.

Worked at mission control center, 1989. Later retired.


Kolodin Chronology

8 January 1963 - 15 new cosmonauts are selected.. The new trainees include one from the VMF Navy Aviation, two from the PVO Air Defence, four from the RVSN Strategic Rocket Forces, and eight from the VVS Air Force.


10 January 1963 - Soviet Air Force Cosmonaut Training Group 2 selected.. The group was selected to provide astronauts for the Soyuz manned spaceflight program.. Qualifications: Military pilots, engineers, or navigators under 40 years of age; graduate of military academy or civilian university; under 170 cm tall; under 70 kg in weight..
23 January 1964 - Military Soviet on cosmonaut assignments. The General Staff of the VVS considers future cosmonaut assignments. The acceptance of Beregovoi into the active cosmonaut corps is hotly contested. He has passed all the tests, but is 43 years old, and the official maximum age for a cosmonaut is 35. Finally it is decided that on 25 January six cosmonauts will begin training for Vostok flights (Volynov, Khrunov, Belyayev, Leonov, Komarov, and Beregovoi). On 1 February four crews will begin training for Soyuz flights: Crew 1: Nikolayev, Shonin, Demin, Kugno; Crew 2: Bykovsky, Zaikin, Artyukhin, Gulyayev; Crew 3: Popovich, Gorbatko, Ponomaryova, Kolodin; Crew 4: Titov, Shatalov, Solovyova, Zholobov.
27 January 1964 - Cosmonaut plans. Marshall Rudenko questions Kamanin's crew assignments. He wants Volynov moved from the lead Vostok group and switched with Kolodin in the Soyuz group.
1 September 1965 - Voskhod/Soyuz crewing plans. Kamanin meets with Korolev at 15:00 to discuss crew plans. As Soyuz pilot candidates, Kamanin proposes Gagarin, Nikolayev, Bykovsky, Komarov, Kolodin, Artyukhin, and Matinchenko. Korolev counters by proposing supplemental training of a supplemental group of engineer-cosmonauts from the ranks of OKB-1. He calls Anokhin, his lead test pilot, informs Korolev that there are 100 engineers working at the bureau that are potential cosmonauts candidates, of which perhaps 25 would complete the selection process. Kamanin agrees to assist OKB-1 in flight training of these engineer-cosmonauts. Kamanin again proposes Volynov and Katys as prime crew for the Voskhod 3 12-15 day flight. Korolev reveals that, even though Kamanin will have the crew ready by October, the spacecraft for the flight may not yet even be ready by November - Kamanin thinks January 1966 is more realistic. The discussion turns to the female EVA flight - Ponomaryova as pilot, Solovyova as spacewalker. It is decided that a group of 6 to 8 cosmonauts will begin dedicated training in September for lunar flyby and landing missions. Korolev advises Kamanin that metal fabrication of the N1 superbooster first article will be completed by the end of 1965. The booster will have a payload to low earth orbit of 90 tonnes, and later versions with uprated engines will reach 130 tonnes payload. Korolev foresees the payload for the first N1 tests being a handful of Soyuz spacecraft.
12 March 1966 - Voskhod/Soyuz crews. Tyulin and Mozzhorin review with Kamanin crewing plans. Even though the missions of Voskhod 4 and 5 are not yet clear, Tyulin wants to settle on Beregovoi and Katys for Voskhod 4, and Ponomaryova and Solovyova for Voskhod 5. Since October 1965 six crews have been in training for Soyuz flights: Gagarin -Voronov, Nikolayev-Gorbatko, Bykovsky-Matinchenko, Komarov-Kolodin, Zaikin-Khrunov, and Popovich-Artyukhin. But these are just nominal groupings, and firm crew assignments by mission have not yet been made.
2 July 1966 - Soyuz crew manoeuvres. Kamanin is back from leave and orients himself. VVS General Rudenko has been visited by Mishin, Tsybin, and Tyulin. They want to replace Kamanin's crews for the first Soyuz mission in September-October with a crew made up of OKB-1 engineers: Dolgopolov, Yeliseyev, and Volkov as the prime crew, Anokhin, Makarov, and Grechko as back-ups. Kamanin believes this absurd proposal, made only three months before the planned flight date, shows a complete lack of understanding on the part of OKB-1 management of the training and fitness required for spaceflight. Kamanin has had eight cosmonauts (Komarov, Gorbatko, Khrunov, Bykovsky, Voronov, Kolodin, Gagarin, and Nikolayev) training for this flight since September 1965. Yet Mishin and Tyulin have been shopping this absurd proposal to Smirnov, Ustinov, and Malinovskiy, who do not know enough to reject it.
25 July 1966 - VVS Victory on Soyuz crew issue. Tyulin advises Kamanin that Ustinov has instructed Mishin to accept that Soyuz spacecraft will be commanded by a VVS pilot cosmonaut, with OKB-1 providing cosmonauts for the engineering support role. Mishin is to immediately send four candidates from OKB-1 to Kamanin for cosmonaut training. Kamanin feels this is only a 50% victory, and vows to accelerate submission of the letter from Malinovskiy to the Central Committee, demanding that the support cosmonaut seats also be filled by trained VVS engineer cosmonauts (e.g. Khrunov, Gorbatko, Voronov, and Kolodin). Meanwhile spacesuit designer Severin informs Kamanin that OKB-1 has insisted that the outer hatch of Soyuz will remain at 660 mm diameter, even though he has told them for a long time that the minimum diameter for a cosmonaut in spacesuit with a life support system backpack is 700 mm. Kamanin agrees to support him, but notes the change can only be made in later spacecraft; it is too late to change the first production run.
23 August 1966 - Soyuz recovery training at sea. Nikolayev, Bykovsky, Komarov, Khrunov, Gorbatko, Kolodin, and Voronov complete two parachute jumps each, with landing at sea. Training in sea-recovery by helicopter, with the cosmonauts in spacesuits, will be completed over the next two days. Smirnov is ready to sign a letter from Afanasyev, Burnazyan and Keldysh creating a new civilian cosmonaut training centre under the Ministry of Medium Machine Building, separate from the VVS centre. The letter is not coordinated with the Defence Ministry, and contradicts the letter sent by the four marshals to the Central Committee. Kamanin prepares a vigorous refutation of the letter's position. The physicians' board on OKB-1 candidates has only cleared Yeliseyev for flight - they could not agree on Volkov, Kubasov, and Grechko. OKB-1 only submitted four candidates for review, not the eight promised.
2 September 1966 - Lunar flight cosmonauts assignments.. In the period 1966 to 1968 there were five simultaneous Soviet manned space projects (Soyuz 7K-OK orbital; Soyuz 7K-L1 circumlunar; Soyuz VI military; L3 manned lunar landing; Almaz space station). Cosmonaut assignments were in constant flux, resulting in many claims in later years that 'I was being trained for the first moon flight'.

Additional Details: Lunar flight cosmonauts assignments..


2 September 1966 - Cosmonaut civilian program training groups. Kamanin organises the cosmonauts into the following training groups:

  • Soyuz 7K-OK: Gagarin, Komarov, Nikolayev, Bykovsky, Khrunov, Gorbatko, Voronov, Kolodin
  • L1: Volynov, Dobrovolskiy, Voronov, Kolodin, Zholobov, Komarov, Bykovskiy
  • L3: Leonov, Gorbatko, Khrunov, Gagarin, Nikolayev, Shatalov

Rudenko agrees with Kamanin's plan, except he urges him to assign more cosmonauts to the Soyuz 7K-OK group, and include OKB-1 cosmonauts in the 7K-OK, L1, and L3 groups, and Academy of Science cosmonauts in the L1 and L3 groups.

These cosmonaut assignments were in constant flux, and many cosmonauts were assigned to train for more than one program - resulting in multiple claims in later years that 'I was being trained for the first moon flight'.


25 November 1966 - Soyuz launch commission. Gagarin, Nikolayev, Gorbatko, Kolodin and Belousov arrive at Tyuratam for Tu-104 zero-G training, while the prime crews successfully arrive at Moscow for simulator training. The State Commission meets. After extensive detailed reports, Mishin certifies that the boosters and spacecraft at 09:00 on 26 November. S/N 2 would be launched first, on 28 November at 14:00, followed by s/n 2 24 hours later. The go-ahead is given for launch. In zero-G tests, the reserve cosmonauts find it is necessary to grip the handrail from above with both hands to move easily with the ECS strapped to the leg. The previously approved method, with one hand on top, the other below the handrail, was only good with the ECS configured as a backpack. The hardest part of the EVA will be getting on the spacesuits beforehand, especially in achieving a seal between the gloves and the suit
31 December 1966 - 18 cosmonauts in lunar training. Gagarin, Komarov, Nikolayev, Bykovsky, Khrunov, Gorbatko, Voronov, Kolodin, Popovich, Gubarev, Artyukhin, Gylyayev, Belousov, Kolesnikov, Volynov, Doborvolsky, Zhobolov.
1967 Early - Voskhod 6 (cancelled). Planned Voskhod flight that would include EVA with test of the UPMK 'jet belt'. Cancelled in spring 1966.
17 January 1967 - Manned space plans reviewed. At a meeting of the VPK Military-Industrial Commission and Chief Designers current manned space plans are reviewed.

Additional Details: Manned space plans reviewed.


26 April 1969 - Soyuz program review. The commission considers plans for the rest of the Soyuz production. Spacecraft s/n 14, 15, and 16 are to fly in August 1969, 17 and 18 in November 1969, and 19 and 20 in February-March 1970. Crews selected for the August flights are: for spacecraft 14, Shonin and Kubasov; for 15, Filipchenko, Volkov, and Gorbatko; for 16, Nikolayev and Sevastyanov. Back-ups will be Kuklin, Grechko, and Kolodin. All of the spacecraft will fly 4 to 5 day missions. Spacecraft 15 and 16 will dock and remain together 2 or 3 days to form an 'orbital station'. Experiments planned for the flight are:

  • Visual observation of rocket launch plumes using the Svinets device
  • Film and photography of the spacecraft 15-16 docking from spacecraft 14
  • Demonstration of welding in weightless vacuum conditions using the Vulkan device
  • Demonstration of autonomous navigation by the cosmonauts using a sextant
  • Medium wave radio communications
  • Test of new television sensors for the Soyuz orientation system

Spacecraft 17 through 20 will fly 15 to 16 day missions to demonstrate the new SZhO life support system for the L3, and conduct rendezvous and docking operations using the L3's Kontakt system.

Additional Details: Soyuz program review.


12 October 1969 - Soyuz 7. Tested spacecraft systems and designs, manoeuvring of space craft with respect to each other in orbit, conducted scientific, technical and medico-biological experiments in group flight. Was to have docked with Soyuz 8 and transferred crew while Soyuz 6 took film from nearby. However failure of rendezvous electronics in all three craft due to a new helium pressurization integrity test prior to the mission did not permit successful rendezvous and dockings.

Additional Details: Soyuz 7.


30 December 1969 - Soyuz 9 planned - Belyayev seriously ill.. The leadership suddenly announces that a solo Soyuz mission of 17 to 20 days is to be flown for Lenin's 100th birthday (April 22). This will seize the space endurance record from the Americans and provide biomedical information for the DOS station, to be flown by the end of the year. Nikolayev and Sevastyanov are being pushed for the job. Kamanin objects, he would prefer Kolodin or Grechko, but Mishin won't hear of it. During December Kamanin, the Shatalov Soyuz 7 crew, Sevastyanov, and their wives vacation at Sochi on the Black Sea. Meanwhile Belyayev becomes serious ill. Surgeons operate to remove 2/3 of his stomach, part of his long intestine, and his appendix.
23 April 1970 - Mishin proposes crews for Soyuz 10 and 11.. Two months after first raising the issue, Mishin has proposed crews for the flights to the DOS station, still planned to occur before the end of the year. Mishin is still pushing Feoktistov, who Kamanin believes is not only seriously ill, but immoral, being on his second wife. Kamanin now has 20 spacecraft crews, but they will have to wait six years or more for a trip to space at the current mission rate. Mishin's proposed DOS crews are as follows: 1 - Shatalov, Yeliseyev, Rukavishnikov; 2 - Shonin, Kubasov, Kolodin; 3 - Volynov, Feoktistov, Patsayev; 4 - Khrunov, Volkov, Sevastyanov.
6 May 1970 - Soyuz 10 / 11 crew discussions.. Meeting on DOS crews. Kamanin will agree to Mishin's proposed crews with the following provisions: 1) Feoktistov is eliminated from the list; 2) Military cosmonauts must be on 3 of the 4 crews, with the overall ratio six military to six civilian cosmonauts. The proposed crews: 1 - Shonin, Yeliseyev, Rukavishnikov; 2 - Leonov, Kubasov, Kolodin; 3 - Shatalov Volkov, Patsayev; 4- Dobrovolsky, Sevastyanov, Voronov. Mishin is opposed to Dobrovolsky and Volkov.
11 March 1971 - Major DOS training exercise by second crew.. Leonov, Kubasov, and Kolodin train in the DOS simulator.
20 March 1971 - DOS crews arrives in Baikonur.. Shatalov's crew arrived at 09:00 aboard a Tu-104 and were ensconced in Room 14 of the Hotel Kosmonavt. Two further Tu-104's arrived 20 and 30 minutes later with the second and third crews. At 18:00 they all went to the MIK assembly hall to view the two Soyuz spacecraft and the station. There were electrical problems with the station, and they finally returned to the hotel at 24:00 without the problem having been resolved. Kamanin notes two films are to be screened tomorrow - a Bulgarian movie and the Soviet film 'Diplomat'.
23 March 1971 - Cosmonauts return to Moscow from Tyuratam.. A four-story school burned down the previous night in Leninsk. The cosmonauts and space centre technicians watched the USA-USSR ice hockey match, which went from 23:00 until 02:00 the next morning. Kamanin returns to Moscow aboard a Tu-104. Aboard the flight the political intrigues surrounding selection of Kamanin's deputy are discussed.
6 April 1971 - DOS cosmonauts fly to Tyuratam.. Kamanin, the DOS crews, and 40 VVS specialists fly to Tyuratam. VVS medical officers have to battle outbreaks of measles, rabies, and dysentery at the cosmodrome. The crews are medically isolated in the Hotel Kosmonavt. In the evening they watch the film '300 Spartans'.
11 April 1971 - Cosmonaut fishing trip cancelled.. Weather continues cold and windy, but clear, at the cosmodrome. Leonov wants to take the DOS crews fishing on the Syr Darya River, but he is vetoed by the doctors. They were afraid they might catch cold.
22 April 1971 - Soyuz 10. Intended first space station mission; soft docked with Salyut 1. Launch nearly scrubbed due to poor weather. Soyuz 10 approached to 180 m from Salyut 1 automatically. It was hand docked after faillure of the automatic system, but hard docking could not be achieved because of the angle of approach. Post-flight analysis indicated that the cosmonauts had no instrument to proivde the angle and range rate data necessary for a successful manual docking. Soyuz 10 was connected to the station for 5 hours and 30 minutes. Despite the lack of hard dock, it is said that the crew were unable to enter the station due to a faulty hatch on their own spacecraft. When Shatalov tried to undock from the Salyut, the jammed hatch impeded the docking mechanism, preventing undocking. After several attempts he was unable to undock and land.
28 May 1971 - Soyuz 11 and 12 crews depart for Baikonur.. The Salyut crews, Kamanin, and VVS support technicians and staff - 46 people altogether - fly to Tyuratam aboard three Tu-104's.
31 May 1971 - Problems with Salyut station atmosphere.. Kamanin is advised that the atmosphere aboard Salyut 1 is now all right. He finds the news disturbing, since he was not informed until then that there was a problem! Feoktistov outlines the modifications made to Soyuz 11 compared to Soyuz 10 to the cosmonauts. The reinforcement of the docking ring system has added 10 kg to the spacecraft. Consumables are carried that increase the time for autonomous flight from three to four days.
1 June 1971 - Soyuz 11 spacecraft closed out.. The Soyuz 11 and 12 crews train. The Soyuz-11 spacecraft is closed out, ready for flight.
2 June 1971 - Contingency planning for Soyuz 11.. From 09:00 to 13:00 the Soyuz 11 cosmonauts and engineers discuss the best approaches for docking, contingency plans, and so on. A concrete solution is provided for every possible problem they might encounter aboard the station - bad air, water contaminated, stuck exit hatch, and so on.
3 June 1971 - Kubasov found not fit to fly aboard Soyuz 11.. The cosmonauts play tennis in the morning. There are two dysentery cases in the staff at Area 2. Contact between the officers and workers at the centre is minimised. The Soyuz 11 crew undergoes their final medical checkups. A spot is found on Kubasov's lung in the x-ray. The doctors say it is the beginning of tuberculosis, and prohibit him from flying in space! Mishin, backed by Moscow, says that under mission rules, this means the Dobrovolsky back-up crew will have to fly in place of Leonov's crew. Kamanin feels uncomfortable with the decision, but can make no good argument for his preference - just replacing Kubasov on Leonov's crew with Volkov. The Launch Commission decides that Soyuz 11 is to be rolled out to the pad at 06:00 on 4 June, with launch at 07:39 on 6 June, with Dobrovolsky's crew aboard.
4 June 1971 - Backup crew named to fly Soyuz 11. Soyuz 11 is on the launch pad, and which crew will fly is still being argued. Kamanin wants to simply have Volkov replace Kubasov on Leonov's crew. Mishin wants the complete backup crew to replace Leonov's crew. Others on the launch commission support Mishin. At 15:30 a team of physicians arrive from Moscow to verify the diagnosis of Kubasov. At 18:00 the final state commission meeting confirms the Dobrovolsky crew. At 19:00 a press conference is held - Dobrovolsky, Patsayev, and Volkov are publicly presented as the crew of Soyuz 11.
5 June 1971 - Leonov crew fights to be put back aboard Soyuz 11.. Leonov and his crew meet with Kamanin at 10:00 and argue against flying the back-up crew. Kamanin tells him that they are not reacting in a correct manner to the decision. Afterwards Kamanin meets with Krylov at Area 17 to discuss the planned new three-story hotel, which will finally include some sports training facilities for the cosmonauts. By the evening ten VVS generals have arrived to see the launch -- no more than 2 or 3 really need to be there.
6 June 1971 - Soyuz 11. First space station flight, two years before the American Skylab. The Soyuz 11 launch proceeds without any difficulties. The first orbital correction in the set of rendezvous manoeuvres to head for Salyut 1 is made on the fourth revolution. At 15:00 Kamanin and other critical staff board a plane for the mission control centre at Yevpatoriya. The aircraft takes 4 hours 30 minutes to get there.

Equipment aboard Salyut 1 included a telescope, spectrometer, electrophotometer, and television. The crew checked improved on-board spacecraft systems in different conditions of flight and conducted medico-biological research. The main instrument, a large solar telescope, was inoperative because its cover failed to jettison. A small fire and difficult working conditions will lead to a decision to return crew before planned full duration of 30 days.


15 June 1971 - Soyuz Kontakt and DOS-2 crew assignments made.. Crews are formed for six Soyuz (Kontakt?) flights. Soyuz s/n 18 - Filipchenko and Grechko; Soyuz s/n 19 - Lazarev and Makarov; Soyuz s/n 20 - Vorobyov and Yazdovsky; Soyuz s/n 21 - Yakovlelv and Porvatkin; Soyuz s/n 22 - Kovalyonok and Isakov; Soyuz s/n 23 - Shcheglov and [illegible]. Five crews are training for Salyut flights: Crew 1, Leonov, Rukavishnikov, and Kolodin; Crew 2, Gubarev, Sevastyanov, and Voronov. TsKBEM engineer cosmonauts are to be selected will round out the last three crews, but VVS members will be: Crew 3, Klimuk, Artyukhin; Crew 4, Bykovskyy, Alekseyev; Crew 5, Gorbatko. Leonov and Gubarev will have their crews fully ready for Soyuz 12 by 30 June, for a launch date between 15-20 July. Leonov is asking to go to East Germany for two to three days in the first week of July. Kamanin is fully opposed to this - he is thinkng not of his upcoming flight, but the exhibition of his paintings at the Prezdensk Gallery!
1971 August - Soyuz 12 / DOS 1 (cancelled). If the Soyuz 11 crew had not perished during return to the earth, a second crew would have been sent to the Salyut 1 space station. Further missions to Salyut 1 were cancelled after the disaster.
1977 November - Soyuz 26A (cancelled). Planned mission to Salyut 6 that would make first docking with rear docking port and be the first crew to swap spacecraft and return in the spacecraft that ferried the Soyuz 25 crew. But after Soyuz 25 failed to dock with Salyut 6 and Soyuz 26 as finally flown had quite a different crew and mission profile.

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