“Cosmonaut 13”: Vladimir Shatalov

  • Slava Gerovitch
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Science and Technology book series (PSHST)


Vladimir Aleksandrovich Shatalov was born on December 8, 1927, in Petropavlovsk, Kazakhstan. In 1949 he graduated from the Kachinskoye Highest Military Aviation School for fighter pilots in Krasnyy Kut in the Saratov region. After graduation, he stayed at the school as a pilot instructor. In 1956 Shatalov graduated with honors from the Air Force Academy in Monino near Moscow. He served as squadron commander, deputy regiment commander in the Air Force, and chief inspector pilot of the 48th Air Force Army in the Odessa Military District. On January 10, 1963, Shatalov joined the cosmonaut group. In the years 1963–1965 he had general cosmonaut training. In 1965 he trained as the commander of the third (backup) crew for the planned Voskhod 3 mission, which was canceled. In the years 1967–1968 he trained for a Soyuz docking mission and served as Georgiy Beregovoy’s backup on Soyuz 3 , the first completed Soyuz mission. In January 1969 Shatalov commanded Soyuz 4 and successfully performed the first manual docking of two piloted spacecraft. In October 1969 he commanded Soyuz 8 and the joint Soyuz 6/7/8 mission, during which Soyuz 7 and Soyuz 8 spacecraft failed to approach because of a malfunction of the rendezvous control system. In April 1971 he commanded the Soyuz 10 mission to the Salyut space station, but did not dock with the station because of a failure of the docking mechanism.


State Commission Space Flight Design Bureau Flight Duration Mission Control 
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  1. 1.
    See Vladimir A. Shatalov, Trudnyye dorogi kosmosa (Moscow: Molodaya gvardiya, 1978) and Kosmicheskiye budni (Moscow: Mashinostroeniye, 2008);Google Scholar
  2. Vladimir A. Shatalov et al., Primeneniye EVM v sisteme upravleniya kosmicheskimi apparatami (Moscow: Mashinostroeniye, 1974),Google Scholar
  3. Shatalov and Mikhail F. Rebrov, Lyudi i kosmos (Moscow: Molodaya gvardiya, 1975),Google Scholar
  4. and Shatalov and Rebrov, Kosmonavty SSSR, 3rd ed. (Moscow: Prosveshcheniye, 1980).Google Scholar
  5. For a bibliography of 43 items, see Vasiliy V. Tsibliyev, ed., Nauchnyye trudy sovetskikh i rossiyskikh kosmonavtov: Materialy k bibliografii (Zvezdnyy gorodok: RGNIITsPK, 2009), pp. 49–52.Google Scholar
  6. 12.
    For details of the Soyuz 4/5 mission, see Asif Siddiqi, Challenge to Apollo: The Soviet Union and the Space Race, 1945–1974, NASA SP-2000–4408 (Washington, DC: NASA, 2000), pp. 668–674.Google Scholar
  7. 16.
    Leonid Vasilyevich Smirnov (1916–2001), chairman of the State Commission for Piloted Flights, deputy chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers, chairman of the Military Industrial Commission. Smirnov was a notoriously overcautious bureaucrat. See Yaroslav Golovanov, Korolev: Fakty i mify (Moscow: Nauka, 1994), pp. 669–670.Google Scholar
  8. 24.
    In October 1967 two unmanned Soyuz spacecraft, publicly named Kosmos-186 and Kosmos-188, performed an automatic rendezvous and docking in orbit. The two spacecraft were mechanically docked, but an electric contact was not achieved. See Siddiqi, Challenge to Apollo, pp. 625–626; Boris Chertok, Rockets and People: Hot Days of the Cold War, vol. 3 (Washington, DC: NASA, 2009), pp. 665–680.Google Scholar
  9. 33.
    See, for example, Nikolay Kamanin, Skrytyy kosmos, vol. 3 (Moscow: Infortekst, 1997), p. 284 (diary entry for January 5, 1966), pp. 403–404 (diary entry for November 23, 1966); vol. 4 (Moscow: Novosti kosmonavtiki, 1999), pp. 333–334 (diary entry for December 12, 1968).Google Scholar
  10. 36.
    Gennadiy Vasilyevich Sarafanov (1942–2005) and Lev Stepanovich Demin (1926–1998) on Soyuz 15 failed to dock with the Salyut 3 (Almaz) space station in August 1974. Vyacheslav Dmitriyevich Zudov (1942–) and Valeriy Ilyich Rozhdestvenskiy (1939–2011) on Soyuz 23 failed to dock with the Salyut 5 (Almaz) space station in October 1976. See Dennis Newkirk, Almanac of Soviet Manned Space Flight (Houston, TX: Gulf, 1990), pp. 128–130, 149–150.Google Scholar
  11. 45.
    For Leonov’s recollections, see David R. Scott and Alexei A. Leonov, Two Sides of the Moon: Our Story of the Cold War Space Race (London/New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004), p. 188.Google Scholar
  12. 52.
    Shatalov refers to Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika and the collapse of the Soviet Union, which resulted in drastic cuts in state support for the space program. The Buran program was suspended in 1990 and terminated in 1993. See Bart Hendrickx and Bert Vis, Energiya-Buran: The Soviet Space Shuttle (Chichester: Springer/Praxis, 2007).Google Scholar

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© Slava Gerovitch 2014

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  • Slava Gerovitch

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