Soyuz 1: cosmonaut down

Soyuz 1After a day in space aboard a spacecraft crawling with technical glitches, cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov orients the Soyuz 1 capsule for return to Earth. Though the vehicle survives reentry through Earth’s atmosphere, the main parachute fails to open, and the first Soyuz capsule returns to Earth at a speed of well over 100 miles per hour, killing Komarov instantly. The Soviet Union’s space program is stalled – much like the American Apollo program, postponed after the fatal Apollo 1 fire – well into 1968 as a result of the need to redesign Soyuz from the inside out.