5 Soviet Space Programs that Prove the USSR Was Insane

The Soviet Union used their space program as one of the front line battles of the Cold War. And for a time they were ahead, as anyone who remembers Sputnik and Gagarin will tell you. They had an edge in that reaching their goals was more important to the nation than the lives of the cosmonauts. Documentation on the cosmonauts is limited, and some evidence has been altered, such as the disappearing cosmonaut in the photo here. Then there was Voskhod 2, the mission featuring the first space walk.
The launch went up safely, got into an orbit, and a cosmonaut, Alexei Leonov, became the first human to perform a spacewalk. Super. But that was about when things took a turn for the cataclysmic.

On his way back in, Leonov's spacesuit inflated due to the vacuum of space, which, apparently, the guys who designed the suit had never heard of. His suit was so laughably ballooney, in fact, that he could barely move and most definitely couldn't fit back in the spaceship door. Leonov was forced to let some air out, all the while suffering from heatstroke and the bends. By the time his little 12 minute walk turned into a 20 minute walk, he was up to his knees in sweat. But he made it back in to the ship, safe and sound.

However, things got worse for Voskhod 2 after that. Read all about it at Cracked. NSFW text. Link -via reddit

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Egbert, I don't know whose ''ineptitude'' you are referring to.

Thanks to the USA and the various partners involved, the shuttle program changed the way the whole world looks at space travel. There are now companies planning on making a trip to the moon something to do on vacation. And creating a working relationship with former adversaries is the best way to move forward, don't you think? It's what we do, move on, help a former enemy and make lasting peace much more than words on some treaty.

As for the program retiring its shuttles, yes, it is very sad to see them grounded but many people here no longer want the government to keep funding NASA right now when other priorities beckon. NASA still gets money, no worries.

Don't see anything wrong with letting the Indians and Chinese spend some money for a change while they try to prove to the world how advanced they are.

Just because the USA retired its shuttles doesn't mean it is no longer a superpower. Look at the void left on the international scene by the current ''Let's see what happens before I comment'' president. LOL The world needs us even if they don't always want to admit it.
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@Jim

You are already seeing it. The first time the US has had no capability to put a person in orbit since the early sixties. Coming to a superpower near you...

Also...the first time the US has relied solely on their former enemies to get them into space.

Two mighty achievements of complete ineptitude. That has to be worth something.

But not to worry - the US still has twelve aircraft carriers - :\
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When you don't care about things like safety and the lives of the animals and humans you toss into space, you can make a few firsts. Interesting read.
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US:

First to get a spacecraft through the asteroid belt
First to flypast jupiter
First to flypast Saturn
First to flypast Uranus
Furthest Man Made object in History
First to use a 7 man space vehicle
First to discover Van Allen belts
First re-usable spacecraft

probably more. I'm not american though
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