This Is the Gun That Soviet Cosmonauts Took with Them into Space



Unlike their American counterparts, Soviet cosmonauts went into space armed. Specifically, they carried the TP-82, pictured above. It had three barrels, the top two which fired approximately 40 gauge shotgun rounds. The lower barrel was chambered for the 5.45x39mm rifle round. If that didn't do the job, there was a machete built into the stock -- just in case....

Why did the cosmonauts carry this gun? It wasn't to fight off aliens, but protect themselves from human threats if they landed in unfriendly territory at the end of their missions.

This gun was used until 2006, when it was replaced with a standard semi-automatic handgun.

Link | Image: mpopeneker

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Jim, Voskhod 2. Something went wrong with the engines/control systems in the capsule, plus parts that were supposed to blow off before reentry didn't, so they had to land manually. It threw them off course by almost 400 km and a search party had to be put out to find them. Then the area they landed in was so densely wooded that the helicopters couldn't pick them up. Accounts on the wolf encounter vary a bit, but it's either they heard the wolves and it was mating season (making them more aggressive. Same for bears in the area), or the wolves were actually scratching at the partially open capsule door.
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Aw, Jim, that's what the inflatable airlock is for: do your biz, go back inside, pop the outer hatch, it boils off.

I'm just glad to know somebody up there is armed. What if ET figures out we're made of meat?
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