11 A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

Posted on February 24, 2017 by tim


Yuri Gagarin was a Soviet science flagship. Was built in Leningrad in 1971. It’s 231 m long, and 32 m wide. Main engine has 14 000 kWt power. The crew is 136 people and also 220 scientists can travel and do their work. It has 1250 rooms, including 86 science labs. It was built to be able to communicate via satellites with all top important things in Russia.  It had served variety of tasks. Most mind blowing is to come to Pacific and track Soviet missiles that were fired from USSR to the middle of nowhere in Pacific. Also to support communication with Soviet space objects – MIR station, Soyuz spaceships etc., when the coverage from on ground stations is poor it could go to any place in ocean and stay there linking Earth with space. It has 75 antennas, including two huge 25 m sat dishes. It could support itself autonomously in ocean for over than 120 days. Main Ocean was the Atlantic Ocean. Let’s see more:

There was a huge group of such space vessels. They were called “Space Fleet”. They were used to support anti missile strike against Soviet Union by communicating with satelites and detecting any possible threat from any point of the world. Also were used for civil works like MIR station.

In 1960s Soviet Union fired many ballistic missiles right in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Then four ships like this but smaller were there around and tracked everything how the missiles flew, how they landed etc. For the secrecy purposes it was called a “Pacific Hydrographic Expedition”.

Then when first Soviet space rockets started flying they encountered problems with tracking and communications from the Soviet territory. The Soviet scientists decided to send those huge ships to Atlantic to be able to communicate and see the results of rocket stages separation from the ocean based laboratories.

From sixteen  rounds of first Soviet space rockets around the Earth six of them were above Atlantics. So the ships were very handy. First they took the regular trade ships of USSR and put the dishes on them, before the real giant floating labs like this “Yuri Gagarin” were built. These regular modified ships were used even for the first flight of Yuri Gagarin.

When Soviet Russia had its own Moon program they had to use as many as five of such ships on regular basis or they couldn’t send anything to the Moon.

And then when there was a second Soviet Lunar program in early 1970s they have built this glorious Yuri Gagarin ship. It incorporated all most advanced scientific and technological solutions Soviet state could get their hands on.

In total they had already 11 ships like this with Yuri Gagarin being crown jewel amongst them all.

There were indeed a lot of technical problems to consider. For example, when the ship turned its huge antennas sideways – like on the pic above – they became acting like huge sails. However in order to maintain permanent connection with space objects ship had to stay stable on same place – and if he had sales the wind was moving it, so they had to develop special systems that tracked the position of the ship and used the engines to keep it on one place and even don’t let it move from side to side.

Because it stayed autonomously in the ocean for 4 month people had to be staying with comfort and this was a task too that had to be solved.

The ship had its own garage with a few cars including this luxury Soviet Volga and exotic Soviet minivan “Latvia”. The cranes were used to lift them from the ship to the ground and back. Crew could drive their own transport wherever they docked. Also there were eight passenger elevators to go from one deck to another.

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11 Responses to “A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine”

  1. Lipto says:

    That a fine ship reaches the end of its service life is a fact of life for any seagoing vessel.

    It is sad that Yuri could not have become a museum for its scientific and navigational substance is a loss to maritime history.

    But nothing can take away from the accomplishments, the skills taken into the future and the excellent skill of the Captains, the crews, and the scientists who worked aboard her.

    It must have been a marvelous, exciting time!

  2. john dudley says:

    What a waste. Such A great ship,and most impressive to look at.

  3. Douglas says:

    This ship now flies in space. It was melted down and the scrap steel was made into missiles. Its now known as the S-400. In Russia, nothing is wasted.

  4. m_ says:

    You know, I’m really sick of this retarded propaganda speech:

    – “betrayed by Ukraine”.
    Scrapped in Ukraine. They didn’t need it, just as nobody else needed it. If Russia had a need of it, they could purchase the ship along with Akademik Sergei Korolev.

    You’d better tell me what happened to the other ships of this kind. These which stayed within Russian borders.
    Want me to help you? Here is a hint: Marshal Nedelin ship, 13 years younger than the one featured in this article, was scrapped by Russia in 1996.

    • Robert Norway says:

      Usually evil “propaganda” goes the other way, from Ukraine against Russia. I didn’t see this as propaganda, more as a true sad story.

  5. booger says:

    Second picture on page 2 is Rotterdam harbour

  6. Robert Norway says:

    Sad story from Ukraine. Now they have even scraped the whole country.

  7. RB says:

    Its a shame but what do you do with such a ship, the insides were crammed with rooms etc. so without stripping it down there was now room for anything. At lease we have some pictures which is way better than nothing. Who would have thought all the three thousand year old temples in the middle east would be destroyed?

  8. Yavor Kapitanov says:

    I don’t see what’s the problem with recycling the ship. It is an old technology and financially not wise to pay for crew and ship that do any work. I like the photos but in my opinion it is absolutely reasonable what they did with the ship.

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