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1963: Vostok 5 (USSR)

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Uploaded on May 6, 2008

Vostok 5 and 6 were joint missions in the Soviet space programme, came close to one another in orbit and established a radio link.

Music: Marcus P. Graf

Cosmonaut Valery Bykovsky was originally intended to stay in orbit for eight days, but the mission details changed many times due to elevated levels of solar flare activity at the time and he was eventually ordered back after five days. However, this was then, and remains today, the record for solo manned flight in Earth orbit.

A problem with the spacecraft's waste collection system is reported to have made conditions "unpleasant" in the capsule. The only other difficulty encountered was that, like on Vostoks 1 and 2, the re-entry module failed to separate cleanly from the service module when it was time for Bykovsky to come home.

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