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Design of Voskhod-2

The main difference of Voskhod-2 from the original Voskhod was an inflatable airlock dubbed Volga. All previous engineering attempts to fit a hard-body structure into the payload fairing envelope were unsuccessful. (18)


An equivalent of the Voskhod-2 interior looking toward the airlock entrance with the EVA hatch open but chairs apparently in upper position for landing.

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The cylindrical structure of the airlock was mounted on the exterior of the descent module and over a 650-millimeter hatch which would open into the capsule. On its outer end, the airlock had another hatch, which would also open inwards, ensuring that the internal pressure could help keeping it closed and pressurized after the spacewalk. Both hatches could be operated remotely with an electric drive or closed manually if needed.

At least one source claims that inside the Voskhod, the cosmonauts' chairs could be lowered from their operational landing position, thus providing more space in the cramped compartment during boarding of the spacecraft on the launch pad and during the transfer of a cosmonaut into the airlock. The chairs would be brought to an upper position only at the time of the parachute release during the descent. (137) However available photos of the hardware make it difficult to confirm that.

The inflatable middle portion of the airlock was formed by 40 resin tubes grouped in the three isolated sections to ensure reliability. On the exterior, the airlock was covered with a thermal insulation. (84)

The cosmonaut could go as far as 5 meters from the spacecraft.

The airlock would be jettisoned before reentry. The main separation system of the airlock was backed up with a special rope with a pyrotechnic system.

A pair of TV cameras were used to monitor cosmonaut outside the spacecraft. They transmitted images to a monitor inside the cabin and to the ground stations. Just before the EVA, the commander, using a manual attitude control system, was expected to orient the spacecraft to ensure good illumination by the sun. The program also called for filming of the cosmonaut entering the airlock, exiting the spacecraft and returning.

During the EVA, the cosmonaut's pulse, breathing frequency, the pressure in the spacesuit, the pressure in the airlock, the backpack, the ventilation system and the oxygen supply would be all continuously measured and displayed on the commander's console. Both crew members could communicate over the phone system. (84)


A folded airlock is being installed on the Voskhod spacecraft.


Planned parameters for the Voskhod-2 mission:

Planned launch date
First quarter of 1965
Launch vehicle
Orbit parameters
180 by 400 kilometers, inclination 65 degrees toward the Equator
Planned flight duration
One day
Maximum flight duration
Three days
Primary crew
Pavel Belyaev, Aleksei Leonov
Backup crew
V. Gorbatko, Ye. Zaikin, Evgeni Khrunov
Spacecraft mass
5,685 kilograms (84, 137); 5,682 kilograms (2)
Airlock length
2,500 millimeters
Airlock external diameter
1,200 millimeters
Airlock internal diameter
1,000 millimeters
Hatch to airlock diameter
650 millimeters
Planned spacewalk duration
10 minutes


Next chapter: Berkut spacesuit


The article and photography by Anatoly Zak; Last update: March 20, 2020

Editor: Alain Chabot; Last edit: March 18, 2020

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An official contemporary depiction of the Voskhod-2 spacecraft. Credit: RKK Energia


A museum replica of the Voskhod-2 airlock. Copyright © 2009 Anatoly Zak


The Voskhod-2 development program included testing of the emergency separation of the Volga airlock during a potential launch failure. Credit: RKK Energia