The fiftieth anniversary of the first space welding experiment

1Strelko, ОH, 1Pylypchuk, OYa., 1Berdnychenko, Yu.А
1State University of Infrastructure and Technologies, Kyiv, Ukraine
Space Sci. & Technol. 2019, 25 ;(5):76-84
Publication Language: Ukrainian
The article describes the historical stages of the idea emergence, preparation, and conducting of first space welding experiments on October 16, 1969, by Soviet cosmonauts Georgy Stepano-vich Shonin and Valery Nikolaevich Kubasov on-board the spacecraft «Soyuz-6». The assessment of the contribution of individual specialists and entire organizations in the preparation of the experiment, the development, and manufacture of the necessary equip-ment was made. A leading role of a group of Ukrainian scientists of the E. O. Paton Institute of electric welding, headed by academician Boris E. Paton, in solving these problems is shown.
         The four-stage periodization in the development, manufacture, and testing of equipment and preparation of the space welding ex-periment is considered. The importance of the results of exper-iments in conditions simulating the space ones for the prepara-tion of the experiment directly in space is demonstrated. The preliminary studies gave the possibility to identify the most characteristic features of zero gravity and vacuum welding.It is shown that the most promising welding techniques in the space environment were selected by a detailed analysis of the results of the ground experiments and experiments on the flying laboratory TU-104. Among them, there were electron beam welding, consumable electrode welding, and plasma arc welding. The features of the technical solutions implemented in the design and manufacture of a complex, fully automated device for welding «Volcano» are considered. The «Volcano» device pro-vides the use of the automatic mode of all three welding meth-ods on the orbit. It is shown that a decisive contribution to the development of the «Volcano» welding machine and the first space welding ex-periment was made by Ukrainian scientists of the E. O. Paton Institute of electric welding and the Institute of electrodynam-ics of NAS of Ukraine.
Keywords: history of space exploration, space welding, the contribution of the Ukrainian scientists, welding machine «Volcano»
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