Saturday Scenes

Fri 15 March 2013

Ivan Ivanovich

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 19:02

On the 9th of March in 1961, Sputnik 9 was launched into space with Ivan Ivanovich on board.

Ivan Ivanovich – a Russian placeholder name like our John Doe – was a phantom cosmonaut – a mannequin dressed in a cosmonaut suit as a part of the Russian space programme. Choir music was broadcast from his chest to test the communications system. He was also on board to test the landing system: once the spacecraft was descending towards the ground, Ivan Ivanovich was ejected from the capsule with a parachute.

Ivan Ivanovich (Vostok programme) – Wikipedia

Ivan Ivanovich was made to look as lifelike as possible, with eyes, eyebrows, eyelashes and a mouth. He was dressed in a cosmonaut suit, with a sign reading “МАКЕТ” (Russian for “dummy”) placed under his visor, so that anyone who found him after his missions would not think he was a dead cosmonaut or an alien.

His second space flight, Korabl-Sputnik 5, on March 26, 1961, was similar – he was again accompanied by a dog, Zvezdochka, and other animals, he had a recording of a choir (and also a recipe for cabbage soup to confuse any listeners) inside him, and he safely returned to Earth. These flights paved the way for Vostok 1, the first manned flight into space on April 12, 1961.

In 1993, Ivan Ivanovich was auctioned to a US businessman for $189,500. He is now on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.

And on the 9th of March in 2013, another edition of Saturday Scenes was successfully launched:

And here are the absolutely real people (neither dead cosmonauts nor aliens) who took them:

Shouldn’t you save a photograph of your day-to-day life for posterity? It’s easy!

  1. Take a photograph on a Saturday
  2. Upload the photograph
  3. Send a tweet to @SatScenes with the url and the location
  4. Bookmark for future descendants to find

I’m looking forward to seeing your photograph on Saturday!

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