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Chilling last words of cosmonaut heard in final transmission as he fell from space

Chilling last words of cosmonaut heard in final transmission as he fell from space

Vladimir Mikhaylovich Komarov has been described as the 'man who fell from space' following his death in April 1967.

We might be more experienced than ever where space exploration is concerned, with missions to the Moon finally back on the agenda after years without people stepping on it, but space is still a very scary place.

Although very few astronauts actually die in space, it's still a way riskier profession than most others you could choose, especially if you have a PhD in astronomy.

There's no clearer way to demonstrate this than by listening to the final moments of one of Russia's first cosmonauts, Vladimir Mikhaylovich Komarov, in a recording from his craft.

In April 1967 he was on a mission in a Soyuz 1 spacecraft, orbiting around Earth with his objective being something that seems to still be classified all these years later.

After completing some orbits, it was time for re-entry and a return to solid ground, but Komarov's craft was seemingly beset by a high number of malfunctions and breakages.

The Soyuz 1 was supposed to have two solar panels, almost like wings on either side of it, which supplied it with energy in order to complete manoeuvres and steer, but only one of them actually deployed.

Komarov wasn't able to do anything to fix this, and ground control couldn't either, leaving him in a very bad situation. When he was instructed to attempt re-entry it was apparently fairly clear that this was unlikely to work.

Vladimir Komarov piloted the Soyuz 1, which was supposed to orbit the earth but crashed to the ground, killing him.
Getty/Bettmann / Contributor

The solar panel proved not to be the only fatal malfunction the Soyuz 1 exhibited - when it got to the right altitude for the moment, its parachute failed to deploy after becoming tangled, and the ship crashed down to the surface without slowing.

The result was a devastating smash that left very little of either the ship or Komarov, but remarkably the US was able to listen in on his final moments from surveillance posts in Turkey, capturing this now-famous audio.

It allegedly features Komarov talking quickly to an official called Alexei Kosygin, although different transcriptions dispute how angry Komarov was at the situation. An official state transcript said he was calm, and said: "I feel excellent, everything’s in order."

Other accounts, however, have alleged that he was furious with the malfunctions that were, by this point, clearly to cause his death, and called the Soyuz 1 a "devil ship" where nothing he touched would work properly.

By the time his mission ended in death, Komarov had been in space for just over 24 hours, which must have been harrowingly stressful, and the audio is a very eerie listen all these years later, even with a language barrier to overcome.

He has been described in many reports as the 'man who fell from space'.

Featured Image Credit: ullstein bild Dtl. / Contributor/ Getty