The lost astronauts in space

The lost astronauts in space (the so-called ghost cosmonauts ) is part of the legend – even the conspiracy- of the space race. All the cases refer to Soviet astronauts and their existence, never recognized by the Soviets or proven by other sources, would make Yuri Gagarin not the first man in space, but the first man to return alive, or at least successfully, from the world. space.

Some believe that somewhere in the vast darkness of space, currently some 9 billion kilometers from the Sun, is the first human to reach the limits of the Solar System. His body, perfectly preserved, is frozen at 270 degrees below zero; Its small capsule has been moving away from Earth for 50 years at almost 30,000 km / h. He would be the first cosmonaut lost in space, when due to an error in propulsion he could never return.

In The Lost Cosmonauts all the information is collected works of Achille and Giovanni Judica-Cordiglia, brothers two amateur radio Italians in the early years of the space race were able to intercept communications from space from its station in Turin, area of ​​Western Europe that was partially overflown by Soviet spacecraft launched to orbit the Earth.

The lost astronauts in space
Grigoriy Nelyubov , eliminated in the photograph on the right and from the group of seven (later six, the Sochi Six) first astronauts of the USSR.

Between the 1950s and 1960s the brothers were able to record communications from the Sputnik and Explorer missions. The first significant recording was obtained on November 28, 1960, when they recognized a distress signal (SOS) coming from an object in motion, away from Earth. A few months later, in May 1961, they recorded the voice of what was supposed to have been the first woman in space, Ludmila Tokovy, but who in her last transmission back to Earth reported that something was wrong and that she was “burning”.

Two days after these recordings the Soviets reported an incident with an unmanned spacecraft (the 7.5-ton Sputnik 7 or Venera 1VA ) that had burned in the atmosphere during reentry.

The audio broadcast- and the English transcript- can be heard on The First Woman in Space.

According to the list in the Wikipedia article Soviet space program conspiracy accusations (obviously marked as lacking in neutrality and veracity ) it collects about fifteen of these cases, in addition to three other cases of missing astronauts that have somehow been confirmed as false.

Of all the alleged cases of cosmonauts that did not exist, the most documented -but not for that reason necessarily true or otherwise- is that of Vladimir Ilyushin.

Any of these stories or theories should be taken for what they are: urban legends and unconfirmed stories usually told as true by conspiratorial and sensational outlets such as the Fortean Times, from whose Lost in Space article the initial quote comes.

On the Internet you can also find opposing opinions or pages that analyze with skepticism the data available on the page of the Judica-Cordiglia brothers.

For example, Notes on the space tracking activities and sensational claims made by the Judica-Cordiglia brothers concludes that, although the radio hacking of the brothers did indeed allow them to pick up signals from the first space missions, “for some reason [Achille and Gian] believed they needed sensational stories to keep their activity fiery; once they misinterpreted some of the intercepted signals and sparked interest they were caught up in the need to create more poignant stories that have […] stuck in people’s minds over the years, which is exactly how myths begin and are perpetuated.”

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