|Belyayev (L) and Leonov (R) are entertained by their good friend and colleague Vladimir Komarov on their way to the launch pad. Note the special sun visors the cosmonauts have inside their helmets.|
|Rescue crew meeting up with the stranded cosmonauts. (recognisable by their white caps) Photo: Unknown. I presume these pictures from the soviet era are made by 'the state' but if anyone claims this picture, let me know.)|
The dense woods required the rescue team to land their helicopters many miles away, and they had to continue their journey to rescue the cosmonauts on skis.
After arriving, the cosmonauts too had to don skis and together they returned to the helicopters. So, all in all it took two days to get them back.
This has come to be known as “the Perm Incident” and, of course, the Russians didn’t want that to happen again. Chief designer of the Soviet manned space Program, Sergei Korolyov, asked the design bureau of Vitaly Andreyevich Grachev, specialised in designing rugged all-terrain vehicles, to come up with a vehicle to get to such remote locations more easily and practically. it had to be very rugged.
|PEU-1 carrying a boilerplate Soyuz, presumably for training purposes.|
|PEU-2. Even bigger, but also having an extra crew cabin.|
|ZIL 4904-2. Smaller yet more versatile.|
From that moment on, the “Blue Birds”, as the big amphibians were christened, became a regular sight at Soyuz landing sites.
*Trouble during re-entry: A bit hard to explain in two or three sentences but here goes: The bulky, partially inflated space suits Leonov and Belyayev wore made them unable to easily reach the instrument panel from their seats and they had to unbuckle to get there and flip the retro fire switches. The capsule had a specific centre of gravity, which was necessary for re-entering the right way and landing at the right spot. Therefore they had to be in their seats. But they were too late. When they finally were back in their seats, which also was troublesome due to their suits, the re-entry already had begun and they overshot their target by many many miles.