Why Did Russian Cosmonauts Carry Shotguns and Machetes in Space?

The popular myth about Russian spacemen traveling to space geared with weapons is actually true and the question why they did that is finally revealed. Russian cosmonauts carried a convertible shotgun which doubled as an axe and machete into space.

The 'myth' about Soviet spacemen being armed with shotguns was a topic of great interest on Russian forums for the past few years. Recently it has been revealed that the myth is actually, true.

Russian cosmonauts weren't gearing up for a fight with aliens or NASA astronauts, though.

Despite numerous assumptions as to why the Russians took such a risk, the reason was quite modest.

The shotgun was there to kill bears in case the crew landed in a remote area in the Taiga region of Russia. The three barreled shotgun which also had a sharp blade could be used as a machete in jungle areas, or as an axe to chop wood.

Soviet scientist Boris Chertok in his book "Rockets and People" describes an event that occurred in 1965 with the lander "Voskhod-2" carrying cosmonauts Alexei Leonov and Pavel Belyaev.

The astronauts landed in the Taiga of the Northern Urals, and rescuers could not get to them for a few days due to the dense forest and snow. The writer describes moments when they saw bears from the helicopter who were walking towards the fire where the cosmonauts were camping.

Recently, writer James Simpson told the Inquistr, "Having a gun inside a thin-walled spacecraft filled with oxygen sounds crazy but the Soviets had their reasons."

With the recent technology and GPS navigation, the space travelers see less reason to carry weapons on board, but back in the day the guns were a part of a 'survival kit'.

Russian spacemen carried shotguns and axes into space up until 2007 http://t.co/4TCLQmrM9c.

Russian cosmonauts were armed with the TP-82 shotgun until as recent as 2007.


Comments

  • edited February 2015
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    Firing a shotgun inside a thin-walled, oxygen-filled spacecraft is a catastrophically stupid thing to do.
    But Russian cosmonauts carried guns regardless – and kept on doing so until 2007.

    A writer revealed that the idea of Soviet cosmonauts blasting off into space armed with shotguns and machetes was not, as many believed, a myth.

    Russian space travellers carried a convertible shotgun which doubled as an axe and machete as part of a standard kit.
    Writer James Simpson recently confirmed that Russian space explorers were carrying weapons until very recently – until 2007, in fact.

    Cosmonauts weren’t packing heat ready for a blazing duel with NASA astronauts, though.
    The weapons were part of a ‘survival kit’ which was designed to help if the crew’s craft veered off course during landing or take-off.

    The shotgun was there to kill bears in case the crew landed in a remote area, Simpson revealed.

    It had three barrels, and the weapon also had a sharp blade which could be used as a machete in jungle areas, or as an axe to chop wood.

    ‘Having a gun inside a thin-walled spacecraft filled with oxygen sounds crazy but the Soviets had their reasons.

    ‘Much of Russia is desolate wilderness. A single mishap during descent could strand cosmonauts in the middle of nowhere.’

    Russian cosmonauts were armed with the TP-82 shotgun until 2007 – and they still carry a gunless version of the same survival kit.

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  • I'll look for that on CDNN.
  • I bet that's pleasant to shoot.
  • 2.FOH. said:

    I bet that's pleasant to shoot.

    Probably more pleasant than being Bear Chow.
  • ZedZed
    edited February 2015
    MC Escher said:

    2.FOH. said:

    I bet that's pleasant to shoot.

    Probably more pleasant than being Bear Chow.



    Says the (former) owner of a Ruger Alaskan. Shame you lost it.
  • Yeah... The Authorities in Guam said I shouldn't get my hopes up.
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