Eighty six days after the Apollo I fire, cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov was launched into space in the new Soyuz spacecraft.
This was the ship that would bring the Russians back into the space race. Not only did it have the handling capabilities of Gemini but it could also reach the moon.
After a perfect first orbit the Soyuz started to develop serious problems.
By the thirteenth orbit system after system had fallen apart and the flight controllers feared for Komarov's life.
When the time came for re-entry there was nothing Komarov could do to stabilize his craft and it started a fatal descent back to earth. The parachutes failed and nothing could be done to slow the Soyuz down. Vladimir Komarov would be killed on impact with earth. His wife, Valentino Komarov was sent for and allowed a few private moments to speak to her husband for the final time.
The Soyuz crashed near Orsk and burst into flames. The race to the moon had claimed another life. The Russian space program stalled. No Soyuz spacecraft would fly for another eighteen months.