Soviet Union

Luna 3 and the First Picture of the Far Side of the Moon

Luna 3 and the First Picture of the Far Side of the Moon

On October 7, 1959, Soviet spacecraft Luna 3 for the very first time photographed the far side of the Moon. Though it returned rather poor pictures by later standards, the historic, never-before-seen views of the far side of the Moon caused excitement and interest when they were published around the world, and a tentative Atlas of the Far Side of the Moon was created after image processing improved the pictures. A Cylindric Canister…
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The Kyshtym Disaster

The Kyshtym Disaster

On September 29, 1957, near the Russian town of Kyshtym a major radiological contamination accident happened, which is referred to as the Kyshtym disaster. The failure of the cooling system for a tank storing tens of thousands of tons of dissolved nuclear waste resulted in a chemical (non-nuclear) explosion having an energy estimated at about 75 tons of TNT. The Soviet Union did not release news of the accident and denied it…
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Faster than the Speed of Light – Pavel Cherenkov and the Cherenkov Radiation

Faster than the Speed of Light – Pavel Cherenkov and the Cherenkov Radiation

On July 15, 1904, Soviet physicist Pavel Alekseyevich Cherenkov was born. He shared the Nobel Prize in physics in 1958 with Ilya Frank [4] and Igor Tamm for the discovery of Cherenkov radiation, made in 1934. Cherenkov radiation is a faint blue light emitted by electrons passing through a transparent medium when their speed exceeds the speed of light in that medium. This sounds pretty weird, doesn’t it. With Einstein he have learned…
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Maxim Gorky and the Socialist Realism

Maxim Gorky and the Socialist Realism

On June 18, 1936, Russian writer Alexei Maximovich Peshkov, better known as Maxim Gorky passed away. He was the founder of the Socialist realism literary method and a political activist. He worked in many jobs during an impoverished and abusive childhood before finding fame and fortune as a writer. Initially a Bolshevik supporter, Gorky became a critic when Vladimir Lenin seized power. However, Gorky later served as a Soviet advocate and headed…
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Lunokhod 2 and the Soviet Moon Programme

Lunokhod 2 and the Soviet Moon Programme

On January 16, 1973, Soviet unmanned lunar rover Lunokhod 2 took its first TV images of the surrounding area, then rolled down a ramp to the surface of the Moon, and took first pictures of the landing site. Lunokhod 2 was the second of two unmanned lunar rovers landed on the Moon by the Soviet Union as part of the Lunokhod programme. The Lunokhods were primarily designed to support the Soviet manned moon…
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The Russian Dream to Land a Man on the Moon

The Russian Dream to Land a Man on the Moon

On July 3, 1969, the biggest explosion in the history of rocketry occurred when the Soviet N-1 rocket exploded and subsequently destroyed its launchpad. After four unsuccessful launch tries of the Soviet counterpart to the NASA Saturn V rocket the Russian Moon program was cancelled in May 1974. Sergei Korolev Sergei Pavlovich Korolev, the leading Soviet space craft designer and rocket engineer, also known as the father of practical astronautics started directing…
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The first Modular Space Station – Mir

The first Modular Space Station – Mir

On February 19, 1986, the main module of Russian MIR Space Station was launched from Baikonur, Russia. MIR was the first modular space station and operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001. Launch to a Low Earth Orbit In 1976, MIR was authorized in order to design an improved model of the Salyut space stations. By early 1984, work on MIR had halted while all resources were being put into the Buran programme in order…
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Igor Kurchatov – Father of the Soviet Atomic Bomb

Igor Kurchatov – Father of the Soviet Atomic Bomb

On January 12, 1903, Soviet nuclear physicist and Nobel Laureate Igor Vasilyevich Kurchatov was born. Kurchatov is widely known as the director of the Soviet atomic bomb project and therefore often referred to as ‘Father of the Soviet Atomic Bomb‘. Igor Kurchatov – Youth and Education Igor Kurchatov was born in Simsky Zavod, Ufa Governorate (now the town of Sim, Chelyabinsk Oblast) in the family of a chartered surveyor and his mother a teacher.…
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Valentin Glushko and the Space Race

Valentin Glushko and the Space Race

On January 10, 1989, Soviet engineer Valentin Petrovich Glushko passed away. Gloshko was the principal Soviet designer of rocket engines during the Soviet/American Space Race. He worked with renowned rocket designer Sergey Korolyov. In Aug 1957, they successfully launched the first intercontinental ballistic missile and in October of the same year, sent the first artificial satellite, Sputnik I, into orbit. Valentin Glushko – Youth and Education Glushko was born in the Russian…
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Nikolay Basov and the Principles of Maser and Laser

Nikolay Basov and the Principles of Maser and Laser

On December 14, 1922, Soviet physicist and Nobel Laureate Nikolay Basov was born. For his fundamental work in the field of quantum electronics that led to the development of laser and maser, Basov shared the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics with Alexander Prokhorov and Charles Hard Townes. The maser is a device that produces coherent electromagnetic waves through amplification by stimulated emission, a principle originally proposed by Albert Einstein in 1917.[4] Nikolay Basov…
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