Soviet Union

Luna 10 – the First Artificial Satellite of the Moon

Luna 10 – the First Artificial Satellite of the Moon

On March 31, 1966, Soviet Luna program, robotic spacecraft mission was launched. Luna 10 was the first artificial satellite of the Moon. In 1959 the Soviet Union started its lunar exploration program with Luna 1 and continued the program until 1976 with Luna 24. The Luna Programme The Luna programme consisted of a series of robotic spacecraft missions sent to the Moon by the Soviet Union between 1959 and 1976. Fifteen out…
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Lev Artsimovich, the Father of the Tokamak

Lev Artsimovich, the Father of the Tokamak

On February 25, 1909, Soviet physicist Lev Artsimovich was born. Artsimovich worked on the field of nuclear fusion and plasma physics and is best known for providing the basis of the Tokamak, a device capable of confining ultra-high temperature plasma suitable for research into controlled nuclear fusion. “Science is a way to pursue one’s sense of inquiry at the expense of the State.” — Lev Artsimovich, as quoted by E.E. Kintner in…
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Leonid Kantorovich and the Optimal Allocation of Scarce Resources

Leonid Kantorovich and the Optimal Allocation of Scarce Resources

On January 19, 1912, Soviet mathematician and economist Leonid Vitaliyevich Kantorovich was born. Kantorovich shared the 1975 Nobel Prize for Economics with Tjalling Koopmans for their work on the optimal allocation of scarce resources. “In our time mathematics has penetrated into economics so solidly, widely and variously, and the chosen theme is connected with such a variety of facts and problems that it brings us to cite the words of Kozma Prutkov…
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Sergei Pavlovich Korolev – the Father of Practical Astronautics

Sergei Pavlovich Korolev – the Father of Practical Astronautics

On January 12, 1907, lead Soviet rocket engineer and spacecraft designer during the Space Race Sergei Korolev was born. Korolev is regarded by many as the “father of practical astronautics“. He was involved in the development of the R-7 Rocket, Sputnik 1,[1] launching Laika, Belka and Strelka and the first human being, Yuri Gagarin,[2] into space. “Today we are witnesses to the fulfillment of the dream that occupied some outstanding people, among them…
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The Southern Pole of Inaccessibility

The Southern Pole of Inaccessibility

On December 14, 1958, an 18-man traversing party of the 3rd Soviet Antarctic Expedition reached the Southern Pole of Inaccessibility. The 3rd Soviet Antarctic Expedition for International Geophysical Year research work was led by Yevgeny Tolstikov. The Southern Pole of Inaccessibility The southern pole of inaccessibility is the point on the Antarctic continent most distant from the Southern Ocean. For the pole, a variety of coordinate locations have been given since some…
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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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