More than 60 years have passed since the adoption of a particularly important and top secret Resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR "On the plan for space exploration for 1960 and the first half of 1961".
Since then, it is no longer so important, and, accordingly, not secret. However, the situation has not changed much.
In general, everything is so reminiscent of our global history, to be honest. There was Ancient Greece, there was Rome with their development, technologies, aqueducts, baths and toilets. And then the Middle Ages came. A bit more down-to-earth and smelly. Then the Renaissance. And we.
In general, it was about the same in space. Everyone, without exception, has stagnated, and there is nothing to make a hero-conqueror out of Mask today, he develops what he started, nothing more.
If we look at how the Soviet leadership saw the space program in the 60-70s, then we will not see anything supernatural here either. Almost everything came true according to the will of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the efforts of the team of Sergei Korolev. Some really knew how to plan and set tasks, while others - to make a fairy tale come true.
So the Vostok spacecraft and Gagarin as a pilot made the Soviet Union the first in the space race for a long time. And then Leonov and Tereshkova were added.
Did the Americans get it back? Definitely yes. Their moon epic was a very worthy response.
Today we can talk for a very long time about the fact that there was no flight, that all this was filmed in Hollywood, for me personally, the opinion of the employees of our space forces, with whom we talked at one of the forums in Alabino, is more important. Comrade colonels were not only careful in their statements, they thought over every letter.
What my colleague Krivov and I squeezed out of them was confirmation that the American ship was indeed approaching the Moon. Whether he sat down or not, our means of tracking could not and did not determine this at that time. But the fact of the approach was recorded.
And it would be possible to put an end to this for a long time, because the program of space exploration at that moment, as it were, ended. Then the orbital swarming began. All these docks, orbital stations, satellites - this is all the Earth's orbit.
And what Musk makes "breakthrough" today is all from the same opera, no more, no less. But if you look closely, Musk is just making up for lost time, since the world cosmonautics, by and large, took three steps back with the collapse of the USSR.
If you continue to look back, you will find out that the Soviet government and the party set, in addition to launching a man into space, several other priority tasks. And there were such stages of space exploration, in comparison with which the flight to the moon looked like a kind of walk.
How do you like this: creation on the basis of the same R-7 of a four-stage (!!!) carrier, which would allow sending automatic stations to other planets. And this, let me remind you, was in 1960. Moreover, in September-October of the same year, it was planned to launch the station to Mars, for photographing its surface and transmitting images to Earth.
Yes, today it all looks like this ... How many vehicles have already flown, how many have worked, and the American "Curiosity" is generally still in service and transmits pictures from the surface of Mars in the mode of an rabid blogger.
And here's a beautiful picture that allows you to appreciate the Battle of Mars arena.
As you can see, the battle was fierce. And, if we face the truth, then the battle for Mars was lost by us with a bang. With a crash of crashing and not reaching Mars spacecraft.
It's surprising how much effort was expended in those days, isn't it?
All this could serve as an illustration to the well-known work of I.V. Stalin's "Dizziness with success."
There were successes, that's a fact. But the fact is that Korolev was in a hurry. I was in a hurry to accomplish the impossible and to have time in my life for everything that was planned. Therefore, both Gagarin's flight and the flight to the Moon - all this for the General Designer was nothing more than steps on the way.
But Sergei Pavlovich considered the Flight to Mars to be the main act for himself. Precisely Flight, because according to Korolyov's thoughts, he was supposed to be manned.
That is why the program for the conquest of Mars looks like a series of attacks on the infographics. Failed for many reasons.
Can the Queen be condemned for this? No. Especially. That his fierce thirst for space exploration suited both the party and the government of the country. All these regular launches, timed to coincide with the next anniversary or the next congress / plenum - it was convenient and beautiful.
The fact is that Korolev did not at all consider the Moon as a priority, and even more so as the final of the "Great Race". The most important, the most important goal of his work, he considered a manned flight to Mars. Even Gagarin's triumph was seen as a stepping stone to a grandiose, exciting flight to the Red Planet.
So today it seems ridiculous to me to talk about a “lost race by the moon”. There was no her. Not at all. More precisely, this is how the Americans set themselves such a goal - to be the first on the moon. A worthy goal, and they ditched quite a lot of resources on it.
But if someone wants to check the opinion that they did not rush to the moon in the USSR, I recommend that you familiarize yourself with the numerous stories of Vladimir Evgrafovich Bugrov.
Bugrov, an engineer of the highest category, who passed all the stages of selection for a flight into space, was not allowed in for this very reason and was sent to work on the Buran project, where he became the leading designer.
But before that Vladimir Evgrafovich worked for such luminaries as M.K. Tikhomirov, G.Yu. Maximov and K.P. Feoktistov on the TMK project - a heavy interplanetary spacecraft, which was supposed to carry astronauts to Mars.
There were two whole projects, the minimum (Maksimova) and the maximum (Feoktistova). The minimum provided for the construction of a "union-like" ship for three people, but the maximum was a project of a completely different nature. A large composite ship was to be mounted in orbit.
In general, roughly what was created a few decades later under the name of the ISS ...
A huge ship, with a gym, a greenhouse, a closed system for recirculating everything ... In general, everything is in accordance with the fantasy of that time, which rapidly ceased to be fantasy.
That is why the Soviet stations went to Mars, that is why initiatives went from Korolyov to the government, and therefore they adopted one resolution after another. Well, nothing was done at that time without a resolution.
And a particularly interesting Resolution of the Council of Ministers was in June 1960. Yes, according to the same "lunar" rocket N-1, which should have put into orbit TMK blocks for assembly.
By the way, by 1964 the designers (including Bugrov) managed to reduce the weight of TMK “only” to 37 tons. That is, only 4 N-1 design launches - and the entire TMK is in orbit.
1964 became a Milestone on the Martian Path. Bugrov says (and I don't see why the words of such a specialist should be questioned) that by that time the project for preparing a manned flight to Mars was about half ready. And, despite the fact that the automatic stations did not fulfill the assigned tasks, the manned flight had a chance of success. Simply because human intervention could solve most of the problems that could not be resolved remotely at the time.
So, in principle, a few more years of normal and quiet work - and Soviet troops could be successfully landed on Mars under the control of cosmonauts from orbit. It is clear that the landing would be automatic. But nonetheless.
However, politics ruined everything. And in 1964, the Soviet party and government began to rush about in panic, shouting "We have been overtaken, zrada!" impressed by the implementation of the American lunar program.
And the expected "Catch up and overtake" the Americans on the moon followed. Another Soviet stupid stupidity, because Korolyov did not plan to deal with the lunar program closely at all.
So the Martian program was stopped "before the victory" on the Moon, and the lunar program began to be created in a hurry and accompanied by the "encouraging" cries of party apparatchiks at all levels.
In general, everything is as usual.
As a result, Korolev died in 1966, and it turned out exactly as it should: the Martian program, as expected, stalled, and it was not possible to overtake the United States either on the way to Mars or on the way to the Moon.
Indeed, the Politburo did not remember the proverb about two birds with one stone ...
Moreover, the epic with the N-1 rocket also ended in nothing. Nothing at all. More precisely, the enchanting explosions that the N-1 arranged, completely unwilling to fly.
Today, many home-grown "experts" loudly shout that if in a country like the USSR the N-1 did not fly, then the flights of "Saturn" for the Americans are a lie and a linden.
Well, such statements today do not surprise anyone. All that remains, in principle, is to shout loudly.
In fact, everything is natural. February 1969, July 1969, June 1971, November 1972. The H-1 was constantly exploding. Why?
Because the Saturn flew. Because the approach was completely different.
Since we are talking about "Saturn", which, according to some of our "experts", flew only in the pavilions of Hollywood, it is worth noting a few points.
The first is who was the creator of "Saturn".
The rocket was created by Wernher von Braun. Who, according to the British chronicle, knew how to rockets and was a very gifted person. At least while in all countries the maximum that rocket designers were capable of was creating NURSs, which were successfully used in World War II by those countries that had rocket designers, then Wernher von Braun easily built and launched cruise missiles towards Britain V-1 and ballistic V-2.
And by the way, von Braun's rockets both flew and hit.
Therefore, the question that von Braun, who was ahead of everyone in the practical application of the works of Tsiolkovsky, Zander and Kibalchich, might not have built an excellent rocket, is not even worth it. In the ideal conditions in which it was placed in the United States, it could not help but build.
Moreover, the Americans had one thing that we really missed. This is a love of victories, not at any cost. And with the help of calculation.
The genius of calculations, George Edwin Miller, one of the leaders of the project, relied on the widest possible ground tests. How many dollars was spent on the creation of test benches, I do not know. But the fact is that "Saturn" was "flown" on Earth to the maximum.
Therefore, ALL launches of "Saturn" were recognized as successful. Although what is there to admit, it was in fact.
What, unfortunately, cannot be said about the N-1. Yes, the rocket was an epoch-making structure. But she was killed by an absolutely stupid desire to save. Alas, it is difficult to say why "the party ordered" to ensure the flight of the rocket without a set of proper tests, but that was exactly the case.
And this is not an author's notion, the most prominent figures in the space industry Boris Chertok and Yuri Mozzhorin in interviews and memoirs highlighted this topic in some detail. And both independently of each other said that ambition was ambition, instructions to the party were instructions, of course, as well as any anniversaries of the CPSU, to which the launches were timed, but there had to be tests.
And in the USSR at that time, the test was the start itself. And what, a rich country can afford ...
These are the Americans, they are fools, they built some kind of stands. Tests were carried out in hundreds, and even then the results were published in journals. But you can read everything about this from Mozzhorin.
Indeed, how could you learn from some Americans if we were the first in space?
Again, I would advise those who believe that it is not rockets, but a glorious historical past, that take the spacecraft into space to look at the picture. And understand that technology is doing it. And today - anyone's, but not Russian. Russian technology is to paint the carrier under Khokhloma and sprinkle it with holy water. Perhaps the angels will carry it into low orbit ...
But our patriotic conspiracy theorists constantly write that, according to the theory of probability, Saturns could not fly. Wernher von Braun did not know how to build rockets. And in general, there were no Saturns, and there were no engines, all documents were lost, all technologies were forgotten. After the collapse of the USSR, they began to buy everything from us, so they began to fly.
As a result, all the N-1 never flew, over and over again very efficiently spreading the launch complexes into the rubble with their explosions. As a result, it was abandoned, Glushko happily buried the rocket and returned to his poisonous engines based on dinitrogen tetroxide and asymmetric dimethylhydrazine, which we still cannot get rid of.
There was a man who, like a tank, went against the Queen and Mishin (the then minister), mercilessly criticizing them and proving the correctness of the Americans, who conducted thousands of tests on Earth. This was the blessed memory of Leonid Aleksandrovich Voskresensky, a colleague of the Queen and the smartest man.
Alas, Voskresensky lost the battle for the stands and tests. N-1 never flew, three times the launch pad had to be overhauled after an unsuccessful launch. "Mars" did not reach the planet. The lunar program was buried after the Martian one.
By the way, a little excursion into the TU era. Which, as they are trying to prove to us today, was correct, righteous and infallible.
During testing of the on-board equipment of the AMC project M-73 (Mars 4, 5, 6 and 7), it was found that the electronics were out of order. The failure was caused by 2T312 transistors produced by the Voronezh semiconductor device plant.
Someone very smart and prudent, suggested making transistor inputs to save precious metals not from gold, but from aluminum as an rationalization proposal. And without hesitation, this is exactly what transistors began to do. Not really thinking about the consequences.
It turned out that such bushings were oxidized after about six months. All the equipment of the interplanetary stations was practically stuffed with such transistors. The question was whether to start AMC without replacing transistors, which would take about six months, or not.
Representatives of the manufacturer, NPO named after Lavochkin, stood to death, proving the need to replace the transistors in front of Keldysh himself. However, under pressure from the leadership, the Central Committee, the Council of Ministers, it was decided to launch the spacecraft.
As a result, something there "Mars" measured before turning into scrap metal. But even an optimist will not turn his tongue even about relatively successful work.
What's the result. As a result, we did not get to the moon. And to Mars too. Maybe we would not have got there with stands and complexes for which Voskresensky fought. Anything can be.
But today, openly shabby projections and loud statements about the fact that we will be on Mars, we will build a lunar station, and so on are coming in a wave.
In those years, we had Korolev. Resurrection. Mishin. Isaev. Kuznetsov. Tikhonravov. Pobedonostsev. Chernyshov. Ryazansky. Pilyugin. Rauschenbach. Keldysh.
And, despite the presence of a simply stunning cohort of geniuses and stubborn workers in the name of our country, we lost. It's hard to say how realistic it is to implement what our populist marshals are talking about today. But the successes and merits of Russia in space exploration are more than modest. We can say that we have only one very narrow specialization left - orbital cabbies. Everything else, flights to other space bodies, work on them is the lot of more developed countries.
As practice has shown, the journey into space is a long and difficult, and most importantly, a lot of work. Which cannot be approached either from the position “We must go to the next congress” or “we were the first, therefore we will succeed”.
Of course, I would like Russia’s place in space to be there, in the first roles and frontiers. But for this, in addition to money and resources, people are needed who can dispose of them at least reasonably.
But for some reason, there are a lot of doubts about this.