Military Review

Cosmos is waiting for new heroes


Dawn. We still do not know anything.

The usual "breaking news" ...
And he already flies through the constellations,
The earth will wake up with its name.
- K. Simonov

The silence of infinite spaces - and the entire 20 years of the cosmic dream.

The “space race” that unfolded between the USSR and the USA was the cornerstone in the development of civilization. Starting to the stars demanded the appearance of the most sophisticated and perfect technique ever created by human hands. For the first time ever history people managed to see the reverse side of the moon. Seeing other worlds close by - mysterious, bizarre, sometimes scary, but still fantastically beautiful landscapes of Venus and Mars ... Today, these poor-quality black and white images inspire a mystical thrill - here each pixel is formed by radio waves flying through millions of kilometers of outer space.

Yet the main achievement was different. Looking into the eyes of infinity, humanity realized the paramount importance of non-pragmatic research. The terrifying scale of the universe and the true meaning of man in this world have become clear.

Cosmos is waiting for new heroes

The first image of the far side of the moon, transmitted by the Soviet interplanetary station "Luna-3", 1959.

In fact, the ambitious space programs of that era had no practical meaning. The presence of people in orbit was limited to gymnastic stunts in zero gravity and records in the logbook about the number of eaten tubes of space food. All serious work was done by automata - meteorological and reconnaissance satellites, communication satellites, space observatories and orbital interceptors. For the placement in space of military and scientific equipment it was not necessary to create habitable spacecraft with a complex and cumbersome life support system.

The astronauts were sent to low earth orbit, partly because of interest, partly because of the intrinsic human vanity. With a firm belief that someday the collected data will be useful when planning long-range space missions - to the Moon, Venus, Mars. Somewhere in the asteroid belt - to the outskirts of the solar system. And again there was a question for which there was no concrete answer. Why risk people in such missions, where even the presence of automatic probes is doubtful?

There is a touch! There is a mechanical grip!
Docking in Earth orbit

Unlike spy satellites, automatic interplanetary stations went into a black void, taking with them hundreds of millions of Soviet rubles and US dollars. At the same time without any specific returns. On unacceptable conditions on the surface of other celestial bodies has been known for a long time. Subsequently, the calculations were confirmed by ground-based spectrographs and radio telescopes. Not a single planet has been detected, except Earth, where water could exist in a liquid state. Not a single celestial body with an atmosphere that resembles anything on earth at all. Then what is the meaning of flying into these dead worlds?

Panorama of Venus transmitted by the descent vehicle "Venus-13". Overboard temperature was + 470 ° C. Pressure - 90 terrestrial atmospheres (equivalent to the depth of immersion 900 m below sea level). The device worked in such conditions 2 hours 7 minutes.

One expedition to Mars would be enough to make sure that it is empty and sterile. Nevertheless, the USSR and the USA with infinite persistence sent automatic stations and rovers to the Red Planet with the hope of finding ... signs of water that flowed along the slopes of Martian craters half a billion years ago. Naive and funny. And not a single piece of ice has been discovered so far. It all comes down to controversial discussions around hydrogen-containing compounds on the surface of Mars.

The closest distance from Earth to Mars is 55 million kilometers. Alas, modern spacecraft are forced to fly differently - half-ellipsoid. In this case, the way to Mars is standard 260 million km. The minimum speed for reaching the departure trajectory to the Red Planet is 11,6 km / s, the travel time is 259 days.

Multi-month flights along a semi-elliptical trajectory (due to the low speeds of interplanetary probes accelerated by "chemical" LREs). Constant failures and disturbances in the operation of spacecraft, unreliable mechanics and primitive electronic equipment. Three of the four launches to Venus and Mars usually turned into a disaster. But no difficulties could stop space explorers: a series of stations, one after another, were sent annually to distant worlds. What for? No one will give a specific answer.

Cosmos was an expensive toy with no practical significance. Of course, all the achievements of astronautics were wrapped in a bright political wrapper - priority was important for the leaders of the superpowers. But in the end, the successes of the Soviet space program did not save the USSR from perestroika. And NASA's unique expeditions were forgotten and buried under the dust of history. Most of the inhabitants on both sides of the ocean only remember how the Americans broke two shuttles and flew to the moon in Hollywood pavilions. Brutal mockery of the heroes of the past. Who are interested in the "Vikings", "Pioneers" and "Voyagers"? And let them fly 40 for years: in the interstellar space is dark and nothing is visible ...

Starships go to infinity. Five spacecraft created by human hands, exceeded the third cosmic speed and went into interstellar space (or will do it soon)

Cosmic euphoria could not last forever. By the beginning of 70, the passions began to fade away. In 80-s, outraged cries were heard: “Enough! We have a lot of unsolved problems here on earth.”

The person will suffer any space travel, except, perhaps, their cost.

- L. Dubbridge

... Layouts of lunar landing modules are lonely in museums. There is no interest in the creation of super-heavy launch vehicles. Instead of bold projects of the past ("Heavy Interplanetary Ship", USSR or Saturn-Venus, USA), cautious opinions prevail, such as "Flexible Way" (flying around the Moon and exploring asteroids closest to Earth), or completely abandoning manned space flight. .

In the summer of 2011, the last launch of the Space Shuttle took place. Now the Yankees will not have their own manned spacecraft at least until the 2021 of the year (at the same time, a trial launch of the new-generation Orion 2014-ton spacecraft, Orion, is still unmanned). The situation with the financing of interplanetary expeditions is not the best: in the coming years, NASA was left without a "flagship program", all efforts are focused on completing the Webb orbital telescope, which cannot be completed for the tenth year (estimated launch date is 25).

Roscosmos is also going through hard times. The long-term collapse, whose natural consequence was the epic with Phobos-Grunt and numerous accidents during rocket launches, all this did not add to the popularity of space programs. Call "Forward, in space!" now perceived as a mockery.

On the other hand, there is no reason for discontent. The current situation has its own objective reasons. The need for human presence in space is not obvious. Automatic interplanetary missions are expensive and doubtful (not to mention manned!) Any talk about the industrial development of celestial bodies is meaningless as long as the payload is less than 1% of the launch mass of the rocket-space system.

The President of Uganda proposed to implement the African project on the moon. Speaking to leading lawyers in the country, Yoweri Museveni said that Americans and Russians had already sent expeditions to the Moon, China and India would soon do it. And only Africans, according to the Ugandan leader, remain in place. Africans should know what the representatives of developed countries do on the moon.
News France-Presse Agency, 2009.

You can smile over the near African and blame him for excessive populism. But how far are we gone from him? "With a naked ass - into space!" They say it is very Russian. But the speakers do not understand that the choice is small: to sit in the mud and look at the stars. Otherwise you will have to sit in the mud and look in the mud.

The significance of space programs temporarily decreased, but a great dream remained. After all, it is not by chance that Cosmonautics Day is one of the few truly national holidays in Russia; everyone remembers and knows it. The memory of the great feat accomplished on 12 on April 1961 went far beyond the borders of the country. The image of the smiling "cosmonaut Yuri" is recognizable everywhere. 108 minutes transformed the world, adding a sense of meaning to the entire planet. Touching infinity creates the feeling that there are things in life that are more important than what we do every day.

And, of course, the cosmos is a challenge to earth science and technology. Sooner or later astronautics will again be in the focus of modern technology. Otherwise it can not be: we are destined to go beyond the limits of our “cradle”. The study and transformation of the world on a rapidly progressing scale - probably this is the purpose of man.

Every atom of your body is a particle of an exploding star. Perhaps the atoms in your left hand formed in one star, the atoms in the right - in the other. This is the most poetic of all that I know about physics. We are all star dust. We would not be here if the stars had not exploded. The stars died so that we could be here and now.

- Lawrence Maxwell Krauss, Astrophysicist

Maybe we do not leave this world. Maybe we are going back home!

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  1. Nayhas
    Nayhas April 15 2014 09: 11
    We are all stardust. We would not be here if the stars had not exploded. The stars died so that we could be here and now.

    Strongly ... Each person is a particle of infinite cosmos, each person is the universe ... The memory of space enclosed in each atom calls up there ... After all, there is so much interesting, and it is endless ...
    1. Evgenij.
      Evgenij. April 15 2014 16: 36
      Someday I can fly)
      1. Santa Fe
        April 15 2014 16: 56
        A Russian guy took off in a rocket,
        I saw the whole earth from above.
        Gagarin was the first in space.
        How do you account for it?

        Launch from Plesetsk, view from the embankment of Yekaterinburg
        1. askold
          askold April 15 2014 17: 53
          Ha, ha well, how prosaic everything is, but the UFOlogs shout, "look, Martians." lolI myself saw in the late 80s how the Soyuz flew up to the MIR with a Soviet-Afghan, as they said, crew. A half-sky glow and two stars flying nearby, one large and the other small.
  2. Nitarius
    Nitarius April 15 2014 10: 26
    Minus solder! for NOT SEEING MAIN! AUTHOR!
    or DO NOT WISH!
    Media - carefully turned away the people from space. and so HAS CONTINUED AND THE RACE CONTINUES! I assure YOU of the technology HOW THERE HAVE SUCH AS AND STEAL from each other!
    1) fuel-free technology - carefully removed from the eyes of the people!
    2) thrustless engines - THERE WAS AND CREATED THINK (only for seven seals)
    3) our creators are MORE higher races. also where not to have gone.


    And SPACE was left for the PEOPLE in order to please at least something and occupy MINDS!

    Supported Rocket
    The rocket flies in distant hypersound (~ 20 thousand / km) with reliance on the surrounding space!

    Max about 60
    = 20 417.4 m / s
    = 73 km / h

  3. sv68
    sv68 April 15 2014 11: 41
    I agree with the author only in one thing - Russia is experiencing difficult times in its space branch. But this does not mean that we will continue to slowly open up, we just have no choice for the simple reason that Russia will lose space for itself without sudden movements years, and our satellites will be put into orbit by the Chinese or Brazilians. Therefore, I hope and am confident in the future of Russian cosmonautics
  4. dmb
    dmb April 15 2014 11: 49
    Well, of course, why is this space needed, you can't sew a fur coat out of it, it's not a bank or an oil field. They explained to us long and tediously that a person's happiness lies in devouring a word with the word "devour" rhymed. Well, also have an iPhone and a cool car. True, such an individual is not much different from ordinary protoplasm.
    1. Santa Fe
      April 15 2014 12: 12
      Quote: dmb
      Well still have an iPhone

      Where does this hatred of iPhones come from?
      Microelectronics - an integral stage on the path to the stars

      Or are you a supporter of computers on radio tubes?
      1. dmb
        dmb April 15 2014 12: 29
        If an iPhone is used by a user to discuss and view Kirkorov’s underwear, then there’s no more sense from him than from a tube computer. Exactly the same benefits as Kirkorov himself.
        1. Santa Fe
          April 15 2014 12: 46
          Quote: dmb
          If an iPhone is used by a user to discuss and view Kirkorov’s underwear, then there’s no more sense from him than from a tube computer.

          But the technologies developed when creating the iPhone are used not only to view the underwear
          1. dmb
            dmb April 15 2014 16: 12
            So I agree with you. Just some iPhone use just for this.
        2. chudoudodelt
          chudoudodelt April 22 2014 01: 57
          or photographing food. Why photograph it at all? I do not understand
  5. inkass_98
    inkass_98 April 15 2014 12: 06
    Oleg smoothly moved from warships to space lol .
    Space is our future, Tsiolkovsky said that you can’t live forever in the cradle. Moreover, you can’t hide your head in the sand. As you know, the one who at least once walked around his hut already knows more than the one who never got off the stove.
    1. ICT
      ICT April 15 2014 17: 38
      Quote: inkass_98
      Oleg smoothly moved from warships to space ones.

      he has been covering several topics for a long time
  6. Morgan
    Morgan April 15 2014 12: 34
    I don’t remember exactly how much the Yankees put into the moon, but were beaten off by technology FOR TWENT TIMES MORE !!! Space is profitable! And yet this cosmos is an IDEA, a path of development. Stopping is criminal.
  7. postman
    postman April 15 2014 13: 17
    Do not be afraid to leave your comfort zone to reach the stars ...
    / Better for space than for war /
    We (earthlings) were lucky (unlike "Venusians", "Jupiterians" and others like them, if they were) - we have SKY

    / photo from the album of Elena Romanova /
    1. Santa Fe
      April 15 2014 13: 39
      Mr. Postman, did you see ISON Comet last fall? (in the end of November)

      For the sake of such a spectacle, I specially woke up at 7 in the morning)) She has two tails, spaced by 20 degrees! (not the degrees you thought)

      Gas and ion.
      1. postman
        postman April 15 2014 20: 50
        Quote: SWEET_SIXTEEN
        ISON last fall? (in the end of November)

        You forgot, you and I live in different LATITUDES
        (I'm almost at the Arctic Circle)
        as well as St. Petersburg, although not London, but we have cloud cover 367 days a year ... (of course)

        I saw the record (Sochi)

        and I also watched the movie gravity (such bullshit), flying a Boeing to America (almost) ..... my wives completely refused to watch and quietly shook from fear belay
  8. biglow
    biglow April 15 2014 16: 36
    space is the future, and now it is just coming, in about 20 years, the exploration of the moon will begin, and then and there we go ...
  9. askold
    askold April 15 2014 17: 21
    And I, and yesterday I personally did research on Mars smile , using the small, still Soviet, Alcor telescope. It has now become a large, orange-red star near the Moon, since these days there is a confrontation between Earth and Mars, and the distance between them is reduced to 92 million km. Well, naturally Curiosity I didn’t see there (all of a sudden he, too, somewhere in the pavilion, on an island near Iceland, takes pictures wink ), as well as channels and alas, even polar caps, optics are weak. So for me, Mars has not become less mysterious. I think that the discoveries of scientists armed with much more serious and advanced technology open up new horizons, they are raising new questions. Something we already understood, something still to be understood, and something we might not even have seen or missed. So why should we fly into space? And what is the meaning of life, it’s impossible to answer it in one-word how many people have so many opinions.
  10. sled beach
    sled beach April 15 2014 17: 57
    Few people respect life as it is but love the cosmos while ABSOLUTELY not understanding what the Cosmos is. Everyone loves the illusion, it deprives fear of uncertainty. The stars in the sky are not Cosmos, this is just visibility. Space for our scale is endless dead VOID.
  11. Justme
    Justme April 15 2014 19: 26
    The space industry needs new approaches and ideas ..

    How many people need to do something - and often - an understandable amount of people, money, equipment and time.
    And why all the rest?
  12. Odysseus
    Odysseus April 15 2014 23: 50
    An excellent article, to comment I was even distracted from Ukrainian problems smile
    However, the author, IMHO, is very pessimistic. Indeed, from the point of view of the capitalist market economy, exploration of space, especially far space, is unprofitable, therefore, since the beginning of perestroika, the pace of development of astronautics has sharply slowed down (the USSR had no money and desire, the United States did not want to spend money) ; however, human activity, thank God, cannot be completely included in the Procrustean bed of the market. Moreover, the applied value of astronautics is still very great.
    Cosmonautics is especially important for Russia, because within the framework of the existing socio-economic model, the country found itself in a very difficult situation. As part of the production of high-tech civilian products, there is practically no chance to compete with leading Western countries, in the framework of mass industrial production from China, agricultural our cold lands are generally unprofitable. So cosmonautics remains one of the few industries where we still possessing a residual Soviet reserve can make new technologies breakthrough to break into world leaders.
  13. Bayonet
    Bayonet April 16 2014 03: 50
    The article is saturated with pessimism. I fundamentally disagree!
  14. Santa Fe
    16 September 2014 07: 28
    flies with a characteristic sound
  15. RuslanD36
    RuslanD36 4 May 2016 06: 56
    All the serious work was done by automatic devices - meteorological and reconnaissance satellites, communication satellites, space observatories and orbital interceptors.

    Not true. With the unreliability of machines, people were used for reconnaissance. Satellites.

    numerous accidents at the launch of launch vehicles - all this did not add popularity to space programs.

    The chart is below. Someone tried hard to drop the reputation of Roskosmos.

    About Mars - stupidity. Because there is a new theory and research methods, and water still found solid. Looking for liquid. Something about one flyby was not enough.

    To the question why we are not flying now, as yesterday the answer is simple: communism (more precisely, the country going to it) can develop science regardless of its commercialization. The United States was forced to get involved in the race, as it proved to people that capitalism is supposedly better for the world community.

    There is nothing in the article: only water and nostalgia. But the reasoning is beautiful and romantic.