For the anniversary of the accident: who dropped the Antares to the Americans

October 28 2014, the Antares booster crashed on the 6 second flight. The rocket was to put into orbit the Cygnus spacecraft, which would then make docking with the ISS.




A year later, NASA announced the results of the work of the commission investigating the accident. However, preliminary conclusions were made immediately a year ago. The cause of the disaster was declared a malfunction in the engine of the first stage - AJ-26, which is a modification of the Soviet NK-33. Why was it necessary to dig a year in the burning wreckage? In order to finally find out exactly what caused these problems: the actual engine or its refinement by AstroJet.

Immediately after the accident, Orbital Science announced that it was suspending AJ-26’s participation in the Antares project. At the end of December, it became known that for subsequent start-ups a contract was signed with Energomash for the supply of X-Rum 60 engines to RD-181 engines (primary delivery of 20 engines and 2 options for 20 pieces). And this is despite the rather tough anti-advertising campaign launched by the American press to our engines. To understand these intricacies, it is useful to start from the beginning.

References informs that Aerojet is one of three American companies producing rocket engines and the only one that produces both liquid and solid fuel engines. This is probably what determined her participation in the Taurus-II project (as the Antares project was called before the 2011 of the year).

However, despite its producer status, Aerojet itself did not produce anything. And she bought in Russia the NK-33 engines stored in warehouses, intended for our lunar program that was not implemented in the USSR. After equipping the engine with modern electronics, checking for compatibility with American rocket fuel and making a number of changes to the original design turned out to be AJ-26.

Why didn't Aerojet create its own engine? Buy and redo the finished Soviet was a) faster; b) easier; c) cheaper. In addition, the Americans, not without annoyance, admit that their own developers, even after 40 years, could not create a competitor in terms of the “engine mass / generated traction” ratio. As a result, instead of spending billions of dollars and years of time, Aerojet bought 47 NK-33 engines at the price of 1 million dollars apiece. And Orbital Science, thanks to Russian engines and Aerojet, was able to win a NASA tender for cargo delivery to the ISS. 20 t eight flights for 1,9 billion dollars. Yes, of course, there is still Cygnus, there is a launch vehicle and a lot of other expenses. However, let's not forget that all this had a chance to rise into the sky only thanks to Soviet designers: “We have been around this scheme for decades and did not know how to implement it. Because its development required a tremendous amount of money, ”this is how the chief designer of SNTK im. Kuznetsova Valery Danilchenko.

But back to our stories. It should be noted that already at this stage (modernization) all claims to Russian designers and manufacturers at least half lose their foundation. Yes, experts from the Samara NTK named after M. Gorkiy took part in finishing the NK-33 to AJ-26. Kuznetsova. However, firstly, not only they, the work was carried out jointly with Aerojet specialists. Secondly, the production of 1 launch vehicle stages was carried out by specialists of Yuzhmash.

Dnepropetrovsk "Yuzhmash" became for Orbital Science the second gift of fate after AJ-26: the salary of Ukrainian rocket scientists is not much different from the salary of workers of Dnepropetrovsk McDonald's. As a result, at the end of 2008, the contract was concluded, and already in October, the first PH was shipped to the customer. As follows from the report, the task of the Ukrainian side was to develop and control the manufacture of tanks for fuel, high-pressure tanks, valves, sensors, fuel supply systems for pipes, wires and other related equipment. That is, in simple terms, to tie the engine and the PH fuel system together.

Tied, but not too qualitatively. As a result, the final culprit recognized turbopump. It was he who exploded first, damaging the engine.

In principle, the Americans got it right a year ago. And despite the anti-advertising campaign mentioned, some Russian engines were simply replaced by others, but not requiring rework. However, the completion of the commission gives us the opportunity to speculate about the correct conclusions again

1. If the United States is going to take part in the space program in the coming years, they cannot escape from cooperation with the Russian space industry. From their side, it will be naive to believe that they will be able to forge a long-term partnership in such a complex area with a limited entity that is rapidly losing the remnants of sovereignty, economic and human potential. The Ukrainian rocket industry has developed the safety margin inherited by the republic from the USSR. The United States, of course, can continue to cooperate with Yuzhmash, but the further, the more it will resemble the applied art of the Palestinian rocket engineers.

2. The period of easy money in space according to the formula “we buy Soviet engines, we modernize, we get a NASA tender, we go to the Canaries” is also coming to an end. Landmark - the launch of the mass production of the Angara launch vehicle in 2020 year.
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  1. Vladimirets 6 November 2015 14: 04 New
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    They say that even at the Yuzhmpsha they make Bugatti for clear boys from the VAZ-2101. winked
    1. vovanpain 6 November 2015 14: 12 New
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      And they continue to buy RD-180
      1. Cube123 6 November 2015 17: 12 New
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        Quote: vovanpain
        And they continue to buy RD-180

        Landing on the moon without installation repeat
        1. FlyEngine 6 November 2015 18: 34 New
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          Quote: Cube123
          Landing on the moon without installation

          Are you seriously? Seriously? Maybe you believe in reptilians?
        2. nail 6 November 2015 20: 32 New
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          When they wanted to compare the characteristics of their soils with ours, delivered from the moon, their soil was suddenly stolen.
        3. Starover_Z 6 November 2015 21: 51 New
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          In addition, the Americans admit, not without frustration, that their own developers, even after 40 years, could not create a competitor in the ratio “engine mass / generated thrust”.

          And where is their vaunted heavyweight Saturn 5 ?!
          Where are the engines to it, the drawings in the end ?!
          What were they flying towards the moon ?! wink
        4. guzik007 6 November 2015 22: 06 New
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          This is a well-known fact, just the quality of the actual filming was so disgusting that I had to shoot many scenes in the film studio for the press.
          1. LEX SU 7 November 2015 04: 55 New
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            all flew five times ???
            YOU MAKE ME FUNNY

            recently discussed this topic
            in space debris article ...

            Now Saturn 5 can be added to the piggy bank!
            1. FlyEngine 10 November 2015 14: 26 New
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              Hmm. Survived. Envy gnaws, or what? I hate pend-snoo, but why not enjoy universal success? People on the moon, this is very cool! Well, I just don’t understand what this topic doesn’t give you peace.

              I beg you, just ask any OUR cosmonaut, and he will tell you that they were there. Just because Werner von Braun, taken out of Germany on time, was able to build a normal rocket. And our H1 failed all launches. Yes, it’s a pity, but this is not a reason to throw stones at someone else’s garden.

              Baby talk, by golly.
      2. meriem1 6 November 2015 19: 03 New
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        Quote: vovanpain
        And they continue to buy RD-180


        Yeah !! The Liberasts tell Us that We are 30 years behind.


        In addition, Americans admit, not without frustration, that their own developers, even after 40 years, could not create a competitor in the ratio “engine mass / generated thrust”

        Where is the "breakthrough" American ??? RD-181 is not achievable with the "lights!" They even order blades for Boeing Engines in Russia .. Do not bite your elbow !!!! They can’t deal with titanium !!! A repeat rocket? The same limp with technology !!! Only for a while you need to look! When did they release them? !!! Libera .... rest together!
      3. GSH-18 7 November 2015 01: 29 New
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        For the anniversary of the accident: who dropped the Antares to the Americans

        Well, sho tell me? .. Let them convey fiery greetings to Yuzhmash.
        As a result, the final culprit is recognized ukroturbonasos. It was he who exploded first, damaging the engine.

        No coment! request
    2. evil partisan 6 November 2015 14: 23 New
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      Quote: Vladimirets
      on "Yuzhmpsh" for clear boys from the VAZ-2101 Bugatti do.


      By tuning method, or what?what
      1. Vladimirets 6 November 2015 14: 27 New
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        Quote: wicked partisan
        By tuning method, or what?

        No, the topic is not expensive at all, you interrupt the logo and that's it. yes
        1. family tree 6 November 2015 17: 23 New
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          Quote: Vladimirets
          No, the topic is not expensive at all, you interrupt the logo and that's it. yes

          Is VIN poking too? what Right on the back, or a nameplate on top? laughing
      2. GSH-18 7 November 2015 01: 19 New
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        Quote: wicked partisan
        Quote: Vladimirets
        on "Yuzhmpsh" for clear boys from the VAZ-2101 Bugatti do.


        By tuning method, or what?what

        CRASHING METHOD lol
    3. 79807420129 6 November 2015 14: 27 New
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      Quote: Vladimirets
      They say that even at the Yuzhmpsha they make Bugatti for clear boys from the VAZ-2101. winked

      Well, yes, these Bugatti are called stove potbelly stove for heating indoor rooms.
    4. the most important 6 November 2015 14: 29 New
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      Such a country was ruined ... Without a clear position on the "talker" and "alcoholic", without unconditional recognition of their personal guilt, it is impossible to exclude the recurrence of such cataclysms ... But, one smiles, the second family’s oil rolls, and millions of people suffered and tens of thousands died ...
    5. Irbis77 6 November 2015 14: 29 New
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      Why cars spoil
    6. GSH-18 7 November 2015 01: 23 New
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      For the anniversary of the accident: who dropped the Antares to the Americans

      I’m also wondering if gentlemen of myricosis really flew to the Moon several times, why don’t they use such cool and proven engines from Saturn 5 ??? And do our RD-180s buy it? AND? bully
  2. cniza 6 November 2015 14: 11 New
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    Quote: Vladimirets
    They say that even at the Yuzhmpsha they make Bugatti for clear boys from the VAZ-2101. winked



    Spawn, what do they want? ... to be the best and the first always and in everything, but a bummer.
  3. pts-m 6 November 2015 14: 21 New
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    not knowingly, some of the British expressed their friends 3,14ndos ... the Yankees always use the worst solution in the forefront, leaving the best solution for the last ... neither add, nor add. to their paint.
  4. iliitchitch 6 November 2015 14: 22 New
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    But to take and not to sell THIS for anything from the Soviet bastards. Let YuZhMASH restore ( what ) Yes, what kind of bolt, generally speaking, are cooperating? Do we benefit from them? They were stolen, parasites, into the wild 90s everything that sticky little hands reached, crap at the first opportunity ... It's good to throw preferences.
    1. Bayonet 6 November 2015 16: 48 New
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      Quote: iliitch
      But to take and not to sell THIS for anything from the Soviet bastards.

      Rejoice that there is something to trade! Maybe we shouldn’t go to work to annoy someone, but what, excuse me, will we eat? request
  5. yuriy55 6 November 2015 14: 23 New
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    A strange coincidence: they drop or contribute to the fall of everything that should fly, prohibit the flights of Russian aviation ... Maybe there is a trivial reason here for ukraerophobia? laughing
  6. Stas57 6 November 2015 14: 43 New
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    the engine itself or its revision by the company AstroJet.


    Reference literature reports that Aerojet

    what, what company !?

    I understand that in large quantities copy-paste this article with @ however @, no one even read it?


    Modified versions of these engines by Aerojet are known as the AJ26-58, AJ26-59 and AJ26-62.

    About 150 engines survived, and in the mid-1990s, Russia sold 36 engines to Aerojet General for $ 1.1 million each. This company also acquired a license for the production of new engines. Aerojet has modified and renamed the updated NK-33 to AJ26-58 and AJ26-62, and NK-43 to AJ26-59.

    The Orbital Sciences Antares light-to-medium-lift launcher has two modified NK-33 in its first stage, a solid Castor 30-based second stage and an optional solid or hypergolic third stage. [19] The NK-33s are imported from Russia to the United States and modified into Aerojet AJ26s, which involves removing some electrical harnessing, adding US electronics, qualifying it for US propellants, and modifying the steering system.
    https://web.archive.org/web/20130813051804/http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n1003/

    15nk33
    http://www.rocket.com/
    http://www.rocket.com/article/orbital-and-aerojet-set-begin-aj26-rocket-engine-t

    esting-stennis-space-center-arrival
    http://www.rocket.com/capabilities/spacelift.php
    http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1012/19aj26test/
    1. Amurets 6 November 2015 14: 53 New
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      Modified versions of these engines for engine adaptation are known as AJ26-58, AJ26-59 and AJ26-62. About 150 engines survived, and in the mid-1990s, Russia sold 36 engines to adapt engines altogether for $ 1,1 million each. This company also acquired a license to manufacture new engines. The engine adaptation was changed and renamed the updated NK-33 to AJ26-58 and AJ26-62, and NK-43 to AJ26-59. “Kistler Aerospace, late Orbital Sciences Antares Light and Medium-lift Launcher has two modified NK-33 engines in the first stage, a solid castor 30-second stage and the optional solid or self-igniting third stage. [19] NK-33s are imported from Russia to the USA and modified in the adaptation of the AJ26s engines, which includes the removal of some electrical wiring, the addition of American electronics, regarding this for American rocket fuels, and m. This is a Yandex translation so sorry.
      1. Stas57 6 November 2015 16: 08 New
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        neither offsite nor the manufacturer’s website http://www.kuznetsov-motors.ru/search/node/Astrojet
        doesn't know anything
  7. science fiction writer 6 November 2015 15: 01 New
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    a contract was signed with Energomash for the supply of 60 RD-181 engines

    In addition, the Americans admit, not without frustration, that their own developers, even after 40 years, could not create a competitor in the ratio “engine mass / generated thrust”.

    NK-33 engines, designed for our lunar program never realized in the USSR

    One question torments me on what they nevertheless flew to the moon ?? Not on steam boilers.
    1. Bayonet 6 November 2015 16: 56 New
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      Quote: fiction
      One question torments me on what they nevertheless flew to the moon ??

      Heavy rocket carrier Saturn-5, F-1 engines. One question torments me - why the YaMZ-238 engine is not installed on the Zhiguli?
      1. science fiction writer 6 November 2015 17: 30 New
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        So there is experience in creating rocket engines
      2. The comment was deleted.
    2. Cube123 6 November 2015 17: 35 New
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      Quote: fiction

      One question torments me on what they nevertheless flew to the moon ?? Not on steam boilers.

      You can relate to this differently, but it seemed interesting to me. Especially the analysis in the application http://www.ymuhin.ru/node/1022
      "Evaluation of the characteristics of F-1, based on the analysis of heat transfer and the strength of the tubular cooling jacket Gennady Ivchenkov, Ph.D."

      "The design of the combustion chambers of the American pre-Saturn and Saturn engines H-1, F-1, J-2, RL-10 is based on the use of a large number (from 178 to 320) of thin-walled tubes of stainless steel or nickel alloy welded together as cooling shirts and the use of jet nozzles in the nozzle head.
      This is a purely American invention that was used only in the United States and has never been used anywhere else. Modern rocket engines, ALL WITHOUT EXCLUSION, including post-Saturn American engines, use “Soviet technology” American engines either lie in a landfill, or in museums, or “fly” in old rockets (modification
      engine N-1), such as Delta-2 or Japanese N-1. "

      "The author is not going to incriminate the Americans in ignorance of heat transfer or compromising evidence (we can assume that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) gave it in full), and is not going to question the real achievements of NASA, but, obviously, in the case of the declared characteristics and design of F-1, the tube material (Inconel X-750) is exposed to temperature and pressure that exceed its capabilities. "
      1. science fiction writer 6 November 2015 18: 43 New
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        it is obvious that, in the case of the declared characteristics and design of F-1, the tube material (Inconel X-750) is exposed to temperature and pressure that exceed its capabilities. "

        Conclusion: F-1 is not reliable, but the "American" (read German) technology turned out to be
        bullshit. So it is the Soviet school of rocket science that is advanced.
      2. The comment was deleted.
      3. Locksmith 6 November 2015 21: 39 New
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        Quote: Cube123
        Especially in-app analysis

        http://free-inform.com/ Здесь его досконально обсчитали . wink
  8. Lecha57 6 November 2015 15: 14 New
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    Where you creep, there is misery.
  9. bvi1965 6 November 2015 15: 14 New
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    Buy and remake the finished Soviet was a) faster; b) easier; c) cheaper.

    Of course, after all, they are already borrowing ... laughing
  10. 3vs
    3vs 6 November 2015 15: 50 New
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    So all the same it is interesting, where did the documentation for the "lunar program" go.
    All the same, drawings and calculations had to stay ...
    They would have repeated what they themselves had created forty years ago.
    Or the animal grin of capitalism in the pursuit of profit has done its job,
    then the whole country worked on the moon, and now there is no that human potential ...
    Apparently you need to understand this?
    1. Kindof 7 November 2015 01: 56 New
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      Now they don’t have that Von Braun and his team
  11. Old26 6 November 2015 16: 17 New
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    Quote: iliitch
    But to take and not to sell THIS for anything from the Soviet bastards. Let Yuzhmash restore (). Yes, what kind of bolt, generally speaking, are cooperating? Do we benefit from them? They stole, parasites, into the wild 90s everything that sticky little hands reached, crap at the earliest opportunity ... It's good to throw preferences

    Will we return the money to them?

    Quote: fiction
    One question torments me on what they nevertheless flew to the moon ?? Not on steam boilers.

    The Saturn 5 had F-1 engines. In terms of its performance characteristics, it is still in the lead along with ours from Energia.

    Quote: bvi1965
    Buy and remake the finished Soviet was a) faster; b) easier; c) cheaper.

    Of course, after all, they are already borrowing ... laughing

    Exactly. And all this time, without haste, they are busy with their

    Quote: 3vs
    So all the same, I wonder where the documentation for the "lunar program" went. All the drawings and calculations should have remained ... They would have repeated what they themselves had created forty years ago. Or the bestial grin of capitalism in the pursuit of profit did its job , then the whole country worked on the moon, and now there is no that human potential ... Apparently you need to understand that?

    Where she was, she stayed there. Together with drawings and calculations. And to repeat ... The dimensions of their engines from Saturn exceed the required now. Where to put them? WE don’t put wheels from Kirovets on GAZ or ZIL
    1. science fiction writer 6 November 2015 16: 31 New
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      The Saturn 5 had F-1 engines. In terms of its performance characteristics, it is still in the lead along with ours from Energia.

      So there is experience in creating rocket engines, and then what’s to their own head .... wassat
    2. Locksmith 6 November 2015 21: 44 New
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      Quote: Old26
      The Saturn 5 had F-1 engines. In terms of its performance characteristics, it is still in the lead along with ours from Energia.

      Just for some reason, our people were still flying, RD170 is an engine from Energia and the previously very popular Ukrainian Zenit, and F1, nobody can even restore them NOW, a very muddy engine and another American fake campaign. wink
  12. max702 6 November 2015 16: 20 New
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    Aerojet bought 47 NK-33 engines at a price of $ 1 million apiece. And Orbital Science, thanks to Russian engines and Aerojet, was able to win a NASA tender for the delivery of cargo to the ISS. 20 tons on eight flights for $ 1,9 billion. Have one of these figures raised questions? 40 million and 1.9 billion .....
  13. rus-5819 6 November 2015 19: 34 New
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    The United States, of course, can continue to cooperate with Yuzhmash, but the further it goes, the more it will resemble the applied art of Palestinian rocket launchers.

    Yeah! One has only to look at their "modern" products: stoves, potbelly stoves, "armored cars" ...

    Poor America! Hehe!
  14. Zomanus 6 November 2015 20: 49 New
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    Yuzhmash has already essentially died.
    For he earned money for his existence by Russian orders.
    And now, well, it's just dumb to order something from them.
    And an enterprise of this level, having stood for a couple of years without work, becomes nothing.
  15. Old26 6 November 2015 23: 15 New
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    Quote: Locksmith
    Just for some reason, our people were still flying, RD170 is an engine from Energia and the previously very popular Ukrainian Zenit, and F1, nobody can even restore them NOW, a very muddy engine and another American fake campaign.

    Why restore? We do not restore, for example, the RD-100 or RD-101 engine. And where will they put their F-1?

    RD-170 also does not fly ... Like the American F-1
  16. greenk19 7 November 2015 04: 58 New
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    As I understand it, Americans with engines have a big bunt. Ours could sell cheaper engines to our “friends” and “partners”. Of course, they would send us in another similar situation, but until the cow is milked they will milk it, and then they will send it when our services are not needed. And the government is trying to bring this moment closer with these deals. We can take a tough stance with respect to Russian citizens (how many decisions have been made to fine, punish).
    Now the economic situation is difficult, and the government is waiting for investments from the “partners”, but if in the best years they invested only in entertainment and the incomprehensible Skolkovo and Rusnano, they will have to wait further and think about what to raise taxes, what to make paid and how to increase the retirement age (their health is excellent, that they put signatures and lift the buttocks out of one soft chair, and then someone at that time carries 80-100 kg on his back and goes nuts from the heat, then from the cold and a lot of illnesses to For 30 years, most of them never bothered).
    1. LEX SU 7 November 2015 05: 07 New
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      you understand correctly. you interpret it wrong.
      It’s stupid of the Russian Federation not to sell dead cargo at engine storage
      what kind of hohlomotiv- let them rot, but not selling
  17. asiat_61 7 November 2015 05: 06 New
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    I read it all, quite interesting. And yet, where did 460 kg of moonstones, audio recordings, and a lot of other things go?
  18. Portak 7 November 2015 05: 08 New
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    even rocket launchers fall like in Hollywood, a beautiful explosion
  19. Old26 7 November 2015 21: 29 New
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    Quote: asiat_61
    I read it all, quite interesting. And yet, where did 460 kg of moonstones, audio recordings, and a lot of other things go?

    Where they were before. And on the NASA website, with a great desire, you can view kilometers of film, thousands of photos. But it’s more profitable to trust Popov and Mukhin

    Quote: Portak
    even rocket launchers fall like in Hollywood, a beautiful explosion

    A media explosion is always beautiful. Especially in the evening. Full fuel load. And no matter whose. American or ours
  20. FlyEngine 10 November 2015 14: 27 New
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    Quote: nail
    When they wanted to compare the characteristics of their soils with ours, delivered from the moon, their soil was suddenly stolen.

    What? belay Sources of information, and please do not REN-TV.