- Magomed Omarovich, what was it like to you - the person who was directly involved in the development of this super-project was to find out that the program “Energy-Buran” was worthlessly curtailed? When did a copy of the space shuttle be carried as a carcass along the Moskva River, then putting it as an attraction in Gorky Park of Culture and Leisure, and the roof of the hangar in 2002 fell on the original?
“Of course, it hurt me and all my comrades who participated in the trials.” The Energy-Buran program did not cease to exist overnight. By the way, the decision of the government is still not officially closed. It was suspended in 1990 by the Ministry. aviation industry, which is not there now, its functions are transferred to a number of other departments. Three years later, she was "mothballed." By the way, since the Energy-Buran program began with a resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU, only the president of the Russian Federation can, in theory, cancel it today. In general, the destruction of this unique space project, like many others, was a logical consequence of the "disaster" historical epochs when it became fashionable to deny all past achievements, cut into scrap metal and put into scrap.
- You were part of the test pilot of the manned analogue of Buran 12 - (BTS-02 OK-GLI) called the “Volkovskaya dozen”. Tell us how you got to the party, led by pilot-cosmonaut, Hero of the Soviet Union Igor Volk?
- I am generally surprised how I became a pilot. I grew up in the mountains, did not know Russian, shepherd. I have never been to Makhachkala before! But somehow I made it to flight school in Yeisk, where there were no direct trains from the capital of Dagestan.
As a result, much more educated Russian guys were not selected, and I was among the 225-ti (from 1196 enrolled) enrolled in the school. Only 123 people came to release. In 1977, I entered the cosmonaut corps, passed almost the entire commission there, “cut off” on medicine: due to several catapults, I had 4 Schmorl's hernia. After that, I returned to the military unit. He flew to Germany for three years, visited Angola on a “business trip”. He ended up in the squad of test pilots. It was generally the strongest school in the world. This is still nowhere else. I always compare it with the Bolshoi Theater, ballet. It is impossible to say about someone in the world that he is stronger ballet, well, even "La Scala" in the world is, but there are horse - opera.
- And when you first saw the "Buran" was a perception that it is "prima ballerina" more?
- Honestly, at first glance I could not believe that he would fly at all. In appearance - a suitcase with wings weighing 80 tons, like a small train. On the other hand, we knew then that a lot of the most serious specialists were working on the program. Later we received exact figures: six thousand enterprises, a million 200 thousand highly qualified specialists. And all together - 3 million 600 thousand. Of course, we realized that we have the last responsibility, that we have in our hands a fragile “golden egg”, We can drop it, but we can save ...
“And how did you experience this precious colossus?”
- There were horizontal flight tests. On the Buran analogue with mounted engines from Su-37 and Su-27, we performed flights to test its landing on the ground. In general, there is no comparison with the aircraft, except that it flies! On the plane you are landing on a glide path with a tilt angle of two degrees 40 minutes and a maximum speed of 5 meters per second. When closer, the 2-3 meters per second. And we have a speed of decline - 120-160 meters per second! This 360 kilometers per hour vertically downwards and thus more forward 1800 kilometers per hour. The algorithms developed by us formed the system of automatic landing, which the real “Buran” had already produced from space. Yes, so successfully that the world gasped.
Separately worked out the salvation of the blocks. The ship "Buran" was a central unit, where the most powerful four-engine, and there are four groups of 4 engine, it is valuable units. When I accompanied the “Buran” on takeoff, my task was to photograph the separation of the “Energy” side blocks: whether they were connected to each other, how they entered, that is, all the visual parameters. It turned out that they are very symmetrical. By the way, it depends on how they disconnected, instantly or with a delay of 0,1 seconds. The task was to put on them the chassis and the parachute system for landing. This rescue system just did not have time to finish.
Later, we were taught in Zhukovsky French test pilots as part of a reusable space program "Hermes". They from the Orion-5 launch vehicle were supposed to launch their ship, which was all the way smaller than the Buran in terms of weight and dimensions. No one had such experience in our world, and still does not have it!
The hardest moral, psychological blow was dealt to us - the second set in the Volkov squad. The first set was older than us on 15 years, and still others did not even have time to feel anything.
Crews have already been identified, the numbers of the ships, who will fly with whom, who is the commander, who is the second. And suddenly - the program turned. If we continue the “theatrical theme,” it seems that after the first brilliant dance of the entire ballet troupe with the prima in charge, the curtain suddenly falls, the audience and actors are announced: disperse, the continuation of the performance is postponed for an indefinite time ...
- And what, there were any non-standard, non-standard situations?
- Surprisingly, it was not connected with “Buran”. This program itself, despite its originality, was realized with the highest technological requirements. At that time, the electronic industry lagged behind the American one, the Japanese one. We remember the difference between the Japanese and our portable receivers, tape recorders ... But despite this, there was not a single serious failure in electronics during the flights!
- There was a legend that appeared in the film “Buran”. The constellation of the wolf "about some rock, overtaking one after another testers of the Soviet shuttle. That is, people who were associated with the tests of the ship, died early under various circumstances. Weren't you afraid when your comrades suddenly began to leave one by one? Then, like an investigation and even our security services has been initiated: Is not American "friends" will adapt the series of deaths ...
- Yes, different hypotheses were put forward. But nothing of the kind was found there. There is an ordinary work of professionals, and there are mistakes of professionals. And the fact that the guys died, it was the excess of the possibilities of professionalism itself ...
- The Energy-Buran program was the last “technical feat” of the Soviet Union, however, some still say that the USSR was killed as a result of the war in Afghanistan and economic overstrain during the construction of the space shuttle ...
- Let no tales be told! Why did America not fall apart from the lunar program? For that time, they have invested huge amounts of money - 14 billions of dollars in direct government investments, not counting the funds raised. But what was the explosion in the field of radio electronics! Now they have paid for this program a hundred times!
- Not going to be smaller and practical "way out" of the Buran - there is plenty of high-tech, ranging from unique skin! I know a company that rose in the production of industrial furnaces, starting with a small cooperative of muffle furnaces, inside of which there was a “Buranovskaya” hot-melt ...
- All these technologies would find application in the national economy, would cause a qualitative leap in many industries. For example, for the first time on the Buran, for synchronization of eight computers, a quartz oscillator was used, which supplied a single grid of clock signals of the 4 frequency of the megahertz. Where was it ?! If the program "Energy-Buran" continued, then this system would also find application. But, apparently, someone really did not want this ....
- Despite his own work, ranging from the sketchy “lapot” of Pavel Tsybin, myasishchevsky and Tupolev, chelomeyevsky rocket-planes to the “Spiral” of Lozino-Lozinsky, the CPSU Central Committee gave the developers a direct instruction to copy the American shuttle ...
- It was the fear of an American: the ship "Discovery" then dived from space directly over the Kremlin - on 70 kilometers. And then he bounced and left the tracking system from orbit. This can be compared with when you let the “pancake” in the water, and it ricochets from the waves and jumps several times until the force of gravity is stronger. The system of entry into the atmosphere is the same - you click, bounce off, and, losing speed, you approach the ground. The American shuttle, diving over the Kremlin, frightened our old leaders.
- Since last year, in the media, following a statement by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, a not very active, but noticeable wave of discussions about the possibility of resuming the space shuttle program has gone. There were even proposals, almost in accordance with the previous drawings, to renew the “Buran”. In your opinion, should it be done?
- Of course you need! It is necessary for the country both technologically and emotionally. Because it will become the strongest national stimulus - a symbol of the rise of industry, science and the human spirit. If Russia succeeds, the whole world will move forward.
Of course, it is necessary to do this, using the principles developed, scientific reserves, and the method of testing the apparatus. We got very good results then, and they are not outdated. Although the technology itself, technological processes, of course, are completely different. In the design of the shuttle, for example, composites can take up to 80%.
- But it’s no secret that the “Energy-Buran” program was mainly sharpened for military purposes, and putting such a payload into orbit was not related to peaceful tasks, at that time, at least ...
- Of course, Buran mostly had military tasks. There were manipulators, with the help of which it was possible to throw satellites from orbit. So, the task was worked out - to remove from orbit and take to Earth the long-term US station Skylab. Special lungets were prepared for this in the ship's hold - 16 long and 4,5 radius of meter. We on the ground have already worked laser, electromagnetic guns. I worked with them in the institutes, shot, worked. It remained only to put them into orbit. Experiments were successfully carried out for the Buran on the recognition of combat heads: the false ones had to be distinguished from the real ones.
- So we should return to the “defense” space shuttle?
- Required. We have to save our country.
- Save from space?
- Exactly. Only from space it can be protected today.
“Why then don't the States try to resume the program of their shuttles?” Today, at least, we hear nothing about it.
- They have no need. In America, everything is there, no one will ever attack it, they know about it: they will never dare to attack it either from the air or from space.
- And what could the Buran project look like today?
- In my opinion, it is necessary to build primarily small-sized shuttles on the project “Lightning”: the crew of the 2 man, and everything else is a hold. Load capacity there 5 tons. This is a lot! With the help of such shuttles it is rational, in my opinion, to build on Earth's orbit a large “jump station” to other planets in deep space. Shuttles in this case would become space trucks. They would bring building materials for this orbital mega-design itself, modules of spacecraft that could be screwed right in orbit.
- A lot of criticism sounded on the economic part of the program "Energy-Buran". They wrote that, they say, they made a cart, and then they went to look for a load for it. Say, a lot of money was wasted. By the way, economically and with the Americans, this too was not justified.
- We must do everything with the linkage. If we take separately "Buran" - it is really a meaningless waste of energy. Imagine you are growing, for example, one ton of grain, like a peasant. You have enough for your family, and enough for your neighbors to sell. You can take this one ton on “Zhiguli” to the flour-grinding factory, grind and quietly go home. Why do you need to buy KrAZ, with a load capacity of 40 tons for this? But I am sure that the economic, “peaceful” tasks for Buran would certainly have appeared if the USSR had not collapsed.
Then, I will tell you - well, it is impossible to measure everything with money, the rate of profit, like our “effective managers” - a dollar there, a dollar here. So we and the satellite, and the person never in space would launch.
The dream of mankind has always been to learn how to fly, like birds — ever higher, farther and faster, to get to the Moon and other planets. And what would it be available once to any earthling.
Sometimes, however, it starts to seem to me that we are the last of the flight dreams of the Mohicans. I personally fly on everything that is held in the air: on a parachute, on a paraglider, on a Boeing. But there are only a few like me. I personally 65 years. I, thank God, saved health, energy. But will someone come after us? These thoughts are alarming. After the collapse of the USSR, we went the wrong way and now painfully, slowly get out of it. However, I will say another thing - our country is not poor and not poor, as the "opponents" want to present us. We are a prosperous nation today. I always say "do not anger God." Thank you for living in such an age. What do you whine all the time? Do not whine, and work.