Using film from U.S. spy balloons to take pictures of the Moon
The photographic equipment used for the balloons was of no interest, but the film, created for shooting from high altitudes, was good: highly sensitive and strongly tanned, with a solution temperature of up to 50 degrees. Just what we need ... And we had it, as they say, buried ... This film I decided to use in the "Yenisei".
Why was the thought "crazy"? Yes, because in space, as in the
"defense", at that time nothing foreign was allowed. Literally
everything - materials, instruments, technologies - had to be only
domestic. It was part of the flesh and blood, in the minds of the
developers, becoming their ideology. If I had only hinted to someone
about the possibility of using an American film, I would be mistaken
for a foolish joker or even for a person who was not completely
normal. Only two people knew about this venture - me and Volodya
Kondratyev, who was engaged in the chemical processes of the Yenisei.
We cut an American 180-millimeter film to 35 millimeters, then punched
it. We wrote "technical conditions of the film type AB-1", which after
having been shown to the military representatives was filed in the
appropriate folder with the stamp "top secret". Of course, we both
stayed silent. What would become of us if this story was revealed, I
can not say. In any case, not only in cosmonautics, but in general, I
think we would not have worked for a long time ..."
And I flew to the Tyura-Tam launch site (to this day I can not
understand why it is called "Baikonur", because Baikonur itself is
located about six hundred kilometers from it) with copies of the TV
cameras that were charged with a film of the “AB-1” type [if directly
transcribed from Russian this abbreviation would read = Sh=Sharik,
i.e. ball or sphere, but I use the letter B to match the
interpretation “balloon” for “sharik”).