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79

The USSR flew three successful automated lunar sample return missions: Luna 16, Luna 20 and Luna 24. The probes landed on the Moon, collected samples, and started a small rocket with the samples back to Earth. The returned mass was very small (101 g, 30 g and 170 g, respectively).


44

I found this article on the site of the Russian news agency Vesti. Подземный бункер пуска - самое близкое к старту место. Над ним специальные бетонные столбики, так называемые волнорезы, чтобы ударная сила не повредила этот стратегический объект. The underground bunker is the closest place to start. Above it are special concrete columns, so-called ...


31

The Soviets had designed the Soyuz 7K-L1 as a part of the Zond program, with the aim of a manned flyby of the Moon. Artists rendition of the Soyuz 7K-L1 en-route to the Moon (Courtesy Wikimedia) Developed in the late 1960's, after political disputes regarding the expulsion of Nikita Khrushchev, it was originally designed to be assembled in-orbit. The ...


31

The first manned Soviet flight was Vostok 1 in 1961, and the first Soviet flight with a multiperson crew was Voskhod 1 in 1964. The Wikipedia article that you linked intends to say that Soyuz 1 was the first Soyuz mission with a crew. The anecdote about the wolves and bears comes from Voskhod 2 on March 19, 1965: For the Soviet crew of Voshod 2 [sic], ...


26

According to NASA's Space Educator's Handbook: As the men in Apollo 13 experienced what no men had undergone before, millions followed the developing drama by radio and television in public squares, private homes, schools, offices and factories. Pope Paul, at an audience in St. Peter's Basilica for 10,000 Romans and tourists, said "We cannot forget at ...


25

They have shaved off 45 hours, not minutes. It seems to be a whole complex of factors: After the Space Shuttle retirement, the ISS orbit could be raised to provide better ballistic possibilities. The new on-board computer allows to conduct ballistic calculations faster and with less dependence on ground control. The orbit measurements precision has ...


24

There are a few advantages to launching a spacecraft from a high latitude, depending on what you want exactly. The primary advantage to such a system is for very high inclined orbits. Most low earth satellites benefit from a high inclination, and in fact, many are placed in to what is known as a "Sun Synchronous Orbit" with a slight retrograde inclination. ...


24

Those pillars intended to decrease a damage if a launcher falls just on start. The only mention of this I found is in russian language blog post about a travel to Baikonur: Внизу, чуть в стороне, поле, утыканное бетонными столбиками, если ракета падает на старте, пусть лучше разломается на этих столбиках – разрушений при взрыве будет меньше. Below, ...


19

No. Sputnik 1 reentered on Jan 4, 1958, a few months after launch. The batteries died and it stopped beeping about three weeks after launch.


19

Building just another (domestic) launch side is not exactly easy or cheap. There is a lot of logistics to take care of. For your question, you need to understand the history of Russian space flight and Plesetsk. It was build for launching ICBMs over the north pole into north America. Keep in mind that Soyuz rockets were derived from the R-7 rocket, which ...


18

The Soyuz uses conical boosters because there's an aerodynamic advantage. According to The Red Rockets' Glare: Engineers gravitated to a conical shape primarily because of the aerodynamic advantages ...but also for 3 other reasons: the large size of the engines at the tail end, the possibility of imparting additional thrust to the central sustainer ...


18

No, it never happened. However besides the failed N1 program and cancelled Buran missions the Soviet Union also made several successful (or partially successful) test launches of spacecrafts that were designed to be manned. First was a series of Zond space probes (numbers 4-8) that flew circumlunar missions launched by Proton-K with Block D booster. Those ...


16

Although it is quite difficult to give a definite and documented answer about Russian Space Program and Russian politics in general, I'm trying to express some considerations that could someway answer your question. Considerations against Baikonur's replacement: ISS access: With the end of the Space Shuttle Program, Baikonur is the only launch site which ...


16

NASA's Lunar Surface Journal collection has annotated transcripts of all the Apollo landing missions, so I just picked out a couple of key phrases from the recording and googled for: apollo surface transcript "nothing flat" "reasonable to go" Thus, I believe that's Apollo 12, starting at 121:27:45: 121:27:45 Conrad: Okay. Now, in looking at the map, ...


16

The legend at the bottom describes red cloud as "Зоны НИП", which is "NIP" (pronounced "neep") zones/areas. Quick googling reveals that here НИП is decoded as either "научно-измерительный пункт" (Scientific Measurement Point/Station) or "Наземный Измерительный Пункт" (Earth[-based] Measurement Point/Station). Both unreferenced. So, basically, this is area ...


15

Sputnik was the first satellite. It was set up before we had an understanding of how difficult it would be to maintain a satellite's position, and in fact was a very simple system overall. The 4 antennas gives an omnidirectional broadcast pattern. The simplest form of an antenna, a dipole, has two beams going in opposite directions. It's beam pattern looks ...


15

I believe we haven't found the whole story yet so I'll post as a partial answer for the moment. Looks like we may have found the answer! I'll leave this for anyone interested in some extra information or my rambling speculations. Soyuz MS-09 launched from Baikonur LC-1 Gagarin's Start which is shown below. I've highlighted the flame trench (green), ...


14

They are essentially the same. The Progress resupply spacecraft is a direct derivative of the Soyuz, where the reentry module was replaced by a fuel tank. Hence the similar shape. Both are launched with the same Soyuz rockets.


14

Yes. Sokol suits are suits that are highly specialized to the Soyuz spacecraft. An easy example of the specialization is the extra room in the hindquarters region to accommodate how far they have to bring their knees in when sitting in the couches. The American suits (by which I assume you mean the ACES suits), were not designed for this purpose -- they ...


14

I think @PearsonArtPhoto 's answer misses several major points. From http://www.cs.mcgill.ca/~rwest/link-suggestion/wpcd_2008-09_augmented/wp/s/Sputnik_1.htm The satellite carried two antennas designed by the Antenna Laboratory of OKB-1 led by M.V.Krayushkin. Each antenna was made up of two whip-like parts: 2.4 and 2.9 meters (7.9 and 9.5 ft) in length, ...


14

Now that @Heopps found the actual function, I can add a few words about how they work. In case of a rocket failure, huge parts of the structure of the rocket may fall down, such as the LOX tank. Upon impact, it will break open and explode. If it already touched the ground, this will create huge shock waves in the soil, possibly damaging the bunker below. The ...


14

Descent/discharge mark (flag, warning, attribute) Preparation to separation Open KSD (pressure relief valve) of BO (orbital module) [explosive] separation of mechanical contacts Choice of DPO-B (Primary Berthing and Attitude Control Thrusters) for descent emergency detachment SKD (Orbital Maneuver Engine) on SKD (Orbital Maneuver Engine) off Separation ...


14

A team called APOLLO (Apache Point Observatory Lunar Laser-ranging Operation), led by Tom Murphy, professor at UC San Diego uses the lunar retroreflectors. Murphy said his team had occasionally looked for the Lunokhod 1 reflector over the last two years, but faced tall odds against finding it until recently. ... "It turns out we were searching ...


13

It is because the two programs are separately managed and tracked to an extent that would astound the outsider. USOS crewmembers theoretically would have to ask for permission to use a Russian screwdriver; consumables from the two sides are even more obsessively managed. Casual sharing does go on but this produces headaches for the legion of logistics ...


13

There were only four manned Russian programs: Vostok No suborbital flights were made. See Voskhod No suborbital flights were made. See Soyuz There was a two suborbital mission: a failed Soyuz launch in 1975, Soyuz 7K-T No.39 Its apogee was 192km high, for a flight time of 21min. Made it to space but clearly short of orbit. The failure was due to an ...


13

The Soviets did develop an arm with a design similar to the Shuttle's Canadarm. The arm was called the On-board Manipulator System (SBM). It was developed by the Central Scientific Research Institute of Robotic Technology and Technical Cybernetics (TsNII RTK) in Leningrad. It had 6 joints, was 15 m long and weighed 360 kg. Max. payload was 30 tons. It ...


12

At the very start of Apollo? Very little, beyond a basic launcher. Everything else was mostly developed on the fly for Apollo. Pretty much all of Gemini was developing ideas to use for Apollo. At the time of the announcement by JFK very little existed in either sides. Basic engine design might have helped, but in the end, the US did a better job at large ...


12

It is a common situation of the early Soviet program. The rockets themselves didn't have names at all initially. Only top secret internal indexes and project designations. (The spacecrafts often didn't have names too, btw. The public names have often been assigned only after a successful launch. See the stories of Vostok/Zenit, Almaz/Salyut etc). The whole ...


12

There are several paths by which both US and Russian artifacts from the space program make their way into private ownership. These include deassession from the Government via authorized surplus sales, disposal of materials by the contractors who produce the technology at the conclusion of a program; retention of gifted or salvaged items by individuals and ...


12

The 12th and 13th Critical Command Keys "ОТСТРЕЛ БО" are БО (Orbital Module) Jettison. The БО separation (jettison) can be executed either automatically on the nominal separation schedule within the unified cyclogram or on the ОВК12 and ОВК 13 Critical Commands in case of the urgent descent before the СКД (Orbital Maneuver Engine) ignition for ...


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