[FPSPACE] NITs RKP anniversary
agzak at optonline.net
Fri Dec 18 16:44:34 EST 2009
No, I didn't see it. Even though, I have an idea which facility you are
talking about, I didn't know at the time that it was in Zagorsk. There is a
little story related to that. Obviously, when I came to Zagorsk, I wanted to
see badly anything related to N1 and the lunar program, however my
journalistic assignment dealt with early rocketry. It wouldn't be a problem
with most engineers and managers who wouldn't mind to drive me under escort
to most unused and historic locations, but, as you might imagine, there was
a security official involved. Yes, it was one of those people, who think
they are saving their country by preventing a historian or a reporter from
seeing a 40-year-old piece of rusted hardware, about which enemy spy
agencies long forgot! (It is because of such people, priceless drawings and
documents from the Soviet space history went into flames or just withered
away, before they could be seen by historians.)
Anyway, that security guy started giving me trouble the minute I showed up
at the gate, by telling me that I couldn't enter because I had a Russian
passport "for living abroad." (Yes, Russia does have this distinction, which
is widely used by bureaucrats to discriminate people and extort bribes). An
engineer who was also there insisted that we would go to their top
management to resolve the issue. He agreed and rushed into the chief
engineer's office and started describing him my passport, like it was some
major security breach and some enemy would learn some incredible secrets.
The chief engineer was listening silently giving him a look which read
"Would you stop that KGB crap" but said only: "So what?" He then instructed
our "patriot" to escort me, according to pre-approved paperwork. Since it
vaguely said "early rocketry" he was determined I only visited the facility
you now see on photographs. Later, he softened a little, but I didn't dare
to ask too much. I did get to see the nascent museum they were trying to
build (there are few photos on the site) and a couple of impressive
space-simulation chambers. I also met Director General of the center and a
number of veterans of the company who were all very nice and signed for me a
copy of their corporate history...
...As always in Russia (or is it life?), most people are greatest and
friendliest in the world, but there will be one who would be determined to
make your life miserable... And he/she would be doing that zealously! :)
On 12/18/09 4:08 PM, "Peter Pesavento" <pjp961 at svol.net> wrote:
> How much of NiiKhimmash did you get to see?
> There is supposed to be a facility for testing full-scale Soviet lunar
> landers (for L3), similar to what NASA had in Mississippi. Lunar lander
> suspended from a trapeze and guided into simulated landings.
> In the Buran book (coffee table sized one) published in Russia back about 10
> years ago they had an image of NiiKhimmash, and such an anticipated facility
> can be seen among several test stands and trees.
> Did you get to see such a facility while you were there? If so, did you
> take pictures of it?
> Let me know.
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