[FPSPACE] Lunokhod 1
pjp961 at svol.net
Mon Mar 1 14:39:37 EST 2010
I read the blog, and the comments that followed afterwards.
It made me think this. These are my views, and my opinions.
I have a copy of (thinking extemporaneously here) a book somewhat entitled
"Exploration of Outer Space in the USSR 1966-1970."
In there, up in the front of the book, I think it says (again thinking
"LAND OF THE SOVIETS-SHORE OF THE UNIVERSE!"
Exclamation points were common in Soviet agitprop posters. (I think the
posters are very cool, though, in my opinion.) The Soviet worker-man or
woman--sweeps their hand across the sky.. Nothing Was Impossible...
During the late 1950s through near the end of the 1960s, the living
standards had the distinct appearance that they were rising. They may have
been the best living standards in the collective memory of the people up to
The people went from basically the Middle Ages to the Space Age in one human
lifetime (that's my view). That's one helluva compression in social
evolution. But the Russians embraced it, and I think that overall they were
successful in doing so. The Slavic brain "ate" the change.
The technological prowess of the country at the time was demonstrated by
Gagarin, Tereshkova, Leonov. Crafts sent to Mars, Venus, and the Moon.
Atomic ice breakers, and possession of the hydrogen bomb. Science
development was encouraged. Scientists and technical people graduates were
really being cranked out in the USSR at the time. ("Soviet Science" was a
buzzword used a lot in US Congressional debates on resource allocations
during the time frame.)
The Soviets were even accumulating Olympic medals left-and-right by the
fistful during the era (unlike what happened here in Vancouver in 2010,
which prompted President Medvedev to request the heads of the Russian
Olympic Committee training management persons for such a paltry medal
The firsts-especially in space--were made (in the main) by the Soviets, not
the Conflicted Americans. (We Americans are always conflicted on
everything, though. :-))
Those days were heady days.
So the Russian citizens had lots of hope for the future. The messages in
the time capsules reflect this. I have a letter of thanks written (and
signed) by both Tereshkova and Gagarin from 1964, following an event where
they had visited one of the technical schools in the Moscow region. Based
on the comments in the letter, the children and students were full of
excitement and hope for the future. They had peppered the two cosmonauts
with questions about where they were going next. Tereshkova and Gagarin
told the students that they would go wherever the glorious scientists of the
Motherland would send them.
And I think that they themselves believed it. Based on what had happened a
few scant years before, it was reasonable to believe that Nothing Was
But ultimately, perhaps, the Politburo and the Central Committee members
became victims of their own propaganda machine's success.
Bad management (and mis-identifying of priorities) during the Brezhnev
Stagnation Era cost the Russian people a lot--including of momentum. And
ripple effects of those mistakes have been long-lasting.
From: fpspace-bounces at friends-partners.org
[mailto:fpspace-bounces at friends-partners.org] On Behalf Of Geert Sassen
Sent: Sunday, February 28, 2010 7:58 AM
To: FPSPACE listserver
Subject: [FPSPACE] Lunokhod 1
engineering model (?) of Lunokhod 1 found in a container
Time and time again it's sad to see such items of great historical value
rotting away somewhere. According to the text there are a lot more
containers on the same courtyard with seemingly nobody knowing what's
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