Showing posts with the label Russia

Nedelin Catastrophe: The Worst Space-Related Disaster

Sep 19, 2023

The Baikonur Cosmodrome in southern Kazakhstan is one of the busiest and the most important spaceport on earth with over a thousand satellit...

The Ice Palace of Anna Ioannovna

Mar 28, 2023

The winter of 1739-40 was incredibly harsh all over Europe and especially brutal in Russia. Temperatures plummeted to forty degrees below ze...

Why Soviet Cosmonauts Carried a Gun to Space

Oct 27, 2022

For decades, the standard survival kit carried by Russian cosmonauts aboard the Soyuz spacecraft included a specially built gun and a few do...

Luna 9: The First Soft Landing on Another Planetary Body

Jun 2, 2022

The first spacecraft to achieve a survivable soft-landing on the moon was the Soviet unmanned spacecraft Luna 9. It was an exceedingly diffi...

Why The Soviet Union Advertised Products That Didn’t Exist

May 4, 2022

The purpose of commercials is to advertise products and drive sales, but in Soviet Russia under communism they served an altogether differen...

How The Soviet Union Tried to Abolish Weekends

Apr 8, 2022

About a hundred years ago in August 1929, the Soviet Union moved to alter the most fundamental tool of daily functioning: the calendar. An i...

Belyana: Russia’s Giant Wooden Boats

Dec 22, 2021

The Belyana were some of the largest wooden ships ever built. Yet, they were only meant for a single journey. They were built to transport...

Belka and Strelka: Soviet Space Dogs

Dec 17, 2021

In August 1960, two dogs named Belka and Strelka completed went to space aboard a Soviet spacecraft, stayed for a full day orbiting, and ret...

The Bronze Horseman And The Thunder Stone

Dec 16, 2021

At the Senate Square in Saint Petersburg, Russia, stands a magnificent equestrian statue of the founder of St Petersburg, Peter the Great. K...

Venera 7, The First Craft to Make Controlled Landing on Another Planet And Send Data From its Surface

Dec 9, 2021

By 1961 the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union had been going on for six years. The Soviets had the upper hand, havin...

Vladimir Komarov: The Cosmonaut Who Fell From Space

Nov 9, 2021

The year 1967 held special significance for Soviet Union—it was the 50th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, as well as the 10th annivers...

The Soviet Moon Prank

Sep 24, 2021

In December 1968, Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders, became the first men to fly around the moon and return to earth. But they ...

Viktor Belenko: The Pilot Who Stole a Secret Soviet Aircraft

Sep 22, 2021

Lieutenant Viktor Ivanovich Belenko woke up early in the morning as he had done everyday for the past four weeks, to watch the approaching d...

The First Mars Rover

Jul 26, 2021

In May 1971, the Soviet Union sent to Mars two robotic space probes launched within nine days of each other—Mars 2 and Mars 3. Neither space...

Zheltuga: The Illegal Russian Gold Mining Town That Sprang Up in China

Jul 10, 2021

In the spring of 1883, gold was discovered on a branch of the river Albazikha, in northern Heilongjiang province in China near the border wi...

The Tiara of Saitapharnes

Jul 2, 2021

For the better part of a decade, the widely celebrated and esteemed Louvre Museum of Paris proudly displayed a supposedly ancient tiara made...

The Exiled Bell of Uglich

Jun 7, 2021

When Ivan the Terrible died in 1584, he left behind two sons, neither of whom was suitable to carry forward their father’s heirloom. One was...

The Great Seal Bug: How The Soviets Spied The US For 7 Years Via a Children’s Gift

May 10, 2021

In 1946, a group of Soviet school children from the Young Pioneer organization presented to the American ambassador to the Soviet Union, Wil...

Russia’s Hand-Tossed Satellites

Apr 19, 2021

On November 3, 1997, cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov and Anatoly Solovyov were spacewalking outside the Mir space station to remove an old solar ...

Why The Soviet Union Lied About Yuri Gagarin's Historic Space Flight

Apr 12, 2021

Exactly sixty years ago, on April 12, 1961, Vostok 1 took off from Baikonur Cosmodrome taking along cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on the first ever...