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Anatoly Zak, Tuesday, 3-3-15 March 4, 2015

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Anatoly Zak, Tuesday, 3-3-15


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Guest: Anatoly Zak.   Topics: Russian space program today and throughout history. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm. For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed back to the show Anatoly Zak for updates with the Russian space industry plus much more. In the first segment of our 93 minute discussion, Anatoly talked about his book which is now in its second printing, “Russia In Space: The Past Explained The Future Explored.” Remember, if you purchase the book through TSS/OGLF Amazon portal, Amazon will contribute 5% of the purchase price to TSS/OGLF. Instructions are on all archived and website archives plus www.onegiantleapfoundation.org. Make sure you visit Anatoly’s website for even more Russian space news and history, www.russianspaceweb.com. In our first segment, we started with the news that Russia had agreed to stay with the ISS through 2024 and then pursue their own space station. Anatoly said that the future plans were not fixed in stone and could change depending on the ISS and many other circumstances. He said the planned new Russian space station is designed to provide a place for Russian cosmonauts to go to for work, science, etc. If the ISS is ongoing, that may fit the Russian purpose so their new station might be delayed. I asked Anatoly several questions about Russian public space opinion, public interest in space, and I inquired about Russian space advocacy groups. Paula sent in a note asking about the impact of the US sanctions now in place on Russia. Anatoly said they are impacting space, mainly on the science side and he cited a few examples. So far there is less impact on the human spaceflight side. He also said the Russian media and people in general blame the US regarding the sanctions, not their own government for their behavior in the Ukraine, etc. I inquired about their new spaceport, Vostochny. Anatoly had interesting things to say about it, including the logistics, the fact that it was 7-8 time zones from Moscow and how hard and time consuming it would be to get there. He also talked about the large heavy lift Russian rockets which are a transportation problem given they are too large for Russian highway and rail infrastructure. He said they could use the one remaining giant Antonov huge cargo jet but its Urkainian and based in the Ukraine so that presents a current problem for Russia. Joan asked about the Russian nuclear rocket program. We had quite a discussion on this with Anatoly so don’t miss it. Also discussed in this segment were space budget issues and the failing Russian economy. Listeners then brought up the Buran shuttle that Russia developed and here Anatoly had much to say.

In the second segment, Anatoly was asked if Russia felt it was in competition with other national space agencies. He said yes and cited the US, ESA, and China in that order as the most competitive. Another listener question asked him about the Russian interest in economic cislunar development and the Moon as well as property right. Don’t miss his responses to these questions. Dwayne called and asked how Russian answers the question of why they have a human spaceflight program. Anatoly provided us with an elaborate answer but said it was subjective and someone else might answer this question from a different perspective. Dwayne also asked about Soviet spy satellites and he wanted Anatoly to compare them to the same period when we had Hexagon. Again, don’t miss his response. Our next topic focused on the Ukraine and its impact on the Russian space program and how the fighting is hurting the Russian space program and the Ukrainian space workforce. Andrew called from Tucson wanting to know how the Russians viewed the U.S. given our gaps in human spaceflight forcing us to depend on the Russians. I then asked Anatoly what the peak period for the Soviet-Russian space program was so far and he said the Apollo Moon race era. Doug emailed in wanting to know about unofficial scientific agreements entered into by scientists that might evolve to national policy. Our final topic dealt with Russian space conference.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach Anatoly Zak through his website or me.


1. Andy Hill - March 8, 2015

I would be interested to hear what happened about the Russian Klipper spacecraft from a few years back. It seemed to just sink without a trace. I believe ESA had put some seed money into it to look at the possibility of launching at on Ariane. Since ESA appears to be doing lifting body research itself now (IXV craft), is this a follow on from Klipper or did the agencies decide against cooperation?

2. ericmachmer - March 6, 2015

Fascinating discussion of the Russian Silver Age (its cosmopolitan highly-educated culture and the history of Russian expansion eastward) about 1 hour in…this could make a great topic in itself for both The Space Show and Hotel Mars, reinforcing such motivating values among listeners:

“this educated class, which was extremely sort of world-oriented, this very cosmopolitan people who were thinking about the world, about the design of the universe – they were philosophers, they were revolutionaries, they were musicians – during this period, they call it Russian Silver Age of culture and Russian science. That’s exactly when Konstantin Tsiolkovsky started his research – and at this time he is one of the people who embodies this idea of space exploration”

…would love to hear more about the Silver Age and encourage such a culture worldwide

B John - March 14, 2015

Do you? It led to the worst tyranny ever seen and the murder of tens of millions, and that’s not even counting the soldiers killed in action. Most of those intellectuals were themselves murdered, by each other. They were extremely dangerous and humanity must never again let any political or “cultural” intellectuals have any influence on society. Russia was on a very good way before they took over. Had abolished slavery at the same time as the US and was quickly becoming industrialized. Then the “intellectuals” took power and caused murder, starvation, war and humiliating technological backwardness.

ericmachmer - March 14, 2015

Relax : ) We would benefit from encouraging, in Anatoly’s words, persons who are “world-oriented, this very cosmopolitan people who were thinking about the world, about the design of the universe”…blaming all ’intellectuals’ of a period for Soviet crimes seems as seems shallow and meaningless as blaming Enlightenment ‘intellectuals’ for excesses of the French Revolution. “Political and ‘cultural’ intellectuals” wrote the US Constitution. Criticizing ‘intellectuals’ en mass risks overlooking unique insights into human nature offered by Russia’s exceptionally fertile Silver Age.

(And Nazism, in my view a categorically worse tyranny, was defeated by intellectuals…debating historical arcana though is not the point, encouraging intellectually curious cosmopolitan scientific literacy is.)

3. J Fincannon - March 5, 2015

A recent Space Show guest, Paul Szymanski, made some statements about attacks on the Russian GPS last year. Do you have anything to add to the story?

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