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on Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 at 7:52 pm by Radley Balko
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…And now Grandson of Soviet Man sells passenger tickets to LEO, while we are busy planting flowers around the lawn-ornament Shuttles, the whitest elephants that ever flew.
China, way back when, sent out an exploration fleet that checked out all the world. When they got back, full of strange new ideas about strange new places, the Emperor burned the fleet and put the officers to death: too damn much world out there for his comfort.
The Soviets had a lot to be proud about with their space program, bloated and inefficient it may have been (as was ours). They took a very different tack to development of their methods and equipment – slow, steady evolution rather than “it has to be whiz-bang new every time.” (You can still see the resemblance in many of their launchers to the original “Semyorka” [“Ol’ No. 7″] that launched Sputnik 1). Given the constraints of materials and techniques they labored under, they produced some wonders.
Brainpower wasn’t limited in the USSR, even if almost everything else was. As here, politicians made decisions that prevented a full flowering of access to and work in space, and coincidentally led to deaths of many involved.
Actually right now there’s two nations that still have the capability to put a man in space. Unfortunately the US isn’t one of them.
I keep hoping there’s some kind of secret major project going on, eating a lot funds. Yeah, pipe dream. It is a pretty sad state of affairs tho when a presidential candidate speaks about a moon base and the only thing he gets is ridicule. OK, so it was Newt Gingrich, but still…
A peer review process probably would have struck the references to Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase as a prospective rescue party. Cracked tries a bit too hard to be cute.
At the same time, those stories are yet more evidence of the Soviet regime’s callous disregard for human safety and life. It’s a shame that the regime was competent enough to survive more than four decades beyond the Second World War, given how tragically incompetent so many of its officials were.
Actually, pretty much everything about Russia’s post-Novgorod Republic governance has been a shame. It’s a bad sign that Catherine the Great and Boris Yeltsin marked high points in civil society. Once again, I’m damn proud of my ancestors for getting the fuck out of Russia in 1905.