Stalin, the Falcon 9 and gloomy future “Satellites”

This week, like any other, has given rise to a good laugh and learned something.

The world laughed when they were released the results of a poll in which Russians were asked to name “the most significant figure of all times and peoples”.

Most votes in the “Russian twenty” got Stalin, who was considered the most significant in the history of mankind 38% of respondents. Followed by Putin and Pushkin, with 34%, and after Lenin 32%. From “non-Russians” in the ranking were three of them: on the 14th place Napoleon, on the 16th, Einstein, and the bottom of the list (19th place) — Newton.

Overflowing with spirituality, the Russians did not remember neither Jesus Christ, nor Moses, nor Mohammed. For them there’s no Leonardo da Vinci or Plato or Socrates is Aristotle or Confucius, nor Buddha, nor Caesar…

This survey again confirmed that, in General, Russians do not belong to the cultural space of modern world civilization.

Nuclear weapons and Sputnik

Two technological success, which so far helped the Russian to stay on the political map of the world is the creation of a nuclear bomb and the space program. In the latter case, the Russians, taking advantage of the knowledge captured German designers, even briefly ahead of the West.

In 1957 they first launched into orbit Sputnik, and in 1961 sent into space the first man. In 1963, sent its first woman astronaut, and in 1964 — the first crew of three. However, technological and economic possibilities of the Russian quickly exhausted, so the era of the Russian championship did not last ten years.

In 1969, mankind (Neil Armstrong) stepped on the moon, and by 1973, there have been a dozen Americans. Russian astronauts never left earth orbit because the Russians failed to build a sufficiently powerful rocket. They failed to build spaceships of reusable use. The only Russian rocket flew without a crew, twice orbited the Earth and the first and last time landed. Then he rusted in Baikonur, while in 2002, the Buran did not hit the hangar and turned it into scrap metal.

Despite the technological backwardness, the Russian missiles left the stage. Flying them for a long time turned into a successful business, and still they deliver into Earth orbit satellites. They went even from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana in the framework of the European policies of financing of the Russian militarism…

The gap

In 2015, the Russians successfully sent into Earth orbit 26 missiles, China — 19, USA — 18, Europe — nine.

In 2016, the Americans launched 22 missiles, the Chinese — 20, Russian — 18 Europeans — nine. And for the first half of 2017, the Americans successfully launched 13 missiles, Russian — eight, Chinese six, and the Europeans — five.

There is something that makes 2017 a special year heralds the decline of the Russian space business. For the first time in history only one private company has launched rockets into space more than the whole Russian state. SpaceX Elon musk launched in the first half of nine missiles. This is more than in all of last year (then there were eight).

It is not only the number — a completely different quality. If in Russian there is only a one-time rocket, the main stage of the rocket Falcon 9 can land and be used several times. It would fundamentally change the cost of flights. Rocket Mask always successfully land not only on land but also on the Autonomous landing barges.

In the last June weekend Falcon from Kennedy Space center landed in the Atlantic on a barge with the poetic name “of Course, I still love you” (Of course I still love you). Another rocket from Vandenberg air force base in California, landed in the Pacific ocean on a barge under the technical name “Just read the instructions” (Just read the instructions). Russian is nothing like a failed to do.

Elon Musk

It is also important that the Falcon rocket in the modern version of Full Thrust is much more powerful than those rockets that launch Russian. Of the eight Russian missiles launched by June 2017, seven were family “Soyuz/R-7”, is able to get into low orbit (LEO) 23 tons of cargo, and the geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) to eight tonnes. In the first half, the Russians launched only one comparable in power to the rocket “proton”.

By the end of 2017, SpaceX plans another 17 flights, including pending, but the upcoming launch of heavy duty rocket, the Falcon Heavy. It is able to deliver a low orbit 64 tons of cargo, and on a geotransfer — 27 tons. On Mars such a missile could deliver 17 tons of cargo.

When Elon Musk, immigrant from South Africa who came to America with empty pockets, will send to Mars first “marsonautes” is unknown. The history will show. But we also don’t know how many men by that time will be considered the greatest figures in human history, Stalin, Putin and Lenin. I suspect that more than 30%. “Be in trend” is in Russian. And to believe that it is still needed.