Topic: Russia/technology and engineering in Russia
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.su was assigned as the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for the Soviet Union (USSR) on 19 September 1990. Even though the Soviet Union itself was dissolved a mere 15 months later, the .su top-level domain remains in use today. It is administered by the Russian Institute for Public Networks (RIPN, or RosNIIROS in Russian transcription).
- ".su" | 2019-09-18 | 353 Upvotes 226 Comments
Soviet version of the Space Shuttle
Buran (Russian: Бура́н, IPA: [bʊˈran], meaning "Snowstorm" or "Blizzard"; GRAU index serial number: "11F35 K1") was the first spaceplane to be produced as part of the Soviet/Russian Buran programme. It is, depending on the source, also known as "OK-1K1", "Orbiter K1", "OK 1.01" or "Shuttle 1.01". Besides describing the first operational Soviet/Russian shuttle orbiter, "Buran" was also the designation for the entire Soviet/Russian spaceplane project and its orbiters, which were known as "Buran-class spaceplanes".
OK-1K1 completed one uncrewed spaceflight in 1988, and was destroyed in 2002 when the hangar it was stored in collapsed. The Buran-class orbiters used the expendable Energia rocket, a class of super heavy-lift launch vehicle.
- "Soviet version of the Space Shuttle" | 2011-01-27 | 33 Upvotes 28 Comments
A gyrocar is a two-wheeled automobile. The difference between a bicycle or motorcycle and a gyrocar is that in a bike, dynamic balance is provided by the rider, and in some cases by the geometry and mass distribution of the bike itself, and the gyroscopic effects from the wheels. Steering a motorcycle is done by precessing the front wheel. In a gyrocar, balance was provided by one or more gyroscopes, and in one example, connected to two pendulums by a rack and pinion.
The concept was originally described in fiction in 1911 "Two Boys in a Gyrocar: The story of a New York to Paris Motor Race" by Kenneth Brown, (Houghton Mifflin Co). However the first prototype Gyrocar, The Shilovski Gyrocar, was commissioned in 1912 by the Russian Count Pyotr Shilovsky, a lawyer and member of the Russian royal family. It was manufactured to his design by the Wolseley Tool and Motorcar Company in 1914 and demonstrated in London the same year. The gyrocar was powered by a modified Wolseley C5 engine of 16–20 hp, with a bore of 90 mm and a stroke of 121 mm. It was mounted ahead of the radiator, driving the rear wheel through a conventional clutch and gear box. A transmission brake was fitted after the gearbox – there were no brakes on the wheels themselves. The weight of the vehicle was 2.75 tons and it had a very large turning radius.
In 1927 Louis Brennan, funded to the tune of £12,000 (plus a £2000 per year) by John Cortauld built a rather more successful gyrocar. Two contra-rotating gyros were housed under the front seats, spun in a horizontal plane at 3500 rpm by 24V electric motors powered from standard car batteries. This was the greatest speed obtainable with the electric motors available, and meant that each rotor had to weigh 200 lb (91 kg) to generate sufficient forces. Precession was in the vertical fore-aft plane. The car had a Morris Oxford engine, engine mountings, and gearbox. Two sidewheels (light aircraft tailwheels were used) were manually lowered on stopping; if the driver forgot and switched off the gyros and walked away, the car would continue to balance itself using the gyro momentum for a few minutes, and then the wheels would automatically be dropped to stop tipping.
Ilya Zhitomirskiy (12 October 1989 – 12 November 2011) was a Russian-American software developer and entrepreneur. Zhitomirskiy was a co-founder and developer of the Diaspora social network and the Diaspora free software that powers it.
- "Ilya Zhitomirskiy" | 2013-01-13 | 86 Upvotes 7 Comments
Kola Superdeep Borehole
The Kola Superdeep Borehole (Russian: Кольская сверхглубокая скважина) is the result of a scientific drilling project of the Soviet Union in the Pechengsky District, on the Kola Peninsula. The project attempted to drill as deep as possible into the Earth's crust. Drilling began on 24 May 1970 using the Uralmash-4E, and later the Uralmash-15000 series drilling rig. Boreholes were drilled by branching from a central hole. The deepest, SG-3, reached 12,262 metres (40,230 ft; 7.619 mi) in 1989 and is the deepest artificial point on Earth. The borehole is 23 centimetres (9 in) in diameter.
In terms of true vertical depth, it is the deepest borehole in the world. For two decades it was also the world's longest borehole in terms of measured depth along the well bore, until it was surpassed in 2008 by the 12,289-metre-long (40,318 ft) Al Shaheen oil well in Qatar, and in 2011 by the 12,345-metre-long (40,502 ft) Sakhalin-I Odoptu OP-11 Well (offshore from the Russian island of Sakhalin).
- "Kola Superdeep Borehole" | 2018-06-18 | 57 Upvotes 67 Comments
The Kuleshov effect is a film editing (montage) effect demonstrated by Soviet filmmaker Lev Kuleshov in the 1910s and 1920s. It is a mental phenomenon by which viewers derive more meaning from the interaction of two sequential shots than from a single shot in isolation.
- "Kuleshov effect" | 2019-01-02 | 151 Upvotes 31 Comments
The Mars-500 mission was a psychosocial isolation experiment conducted between 2007 and 2011 by Russia, the European Space Agency and China, in preparation for an unspecified future crewed spaceflight to the planet Mars. The experiment's facility was located at the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Biomedical Problems (IBMP) in Moscow, Russia.
Between 2007 and 2011, three different crews of volunteers lived and worked in a mock-up spacecraft at IBMP. The final stage of the experiment, which was intended to simulate a 520-day crewed mission, was conducted by an all-male crew consisting of three Russians (Alexey Sitev, Sukhrob Kamolov, Alexander Smoleevskij), a Frenchman (Romain Charles), an Italian (Diego Urbina) and a Chinese citizen (Yue Wang). The mock-up facility simulated an Earth-Mars shuttle spacecraft, an ascent-descent craft, and the Martian surface. The volunteers who participated in the three stages included professionals with experience in engineering, medicine, biology, and human spaceflight. The experiment yielded important data on the physiological, social and psychological effects of long-term close-quarters isolation.
- "MARS-500" | 2015-08-29 | 49 Upvotes 14 Comments
Soyuz 11 (Russian: Союз 11, Union 11) was the only crewed mission to board the world's first space station, Salyut 1 (Soyuz 10 had soft-docked but had not been able to enter due to latching problems). The crew, Georgy Dobrovolsky, Vladislav Volkov, and Viktor Patsayev, arrived at the space station on 7 June 1971 and departed on 29 June. The mission ended in disaster when the crew capsule depressurized during preparations for reentry, killing the three-man crew. The three crew members of Soyuz 11 are the only humans known to have died in space.
- "Soyuz 11" | 2013-10-13 | 48 Upvotes 28 Comments
Sputnik is 60 today
Sputnik 1 ( or ; "Satellite-1", or "PS-1", Простейший Спутник-1 or Prosteyshiy Sputnik-1, "Elementary Satellite 1") was the first artificial Earth satellite. The Soviet Union launched it into an elliptical low Earth orbit on 4 October 1957, orbiting for three weeks before its batteries died, then silently for two more months before falling back into the atmosphere. It was a 58 cm (23 in) diameter polished metal sphere, with four external radio antennas to broadcast radio pulses. Its radio signal was easily detectable by radio amateurs, and the 65° inclination and duration of its orbit made its flight path cover virtually the entire inhabited Earth. The satellite's unanticipated success precipitated the American Sputnik crisis and triggered the Space Race, a part of the Cold War. The launch was the beginning of a new era of political, military, technological, and scientific developments. The name "Sputnik" is Russian for spouse/traveling companion or satellite when interpreted in an astronomical context.
Tracking and studying Sputnik 1 from Earth provided scientists with valuable information. The density of the upper atmosphere could be deduced from its drag on the orbit, and the propagation of its radio signals gave data about the ionosphere.
Sputnik 1 was launched during the International Geophysical Year from Site No.1/5, at the 5th Tyuratam range, in Kazakh SSR (now known as the Baikonur Cosmodrome). The satellite travelled at about 29,000 kilometres per hour (18,000 mph; 8,100 m/s), taking 96.2 minutes to complete each orbit. It transmitted on 20.005 and 40.002 MHz, which were monitored by radio operators throughout the world. The signals continued for 21 days until the transmitter batteries ran out on 26 October 1957. Sputnik burned up on 4 January 1958 while reentering Earth's atmosphere, after three months, 1440 completed orbits of the Earth, and a distance travelled of about 70 million km (43 million mi).
- "Sputnik is 60 today" | 2017-10-04 | 11 Upvotes 2 Comments
The Soviet RDS-202 hydrogen bomb (code name Ivan or Vanya), known by Western nations as Tsar Bomba (Russian: Царь-бо́мба, tr. Tsar'-bómba, IPA: [t͡sarʲ ˈbombə], lit. 'Tsar bomb'), was the most powerful nuclear weapon ever created. Tested on 30 October 1961 as an experimental verification of calculation principles and multi-stage thermonuclear weapon designs, it also remains the most powerful human-made explosive ever detonated.
The bomb was detonated at the Sukhoy Nos ("Dry Nose") cape of Severny Island, Novaya Zemlya, 15 km (9.3 mi) from Mityushikha Bay, north of Matochkin Strait. The detonation was secret but was detected by US Intelligence agencies. The US apparently had an instrumented KC-135R aircraft (Operation SpeedLight) in the area of the test – close enough to have been scorched by the blast.
The bhangmeter results and other data suggested the bomb yielded about 58 megatons of TNT [Mt] (240 PJ), and that was the accepted yield in technical literature until 1991 when Soviet scientists revealed that their instruments indicated a yield of 50 Mt (210 PJ). As they had the instrumental data and access to the test site, their yield figure has been accepted as more accurate. In theory, the bomb would have had a yield in excess of 100 Mt (420 PJ) if it had included a uranium-238 tamper but, because only one bomb was built, that capability has never been demonstrated.
The remaining bomb casings are located at the Russian Atomic Weapon Museum in Sarov and the Museum of Nuclear Weapons, All-Russian Research Institute of Technical Physics, at Snezhinsk.
- "Tsar Bomba" | 2019-08-05 | 17 Upvotes 27 Comments
- "10 times the explosive power of all explosives used in WWII" | 2012-09-23 | 11 Upvotes 13 Comments