soviet space race

10

A very furry story from the history of the space race! Khrushchev’s move strikes me as brilliant: half, “we may be engaged in a cold war, but we’re still human!” and half, “the dogs we sent to space are already having babies. How’s NASA coming along?”

Apparently, Pushinka (which means “fluffy" in Russian) was examined before arriving at the White House to check for listening devices.

Images: Daniel Mogford/Flickr, Ralphdj/Wikimedia Commons, The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

23 Black Female Scientists Who Changed The Damn World

Okay so prior to Alice, people had known for hundreds of years that a potential treatment to leprosy existed in the form of something called Chaulmoogra oil. It was too thick to effectively circulate through the body, but Alice Ball, science prodigy and chemist extraordinaire, was the one who FINALLY figured how to turn it into a working treatment. It’s thanks to her that a leprosy crisis was avoided in the early 1900s. Bless you, Alice.

Stay with me for a second because this is actual rocket science. Centaur is a second-stage rocket launcher: the workhorse of the rocket world used to propel countless probes and satellites into space. It’s been invaluable to NASA since its creation, first allowing the U.S. to catch up to the Soviet Union during the space race, and eventually propelling spacecrafts to land on the moon and fly by other planets in the solar system.

So yes: Annie Easley helped DO that. She also contributed energy research to power plants and electronic batteries, which enabled the creation of hybrid vehicles. Go ahead and thank Annie for those, too.

Prior to Jeanne, the impact of discrimination and its accompanying stress factors were rarely explored or acknowledged in relationship to health. She also researched the impact of racism on childhood development and ways to approach therapy that addressed the needs of people of color. And Jeanne broke a ton of ground for black psychologists through her roles in academia and her publications.

Jewel researched ways to alter cell growth AND experimented with growing human tumor tissue outside of the human body to use for cancer treatment tests (instead of testing on living people). As if that wasn’t enough, she also helped to form the National Science Foundation’s Committee on Women and Minorities in Science.

The chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission monitors the byproduct of nuclear reactors, so it’s a pretty big deal. Shirley also served on a bunch of advisory boards for international security and energy, AND she was the first black woman to get a Ph.D from MIT.

See the full list:

23 Black Female Scientists Who Changed The Damn World

4

April 12th 1961: Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man in space

On this day in 1961, the Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel into outer space. Gagarin, a fighter pilot, was the successful candidate for the mission, being selected by Russian space programme director Sergei Korolev. Russia already had a lead in the Space Race, having launched Sputnik 1 in 1957, which was the first satellite in space. On April 12th 1961, Gagarin left Earth aboard the Vostok 1 spacecraft, famously declaring ‘Poyekhali!’ (which means ‘Let’s go!’ in Russian). He spent 108 minutes completing an orbit of the planet. Upon re-entering the atmosphere, Gagarin executed a successful ejection and landed by parachute in rural Russia, to the consternation of locals. Yuri Gagarin became famous worldwide and a Russian hero, being awarded the nation’s highest honour - Hero of the Soviet Union. Gagarin died in 1968 when the training plane he was piloting crashed; his ashes were buried in the walls of the Kremlin.

“Don’t be afraid, I am a Soviet citizen like you, who has descended from space and I must find a telephone to call Moscow!”
- Gagarin to some stunned farmers when he landed

Should you fight them: Russian leaders from 1855 onwards edition

Tsar Alexander II: leave alexander II alone. he just wants to free serfs and liberalize the legal system without having his authority threatened by the nobility. If you fight him you will definitely win, but, you’d be a bad person.

Tsar Alexander III: PLS FITE HIM. I mean, he’s big and burly and stoic and conservative and everything a Russian tsar is “supposed” to be so you will probably get all your limbs broken, but he is a dick, so fight him anyway.

Tsar Nicholas II: Fight him. You will undoubtedly win. He will run all the way to your duel by foot, by means of an extremely dumb and unnecessarily long route, (accidentally fighting the wrong person along the way) and be already totally wiped by the time he arrives. Even when it’s clear it’s a losing battle, and everyone he knows is telling him to just back out of the fight already, he will refuse, consequently pissing off everyone on his side and driving them to beat him up FOR you.

Vladimir Lenin: Don’t fight Lenin. He’s probably been planning his fight strategy for a decade. Bad idea.

Joseph Stalin: Um. Yeah. Don’t fight him. I dont think i need to explain myself, y’all already know the gory deets. Just, yikes, as much as fighting him would be amazing, pls stay far far away. 

~~fast forward~~

Nikita Khrushchev: If you fought him you would winbut he’d probably just read you an angry speech, throw a shoe at you, and then run away to watch star trek.

Leonid Brezhnev: Don’t fight him. He’s got a whole squad of underlings forced to come to his defense and fight you against their will, so, yeah. Don’t.

~~fast forward~~

Mikhail Gorbachev: You could definitely fight him, but you should probably just leave him be. He’ll probably just end up accidentally beating himself up, you wont even have to lift a finger. Anyway, he has a grammy and you don’t, so he’s won in the game of life. 

~~fast forward~~

Putin: i would say fight him but if he caught wind of your plans you would disappear off the face of the earth before you even got a chance.

6

All 9 soviet space dogs, top to bottom:

Laika - Sputnik 2, November 3 1957: First living being to reach space, DIED IN ORBIT.

Belka and Strelka -  Sputnik 5, August 19 1960: First living beings to reach space and return ALIVE.

Pchyolka and Mushka - Sputnik 6, December 1 1960: Reached orbit, DIED ON REENTRY after a malfunction activated the capsule’s self-destruct system.

Chernushka - Sputnik 9, 9 March 1961: First dog to return alive without a fellow companion.

Zvyozdochka - Sputnik 10, 25 March 1961: Last dog to go into orbit before the first human, Yuri Gagarin, did, she was also named by him.

Veterok and Ugolyok - Cosmos 110, 22 February 1966: Lasting 22 days in orbit, it became the longest space flight by dogs, they were also the last soviet space dogs.

2

The curios story of ZIB.

On September 1951, during the Soviet Union’s sub-orbital rocket travel experiments with dogs, just days before her flight, a test dog named Bolik (Болик) ran away from base, taking all the weeks of training and preparation with her. The soviet scientists, undeterred (and scared of their superiors) decided to look for a quick replacement, finding it in an unnamed street dog that kept roaming the base, and according to the military personnel, was very friendly.

Still without telling their superiors, the scientist named the dog ZIB (a Russian acronym for “Substitute for Missing Bolik”, “Замена Исчезнувшему Болику” Zamena Ischeznuvshemu Boliku) and put her in the rocket intended for Bolik with no training whatsoever, making a successful flight, and for her troubles, earning the best sausages the scientist could afford.

After the flight the truth was revealed, and while surprised, the director of the program accepted the scientist’s decision, and made sure that both ZIB’s name and history was put in the records of the program, going as far as to report it to the Politburo.