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(Encyclopedia Astronautica)   "Why didn't the Russians beat the Americans in the moon race? Reviewing the matter with hindsight, it might better be asked -- how did they expect to win? "   (astronautix.com) divider line 62
    More: Interesting, Russians, Americans, Academy of Sciences, moon landings, Russians beat, launch complexes, space researches, Wernher von Braun  
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4981 clicks; posted to Geek » on 08 Dec 2013 at 3:53 PM (36 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-12-08 01:34:13 PM
We had Stanley Kubrick.
 
2013-12-08 02:00:22 PM

Mugato: We had Stanley Kubrick.


And the Von Braun group.
 
2013-12-08 02:08:54 PM

unyon: Mugato: We had Stanley Kubrick.

And the Von Braun group.


And an inspiring dead president
 
2013-12-08 02:14:16 PM
img.fark.net
 
2013-12-08 02:21:29 PM

unyon: Mugato: We had Stanley Kubrick.

And the Von Braun group.


Von Braun was the director of photography?
 
2013-12-08 02:22:39 PM

Mugato: unyon: Mugato: We had Stanley Kubrick.

And the Von Braun group.

Von Braun was the director of photography?


Special effects
 
2013-12-08 02:26:47 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: Mugato: unyon: Mugato: We had Stanley Kubrick.

And the Von Braun group.

Von Braun was the director of photography?

Special effects


Damn, I wish I could have met him. Doing VFX in front of a computer is so boring. Practical FX in the 60s, especially stuff on the moon was probably a lot more fun.
 
2013-12-08 02:34:54 PM
You can believe almost anything if you drink enough vodak.
 
2013-12-08 02:34:57 PM
You know, a lot of people in this thread are just asking to be biatch-slapped by Buzz Aldrin.
 
2013-12-08 03:59:51 PM
They beat the shiat out of us in the early days, but they were no where close in the race to the Mun.

/I wonder if there are commie Kerbals...
 
2013-12-08 04:00:18 PM
Our Germans were better than their Germans.
 
2013-12-08 04:03:50 PM

ecmoRandomNumbers:


Obviously the inspiration for a lot of Kerbal boosters.
 
2013-12-08 04:04:41 PM

ecmoRandomNumbers: [img.fark.net image 434x550]


The Soviet  N1 first stage had 30 rocket engines delivered and all those engines had to work almost perfectly as I understand it

In contrast the first stage of Saturn V S-1C had only 5 engines

paultclark.com
 
2013-12-08 04:07:42 PM
Really? The first few years of the 'space race' America got it's ass kicked.
 
2013-12-08 04:08:56 PM
They beat you in every other space milestone. I wonder how all those great space benefits makes Russia so desirable to live in?
 
2013-12-08 04:11:11 PM

hasty ambush: ecmoRandomNumbers: [img.fark.net image 434x550]

The Soviet  N1 first stage had 30 rocket engines delivered and all those engines had to work almost perfectly as I understand it

In contrast the first stage of Saturn V S-1C had only 5 engines

[paultclark.com image 409x286]


That's pretty-much what TFA distills down to.  The N1 didn't work, because there were too many engines that had to work and coordinate, and the USSR didn't have the manufacturing ability to make anything that tightly toleranced.
 
2013-12-08 04:15:24 PM

mark12A: Our Germans were better than their Germans.


Pretty much.

hasty ambush: ecmoRandomNumbers: [img.fark.net image 434x550]

The Soviet  N1 first stage had 30 rocket engines delivered and all those engines had to work almost perfectly as I understand it

In contrast the first stage of Saturn V S-1C had only 5 engines

[paultclark.com image 409x286]


If I remember correctly from a Science Channel thingie on this subject, the Soviets on the project were so damned obstinate, they refused to believe that this technology couldn't work, and held onto it way longer than they should have.
 
2013-12-08 04:27:53 PM
Did they expect to "win"? They had already orbited the moon and landed payloads on its surface by that point.
 
2013-12-08 04:29:24 PM

optikeye: Really? The first few years of the 'space race' America got it's ass kicked.


Silence! This is not in alignment with our re-imagined past!
 
2013-12-08 04:34:10 PM

Mugato: Damn, I wish I could have met him.


My grandfather did... being an Army officer, fluent in German with no accent, he was part of the mission to get into Germany in the waning days of the war and smuggle Von Braun and a bunch of other V-2 scientists out... since he had an engineering degree, my grandfather was offered a position to help test the first American rockets... life took him in a different direction, however (long story short [too late] MIT Masters Degree in Engineering and Doctorate Degree from Harvard Business School... later head of the World Trade Center in Atlanta...)

/I know, I know, tl;dr/CSB...
 
2013-12-08 04:39:14 PM
Russia had a rocket ready to go a week before the US.  It's said that their plan was to send Cosmonauts to the moon with no way to return them.  So basically go to the moon so we can be first and die a heroic death for your country.  But that rocket exploded on the launch pad.
 
2013-12-08 05:10:52 PM

optikeye: Really? The first few years of the 'space race' America got it's ass kicked.


It was more like America *seemed* to get its ass kicked. In fact, many of the Russian firsts were publicity stunts and didn't represent significant advances in underlying technology. They also had the advantage of not having to announce their failures. Their program was designed around getting to the low-hanging fruit first, even if it meant wasting effort on technology that didn't have long-term utility. Additionally, their strongest efforts were in the area of making a space station, not a moon landing. This meant they were running a different race than America, with different technological goals.
 
2013-12-08 05:11:01 PM

optikeye: Really? The first few years of the 'space race' America got it's ass kicked.


Sputnik 1 went "beep beep beep" and lasted 22 days before the batteries died. Stayed in orbit for a bit longer than a year.
Explorer 1 detected cosmic rays, the Van Allen belts, and transmitted data for four months. Stayed in orbit until 1970.
 
2013-12-08 05:18:28 PM

baufan2005: Russia had a rocket ready to go a week before the US.  It's said that their plan was to send Cosmonauts to the moon with no way to return them.  So basically go to the moon so we can be first and die a heroic death for your country.  But that rocket exploded on the launch pad.


Why bother with the expense of a return vehicle when you could pack a couple of knives and hijack the American ship that was going to be there a week later?

/not serious
 
2013-12-08 05:20:50 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWibWshw7T8

Yeah, don't park your car in the cheap lots next to the launch pad. Yeek.
 
2013-12-08 05:31:53 PM
The USA had all the money and Werner von Braun yet the Soviets won every round but the race for the moon. It was an amazing achievement.
 
2013-12-08 05:40:25 PM

mark12A: Our Germans were better than their Germans.


They couldn't throw as much money at it as the US could. That was an early indication that their communist system didn't work.
 
2013-12-08 05:55:23 PM

Suede head: The USA had all the money and Werner von Braun yet the Soviets won every round but the race for the moon. It was an amazing achievement.


A few publicity stunts can't beat an organized space program. For instance, the Russians launched the first three-man crew -- by ripping most of the equipment out of the spacecraft and sending them up without space suits. There's no long-term value to that.
 
2013-12-08 06:10:39 PM
Yeah, why did the folks who got the first satellite in space, the first animal in space and the first man in space  and later went on to get the first woman into space and build the first permanent manned space station in space expect to be the first to land on the moon.
 
2013-12-08 06:18:03 PM

Target Builder: Yeah, why did the folks who got the first satellite in space, the first animal in space and the first man in space  and later went on to get the first woman into space and build the first permanent manned space station in space expect to be the first to land on the moon.


Because they grew overconfident in their ability to be first at everything, they overestimated their own capability, and they underestimated our technical knowledge.

They also underestimated our ability to delay gratification and the motivating power of a martyred President with a legacy to fulfill.
 
2013-12-08 06:24:57 PM
Richard Feynman made the point in 1963 that the Soviet Union was anti-science, and it was exceedingly difficult to develop new ideas there. The problem was far worse in biology (the government rejected Mendelian genetics and outlawed any work based on it) but it set them back in all sciences.

"There are two schools of physics. And there are the good guys and the bad guys, and it's perfectly obvious, and it's very interesting. And there are great physicists in Russia, but physics is developing much more rapidly in the West, and although it looked for a while like something good would happen there, it hasn't.

"Now this doesn't mean that technology is not developing or that they are in some way backward that way, but I'm trying to show that in a country of this kind the development of ideas is doomed."

Feynman in "The Meaning of It All"
 
2013-12-08 06:32:54 PM

EngineerAU: baufan2005: Russia had a rocket ready to go a week before the US.  It's said that their plan was to send Cosmonauts to the moon with no way to return them.  So basically go to the moon so we can be first and die a heroic death for your country.  But that rocket exploded on the launch pad.

Why bother with the expense of a return vehicle when you could pack a couple of knives and hijack the American ship that was going to be there a week later?

/not serious


In 1955 Soviet Sci-Fi novel "220 Days On Spaceship" American engineer looses race to Mars to Russians, gets eaten by Martian grasshopper-crocodile and his drunk comrade tries to hijack Russian spaceship

Link / http://translate.yandex.com
 
2013-12-08 06:49:26 PM
Yeah, why did the folks who got the first satellite in space, the first animal in space and the first man in space  and later went on to get the first woman into space and build the first permanent manned space station in space expect to be the first to land on the moon.

Keep in mind they did all of the above using the same rocket model they started with in 1957. A big ol' Korable (R-7). It was big because they didn't know how big their nuclear warheads would be, so they built the biggest rocket they could at the time, with no less than *20* little engines clustered in the first stage. With that kind of lift capability they could have been the first nation to put a brick shiathouse in orbit, but it wouldn't have accomplished much.

When you look at the sophistication of the technology it took to land on the moon, worldwide tracking/comm systems, onboard computers/IMUs/radar systems, the Russians didn't have a prayer of successfully landing a man on the moon. They didn't have the tech. Doing a simple direct to landing approach (no lunar orbit rendezvous)  like they did with their soft landing probes, but manned,  would have taken a HUGE landing vehicle that even the N-1 couldn't put into orbit. It would have to have been assembled in earth orbit, and their earth orbit rendezvous tech was a bit shakey...

/per previous post, nobody here watched The Right Stuff?
//LBJ: "Was it them?? Was it their German scientists??"
 
2013-12-08 07:02:51 PM
So basically, lake of funding and lack of political interest in making space a priority?

Sounds like America lately.
 
2013-12-08 07:03:29 PM
err... lack of funding
 
2013-12-08 07:35:01 PM
They slept in during the draft process...
 
2013-12-08 07:51:05 PM

Vogon Poet: Richard Feynman made the point in 1963 that the Soviet Union was anti-science, and it was exceedingly difficult to develop new ideas there. The problem was far worse in biology (the government rejected Mendelian genetics and outlawed any work based on it) but it set them back in all sciences.



Could never happen here in the U. S. of A., no way.  Our politicians are super pro-research and not ideologically opposed to certain kinds of research and would never interfere with scientists' pursuits. Uh huh.

cdn.motinetwork.net
 
2013-12-08 08:20:13 PM

Target Builder: Yeah, why did the folks who got the first satellite in space, the first animal in space and the first man in space  and later went on to get the first woman into space and build the first permanent manned space station in space expect to be the first to land on the moon.


Overconfidence.

They did the things that were relatively easy. And they lost a LOT of people doing it.
 
2013-12-08 09:24:10 PM
Cool outline comrade.  Let us know when the author turns these notes into an actual document.
 
2013-12-08 09:38:43 PM

optikeye: Really? The first few years of the 'space race' America got it's ass kicked.


The key is to win, sure the Russian's did plenty that was first but none of it matters all that much considering the state of their space program is even worse off than ours. Part of the reason NASA is as capable as it is now, is because of the space race. Of course, with Congress more or less throwing away that capability by not agreeing to fund NASA at what are modest spending levels when you talk about government spending eh.
 
2013-12-08 09:39:34 PM

minuslars: So basically, lake of funding and lack of political interest in making space a priority?

Sounds like America lately.


Why do people pretend that there's a lack of funding for NASA?   Outside of the Apollo program, we're pretty damn close to the inflation-adjusted highs.  2013 funding is nearly $18 billion.

As a comparison, the European Space Agency this year has a budget of about $5.5 billion.

The Chinese National Space Administration has a budget of $0.5 billion.

The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency has a budget of $2.46 billion this year.

The Russian Federal Space Agency has a budget of $5.56 billion.

The US spends more on space exploration than the entire rest of the world combined.
 
2013-12-08 09:42:54 PM

minuslars: So basically, lake of funding and lack of political interest in making space a priority?

Sounds like America lately.


Yup. Have you seen about the NASA Townhall?
 
2013-12-08 09:53:49 PM

meanmutton: minuslars: So basically, lake of funding and lack of political interest in making space a priority?

Sounds like America lately.

Why do people pretend that there's a lack of funding for NASA?   Outside of the Apollo program, we're pretty damn close to the inflation-adjusted highs.  2013 funding is nearly $18 billion.

As a comparison, the European Space Agency this year has a budget of about $5.5 billion.

The Chinese National Space Administration has a budget of $0.5 billion.

The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency has a budget of $2.46 billion this year.

The Russian Federal Space Agency has a budget of $5.56 billion.

The US spends more on space exploration than the entire rest of the world combined.



Actually we spend  more on just about everything than most the world combined (particularly when you combined Federal with state and local spending) education, defense welfare etc.  NASA is on of those rare cases where we get a good return on our tax dollars.
 
2013-12-08 10:09:36 PM

meanmutton: minuslars: So basically, lake of funding and lack of political interest in making space a priority?

Sounds like America lately.

Why do people pretend that there's a lack of funding for NASA?   Outside of the Apollo program, we're pretty damn close to the inflation-adjusted highs.  2013 funding is nearly $18 billion.

As a comparison, the European Space Agency this year has a budget of about $5.5 billion.

The Chinese National Space Administration has a budget of $0.5 billion.

The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency has a budget of $2.46 billion this year.

The Russian Federal Space Agency has a budget of $5.56 billion.

The US spends more on space exploration than the entire rest of the world combined.


Yes, that's true but what is also true is that Congress has slashed NASA's planetary budget twice, the last time they got it restored before they slashed it again. Just a week or two ago they basically told planetary scientists to find a new line of work. Since they wont be given any grants to do any science for 2014. Meanwhile ISS is likely not to get renewed beyond 2020 as things are now, and whatever you think of ISS the idea that we toss a 100 billion dollar space station into the ocean because we don't want to spend money maintaining it is madness.

Then there is the fact that flagship missions like Curiosity, Webb, seem to be out of the question for the future. Or at least that's what Charlie Bolden has said pretty clearly.

Yes, the United States spends more money than most countries on spaceflight but instead of maintaining our capability we are cutting it at the moment. For no good reason. It isn't like NASA's budget, or science budgets make a HUGE part of the budget anyway. NASA alone is only 0.5 percent of three trillion, so there is absolutely no money to be gained by cutting NASA/NSF/NOAA/etc. Yet, that's what we're doing because we've got short sighted morons in charge.

Make no mistake, if the United States doesn't continue to innovate our decline is all but certain. Science pushes us in so many directions as a civilization for the better, and I wish my fellow countrymen/women understood that. All for a bargain if I do say so myself.
 
2013-12-08 10:14:19 PM
The Russians put a motorized unmanned rover on the moon.  They also landed a probe on Venus.

I'm not really interested in fist-pumping "USA! USA!" or "USSR! USSR!" crap, I'm more interested in science.  The USSR contributed to it, and if fist-pumping Commiephobes are pissed off by that, well they're pissed off.

So yes you can say that the USA "won" the "moon race."  Granted.  Maybe now we should nuke Russia and dance on the radioactive ashes so that we can "prove" that the USA "won."

Personally, I'm into science.

/always crabby on Sunday night so don't bother
 
2013-12-08 10:51:16 PM

Kibbler: The Russians put a motorized unmanned rover on the moon.  They also landed a probe on Venus.

I'm not really interested in fist-pumping "USA! USA!" or "USSR! USSR!" crap, I'm more interested in science.  The USSR contributed to it, and if fist-pumping Commiephobes are pissed off by that, well they're pissed off.

So yes you can say that the USA "won" the "moon race."  Granted.  Maybe now we should nuke Russia and dance on the radioactive ashes so that we can "prove" that the USA "won."

Personally, I'm into science.

/always crabby on Sunday night so don't bother


Okay, Russia STRONG, and all that comrade... but the Russians weren't close to doing a Moon shot. It's just plain fact. Nobody denies Russia did a lot of things, but they didn't do the work to get to the Moon. That's just fact, and undeniable. It wasn't close.

Project Gemini wasn't just shiat to show off. There would be no Apollo without the docking maneuver (i.e. getting someone to the Moon, returning them to Lunar orbit, docking with the main spacecraft, and returning safely to Earth). The Russians couldn't get that part down at the time, which was really rather important. You need to know how to do shiat like docking, and NASA did the groundwork to make that happen, and lay the foundation for Apollo.

See? No nukeyoular weapons required, no disparaging of Gagarin or Leonov or anyone.
 
2013-12-08 11:23:06 PM
We had HOLLYWOOD.
 
2013-12-08 11:43:54 PM

whither_apophis: Sputnik 1 went "beep beep beep"


www.nndb.com

And I was like "uhhh"?

/it devoured my paper
 
2013-12-08 11:50:35 PM

Kibbler: The Russians put a motorized unmanned rover on the moon.  They also landed a probe on Venus.

I'm not really interested in fist-pumping "USA! USA!" or "USSR! USSR!" crap, I'm more interested in science.  The USSR contributed to it, and if fist-pumping Commiephobes are pissed off by that, well they're pissed off.

So yes you can say that the USA "won" the "moon race."  Granted.  Maybe now we should nuke Russia and dance on the radioactive ashes so that we can "prove" that the USA "won."

Personally, I'm into science.

/always crabby on Sunday night so don't bother


If you're into science you'd have to be honest that the scientific results from the Russian's moon rovers weren't all that significant. Part of that is because the rover drivers overrode the scientists, the scientists wanted to stop, the rover drivers did all they could to drive as far as possible. Opportunity/Curiosity could have done nothing but drive like the Russian's lunar rovers, but instead they stop months at a time studying their surroundings.

As for Russia's Venus contributions, you're right in saying that they did a lot for our understanding of that planet.

That being said, if you think the triumph of the manned moon landings didn't contribute anything to science that just isn't true. They put NASA and our nation on a high, that we could do anything. Which is why NASA is the only nation to have more than two missions exploring beyond low earth orbit at at the moment and Russia hasn't had an exploration probe beyond low earth orbit since 1988.

Meanwhile NASA has shape our understanding of Mars, Mercury, the edge of the solar system, Saturn, Jupiter, the asteroids, comets, and etc. So no, even when you put aside the contributions of the manned space program, NASA's list of achievements are well above everyone else.

ESA is the closest in capability, and the Chinese might one day be there too but first they've got to break free from doing that which hasn't already been done. Call me when the Chinese are doing something in space that hasn't been done before, then we'll talk. Meanwhile the Russians are endangered by the privatization of space, and the growing capability of Asia. So it'll be interesting to see if they can stay relevant as the game changes before our eyes.

Which is why we have to fund NASA, and why its so terrible when science becomes a causality of budget battles.  Mostly because I am not yet convinced that anyone can fill NASA or the JPL's shoes.

Russia? Hah, oh hell no. China? Eh. Its not impossible, but we'll see and considering their priority to use space as a military/show of force over an entirely scientific endeavor. ESA? JAXA? CSA? No, they're followers, not leaders when it comes to space and have had done nothing to suggest that they will ever do anything really big without Russia, NASA, or China in the lead.

NASA is it, if we screw this pooch our grandchildren will have no Curiosity Rovers, or Voyager missions to be in awe of.
 
2013-12-09 12:05:01 AM

ecmoRandomNumbers: If I remember correctly from a Science Channel thingie on this subject, the Soviets on the project were so damned obstinate, they refused to believe that this technology couldn't work, and held onto it way longer than they should have.


Stubborn russians??? I refuse to believe it!
 
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