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Old 05-31-2012, 08:56 AM
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Default USSR found water on the moon - in 1976!

Soviet Moon Lander Discovered Water on the Moon in 1976 - Technology Review

I am always amazed at how good the USSR was in terms of their space programs. They sent up the first satellite, the first person into space and did plenty of moon missions with a scientific background - when the Americans were just holding one "first time" that was celebrated widely - that "first man on the moon" event. And of course cool moon cars. So, while the Americans struggled to bring back so many kilos of moon rock that they could not package safely enough to prevent contamination, the USSR sent a drill up there to take a few high quality samples from below the surface. Quality instead of Quantity

But of course these were only stupid communists, they cannot really do anything, right? So everyone else ignored that they found a 1‰ water content in their moon rock samples and instead continued with expensive missions to search for water on the moon...
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Old 06-01-2012, 11:19 PM
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Same reason as the whole space race - they wanted to do it themselves. Remember the context in any case - nobody wanted to share data; not that it was until 2008 that any readings were confirmed.
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Old 06-03-2012, 11:51 AM
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The article says, the Soviets published their findings in a renowned sceintific paper. In Russian of course (just as the Americans published everything in english). Does not sound so secretive actually.
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Old 06-03-2012, 12:59 PM
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Actually they did actually publish an english version of the journal, but of course with the cold war on such works were not highly read.

There are so many journals published around the world its easy for a single paper to be forgotten.
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:24 AM
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Well yes, but I think something that people spend millions of $$ on should have enough manpower to at least look for those papers that may already have shown the same results. I think it was mainly "we dont trust those Russians, they cannot do proper science because they are just stupid communists".
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Old 06-04-2012, 05:09 PM
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Did you even READ my post?

It's the same the other way around. The only reason the USSR didn't reach the moon is that their economy went down the toilet. They didn't stop just because the US managed it, thinking "that'll do".
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Old 06-06-2012, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
The only reason the USSR didn't reach the moon is that their economy went down the toilet. They didn't stop just because the US managed it, thinking "that'll do".
I dont know if you can back that up.

The whole idea to put people on the moon was more of a prestige project anyways. The USA does not send people to the moon anymore either.
Most of the tasks (like taking moon rock samples or make photos or such) can be done with robotics. The USSR was actually quite advanced in their space program - more than the US. Look at all the things they did first:
Soviet space program - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
First satellite, first landing on the moon by a probe, first man in space, first probes to Mars and Venus and so on. Just because the US managed to pull off that first moon landing with a human on board does not impress me that much. Scientifically it is a no win mission compared to the data one can get from unmanned missions.
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:01 PM
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its more of a middle ground between your two postions.

It is true that the USSR did some very impressive stuff in the space race and did produce a saturn 5 scale rocket called the N1 for their manned moon mission



However the reason that they never got a man to the moon was partly because they lacked the economy capacity to churn the rockets out like the Americans and that they failed to perfect the N1 due to racing to beat the Americans. In fact no N1 every successfully launched.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N1_(rocket)

Last edited by Exoblade; 06-06-2012 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:29 AM
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They also produced a space shuttle, which never got off the ground past a single unmanned test (and was eventually destroyed when the unmaintained hangar collapsed on it). There wasn't anything actually wrong with what they knew, it was just behind the leading edge (and admittedly, largely the product of intelligence rather than R&D).
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:24 AM
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Yes, to go off on a tangent here, with the Buran the russians actually did what the Americans did in reverse.

After the apollo mission wrapped up Nixon decided to go for a low orbit infrastructure project instead of returning to the moon or going to mars. To do this the decided to construct a space plane which would then build a space station.

Meanwhile the russians did things the otherway round. They first built their space station (Mir) and then tried to develop their space shuttle.
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auroraglacialis View Post
So, while the Americans struggled to bring back so many kilos of moon rock that they could not package safely enough to prevent contamination, the USSR sent a drill up there to take a few high quality samples from below the surface.
Whether or not it was known, a few samples from one location at one time hardly gives a good representation of distribution.
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:29 PM
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I strongly doubt that the USSR managed to get so many "firsts" by spying on the US. I think they just had a strong interest in doing this and they had a form of economy that allowed that. planned economies are like that - if the government decides that something is supposed to be built, it can put a lot of people onto it. Look at China - they are booming to a large degree because they are a centralized controlled weird form of state capitalism. And if they decide that XY new nuclear reactors and a canal to pump water to northern China from the south are to be built, it is going to happen. The US was actually a bit more state centralized during the 1950ies and 60ies. The state at that time had a lot of power and money. So they could spend a lot of money on space stuff. Unlike later when the neoliberal agenda took hold. It did for the US what the USSR did with other means - restrict the ability of the state to operate with any significant efficiency and budget. But during the post war period, both economies were rather productive. The numbers of academics in the USSR was very high becausepeople were not restricted by finances to get education, so they had a huge number of well educated people, many of whom worked in engineering - like the space program.
I personally think, the USSR won the space race by points
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:56 AM
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Academics in the USSR were rare because the government kept persecuting them and sending them to gulags, actually.
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
Academics in the USSR were rare because the government kept persecuting them and sending them to gulags, actually.
Actually the USSR had a large numbers of Academics especially in rocketry and nuclear power due to Stalins drive for highly skilled workers. Most of them were kept loyal by being given better quality faclities. Anyway after Stalin died most of the persecution stopped.
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:55 PM
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Citing a general wikipedia article on emmigration from the USSR does not prove your point.

Numeraous reasons existed to emmigrate from the USSR - after all it was not really a communist state, but a pseudocommunist authoritarian regime, so there was opression, limits to freedom, restrictions at the workplace and of course the consumerism of "the West" was a big lure. Just yesterday I saw a docu on East Germany and the merger with West Germany in 1989. It was fascinating - when the wall fell, people from the east were given money for free so that they could endulge in shopping in West Berlin. In the weeks and moths following that, people from the then open East Germany filled the streets of the western part of Berlin to shop and spend all the money they had buying all the shiny consumer products. Shorty afterwards they voted to become part of West Germany and gave up sovereignty. Only months after that, they realized the meaning of that. They never before struggled with unemployment, poverty or the need to finance their childrens education or to find a place for their small kids to stay in daycare. And a few years later, they saw the dismantlement of the educational system that allowed unprecedented access to technical and scientific education for poor students as well as for girls - something the USA reached much later only and still struggles to provide.
Higher education was very much valued and promoted in the Soviet States. This does not say, that there was rreally equality or a fair treatment. Especially for political reasons, one could easily be discriminated or denied education, which is really bad. But that does not say anything on the overall acess of the states as a whole to people with high academic education.

But I think some people just swallowed that propaganda pill of the Matrix in the West, that persistent cultural narrative of the superiority of the western (particularly USA and UK) model of society, politics, education and economy. And of course, if one does not dare to take the red pill and look a little bit beyond that, to at least question the validity of that story and hear what people outside of that cultural bubble have to say - then one can sit comfortably inside that bubble, maybe not even leave the country and pretend to know what is going on elsewhere because the media, politicians and professors at the university say so (Or because it was in the movies or computer games).

Just out of curiousity, HNM, do you travel a lot? What countries have you visited and did you talk to local people there?
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