One giant leap for tortoise-kind

(historytoday.com)

37 points | by renameme 25 days ago

4 comments

  • bluescarni 25 days ago
    > Korolev and his team made rapid advances. But even with the full weight of the Soviet economy behind them, they struggled to catch up. The main reason for this was organisational. Whereas the American programme was centrally planned and hierarchically managed, their Soviet counterparts seemed to be almost wilfully chaotic.

    Oh my the irony.

    • areoform 25 days ago
      A small timeline clarification, Korolev died on January 14th, 1966. He did not live to see this successful flight.

      The Zond mission series is notable because it's the first time the Soviets tried an electronic digital computer on their spacecraft.

      > In August 1964, trying to catch up with the Apollo program, the Soviet Union launched its own lunar landing project. A new spacecraft code named 7K-L1 (later publicly named Zond) was designed, and its control system included, for the first time in a Soviet spacecraft, an onboard electronic digital computer, the Argon-11S. The design and construction of the Argon-11S was completed in 1968 by the Scientific Research Institute of Electronic Machinery (NIEM) in Moscow.

      - http://web.mit.edu/slava/space/introduction.htm

      As they didn't have the ability to produce integrated circuits, they used something called a "hybrid IC" that is kinda like a shrink-wrapped PCB with extra steps,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_integrated_circuit

      These missions were also responsible for other firsts, like the first test of a Pulsed Plasma Thruster. And the Zond 2 & 3 were the first Solar-Electric Propulsion missions ever flown in space, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulsed_plasma_thruster

      • makarthikeyan 25 days ago
        Space travel history is always fascinating. I wonder if there is any data on using animals with short lifespans to study impact across generations from space travel?
        • notanote 25 days ago
          Interesting question, I did some searching. I guessed they might have done such research with fruit flies [1], but I can only find one plan to try it for nine generations [2]. I suspect that project never launched because of the end of the space shuttle program. I can’t find a relevant paper by the mentioned researchers in any case. All the other Drosophila research seems limited to a single generation in space.

          (It seems like C. Elegans has not been studied in space to the same extent as fruit flies.)

          [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruit_flies_in_space

          [2] https://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2004/0...

        • hellbannedguy 25 days ago
          "It took four days for the Soviet navy to recover it. To everyone’s surprise – and their inestimable relief – the tortoises were still alive."

          Today, this is all I wanted to know. The hoax part is good too.

          • saiya-jin 25 days ago
            I guess you didn't get to the part just below it about dissecting all of them...
            • hellbannedguy 24 days ago
              Nope--, but thanks for telling me. I went all day telling this great story, but will read to the end next time.