Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Trip to a Research Lab in Moscow with Real Space Rockets

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Moscow is not even close to the places where the most of Russian space launches are being performed. However, Moscow has a bunch of scientific research centers and universities which contribute to the technology, so there is a place in Moscow where real life rocket engines are stored, right in the university. This is a post of a trip to such place which Svetlana (the author) has made on a day known as “Cosmanautics Day” in Russia. This place is not a museum and generally not open for public. A special permission is needed to obtain a right of passage there.

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This lab hosts a few rockets. Those are not the copies of the rockets, not dummy models but real life rockets and their engines. This one is an R-7 rocket. Svetlana says that exactly such rocket has carried a first satellite “Sputnik” into its flight in space. She says that it is being used even now, probably in a different modification but the base stays the same.   A space missile that brought to space many Soviet and Russian legendary cosmonauts and satellites can be seen in this lab in particular detail dissected for your viewing pleasure inside.

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Near the rocket there is a part of its jet chamber where the fuel gets burned.

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Svetlana says that the chamber is made in such way that the fuel be burned there as fast as possible to create the biggest possible jet propulsion. The small holes are the nozzles used to spray in oxidants and fuels under high pressure. They come inside in a way of small drops and burn when got mixed up.

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The most narrow part of the chamber is where the maximum speed of the fuel is being reached – in theory, she says, speed is equal to speed of sound.

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And this is the same rocket engines but as seen from another side.

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That round thing on top of the tunnel tube that connects oxidant tanks with liquid oxygen and engines is a manhole. Now you can understand the size of the structure.

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Another angle of the missile.

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And those are the “brains” of the set up. The devices controlling the R-7 rocket in their special encasement. Can you see a “stick” in the centre of the device section? This is a “pusher” a thing that separates actual payload, a spaceship or a satellite into the space when they reach the destination. The “brains” are doomed to go down to the atmosphere and burn.

This is an example what was used as a payload. An interplanetary research station “2MV” – could be used to conduct researches on Venus OR on Mars.

And it had its own personal engine to be able to maneuver in open space.



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