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Star City Russia
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Star City Entrance Post
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Mir Hydrolab Facility. Pic#2
Neutral Buoyancy. NASA photo
Star City is an isolated, highly restricted military base...
It is a training facility for Cosmonauts and Astronauts.
NASA astronauts assigned to space station missions spend about 40% of their time training at Star City and the
rest at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Russian cosmonauts split their training much the same way.
Sputnik October 4 1957
First man in space, Yuri Gagarin.
"I was never nervous"
Gagarin - Inside Star City
"We are going to Star City," I directed. The driver did not respond.
"Star City?…Cosmos?…Um, cosmonaut?…Yuri Gagarin?"
I grabbed at any word that I thought might trigger a reaction. Again a blank stare.
Polling the people in the van, a few friends and a couple of new acquaintances, it became evident no one spoke Russian, except one -- our driver.
Dragging him back into the hotel, I brought him to the front-desk receptionist (whom I already knew spoke some English) and asked her to explain to our puzzled driver our desired destination.
"Svësdni Gorodok" she replied. That finally inspired a reaction from our driver, however, not exactly the one I had hoped for…
"Nyet, nyet, nyet," he chuckled while shaking his head.
"Da." I countered, using one of only two Russian words I knew.
After a little more bantering between our driver's 'nyets' and my 'das' he finally agreed and began our hour-long drive to the center of the Soviet and Russian space programs.
The long drive was relatively uneventful. The road leading to one of the world's leading technological (albeit, often overlooked) centers is surprisingly rural; it's basically located in
the country, with farms and small roadside stands serving as the most noticeable of any local landmarks.
The peaceful ride gave some time for us to reflect on what had really just transpired. Only a decade earlier, the idea of tourists visiting Star City, let alone Americans,
would have been unthinkable. But here we were, a group of six, most of us too young to remember Gagarin's first flight, doing just that.
We knew we had arrived as we drove up to a large gate and a surrounding stone wall. Two guards toting AK-47 rifles slowly approached either side of the van. One guard
looked into the van and yelled something in Russian to his partner.
The gates opened, much to the obvious relief of our driver, and we were waved onward...
(Full article deleted)Next: Inside the Mir
Yuri Gagarin statue
The Long Now clock
Apollo 17 3-D:
He flew 2000 times
NASA violates separation of state & church
Russian pupils can study religion
Poor Laika, first dog in space; RIP
This photo of Mir was taken from the Space Shuttle Discovery
A visitor from Jupiter, watching a typical Western on television, remarked to a friend:
"How come the hero has a biped riding on his back?"
Who Owns the Moon?
Land and Mineral Resource Ownership
by Virgiliu Pop
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