This is Leonid Vladimirov's shocking book The Russian Space Bluff - The Inside Story of the Soviet Drive to the Moon (1971) which exposes the gigantic bluff of Soviet space superiority that took the world after the launch of Sputnik and was pushed by the world media as granted in order to start the incredibly costly space race. When the first Sputnik went into orbit in 1957, Americans panicked. Until that year the Soviet Union had seemed a brutish but backward land, capable of threatening world peace and oppressing its neighbors, as it had done in Hungary just the year before, yet quite unable to challenge America’s technological superiority. One small satellite changed all that, frightening Americans enough to make victory in the "space race" crucial for national self-respect. If the author is right, the outcome of that race was never in doubt, since the entire Soviet adventure into space constituted a titanic bluff, which America inevitably caned. Vladimirov’s thesis is simple but convincing. He argues that before, during, and after the race to the Moon, the United States enjoyed a solid lead over the Soviet Union in all aspects of space technology. Although the Soviets managed to score a number of impressive space spectaculars, they lacked the sophisticated equipment necessary for a landing on the Moon. Indeed, "the Russians were never ahead in space. There had been only the appearance of leadership: shows brilliantly staged . . . to scripts provided by the Americans." Vladimirov defected from Soviet ranks in 1966, after a career as an engineer and scientific journalist. He spent the last six years of that career in direct contact with Soviet space scientists, censors, and newsmen, giving him excellent credentials to discuss the Soviet space program. He first tried to publish these remarks shortly after his arrival in the West, only to have them rejected by publishers who were quite certain that Russians would be the first men on the Moon. Vladimirov’s prediction that the Soviet Union would not win the "space race" seemed nonsensical in 1966, but subsequent Soviet failures and American successes have proved its validity. Up to the present we have known practically nothing of Russia's space industry, of the early experiments and flights, of the brilliant engineers, scientists and visionaries who created it. The Russian Space Bluff, written by a Russian engineer and scientific editor who worked in direct contact with Soviet space experts, gives the first inside story of the Soviet's space programmes. 200 pages, few pictures. A must read for everyone.
ed2k: Vladimirov.-.The.Russian.Space.Bluff.-.The.Inside.Story.of.the.Soviet.Drive.to.the.Moon.(1971).pdf [4.38 Mb] [Stats]
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