Space race

Back at work today. Yay! And I was very productive.

As well as having scores of records from Nick (at work) and his amending ways, I also had a load of stuff I’d researched at home that needed to be entered onto MIMSY.

I managed to flesh out a People record for John Moor Hyde, a Bristol shipbuilder who started life as a philosophical instrument maker. He was quite an enterprising chap and maybe I’ll write a post about him later.

The thing is, at lunch time, I finally went and visited Cosmonauts, the exhibition that Emma (at work) was, and is, heavily involved in.

It is fantastic that they have managed to show so many amazing objects that have never been seen outside Russia before and the story behind the Russian space programme is fascinating. I didn’t know, for instance, that the Russians stopped their attempts to land on the moon after the Americans had done it. (Not so much exploration as a competition then.)

Of course, that’s all we heard about in the late 60’s early 70’s. America on the moon. What we have forgotten (or simply didn’t know) was how the Russians did everything else first and it was this oneupmanship that pushed Kennedy to promise the moon landing “…within the decade.”

Working in the secret Star City (such a cool name) the Russians managed to send up satellites, dogs and, finally, humans. And something I didn’t know was how Laika, the first space dog, was the only one to die in space.

She was a mongrel, from the streets of Moscow, and she survived the take off only to die two hours after reaching orbit. She probably died from a failure in the heating system. However, she proved that living creatures could survive the launch into space and paved the way to everything outer spacey.

All up, it’s a marvellous exhibition, beautifully presented and, without any bias whatsoever, I highly recommend it.

No photography allowed inside! Comrade.

No photography allowed inside! Comrade.

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