[FPSPACE] Rocket fence

Anatoly Zak agzak at optonline.net
Wed Mar 9 14:18:06 EST 2011

Ever since I have been traveling from Moscow to my country house as a kid, I
looked with fascination at a gigantic red-brick building visible behind the
commuter train window near Podlipki stop. From reluctant comments of my
parents, I knew that this site was very important in the Soviet space
program. I could only imagine fantastic spaceships being assembled behind
walls of this colossal structure. It was obviously an improbable dream to
ever get inside. Last week, I finally did, and I can tell you, it was worth
to wait a quarter of a century. Almost entire wall opposite to the entrance
was lined up with life-size rockets, representing Sergei Korolev¹s entire
legacy in rocketry -- from the Soviet copy of the German V-2 to the GR-1
orbital missile. The rest of the giant room was filled with space station
modules, rocket engines, spacecraft and their components. Legendary Vostok
and Soyuz were all there. A little-known version of the Soviet lunar module
from the Moon Race era stood in the corner. Literally, it was almost entire
history of the Soviet space program coming from nowhere in all its glory.
For any space fan, it is an almost religious, breath-taking experience to be
there.  As we now know, this building was originally used for the assembly
of the R-7 ICBM, which could stand inside in vertical position.

My time was very limited, and my camera was acting up, but I did manage to
take around 300 shots. Time allows, I will be sorting, identifying and
posting them with the appropriate content on the site. But for now, here is
an evidence that it was not just a dream:


Anatoly Zak

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