NASA Office of Logic Design

NASA Office of Logic Design

A scientific study of the problems of digital engineering for space flight systems,
with a view to their practical solution.

References, General Aerospace

Russian Space Program


Title and Publishing Information Abstract

Russian HEND for NASA mission 2001 MARS ODYSSEY

Some interesting pictures of Russian made electronics.



The High Energy Neutron Detector HEND was developed in the Laboratory of space gamma ray spectroscopy of the Space Research Institute (Moscow, Russia). It was constructed under contract with Russian Aviation Space Agensy (Rosaviakosmos) in accordance with the Federal Program of Basic Space Exploration of Russia. Joint Institute for Nuclear Researches (Dubna, Russia) participated in development of the physical concept of HEND.

Installation of HEND on the spacecraft "2001 Mars Odyssey" has been performed in accordance with Implementation Agreement between Rosaviakosmos and NASA

The joint Russian-United States science team created for HEND's data processing and results analysis.  

The main parameters of HEND are presented in Table 1

Soviet Space Battle Station Skif and its prototype Polus.


More Information: Polyus from the Encyclopedia Astronautica

Declassified American Government Documents Show a Broad and In-Depth Interest in Soviet Space Activities

Peter Pesavento
JBIS, Vol. 56, pp. 175-191, 2003

Back in 1993, when this author was able to acquire one of the first US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) documents declassified on the Soviet Space Program, there was a dearth of materials concerning the USSR's space activities from a US intelligence perspective. Now, a decade on, the situation has dramatically changed. As a plethora of US government agencies labor to disgorge their materials from the era of the Cold War, space historians and observers now have access to many new documents, which shed both exciting and new light on Soviet space activities, and how the US viewed as well as interpreted them. Coupled with the fact that many of these are now available to be read via the Internet, and with most of the documents available only recently, a new era in space history research is now in hand. This article is intended to provide a broad overview of what is now available, and mention some highlights.

Keywords: US Intelligence, N-1 Rocket, National Intelligence Estimate, Princeton Grouping, Soviet Space, Zond 5


Nedelin disasterXL

R-16 Family: Nedelin Disaster

It took almost three decades before the first publication in the official Soviet press shed the light on what really happened in October 1960. In 1989, Ogonyok magazine, a mouthpiece of Gorbachev's "perestroika," run a story called "Sorok Pervaya Ploshadka," (or Site 42 in English). The article revealed to the Soviet people that Nedelin died in the explosion of a ballistic missile in Tyuratam along with numerous other nameless victims.

Some interesting excerpts:

To make matters worse, several minutes after the membranes blew up, pyrotechnic devices on the valves of one of three engines in the first stage fired spontaneously.

The commission concluded that the management of the testing was overly confident in the safe performance of the complex vehicle, which resulted in the decisions taken without thorough analysis.

(Added 10/9/01)

The Role of Cross-Cultural Factors in Long-Duration International Space Missions: Lessons from the SFINCSS-99 Study

Leena M. Tomi, Katherine Rossokha and Janette Hosein
Canadian Space Agency

Space Technology, Vol. 22, No. 3-4, 2002
pp. 137-144

The role of cross-cultural factors in long-duration international space missions was examined during an isolation study that simulated many of the conditions aboard the International Space Station. Methods: Interactions involving two heterogeneous crews and one homogeneous crew staying in isolation from 110 to 240 days were studied. Data consisted of post-isolation interviews with crewmembers, ground support personnel and management, observational data, and public statements by crewmembers. Data was analyzed using the techniques of linguistic anthropology and ethnography. Results: Sub-cultural (organizational and professional) differences played a larger role than national differences in causing misunderstandings in this study. Conversely, some misunderstandings and conflicts were escalated by participants falsely assuming cultural differences or similarities. Comparison between the two heterogeneous crews showed the importance of training, personality factors, and commander and language skills in preventing and alleviating cultural misunderstandings. Conclusion: The study revealed a number of ways that cultural differences, real as well as assumed, can play a role and interact with other, non-cultural, factors in causing and/or precipitating conflict situations. It is postulated that such difficulties can be avoided by selecting culturally adaptive crewmembers and by cross-cultural and language training. Also the crew composition and role of commander were found to be important in mitigating conflict situations.

Causes of the Soyuz TMA-1 Descent Vehicle Returning to Earth in Ballistic Mode

May 26, 2003
Korolev, Moscow Region.

Official Press Release


The findings of the technical commission established to analyze the causes of the Soyuz TMA-1 descent vehicle returning to Earth in ballistic mode were presented at a press conference held at S.P.Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia for journalists of Russian and international TV companies and information agencies, as well as representatives from NASA and European Space Agencies. The chairman of the commission is the First Deputy General Designer of RSC Energia N.I.Zelenschikov. Present at the press conference were members of the commission - managers and specialists from RSC Energia, Federal Office of Aviation and Space Rescue and Recovery, Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center and TsNIIMash.

Russian PronunciationXL

James Oberg
December 2, 1994

There's no Soy Ooze in "Soyuz" (pronouncing Russian space names)
The N1 Story - Part 1XL

The N1 Story - Part 2XL

The N1 launch vehicle, developed in the 1960's, was to be the Soviet Union's counterpart to the Saturn V. The largest of a family of launch vehicles that were to replace the ICBM-derived launchers then in use, the N series was to launch Soviet cosmonauts to the moon, to Mars and Venus, and place huge military space stations into orbit. In comparison to Saturn, the project was started late, starved of funds and priority, and dogged by political and technical struggles between the chief designers Korolev, Glushko, and Chelomei. The end result was four launch failures and cancellation of the project five years after Apollo landed on the moon. Not only did a Soviet cosmonaut never land on the moon, but the Soviet Union even denied that the huge project ever existed.
FGB Launch Introduction
On November 22, 1998, the FGB-the first piece of the International Space Station-was carried into orbit atop a Proton rocket. Another flaw in the design very nearly stopped the program dead in its tracks within hours of launch. Once the FGB had reached orbit, champagne corks popped at Baykonur, but at Russia's military space control center southwest of Moscow, it was eyeballs that were popping. As the FGB passed overhead on its first orbit, controllers radioed up some routine instructions for the autopilot to prepare to raise its orbit. The FGB sailed on, not responding. The commands were not even acknowledged.

The Difficult Road to Mars
A Brief History of Mars Exploration in the Soviet Union

By V.G. Perminov

Monographs in Aerospace History, Number 15

A Joint Publication of the NASA History Division, Office of Policy and Plans, and Office of Space Science, July 1999



Forward (exerpt)

V.G. Perminov was the leading designer for Mars and Venus spacecraft at the Lavochkin design bureau in the Soviet Union during the early days of Mars exploration. Here, he recounts the hectic days and urgent atmosphere in the Communist bureaucracy to design and successfully launch a Mars orbiter, a Mars lander, and a Mars rover. The goal was to beat the United States to Mars. The authorŐs account gives, for the first time, the personal feelings of those managing the projects.


The Origins and Evolution of the Energiya Rocket Family

Bart Hendrickx
JBIS, Vol. 55, pp. 242-278, 2002

Fifteen years have passed since the Soviet Energiya heavy-lift launch vehicle made its maiden flight.  After a follow-on flight carrying an unmanned Buran orbiter the programme was faced with the budget realities resulting from the collapse of the Soviet Union, ultimately leading to its cancellation in the early 1990s.  This paper will look at the origins of Energiya and Buran, the evolution of their design and the various launch vehicles that were derived from Energiya.  One of the major sources used in this article are the recently published memoirs of Boris Bubanov, who was Energiya's chief designer from 1982 until 1992.

The Soviet Space Challenge

Department of Defense

This booklet includes a Preface by Caspar W. Weinberger, Secretary of Defense, November 1987.

Rocket and Space Corporation Enegia
The Legacy of S.P. Korolev

Robert Godwin, Editor, English Edition
©2001 RSCE/Apogee Books
ISBN I-896522-81-5

Editors Introduction (excerpt)

When I first acquired an imprint of the original Russian edition of this book I sat and perused the pages in stunned silence.  I felt as though I had fallen into some kind of strange parallel universe.  Within the pages were pictures of things familiar and yet not so.

It is perhaps a testament to the ingenious human spirit that two entirely divergent cultures could make such remarkable strides in the field of space exploration and yet indelibly stamp their own mark on the designs.  The inexorable laws of physics dictate that there are certain absolutes which constrain us, but the fact remains that there are many ways to achieve the same goals.

-- end excerpt

Computing in the Soviet Space ProgramXL In August 1964, trying to catch up with the Apollo program, the Soviet Union launched its own lunar landing project. A new spacecraft code named 7K-L1 (later publicly named Zond) was developed, which included - for the first time in a Soviet piloted spacecraft - an onboard electronic digital computer, the Argon-11C. Like its American counterpart, the Apollo Guidance Computer, the Argon was a radical innovation, which posed many difficult questions of technology, organization, and man-machine interaction.

This website complements the Apollo Guidance Computer History Project by documenting the history of onboard computers and man-machine interaction in the Soviet space program. The aim of this website is to use web technology to create a dynamic multi-thread interactive historical account of computers, organizations, and personalities involved in one of the most advanced technological projects of the twentieth century with limited technical resources and under strong political pressure.

The Iron Curtain separated the Apollo and the Argon computer projects from each other. This website aspires to bring American and Russian veteran engineers together for a meaningful dialogue.

Challenge to Apollo, Asif

Cosmonautics - a Colorful History, Editor Dr. Wayne R. Matson (Cosmos Books, 1994)

Dragonfly, Bryan Burrough

Elbe-Dnjepr-Verlag has a few German translations of books by Chertok, Korolev and Mishin

"The History of Mir 1986-2000," British Interplanetary Society

Korolev, James Harford

The Mir Space Station, David Harland

"Mir: The Final Year," British Interplanetary Society

The New Race For Space, James Oberg

Red Star in Orbit, James Oberg (20th anniversary edition coming out)

The Rocket Men, Dave Shayler and Rex Hall

Russia in Space: The Failed Frontier? Brian Harvey (Springer-Praxis)

Russians in Space, Evgeny Riabchikov

The Soviet Manned Space Program, Phillip Clark

The Soviet reach for the Moon, 2nd edition- Nicholas L. Johnson (Cosmos Books, 1995, ISBN: 1-885609-03-5)

Space Station Handbook- Mir Users Manual, (Cosmos Books-no date)

Star-Crossed Orbits: Inside the US/Russian Space Alliance, James Oberg

Starman, Jamie Doran & Piers Bizony


"Almanac Of Soviet Manned Space Flight":

"The New Russian Space Programme":

"The Heavens And The Earth":

This information on this reference page is from the readers of

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