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Round Table at the Polytechnic Museum


2015.03.27 Круглий стіл  у Державному політехнічному музеї

Boltenko Alexander, head of the history of aviation and astronautics, who was directly involved in the work on the development of rocket technology, invited former employees whose activity was related to the Plesetsk Cosmodrome - senior test engineer Vyacheslav Akimov, head of the launch group Anton Sirotyuk, senior test engineer Vasiliy Maliar, senior test engineer Oleg Pruss. Also, the meeting was attended by a representative of the Russian Center for Cultural Relations Eugene Gorokhovsky, students of the faculty of aviation and space systems NTUU " KPI ".

In the history of space exploration there are not only the most outstanding achievements and feats of astronauts, but, unfortunately, also accidents, disasters, human tragedies. The disaster occurred at the Plesetsk cosmodrome March 18, 1980 during the preparation for the launch of the carrier rocket "Vostok-2M". At 2:00, 15 minutes before the scheduled start there was an explosion. At that time, in the vicinity of the rocket there were 141 people. In the fire 48 soldiers died, 43 people suffered burns of varying severity. The Government Commission, after considering the many versions of the causes of the disaster came to the conclusion that the explosion occurred "as a result of unauthorized actions of one of the of combat crew." More than 15 years have passed - and based on further investigation the crew cosmodrome was rehabilitated - cause of the accident was considered the use of catalytically active materials in the manufacture of filters of hydrogen peroxide.

Baikonur veterans shared with the audience his memories of the disaster. Thanks to the courage and bravery of the rescue operation, many participants managed to get out of the fiery hell. Within three days, the effects of the disaster were eliminated. The officers and soldiers, working together, went for their fallen comrades into the building, where the fire was not yet extingushed. Virtually all of the testimonis of former employees of the spaceport on the causes of the accident coincide with the conclusions of the chief of the Plesetsk cosmodrome 1985-1991 Colonel-General, Doctor of Technical Sciences Ivan Oleynik: "... It is not known, as a result of professional incompetence or indifference or negligence, but the employees of General Engineering Design Bureau shortly before the tragic events had to use for the production of filters catalytically active materials. The new composition of the solder enabled to simplify complex and capricious process of manufacturing the filter. Further studies of the filter showed that their manufacturing in the Sumy Production Association of M.V. Frunze has not been performed with pure tin, a neutral to hydrogen peroxide, but with the tin-lead, so-called tretikom. The latter is a strong catalyst for the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide. This led to the fact that on the day of decomposition of hydrsogen began to land lines and ended with an explosion on board the rocket. But to prove it, it took almost 16 years and the Herculean efforts of veterans of the cosmodrome. "

The participants discussed another issue on which there is still no clear answer. It is known that March 27, 1968 the first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin died in a plane crash. Together with an instructor pilot Vladimir Seregin he performed a training flight on the MiG-15UTI. Versions of the crash, which is still being questioned, there is a lot, starting with the official and ending numerous alternatives. The former senior test engineer Oleg Pruss informed the participants of the roundtable on his own analysis of the possible causes of the death of Yuri Gagarin.

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