History Main / SovietSuperscience

12th Mar '17 4:38:06 PM mindbound
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* In the end, we cannot forget the example of Soviet Superscience that quite possibly defined the latter half of the 20th century: The plutonium-implosion bomb that detonated at 7:00 am on the 29th of August, 1949, at Semipalatinsk in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic. The bomb, developed five years quicker than the Anglo-US intelligence services believed possible, turned out to be 50% more destructive than the Soviet scientists had believed possible, as it destroyed one of the most elaborate nuclear test sites (a small mockup city, complete with metro system and a "garrison" of heavy military equipment and animals, was annihilated). Notably, the Soviet science teams made little use of the data they received from the Manhattan Project; their "Prince of Science", Igor Kurchatov, restricted the team to using the US designs only to check their work. The Soviet detonation had many names: RDS-1. Article 501. Joe-1. But it was the name the science teams gave to the test that will live in history: ''Pervaya molniya - "First Lighting" ''.

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* In the end, we cannot forget the example of Soviet Superscience that quite possibly defined the latter half of the 20th century: The plutonium-implosion bomb that detonated at 7:00 am on the 29th of August, 1949, at Semipalatinsk in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic. The bomb, developed five years quicker than the Anglo-US intelligence services believed possible, turned out to be 50% more destructive than the Soviet scientists had believed possible, as it destroyed one of the most elaborate nuclear test sites (a small mockup city, complete with metro system and a "garrison" of heavy military equipment and animals, was annihilated). Notably, the Soviet science teams made little use of the data they received from the Manhattan Project; their "Prince of Science", Igor Kurchatov, restricted the team to using the US designs only to check their work. The Soviet detonation had many names: RDS-1. Article 501. Joe-1. But it was the name the science teams gave to the test that will live in history: ''Pervaya molniya ''Первая молния, Pervaya molniya'' - "First Lighting" ''.Lightning".
27th Feb '17 7:58:53 AM ChronoLegion
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* The upcoming Russian superhero film ''Film/{{Guardians}}'' has the titular four-person team be composed of representatives of four of the former Soviet republics, all of which were subjects to experimentation by Soviet scientists not long before the collapse of the USSR (a newspaper is shown with the headline "Genetics in service of the people"). The team includes a [[EverythingIsWorseWithBears werebear]], a KnifeNut [[SuperSpeed speedster]], an [[DishingOutDirt earth elemental]], and a woman, who has {{Invisibility}}, flexibility, temperature resistance, and doesn't need air.

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* The upcoming Russian superhero film ''Film/{{Guardians}}'' has the titular four-person team be composed of representatives of four of the former Soviet republics, all of which were subjects to experimentation by Soviet scientists not long before the collapse of the USSR (a newspaper is shown with the headline "Genetics in service of the people"). The team includes a [[EverythingIsWorseWithBears werebear]], a KnifeNut [[SuperSpeed speedster]], an [[DishingOutDirt earth elemental]], and a woman, who has {{Invisibility}}, flexibility, temperature resistance, and doesn't need air. And the BigBad is their creator, who has turned himself into a cyborg and can manipulate any technology he sees and has a clone army.
27th Feb '17 7:26:37 AM Malchus
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Added DiffLines:

** Speaking of space stations, one can't forget ''Mir''. Despite the reputation for being an unsafe rust bucket, that was only because it was forced to operate far longer that its original planned operation life due to the fall of the USSR and subsequent space funding limits. Within its original planned lifespan, it was the most sophisticated space station in orbit. In fact, the Russian Orbital Segment, the first Russian-made modules around which the International Space Station was built, was the base configuration of the cancelled ''Mir-2'' program.
19th Feb '17 3:48:07 PM rainbowdash59
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** Except for the one chap called Sergei Korolev... and hence we get Tsiolkovsky [http://www.orbit.zkm.de/files/orbit/iss008e21921.jpg sharing the prime spot on the ISS Zvezda bulkhead with none less than Gagarin].

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** Except for the one chap called Sergei Korolev... and hence we get Tsiolkovsky [http://www.orbit.zkm.de/files/orbit/iss008e21921.jpg sharing the prime spot on the ISS Zvezda bulkhead with none less than Gagarin].
19th Jan '17 5:07:23 AM Morgenthaler
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* Pops up in some of Charles Stross' stories. In the novelette ''A Colder War'', set in an AlternateHistory where the Cold War was fought with the powers of the [[{{CthulhuMythos}} Great Old Ones]], the Soviets not only weaponize shoggoths and deployed them in Afghanistan, but they have an ultimate doomsday weapon called 'K-Thulu' in a giant concrete bunker in the Ukraine. ''Missile Gap,'' set in a world where Earth of 1962 was duplicated and laid on a gigantic disc, has the Soviet Union exploring the new world in a giant nuclear-powered [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_effect_vehicle ekranoplan]].

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* Pops up in some of Charles Stross' stories. In the novelette ''A Colder War'', set in an AlternateHistory where the Cold War was fought with the powers of the [[{{CthulhuMythos}} [[Franchise/CthulhuMythos Great Old Ones]], the Soviets not only weaponize shoggoths and deployed them in Afghanistan, but they have an ultimate doomsday weapon called 'K-Thulu' in a giant concrete bunker in the Ukraine. ''Missile Gap,'' set in a world where Earth of 1962 was duplicated and laid on a gigantic disc, has the Soviet Union exploring the new world in a giant nuclear-powered [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_effect_vehicle ekranoplan]].
6th Jan '17 9:26:22 PM steam66
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* The date is October 4, 1957. Sitting on the pad is a modified R-7 rocket, the world's first operational ICBM. But on this day, it doesn't carry a warhead- it carries a small metal sphere, about the size of a beach ball, with four whip like antennae and a radio transmitter. It is known as PS-1- "Elementary Satellite 1"- by the Russians, and soon, to the rest of the world, it would be known as "Sputnik 1". On that day, the Russians blew the United States out of the water with the massive triumph of the world's first functioning artificial satellite. Anybody who doubted the existence of the Sputnik could simply tune to a certain frequency (a bit higher than 20 MHZ, according to the Russian press) and hear its transmitter's steady beeping signal. Before this, the overwhelming idea of Russia to most Americans was a backwards country that could not compete with the US's might- after this, it suddenly became superior in most Americans' minds, a juggernaut nation that had to be contained at all costs. American politicians gazed up at the small, visible polished sphere passing over their heads and wondered what else the Soviets could carry into space- perhaps nuclear warheads, military spacecraft, or something worse. While it did not return much data itself, being a simple battery transmitter in space, its legacy kickstarted the Space Race, and led to a certain American taking the first steps on the Moon in 1969.



* And let's not forget the nasty shock that Sputnik caused, triggering the race to the Moon.
28th Dec '16 11:18:39 PM Xtifr
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* {{Discussed}} and {{averted}} in ''[[TheLaundrySeries The Fuller Memorandum]]'' by Creator/CharlesStross. Unlike [[{{Ghostapo}} the Nazis]] and the West, the Soviets never really got into the occult intelligence business because of counterproductive state policies. State-sponsored atheism contradicts the requirement of believing in [[EldritchAbomination demonic intelligences beyond our spacetime]], and preventing development of computers makes "magic" (which is really applied higher mathematics, physics, and computer science) much more difficult. After the fall of communism however, the Russians caught up fast.

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* {{Discussed}} and {{averted}} in ''[[TheLaundrySeries The Fuller Memorandum]]'' ''Literature/TheFullerMemorandum'' by Creator/CharlesStross. Unlike [[{{Ghostapo}} the Nazis]] and the West, the Soviets never really got into the occult intelligence business because of counterproductive state policies. State-sponsored atheism contradicts the requirement of believing in [[EldritchAbomination demonic intelligences beyond our spacetime]], and preventing development of computers makes "magic" (which is really applied higher mathematics, physics, and computer science) much more difficult. After the fall of communism however, the Russians caught up fast.
28th Dec '16 11:17:54 PM Xtifr
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** Similarly, one of the {{MacGuffin}}s at the core of ''[[TheLaundrySeries The Jennifer Morgue]]'' is a "Gravedust" rig on a sunken Russian submarine that British intelligence believe was used to seek guidance from recently-deceased Politburo members in case the West struck first. [[spoiler: It turns out to be built to dial up something much, ''much'' older...]]

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** Similarly, one of the {{MacGuffin}}s at the core of ''[[TheLaundrySeries The Jennifer Morgue]]'' ''Literature/TheJenniferMorgue'' is a "Gravedust" rig on a sunken Russian submarine that British intelligence believe was used to seek guidance from recently-deceased Politburo members in case the West struck first. [[spoiler: It turns out to be built to dial up something much, ''much'' older...]]
23rd Dec '16 7:25:29 AM JustTroper
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All in all, the Soviets had a mixed record as far as science goes - they [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuri_Gagarin put the first man in space]], but also brought the world [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysenkoism Lysenkoism]] and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punitive_psychiatry_in_the_Soviet_Union the abuse of psychiatry for "rehabilitation" purposes]]. The USSR pioneered [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radial_Keratotomy modern corrective eye surgery]], yet fell behind in steel manufacturing, despite experimenting with it the longest. The Soviets, however, [[ILoveNuclearPower loved Nuclear Power]], the world's first nuclear power plant to generate electricity for a power grid went online in USSR. Too bad [[{{UsefulNotes/Chernobyl}} a certain accident]] [[NeverLiveItDown ruined that reputation]]. So, there are some roots for the trope to grow from. Of course, the inconsistencies can be [[HandWave handwaved]] by the means of an AlternateUniverse, as ''Videogame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert'' testifies.

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All in all, the Soviets had a mixed record as far as science goes - they [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuri_Gagarin put the first man in space]], space]] and contributed immensely to theoretical physics (there were several Soviet Nobel laureates in physics, including Andrei Sakharov and Lev Landau), but also brought the world [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysenkoism Lysenkoism]] and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punitive_psychiatry_in_the_Soviet_Union the abuse of psychiatry for "rehabilitation" purposes]]. The USSR pioneered [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radial_Keratotomy modern corrective eye surgery]], yet fell behind in steel manufacturing, despite experimenting with it the longest. The Soviets, however, [[ILoveNuclearPower loved Nuclear Power]], the world's first nuclear power plant to generate electricity for a power grid went online in USSR. Too bad [[{{UsefulNotes/Chernobyl}} a certain accident]] [[NeverLiveItDown ruined that reputation]]. So, there are some roots for the trope to grow from. Of course, the inconsistencies can be [[HandWave handwaved]] by the means of an AlternateUniverse, as ''Videogame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert'' testifies.
11th Dec '16 9:40:52 PM Xtifr
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* In the novel sci-fi novel ''Who?'' by Algis Budrys, the Soviets kidnap an American scientist after he was horribly injured in an accident. To help him recover, they perform extensive surgery on him. When he returns to the west he has a robotic face, head and arm, which makes him difficult to identify and extremely suspicious.

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* In the novel sci-fi novel ''Who?'' by Algis Budrys, Creator/AlgisBudrys, the Soviets kidnap an American scientist after he was horribly injured in an accident. To help him recover, they perform extensive surgery on him. When he returns to the west he has a robotic face, head and arm, which makes him difficult to identify and extremely suspicious.
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