By Slava Gerovitch

ISBN-10: 0822963639

ISBN-13: 9780822963639

From the beginning, the Soviet human area application had an id problem. have been cosmonauts heroic pilots guidance their craft throughout the hazards of house, or have been they mere passengers using properly aboard absolutely automatic machines? Tensions among Soviet cosmonauts and area engineers have been mirrored not just within the inner improvement of the gap software but additionally in Soviet propaganda that wavered among praising bold heroes and ideal applied sciences. Soviet area Mythologies explores the historical past of the Soviet human house software inside of a political and cultural context, giving specific realization to the 2 specialist groups—space engineers and cosmonauts—who secretly equipped and publicly represented this system. Drawing on contemporary scholarship on reminiscence and id formation, this ebook indicates how either the myths of Soviet legitimate heritage and privately circulating counter-myths have served as tools of collective reminiscence id. those practices formed the evolving cultural photo of the distance age in renowned Soviet mind's eye. Soviet area Mythologies presents a helpful source for students and scholars of house background, background of know-how, and Soviet (and post-Soviet) history.

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Sample text

The cosmonauts spoke at length about floating in zero gravity but did not discuss any details of their training or actual performance in flight. This gave rise to much speculation about their experiences in space, from incapacitating sickness to spiritual visions. Speaking publicly about the Soviet space program under such severe secrecy restrictions posed a serious challenge. 35 Secrecy was just one of the factors contributing to myth making by creating gaps to be filled with products of one’s imagination.

Fifty-nine people on the list were sentenced to death and immediately executed. Korolev was lucky: after retracting his confession, he received a ten-year sentence. Another engineer from the same institute, Valentin Glushko, had been arrested three months before Korolev on the same charge and also sentenced to prison time. Glushko was sent to work at a sharashka. Korolev served the first several months at the notorious Kolyma labor camp, barely survived, and eventually ended up in the same sharashka as Glushko.

A symbolic link with Tsiolkovskii, canonized by the Soviet state, played an important role in legitimizing their proposals in the eyes of government officials. In 1952–1953, in autobiographical materials accompanying his applications for membership in the Communist Party and in the Soviet Academy of Sciences, Korolev wrote about his personal meeting with the late visionary as being a starting point for his interest in rocketry. ”29 Yet the official canonization of Tsiolkovskii and the resurrection of his legacy played a crucial role in legitimizing the idea of space exploration in the postwar Soviet Union.

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Soviet Space Mythologies: Public Images, Private Memories, and the Making of a Cultural Identity by Slava Gerovitch


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