Summer, space, school

You could hear about Alexander Shaenko. He twice traveled across Russia with the popularization program "Space from Sea to Sea", led the creation of the satellite "Mayak" , which in less than a month can temporarily become the brightest star in the sky, developed and teaches the course "Modern Cosmonautics" at the Polytechnic University. And soon, for the third time, his educational project will begin for all those interested in the Summer Space School space program. While Alexander still has free time before the camp starts, I asked him to tell about this project.

Visit of cosmonaut Sergey Krikalev

What is the Summer Space School?

The Summer Space School, or, as the participants themselves call it, LKSH, is an opportunity to see space technology, people who develop and launch rockets and satellites, communicate with cosmonauts, space scientists and engineers, do something cosmic with their own hands and get acquainted with the same enthusiasts cosmonautics, like you yourself. And all this outside the city, in silence, tranquility and comfort. Until the year before last, there was no such open space in Russia for meetings and conversations of space enthusiasts of all ages from anywhere in the world. Other events of this kind were held and held at universities for undergraduate or graduate students, and it is usually quite difficult for an outsider, non-core engineer or humanist to get there. Summer Space School in this sense is open to all comers. It is conducted by astronaut enthusiasts for astronaut enthusiasts. None of the organizers receive a salary, there are no funds or corporations in the sponsors, so we do exactly what we like ourselves. This year LKSH will be held for the third time. In previous years, about a hundred people attended the School, some of them attended only some lectures or other events.

Cosmonautics promoter Alexander Khokhlov wrote good articles about this in the newspaper “Troitsky Variant - Science” ( 2015 , 2016 ).

How did LKSH appear?

Thoughts about LKSH arose in December 2014, when I had the idea to organize in MGTU them. Baumana refresher courses "Basics of cosmonautics for non-core engineers and humanities." There were two groups of 25 people enrolled in the courses, but there were also people who found this very interesting, but at the same time they lived far from Moscow and could not come to classes once a week. Since there were many such people, I decided to make a concise course in the basics of cosmonautics for them, 3-4 lectures a day. But besides the lectures, there are still various other interesting activities to be carried out: to organize excursions to space places, meetings with cosmonauts, scientists and engineers, launches of home-made rockets and the like.

“The basics of astronautics for non-core engineers and humanities” were, by the way, “a great success!” They learned ballistics from TsUPa and sales managers of space launches, astronautics enthusiasts and just curious people. But my real achievement is the training of Arthur Sukhonin, the director of the VGIK, who later shot the short film “The Cradle” and the future Director of Personnel Development of the ROSKOSMOS State Corporation Evgeny Stepanov. After completing the course, the participants skated on the basins, and I began to do the first LKSH. It took place from July 13 to July 19, 2015.

What is nice to remember from past LKSH?

At the first LKSH, I most remembered a meeting with Sergey Konstantinovich Krikalev, an astronaut who was a record-holder of the Earth before the start of the School in terms of the total time spent in space, 803 days in six flights! In June 2015, he was circumvented by G.I. Padalka

How does communication with the astronaut usually take place? The astronaut stands on the stage, talks about flights, about history, remembers some funny moments, then answers questions that he hears from time to time and leaves.

Krikalev drove us for an hour, and eventually spent more than three. And the last half hour, this is not a joke and not an artistic exaggeration, he talked, standing at the open door of the car, and then said something like: “Guys, the truth is time to go” and left. I personally and all the other participants were simply fascinated by what kind of person he was, how he simply communicates, completely without any aplomb and boredom, how he answers questions in detail and thoroughly, how he listens attentively to his interlocutor, how he frankly talks about his feelings in flight. In general, I am glad that in my life I met with Sergei Konstantinovich! And the other participants of the first LKSH say the same thing.

From the fun was testing the simulator (or as it was called near the end of the LKSH, a stimulator) “Orbit” . At the School, a new version was tested, which in the simplest formulation of the problem made it possible to simulate the flight of a remote sensing satellite in near-earth orbit, taking into account the operation of all systems — power supply, thermoregulation, communications, engines, and others. So this version was very curve and terribly slow. I thought that I, an experienced satellite engineer, it would all be easy, and I will do everything in the evening over a cup of tea, but no. I sat at night with everyone, and the task was solved only by Sha-69 (Shooting the Earth from Space), despite the fact that there were Sha-1, Sha-45 and Sha-76. Because of the peculiar display of the progress of the orbital flight calculation, the “Orbits” indicator first showed the progress bar, then “Wait”, “Wait a little more” and “Sometimes you have to wait longer”, which became a kind of local meme.


As a result, the technical part of the projects was worked out for everyone at a different, to put it mildly, level and project protection turned into a contest in wit. Personally, from the defenses I remember most of all the phrase of Sergey Ochkur from team No. 8 “Blue companion of luck turned to me with his tank compartment”.

On the second LKSH, last year, from the positive, I remembered most of all the combined performance of Vyacheslav Firsanov. He works at the Zvezda Scientific Production Enterprise and is engaged in designing space toilets. At LKSH he told, in great detail, interestingly and with all, let's say, features about the history of our and American toilets. It was really exciting and interesting! After the lecture, he sang some of his songs. I got it! For all the squabbles, the ships, the scandals, the big failures and the small successes of the modern Russian cosmonautics, Vyacheslav sees what has called into space both Tsiolkovsky, and the Queen, and Gagarin, and is calling us all now.

But, I remember, was you some kind of unpleasant story?

From the negative - the speech of grandfather from IMBP, who, according to rumors, began to talk about the living water, very high radiation in the office of Sadovnichy and homeopathy. I wasn’t in that lecture, the lecture notes were not published, so I can only judge from hearsay. It was my puncture, but according to the law of meanness, it was precisely to this lecture that Asya Kazantseva, a scientific journalist and popularizer, came to this lecture. Facebook scandal erupted noble.

Therefore, at LKSH-2017, I invite only those lecturers whom I know personally and in whose lectures I have no doubt.

In order to complete the story about past LKSH on a positive note, I note that both Krikalev and Firsanov are going to come this year.

Do you maintain contact with those who have been to past schools? Anyhow LKSH changed their lives?

Yes, LKSH participants and organizers keep in touch outside of the School. Moreover, it is not just a general chat, in which about 50 people, but also trips to other cities to visit other cities, and conducting “space” activities in their own city. For example, my wife and I went to visit the May Holidays on a visit to Yelena Katkova, a participant at the School of Foreign Policy-2015, at the Arkhyz optical observation station in Karachay-Cherkessia. Together with us came the guys from Saratov, among whom was Timur Hajiyev, a participant in two Schools. Participants of the LCS-2016 Anastasia Prosochkina and Alexey Mazur began to work together on paintings about the space program — Nastya as an artist, Lesha — as a rocket engineer. The participant of the last LKSH, Ninel Kirina, went to study at the Moscow Polytech on my educational program “Modern Cosmonautics”. I am sure that there are other stories, I just do not know about them.

One of the problems of popularization is that the same people come to the lectures who are already interested. How many new and unfamiliar people come each year? Did they come back? What happened to them then?

According to the experience of the second LSB, it can be noted that about half of the participants were old and half - new. For those who come for the first time, we, the organizers, try to ensure a simple, friendly dive into the atmosphere. For those who come again and again, we try to make new, non-repetitive projects, lectures and tours.

What will be the LKSH this year?

Following the results of the last School, we decided to hold the next LSF outside the city, since it contributes more to the formation of a special, cozy atmosphere, and to make it, like the first time, more technical, but such that it would be interesting for children without technical education.

The venue for the LKSH this year is a hostel in the village of Grigorchikovo in the Leninsky district of the Moscow region. There is a river, a forest, houses, beautiful.

I am engaged in the project, and that's what came to my mind. It is necessary that the project was, on the one hand, a real space, not some kind of paper racket, interesting, but painfully simple, and on the other hand, so that this project could be done in isolation from the production base, in the conventional “forest”. Many different options were considered, but as a result of discussions with the guys from past Schools, it became clear that all of this was either too childish or very heavy in the woods.

And then I met Egor Meltsov , a schoolboy from Cherepovets, who in three months independently learned how to receive satellites to an SDR radio station. If Yegor could, then we can too, I thought. This is a real space, without fools, and it is rather difficult, which means that it is interesting and feasible in the forests. In order to provide the participants with some kind of support during the construction of their satellite receiving stations, I invited radio amateurs from Moscow, Ruzaevka, invited Yegor to speak on Skype, and also called colleagues from NTs OMZ and Sputnik .

Well, besides this there will be interesting excursions, lectures of scientists, a meeting with SK. Krikalev, conversations with the founders of private space companies, master classes and more.

And what a tour, by the way?

This year we plan to go to both the RSC Energia, space and rocket museums, visit the MCC and visit the Orevo Rocket and Space Technology Showroom . Quite a lot can be read about “Energia” and MCC, but very few people have heard about Orevsky dump.

This is a unique place between Dmitrov and Dubna, a country branch of MSTU. Bauman, in which there is a hangar filled with unique missiles and space ships. There is a assembled fighting "seven", a rare R-2, the Zander-7 descent vehicle that has flown around the Moon and the Soviet lunar ship 11F94. As a person who has been there many times, I will inform you that this is an unforgettable sight.


How wonderful that in Russia there are enthusiasts who are pulling at their shoulders schools, clubs, educational events, and not only in the space field. Without exaggeration, through their graduates, they make our future more intelligent and bright.


All Articles