Scary stories: Elon Musk stole Soviet development?

Scary stories: Elon Musk stole Soviet development?

Whether the missile dynamic schema, used by American billionaire, was born in our country?


The Deputy head of the TsNIIMash Roscosmos Alexander Medvedev in the beginning of last week made a stunning statement: “these rocket-dynamic, parachute scheme is, in fact, were born in our country, and then Americans are all successfully implemented. That sold Musk [founder of Tesla and Space-X Elon Musk. — Forbes], it was many decades ago, considered and proposed by our Russian scientists, engineers and designers”. Whether the rights of the designer and do not bend if he stick? What actually caused such a statement?

Let’s be honest, Medvedev’s statement is very unusual. First, the missile Mask now there’s no working parachute scheme — he puts them through rocket engines, “hovering” over the landing pad and slowly going down on her (rocket-dynamic scheme). Yes, he is trying to use the parachute in the rescue of a lightweight fairing, Falcon 9, but so far no success — the fairing can’t catch trapping network.

Apparently, Medvedev was referring to rocket-dynamic scheme, which used missiles Mask. It is, indeed, a critical component technologies SpaceX — it allows you to land it without a light blow, inevitable when the rescue parachute.

That is why falling on parachutes “Unions” — disposable and rocket ships, SpaceX is not. But whether the rights of Russian designer?

Whose idea was it to sit on the tail?

Human history is not linear, so much of what we think the latest idea, actually came up with a very, very long time. Lucian of Samosata in the second century of our era, wrote “the True history” in which he described the space war between two alien rulers, and this war was for the right to colonize Venus. The essay mentions the creation of an artificial atmosphere on the colonized celestial body (today it is called “terraforming”), analogues of robots, space travel, liquefied air, the reflecting telescope and many other “modern” ideas.

A similar story came out with rocket-dynamic scheme. Already the oldest surviving Japanese story “the tale of the bamboo Cutter” refers to the inhabitants of the moon who picked up from the Ground his Princess with the help of “flying chariots”, “the Sky rapidly darkened, until the cloud descended to a height of three meters from the ground. In the middle of the cloud stood a flying chariot.” How vintage Japanese illustrators showed the descent of a flying chariot, something reminiscent of hard, isn’t it? And this despite the fact that the story is not younger than X century ad.

Comics and stories about buck Rogers came out with the 1920s — before any Russian engineer has proposed to plant a rocket on the tail of her engines.

Who’s first?

For the first time the rocket engines used for vertical landing in 1961. However, planted so not a rocket, but a man who used to fly a jetpack Bell Rocket Belt.

For missiles such schemes since the 1960s worked through the details of the American designer Philip Bono, who worked at Douglas Aircraft (after the merger — McDonnell Douglas). Among these developments is easy to learn ideas which today moves the Mask.

Take the ROMBUS booster, taking off and landing vertically. And on the marine platform, exactly like today this makes the Falcon 9. At Rhombus, as well as missiles Mask, was not one engine, but many (36) is a characteristic without which to put a rocket on the tail is unrealistic, because one major thrust of the rocket engine is too big for a smooth landing.

On the basis of the Rombus was developed a number of projects — for example, Intercontinental carrier, capable of landing 1 of 200 American soldiers anywhere in the world in forty minutes after receiving the order, the benefit of the flight landing in space at that time excluded the intercept by the enemy. The Hyperion version was smaller, and adapted for peaceful purposes — the carriage of passengers in any point of the Earth in 45 minutes. Nothing like? All right, this is the concept of BFR, recently outlined by the Mask. Only now Rombus has conceived more than half a century ago.

Unfortunately, Bono is not lucky for the lunar racing has chosen a less ambitious project the disposable rocket.

Well, the concept of the Shuttle required a smaller initial investment. Therefore, the American government put them on — still not knowing what is the worst that ever existed schemes reusable media that are buried more astronauts than all the rest of the world lost for the entire period of space exploration.

Importantly, the projects Bono really could give a flying cheaper disposable rockets. As well as that of the Mask, his media would, quenching energy of its rocket engines, not the friction of the atmosphere as the Shuttle. This dramatically reduces the heat load on the body of the carrier and allowed to dispense with examinations, lipolitic repairs and also expensive ceramic thermal protection of the Shuttle.

Moreover, after the death of Bono’s first rocket (prototype with reduced dimensions, McDonnell Douglas DC-X), capable of a vertical landing carried it out in practice, in 1993 — and it happened in the United States.

It should be noted that the Russian project “Crown”, presented in the twenty-first century, conceptually very similar to the McDonnell Douglas DC-X — and not only because it has to sit on the tail, but apparently:

Let’s face it: Bono was not alone. NEXUS projects from the 60s and a number of others were also created in the United States and also included the planting medium to the tail.

What happened in the USSR?