by RAS Corresponding Member Lev ZELYONY, Director of the RAS Institute of Space Research; Yuri ZAITSEV, Head of Department of the same Institute
In 1965 the Soviet Government issued its decision on the establishment in Moscow of the Institute of Space Studies (IKI) - the main Center of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR for studies and uses of space in the interests of fundamental science.
The Institute did not appear out of nothing. From the early 1960s the Soviet Union conducted regular launchings of "Cosmos" satellites. There were the first flights of our unmanned interplanetary and lunar stations and scientists were developing the "Prognoz" program of high-altitude magnetospheric probes. These studies and technical preparations were carried out in conjunction with different centers of the Academy and other agencies. The volume of these R&D activities continued to grow and this required a concentration of the efforts of scientists which led to the establishment of the new Center. Appointed to the post of Director of IKT was Acad. Georgy Petrov, an expert in the field of aeromechanics and gas dynamics. In the beginning the departments and laboratories of the new research center were scattered all over Moscow. The establishment of its infrastructure took place on the 14th kilometer of the Starokaluzhskoye Highway - a spot far removed from the city center. The first four 2-storey buildings of the Center were occupied by the management, administrative and auxiliary services, etc. By the middle of the 1970s construction was completed of the main building and then of the control-and-testing and flight-testing stations - the main laboratory and test stand of the IKI with some unique equipment. It could be used for mechanical tests of on-board equipment (vibration, shocks, linear overloads), thermo-vacuum, climatic impacts, electric compatibility and strength of insulation. As it continued to grow, the Station became Academy's main testing site for cosmic instrume ... Read more