In the bedroom of god

You can not go into the bedroom to God,
Even if he's not there.
You can not go into the bedroom to God,
Behind the door is a big secret
- Underwood.
Just yesterday, June 2, 2015, the 60th anniversary of the cradle of world space exploration and the largest Russian space harbor, the Baikonur cosmodrome, was celebrated. Over the years, a wide variety of spacecraft were tested on its territory, the peak of which was the Energia-Buran system. But history has chosen its path and the project died in infancy.
More than two decades ago, the last sliding doors of the MZK were closed for the last time - an assembly and refueling complex, cutting off two orbiting spacecraft from an alluring starry sky. There is a slight irony in the fact that the birthplace of those who were to surf the cosmic expanses, it became their tomb and crypt.

The assembly and refueling complex is hardly the largest building on the territory of the Baikonur cosmodrome. He designed the Izhevsk Institute "Prikompromproekt." The length of the building is 132 meters, and its height is 62. The so-called sliding structures are located at the ends - simply huge sliding gates.The largest of them have dimensions of 42 by 36 meters, sufficient for the passage of a "grasshopper" with a bundle of Energiya launch vehicle and with an orbital ship installed on it.


The supporting structures of the MZK are made of special steel and must withstand the pressure of the shock wave arising in the event of a possible explosion of a heavy launch vehicle at the nearest launch pad.
On the sides of the main building are adjacent four-story extensions, which house a variety of equipment for testing, organizing ventilation and power supply.
Since the room in which the work with the orbital ship was taking place should not have contained dust, an increased atmospheric pressure was artificially created in it. All doors leading from the hull to the corridors were airtight.
Three transverse beams moved under the ceiling, each of which has a loading capacity of 400 tons. Even higher they are entangled by a complex system of walkways under the roof itself, which opens access to the lighting lamps.


Currently, there are two ships inside the MZK, one of which is the second flight copy of the Storm, and the other OK-MT technology layout for testing prelaunch operations. But, despite the fact that it is a mock-up, inside and outside it looks like a real ship.Both are not in the best condition and because of this they complement each other.


And now, let's go down and take a look at the whole room. Above the second (small) end gate is a magnificent observation platform.


The side walls of the MZK are hung with dozens of descending or turning technological platforms equipped with hydraulic actuators. These structures are necessary for carrying out all sorts of work at different heights, without touching the heat-insulating plates. Here are the passenger gateways, ladders to get on board the orbital ships.









I will not restrain myself and allow myself to show two historical photographs demonstrating the use of technological platforms. Photos taken from the site Buran.


Go down to the orbital ships. They are not installed on the chassis, but on transport carriages moving along rails sunk into the floor. In front of the bows of the ships, other technology platforms are rising that are designed to access cabins and engines. Platforms, like ships, can roll back and forth on rails.







Time and people did not spare the ships and their current state is very pitiable.Some of the thermal protection tiles have fallen off, the cockpit glazing has been broken, the wings and fuselages cover an abundant layer of bird droppings that have accumulated for more than twenty years.




At the time of stopping the work, the readiness of the "Storm" reached 95 percent. Externally, in addition to the individual pattern of heat-shielding tiles, it differs from OK-MT by the presence of installed orientation engines in the nose section.



In the tail section, the “Storm” lost its container with brake parachutes, but the propulsion system looks completely intact.




At the OK-MT model, the tail section was preserved much better, and the frontal glazing was not affected.








Inside the layout almost everything is the same as on the "adult" ship. Only some elements are replaced by wooden cubes with the name and weight of the block. Of course, it is no longer clear what became of the missing equipment - it was not installed or torn out on precious metals. Defeat reigns in the lock module and the cabin, but relatively clean in the payload compartment and in the engine compartment.










Another couple of views on the equipment MZK.


The story moves in a spiral. This is an objective process, repeating time after time.You can regret the lost time and grieve about past greatness, but the facts remain above this - Russia is rapidly losing the status of a leading space power. For more than twenty years, the country does not produce anything fundamentally new, continuing to exploit the legacy of the Soviet Union. Only work is underway to modernize the old stocks, but everything else remains only words and projects on paper. Undoubtedly, a notable past will allow to stay afloat for another decade or two as a cab driver, but only until Chinese missiles have crossed the proper line of their reliability and do not bring down prices for launching cargo into orbit.
The romance left cosmonautics, leaving her only dry numbers of financial statistics. Why spend trillions on space, if it does not bring profit in the foreseeable time?
In times of confrontation of political systems, the race of the two superpowers had a beneficial effect on scientific and technical progress. Possible military and ideological application gave birth to dozens of various projects. Yes, most of them did not go beyond the scope of drawings and layouts, but those that penetrated through a sieve of tests and commissions received unlimited support.
The future of the Soviet reusable orbital spacecraft was not predetermined before birth. Despite the enormous financial unprofitability of such launches, they could last for a long time on the world stage, giving a vector to future horizons.
And I want to finish my article by playing around the title and the epigraph.

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