seen in Google-Earth images the compound has a U-shaped
hotel complex, but the non-subscriber images only
show a clearing where the world-class payload processing
facility was later built. An enclosed walkway connects
the two buildings; the promised garden complex between
them is still a plan.
of cosmonaut Georgiy Beregovoy at Novodevichiy Cemetery
in Moscow -- I visited
the cemetery where among the 27,000+ graves there
are most of Russia's top rocket scientists from
the Sputnik era. I photographed most of them, for
an essay to be published.
visited and interviewed Boris Chertok, now 95 but
still keen-minded, and keen-eyed for the ladies,
such as my invaluable Moscow assistant Elena Perepelkina,
a long-time friend and colleague.
schematic shows how the rocket is shoved out of
the launch silo by compressed air and then the engines
ignite to push it into the sky. I counted
the seconds between the initial flash and the arrival
of the roar. To be published.
the 'old days' reassert themselves, such as at Orsk
with camera and compass, I head for the hotel roof
Yasniy the foreigners' compound was surrounded by
new razor-wire with bright signs on the outside
telling Russians to get back.
entrance to the military area was marked by an obsolete
anti-aircraft missile that we were allowed to photograph.
the drives around the area I kept track of the route
so as to compare it later with roads visible on