Russian rockets reviewed

Course Dates: 24/02/21
Time: 18:00 - 20:00
Location: Online

Taking its starting point in how the USSR shocked the world with the launch of Sputnik 1, this course explores the Soviet Union’s and later Russian space programme and its technologies, cosmonauts, and presence in space.

This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.


What is the course about?

The U.S.S.R shocked the world and, particularly the U.S.A. by launching an artificial satellite – Sputnik 1 – in November 1957. Russian rockets looked different and their satellites and space probes were bigger and heavier than American ones. “Their Germans are better than our Germans” was the despairing cry of an unnamed American Presidential adviser. Justified or not? The Lunar and Venus landers were successful, but, oddly, the Red Planet (Mars) missions mainly failed. In 1998, Zarya (dawn) formed the core of the International Space Station in 1998 and the ever-reliable Soyuz launcher (R 7) has hauled supplies and crews for the ISS ever since. Moreover, Roscosmos – the Russian Space Agency – also participates in joint space ventures with NASA, ESA, JAXA and others.

Roger O' Brien has also taught astronomy for the Workers’ Educational Association, the Open University, and the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

- The first artificial satellite
- Lunar impactor
- Lunar far side pictures,
- Man in orbit – Yuri Gagarin,
- Woman in orbit - Valentina Tereshkova,
- The Venus landers and pictures
- Other unmanned missions
- Long-term space stations – Mir and onwards.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- list key events and achievements in the Soviet and Russian space programmes
- understand the space race through its technological advances
- know the broader history of the Soviet and later the Russian space programs.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an introductory level course and is open to all, no prior knowledge of the subject is required. You also need a decent internet connection and good grasp of English to keep up with the course and be able to participate in the discussions.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

You will be taught in several ways including presentation with visual examples and discussion.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You may wish to bring a pen and notepad, but there won’t be any extra costs to the course.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

HS253: Two Very Russian Elements – The Discovery Of Moscovium And Oganesson

Please also check City Lit's website for more Russian-themed courses.

Tutor Biographies
Roger O'Brien

Roger has been an amateur astronomer for more than six decades. Professional involvement in astronomy waited until 1995, when he tried teaching. A serendipitous encounter at AstroFest led to enrolment at the University of Hertfordshire, which, in turn, led to graduation with a BSc in Astronomy (with computing) in 1995. Staff at UoH sponsored him as a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (FRAS) in 1995. Tutoring appointments have included Workers’ Educational Association, Open University, City Lit and the Royal Observatory Greenwich so he teaches a very wide range from very basic (Astronomy a Gentle Introduction at City Lit) to second level undergraduate work for the OU. Roger finds the variety stimulating and still enjoys doing some actual observing. For instance, he is a volunteer Demonstrator at the Hampstead Observatory. On the more theoretical side, he is keen to talk about Cosmology (at the City Lit and for the OU).

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Book your place

Course Code: HS254

Wed, eve, 24 Feb - 24 Feb '21

Duration: 1 session

Full fee: £19.00
Senior fee: £19.00
Concession: £8.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2652

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