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.
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.