Interkosmos: The Eastern Bloc's Early Space Program

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Springer, Nov 19, 2015 - Science - 321 pages

This book focuses on the Interkosmos program, which was formed in 1967, marking a fundamentally new era of cooperation by socialist countries, led by the Soviet Union, in the study and exploration of space. The chapters shed light on the space program that was at that time a prime outlet for the Soviet Union's aims at becoming a world power.

Interkosmos was a highly publicized Russian space program that rapidly became a significant propaganda tool for the Soviet Union in the waning years of communism. Billed as an international “research-cosmonaut” imperative, it was also a high-profile means of displaying solidarity with the nine participating Eastern bloc countries. Those countries contributed pilots who were trained in Moscow for week-long “guest” missions on orbiting Salyut stations. They did a little subsidiary science and were permitted only the most basic mechanical maneuvers.

In this enthralling new book, and following extensive international research, the authors fully explore the background, accomplishments and political legacy of the Interkosmos program. Through personal and often highly revealing interviews with many of the participants they relate the very human story behind this extraordinary but controversial space venture..


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History andádevelopment ofátheáInterkosmos program
First toáfly Czechoslovakias cosmonaut
From Poland toáSalyut6
Sigmund Jńhn andáSoyuz31
Bulgaria ináspace
Hungary joins theáspace club
A Vietnamese cosmonaut
The Cuban Salyut mission
A Syrian researcher onáMir
Bulgarias second flight
Afghanistans cosmonautresearcher
ChrÚtien ináspace again
The Interkosmos missions ináretrospect
Philately andátheáInterkosmos program by James Reichman
Appendix A Interkosmos unmanned satellite program
Appendix B Interkosmos crewing

From theásteppes ofáMongolia
Romania continues theáprogram
Beyond Interkosmos Soyuz T6
SovietIndian mission
About theáauthors

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About the author (2015)

Colin Burgess' first book ("The Diggers of Colditz") was published in 1985. Since that time he has had twenty-three non-fiction books published in Australia and overseas, which includes three co-authored books for Springer-Praxis. With only a few exceptions, all of his published books within the last fifteen years have been on spaceflight. Since 2003 Colin has been the series editor and sometimes author for the Outward Odyssey series of twelve books for the University of Nebraska Press (UNP). Two of his co-authored spaceflight books for this publisher, "Into That Silent Sea" and "In the Shadow of the Moon," were finalists for the 2007 Eugene M. Emme Award for Astronautical Literature, given by the American Astronomical Society. "In the Shadow of the Moon" was also named as "2009 Outstanding Academic Title" by Choice Magazine.

Bert Vis has been following the manned space program since the first Apollo flight in 1968. In 1991 he was invited to visit the Yuriy Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) in Russia for the first time at the invitation of one of the unflown cosmonauts. Since then, he has visited the GCTC once or twice per year and attended two launches at the Baykoinur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan (in 1997 and 2011). Over the years, he has interviewed more than 100 cosmonauts, many of whom never had been interviewed before and some never were after that. Vis is the co-author of two previous books with Springer Praxis, "Russia's Cosmonauts" and "Energiya-Buran".

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