Fiftieth Anniversary of Human Spaceflight

Below is the text of a Note on my Facebook Profile:

It is the fiftieth anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s flight which is recognized as the first human flight into Space. As an American, I am well aware that American pioneers like John Glen and the thousands supporting them were among the reasons why the Russians were progressing so swiftly. A full-fledged race was underway. It is sad to me how much opportunity has been missed and I am on the record in various places advocating what I think ought to be done. However, I also want to remember the Russians and Soviets who marked this crossroads in human history fifty years ago.

In my WordPress Blog I have a list of one hundred people to watch in the coming decade from September 11, 2011 to September 11, 2021. I want to reproduce the biographical sketch of one of the people I selected for that list as an heir to the legacy of Yuri Gagarin and his supporters.

Vitaly Alexandrovich Lopota is the President of the S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, General Designer, technical manager for flight tests of manned space systems, deputy chairman of the State Commission for flight tests of manned space systems. Since 1991 he has been the director and chief designer of the Central Research and Development Institute for Robotics and Engineering Cybernetics . In July of 2007 he began heading S.P.Korolev RSC Energia in which his contributions and role have almost been too varied and complex to believe and which is among the most strategically important companies in Russia. His firm is the prime organization in the country for development and operation of manned rocket and space systems as well as leading in the field of launchers and robotic space systems, and the spin-offs of the current advanced space technologies to the marketplace and civil society in socially useful products. V.A. Lopota is in many ways a mayor or governor for the corporation’s community and infrastructure which includes housing, transit and some security institutions. RSC Energia is Russia’s principal corporate player in meeting commitments to the International Space Station (ISS) program. The variety and diversity of these commitments is vast and America is retiring the Shuttle and will be more dependent than ever on the Soyuz and other proven platforms which he has worked with for quite a while. Energiya has started on the project of a nuclear-powered space transportation module. The governor aspect of his work is also seen in his service as the Chairman of the Council of Directors of companies based in Korolev, town of science. Here this distinguished scientist and engineer who is V.A. Lopota becomes the politician who helps to manage urban development, job creation, and production facilities improvement issues in the space industry. His space program is not divorced from the need for the construction of housing and buildings of social significance. One of the highest priorities for Vitaly Lopota is to preserve and further develop the Korolev’s school of Russian rocket and space science. With his active participation, a full-time post-graduate courses and the council which can confer academic ranks have been re-established at the Company. . Vitaly Alexandrovich Lopota was born on September 28, 1950, in Grozny. His first real job was down and dirty stint as a fitter at an oil refinery in Grozny. After completing army service, he studied in Leningrad Polytechnical Institute (known as Leningrad University since 1990) and completed postgraduate studies there in 1981. V. A. Lopota rose through the ranks, starting off as a junior research associate, to eventually become a professor, chair a department and to head of an applied research laboratory later known as the Laser Technology Center. Vitaly Alexandrovich Lopota is a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Science, Engineering. More than 200 scientific papers have been published and he holds over 50 patents for inventions. He is a member of Council for Science, Technologies and Education at the President of the Russian Federation, a member of the Council of general and chief designers, leading scientists and specialists in high-technology sectors of economy under the Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation, a member of a number of councils of experts at federal and regional levels, scientific, academic and engineering councils.

I do honor all those on my FB list who are either astronauts, work for NASA or otherwise labor in the space industries. I believe that the industry is of enormous importance and has many hardworking and gifted people. I may not be pleased with policies or decisions or goals and yet I still have great respect for so many of those in your professions. Good Luck and God Bless.

If any of you are interested in interacting with my own vision for our future in space you are invited to join this group:

I would urge any of you who never think about human spaceflight seriously to do so. If this group I started is not the right vehicle for you then find another one. Happy Yuri’s Night!

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