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Monday, October 24, 2016

Die station “Mir”: the revelation of her guardian

People of genuine talent was called at the time, Sergei Korolev developers comic ships and missiles and asked to talk about them as much as possible to the younger generation. Yes, we would be happy, as they say, but because of the secrecy of their activities, not all talents were available for communication with the press. Today consent in the first newspaper interviews given by one of the most “closed” at the time the Russian scientists – academician Nikolai Anfimov ANFIMOV. He is the one who participated in the testing of ships “Vostok” and “Soyuz” space complex “Energiya – Buran, the one who knows all about heat and thermal conductivity of ships and satellites, and he successfully extended the term of work of station “the World”, which was worked five times longer than her allotted time.

A large part of his career an academician devoted TSNII of machine-building, — the main scientific organizations of the state Corporation “Roscosmos”, where he worked from 1974 and from 2000 to 2008, he was its CEO. A scientist does not break contacts with his Alma mater — the University of MIPT, where he studied and where still listed as an honorary Professor.

Here, as was Nikolai Apollonovich Anfimov to the cosmic heights we begin our conversation sitting at his house for a Cup of coffee, which made us his faithful companion, the wife Anna Dmitrievna.

Nikolay Anfimov. Photo from personal archive

That boys attracted to science

– Nikolay Apollonovich, you son of a specialist in the field of meat industry (Apollo Anfimov in 1930-e years he taught at the Moscow chemical-technological Institute of the meat industry), suddenly drawn to missiles?

– If you look back to the distant childhood, I had many Hobbies. A sport in which I could achieve great success (he won the Moscow city competitions in the pole vault and in the all-around), and a photograph, which I was doing in the House of scientists. Loved to shoot from unusual angles, sometimes at risk of falling from a great height, such is now called extreme. One of my the landscape made in the Caucasus from the railing watery bridge over rapid mountain stream, adorned with the exhibition in the House of scientists.

Nikolai Anfimov since childhood, fond of photography. Photo from personal archive

But all the same school subjects – mathematics, physics and chemistry outweighed all other interests. There is a concept of sports gambling. So here is the excitement the future academician, winner of the first discharge in volleyball, tennis, basketball, athletics moved from sports to science. He liked to participate in contests, receive diplomas and certificates.

– I remember once I gave for participating in the next Olympics rare two-volume edition of the works of D. I. Mendeleev, recalls Anfimov, is even more spurred me to learn. But later, in high school I was fascinated by nuclear physics.

Children raised in time of peace, dream of far space, on the meeting with the aliens… For the children of war, who were treated and Nikolai Apollonovich, the main dream was the world, strengthening the power of their country. Hence the great interest in nuclear physics, atomic bomb, waking up in the making. The Americans had just announced the creation of the atomic bomb, and Nicholas did not miss any posts on this subject, sought out the scarce literature in translation, has created a personal library about the history of the development of nuclear weapons. So when after school, the question arose: “where to go”, anfimova it was not only PTI is the most advanced University, which played a major role in the applied science of that time, the University, brought up within its walls a whole galaxy of great scientists. The competition there was crazy, but medalist anfimova still accepted.

– I was interested in MIPT awesome for those times the atmosphere of freedom. No one is pressed, we choose which lectures to go and which to skip, all made safely to focus solely on science and scientific results, the scientist said.

– If you think they were walking, skipping lectures, you are mistaken – adds Anna Dmitrievna. At that time I was already familiar with Nikolai Apollonovich, and I can say that he was devoted to the study almost all the time. When in school, turn off the lights, the students sat with books on illuminated stairwells, on the window sills.

Anna Anfimova. Photo from personal archive

First your teacher was George Ivanovich Petrov — expert on heat engineering, associate of the Queen, as he you remember?

– George Ivanovitch was absolutely democratic, academician, absolutely! Wise, sensitive teacher who attracted students to science and were very honest. It was he who in 1961 opened we humans already close to space, the “terrible secret” that is preparing manned flight into space, and that it was Yuri Gagarin entrusted with this responsible mission.

The sacrificial layer

– After graduation you came to the research Institute of thermal processes (now Center. Keldysh). You caught him the first Director Mstislav Keldysh?

– I appeared in niitp, when he was already elected President of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, it was the last year of his leadership of the Institute, and he is very rarely there. But lucky for me, I still met him at their first scientific and technical Council. Discussed the testing of cruise missiles. Mstislav Vsevolodovich was talking when suddenly one of the Council members confronted him about that a few days ago that said the opposite… what Keldysh absolutely calmly replied, “And you deny me the right to be smarter?”. I believe that the success of the rapid development of our missile and space technology in those years is to his credit. He from the height of his position in ansssr supported promising projects of Sergei Korolev.

– What have you been doing at the Institute?

– I started working already while studying at MIPT. Academician Petrov gave me the idea to explore the process of entry of meteoroids into the atmosphere. Then in niitp I continued this topic. The issue of protection of missile systems from destruction at the entrance to the dense layers at high speed very serious then stood in front of our space industry, because it was necessary to urgently protect the manned portion of the spacecraft, which at the time of boarding, when entering the Earth’s atmosphere flying with a speed of 10 km/s. Temperature shock layer of air in front of him reached 15 thousand (!) degrees.

– What are you up to?

– We came up with a composite coating of the so-called “sacrificial” layers, which partially destroyed by such temperatures with absorption of heat. Huge heat flux, which is suitable to the apparatus is the destruction of these layers. Our success could not repeat in the West. Until now, it is on our ships, astronauts from the US and Europe fly into orbit.

In 1974 you went to work at TsNIIMash, sphere of activities has expanded?

– I did not stop studies on thermal regimes of aircrafts, has released on the topic “Manual for designers”, which is still working modern professionals. But in parallel, led and other areas. We have created in TsNIIMash unique experimental base, where in a wind tunnel and on the other simulating the space environment installations have investigated the strength of orbital stations, interplanetary spacecraft, rocket-carriers “Energia”, space Shuttle “Buran”. For the first time in our Institute has created a unique instrument for observation from space in the ultraviolet wavelength range.

Among the numerous awards in the Arsenal of the academic order of the red banner, the highest state award of France for foreigners – the order of officer of the Legion of honor. One of the state prize was awarded for ensuring long-term operation and maintenance of space stations “Salyut” and “Mir”. And later Nikolai Apollonovich entered ballistic and navigation group, which defines the area of flooding of the Mir station into the Pacific ocean.

– You do not mind it “the World”?

Is not the word! You know that originally this station was designed for three years of operation. The maximum that was planned from her “squeeze”, is five years. However, due to the thriftily careful attitude and focused work on the extension of the resource, the space station Mir lasted 15 years (!).

– In what there was a problem?

– Destroyed the upper layer of thermal protection. At its depth, the temperature was still acceptable, but outside the situation was critical. Then start to break down the equipment. The station has declined much faster than usual and threatened to fall on any part of the globe. Therefore, at the conclusion of the special Commission, it was decided that while the station still operated, it is necessary to descend from orbit and sink in the ocean.

Not important to win, don’t need the space…

Despite the fact that her husband practically lived at work, Anna D. was able to accept and with his subsequent appointment as the Director TsNIIMash.

– It happened in 2000, space was not needed in our country, she says. To maintain the Institute Koptev (Yuri Koptev, who was then General Director of the Russian space Agency – N.In.) proposed the candidacy of Nikolai Apollonovich. Nikolai Apollonovich has agreed to accept this challenging position… Came from the service and fell. Slept for three hours and again at work.

Despite the difficult situation, lack of money (salary, even the Director was detained for 4 years), academician Anfimov’s not forget the colleagues who helped with everything they could. About gratitude of pensioners who have kept medical care, and can not speak! Few people now remember, but in the Yeltsin years it was customary to lavishly celebrate the victory, and Nikolai Apollonovich decided to congratulate veterans giving them evening.

-Then how many troubles we had. He was accused of not “targeted spending”! – says Anna Dmitrievna. – The tax went to all delegations, although they then celebrated 7 years of tax service in the Concert hall “Russia”…. So, a great Victory, in their view, was much less significant event?

Nikolai Anfimov with the famous astronaut Thomas P. Stafford during their co-chairmanship of the Joint Committee of the Consultative-expert Council of GK “Rosatom” and the Advisory Committee of NASA. Photo from personal archive

Overall, 2000 years of TsNIIMash were years of survival, the financing, according to anfimova, has decreased in 30 times. And he alone may know what the victims, the group was able to save then unique aerogasdynamics database, technical masterpiece, allowing the country still to carry out tests of any aerospace product. Disaster, thankfully, did not happen, Russia by efforts of such people as Nikolai Apollonovich Anfimov, still held the leading position in the market of space services.

The warm house

Flipping through a couple Anfimovich their family photo album, which, of course lots of photos of the head of household at various conferences with American colleagues, the astronauts, and find absolutely home photos. Here Nikolai Apollonovich very young with several buckets of mushrooms. Smiles.

Quiet hunting was a success. Photo from personal archive

– You like to gather mushrooms?

– No, not at all. Friends in late September, dragged into the woods under the Snow (laughs), and I’m smiling in the picture, because this meal is over.

– Do you think we were often able to get out? into the conversation the wife of the academician. – His mind has always been one work. All the household was on my shoulders. But our country house on a plot allocated by the Institute, he built with his own hands.

– Using the principles of space insulation?

– Of course! However, before you build, we had personally to drain the wetland… But the house is very warm and cozy.

This year Anfimova the couple celebrated the 60th anniversary of his family life.

– Are there any children, grandchildren followers of the outer path?

– No. Son more than 20 years working as a Deputy Director of the Museum of the Moscow art theatre, says Anna Dmitrievna. – Grandson graduated from the Institute of communications and the Russian University of Economics named after G. V. Plekhanov, Department “Finance and credit”, is currently working as Deputy General Director of a large company.

The grandson of Nikolay Anfimov not followed in the footsteps of his grandfather. While studying to be an economist moonlighting as a male model in the fashion magazines. Photo from personal archive

To you today wanted to say to the younger generation?

– Don’t waste your life for nothing. Only you can continue the break in space, which was made in the 50-60-ies of the last century. It depends on you which way the development will go great Russia. Approximately these are the words of the song Lyudmila Gurchenko in a famous movie: “Stand by the wall, the danger to feel back, and God help you”!

Recently Anfimov Nikolai Apollonovich was awarded a government prize named after Y. A. Gagarin for organizing the development and creation of space-rocket techniques, the use results of space activities on the basis of system of space vehicles of double purpose.

Interviewed by Natalia VEDENEEVA


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