No borders in space

August 8th, 1958; Baikonur Kosmodrone, Genes office.

Gene: “So Wernher, I hear the Ministry gave your people a hard time when you got back from the conference?”

Wernher: “Yes, the Ministry are a strange bunch. They didn’t mind the ideas for automated launches that we got from the Illyriens, but that we pointed out how our interstages have always been done, it is wrong?”

Gene: “I don’t get it either, we know the Illyriens have our designs anyway – so they’ve had access to the solution to their problem for years – apparently no one bothered checking.”

Wernher: “True, we also have some automation, but haven’t done much in that area lately. I suppose we should start looking into it? At least for our most common launches?”

Gene: “Possibly, though we may end up tailoring it to the newer series of rockets – little sense in doing it for things we’re not planning to use much anyway.”

Wernher: “True, but it won’t be in August – we’re looking at a handful of launches at least so for, so it’ll be a busy month. We may want to do the automation soon for the Proton-3 though – we’re sending up a lot of those.”

Gene: “True, but that one’s complicated due to the workings of the boosters, is it not?”

Wernher: “Yes, but if the Proton-1a is a mark of things to go, we may evolve a Proton-3a as well, that is more easily automated – or a Proton-2a may be enough, given the capacity increase of the Proton-1a over the Proton-1?”

Gene: “We’ll see. How about the Illyrien using Hydrolox engines now?”

Wernher: “Well, we’ve been using them for a while – ever since the Venus-3. And we do also have the J-2 plans, and have had them for a while – we’ve just not bothered prototyping it yet. But if you can spare the cash, it might be worth it to get a powerful engine capable of re-starting?”

Gene: “I’ll see about finding them Wernher. See you later.”


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