Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Spirit of Sputnik.

Seen at the Kiev Polytechnic Metro Station.
Unlike Metro/Subways in many places around the world, I have yet to encounter a problem taking photographs in the Kiev Metro system. I believe that the policy, official or otherwise, is that photography is permitted as long as you do not interfere with Metro operations or unduly harass others.

I seem to remember that I had read that Kiev Polytechnic University had an important role in the Sputnik program. I can't find that reference now. However, Sergei Korolov, future head of the Soviet space program, did attend university here. Besides this Soviet era statue in the Metro station, there is a statue commemorating Mr Korolov on the grounds of Kiev Polytechnic University.

Some references to Mr. Korolov in modern media...

▪ In Stargate SG-1, the Russian BC-304 (a spaceship) is named Korolev after the Soviet Engineer.

▪ In Star Trek, the Korolev class starships are named after Korolev.

Not bad for a victim of Stalin's purges.

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