A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

Yuri Gagarin was a Soviet science flagship. Was built in Leningrad in 1971. It’s 231 m long, and 32 m wide. Main engine has 14 000 kWt power. The crew is 136 people and also 220 scientists can travel and do their work. It has 1250 rooms, including 86 science labs. It was built to be able to communicate via satellites with all top important things in Russia.  It had served variety of tasks. Most mind blowing is to come to Pacific and track Soviet missiles that were fired from USSR to the middle of nowhere in Pacific. Also to support communication with Soviet space objects – MIR station, Soyuz spaceships etc., when the coverage from on ground stations is poor it could go to any place in ocean and stay there linking Earth with space. It has 75 antennas, including two huge 25 m sat dishes. It could support itself autonomously in ocean for over than 120 days. Main Ocean was the Atlantic Ocean. Let’s see more:

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

There was a huge group of such space vessels. They were called “Space Fleet”. They were used to support anti missile strike against Soviet Union by communicating with satelites and detecting any possible threat from any point of the world. Also were used for civil works like MIR station.

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

In 1960s Soviet Union fired many ballistic missiles right in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Then four ships like this but smaller were there around and tracked everything how the missiles flew, how they landed etc. For the secrecy purposes it was called a “Pacific Hydrographic Expedition”.

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

Then when first Soviet space rockets started flying they encountered problems with tracking and communications from the Soviet territory. The Soviet scientists decided to send those huge ships to Atlantic to be able to communicate and see the results of rocket stages separation from the ocean based laboratories.

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

From sixteen  rounds of first Soviet space rockets around the Earth six of them were above Atlantics. So the ships were very handy. First they took the regular trade ships of USSR and put the dishes on them, before the real giant floating labs like this “Yuri Gagarin” were built. These regular modified ships were used even for the first flight of Yuri Gagarin.

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

When Soviet Russia had its own Moon program they had to use as many as five of such ships on regular basis or they couldn’t send anything to the Moon.

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

And then when there was a second Soviet Lunar program in early 1970s they have built this glorious Yuri Gagarin ship. It incorporated all most advanced scientific and technological solutions Soviet state could get their hands on.

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

In total they had already 11 ships like this with Yuri Gagarin being crown jewel amongst them all.

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

There were indeed a lot of technical problems to consider. For example, when the ship turned its huge antennas sideways – like on the pic above – they became acting like huge sails. However in order to maintain permanent connection with space objects ship had to stay stable on same place – and if he had sales the wind was moving it, so they had to develop special systems that tracked the position of the ship and used the engines to keep it on one place and even don’t let it move from side to side.

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

Because it stayed autonomously in the ocean for 4 month people had to be staying with comfort and this was a task too that had to be solved.

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

The ship had its own garage with a few cars including this luxury Soviet Volga and exotic Soviet minivan “Latvia”. The cranes were used to lift them from the ship to the ground and back. Crew could drive their own transport wherever they docked. Also there were eight passenger elevators to go from one deck to another.

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

Electric generators of the ship.

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

The top deck.

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

Cafeteria.

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

Closed swimming pool on board.

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

And the captain’s office.

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

The total engine capability was 19000 horse power.  It could go 20,000 miles without a stop and refuel.

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

From 1971 till 1991 it had made over 20 expedhitions to Atlantic Ocean. Sometimes stayed there for a few months on one spot.

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

However after USSR collapsed this one of the most impressive creations of Soviet science and industry was lost.

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

After in 1991 USSR was splitted to diffrent states they all tried to get they share in the Soviet legacy. Ukraine got this huge and nice ship, not Russia.

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

Ukraine couldn’t support it or simply didn’t want to spend huge funds on something it didn’t know what to do with.

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

At year 1996 they simply stopped paying the crew its monthly salary. Crew decided they needed to survive somehow and started selling small parts of the ship to local black market in the port.

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

Everything that could be unscrewed, stolen etc – was stolen and sold. Different scientific collections from museum, gifts from famous cosmonauts etc – were lost forever.

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

Then in 1996, same year Ukraine hired an Australian company to recycle this ship. The proud creation of thousand of Soviet workers were sold as a scrap metal for a price tag of $160/ton.

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

When it went to its final destination  – a port in India where it was doomed to be recycled – they had to change the name from Yuri Gagarin to just AGAR because they were ashamed and didn’t want anyone to know how the ship that was beloved by millions was going to be simply scrapped.

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

Scientists at work.

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

A lot of out-of-box solutions were used to turn the ship to an unique floating laboratory prone to outer vibrations and other noises.

A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine

Now this ship is lost forever and can be still seen only on the photos and old videos. What a pity.

 

12 thoughts on “A Sad Story of Yuri Gagarin Soviet Greatest Science Ship Beloved by Millions Betrayed by Ukraine”

  1. That a fine ship reaches the end of its service life is a fact of life for any seagoing vessel.

    It is sad that Yuri could not have become a museum for its scientific and navigational substance is a loss to maritime history.

    But nothing can take away from the accomplishments, the skills taken into the future and the excellent skill of the Captains, the crews, and the scientists who worked aboard her.

    It must have been a marvelous, exciting time!

  2. This ship now flies in space. It was melted down and the scrap steel was made into missiles. Its now known as the S-400. In Russia, nothing is wasted.

  3. You know, I’m really sick of this retarded propaganda speech:

    – “betrayed by Ukraine”.
    Scrapped in Ukraine. They didn’t need it, just as nobody else needed it. If Russia had a need of it, they could purchase the ship along with Akademik Sergei Korolev.

    You’d better tell me what happened to the other ships of this kind. These which stayed within Russian borders.
    Want me to help you? Here is a hint: Marshal Nedelin ship, 13 years younger than the one featured in this article, was scrapped by Russia in 1996.

    • Usually evil “propaganda” goes the other way, from Ukraine against Russia. I didn’t see this as propaganda, more as a true sad story.

  4. Its a shame but what do you do with such a ship, the insides were crammed with rooms etc. so without stripping it down there was now room for anything. At lease we have some pictures which is way better than nothing. Who would have thought all the three thousand year old temples in the middle east would be destroyed?

  5. I don’t see what’s the problem with recycling the ship. It is an old technology and financially not wise to pay for crew and ship that do any work. I like the photos but in my opinion it is absolutely reasonable what they did with the ship.

  6. In all honestly, given the situation in Russia at the same time, there’s no guarantee it wouldn’t have had the same fate had the keys been with them.
    They could have fought tooth and nail like they did for the Tu-160’s still in the Ukraine. The fact it stayed highlights nostalgia was not on their minds at the time, so Russia is just as much to blame, no matter who they left it to. As noted in the article Ukraine did at least try to keep it running for a while. If they wanted to betray in the context claimed, one would have assumed they would have sold it/given it right away just for spite.

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