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Security The Military

Lax Security At Russian Rocket Plant 116

theshowmecanuck writes "Reuters reports that there is little or no security at one of the main factories in Russia responsible for military and Soyuz rocket manufacture. Blogger Lana Sator was able to walk right into the empty (off hours) facility through huge gaps in the fences that no-one bothered to repair, and there was no security to stop them aside from some dogs that didn't bother them either. In fact Lana even has one picture of herself posing next to an apparently non-functional security camera, another of her sitting on what looks like to be possibly a partially assembled rocket motor (someone who knows better can fill us in), and has about 100 photos of the escapade all told on her blog about this (it's in Russian... which I don't speak... any translators out there?). Russian officials are said to be deeply concerned. I wonder if this has any bearing on why Russian rockets haven't been making it into space successfully, or whether it and the launch failures are all part of some general industrial malaise that is taking place."
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Lax Security At Russian Rocket Plant

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  • Re:Looks like ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by folderol ( 1965326 ) on Sunday January 01, 2012 @10:08AM (#38555682) Homepage
    I think you need new glasses! There's about a 20 year age difference for a start. Also Elanor was not 'found' to be bogus, she was accused of it by people with vested interests, someone even claimed she photoshopped herself into stock photos, but if you take the trouble to actually go to her website you'll likely come away with a different viewpoint.
  • Old Plant? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Skylax ( 1129403 ) on Sunday January 01, 2012 @10:51AM (#38555864)
    This looks pretty vacant to me. Here the location on google maps:
    Khimki, Russia []
    A little wikipedia research tells you that this is the old OKB-456 development and test facility for the RD-100 engine, a predecessor of the modern RD-107 engines. the plant was build right after WWII to build a copy of the german V2 rocket and probably has not been used for years. Todays Sojus rockets fly with the RD-107 or with its upgrades RD-117 and RD-118. These are produced by NPO energomash in samara at this location:
    Progress Plant, Samara []

    This was a 5 min research, so I could be wrong.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 01, 2012 @10:58AM (#38555900)

    This is not a "plant" where rockets or parts would be assembled. It is just a testing facility where new rocket engine designs can be mounted and studied. It provides a system for dealing with high-temperature engine exaust, which, naturally, is a problem if one wants to monitor the engine in a laboratory conditions. It also provides some measures to deal with test failures, mainly a fire-extinguishing system and blast doors. Apart from that, it is just another low-security building and there's nothing interesting there when no tests are being conducted. It has nothing to do with the actual rocket assembly. Just one big test stand.

  • That's not the motor (Score:5, Informative)

    by Chemisor ( 97276 ) on Sunday January 01, 2012 @11:29AM (#38556094)

    She's sitting in the socket into which the rocket motor is plugged. The motor is lowered through the doors in the ceiling and conected to the fuel and power lines in the socket. The big round red lid covers the exhaust pipe, which leads outside into that huge tower in the middle of the complex. And as for the security camera, there is no mention of it being broken. Lana says it's likely used to monitor the tests. Since there was no motor in the building at the time, there isn't much reason to watch it. Yeah, sure, there might be sabotage, but I doubt anybody would bother. General vandalism is the most likely threat and those kind of people aren't too keen on trudging a mile through the snow to get to the hole in the fence. Same goes for stealing metal and stuff; people will do it, but they probably won't bother if they have to haul it that far.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 01, 2012 @12:31PM (#38556532)

    Correct, in my years of rocket testing in the 80-90s its called the thrust cup or thrust adapter... the motor being tested or validated is bolted to the big ring... you will notice the angled, radially arranged tubes leading to a central hub in the background which is obscured. A load cell or measuring device is bolted between the central hub and the immovable mass of a test stand. In this manner they can static test the motor's performance like a dynamometer does with automotive engines etc.

  • Re:Looks like ... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Donwulff ( 27374 ) on Sunday January 01, 2012 @01:11PM (#38556752)

    Timed release or whatever it's called. And the motorcycle part is just it: Motorcycles were forbidden there, but in none of her pictures was the motorcycle actually shown within the Chernobyl Zone of Alienation, which was probably one of the first clues people had that the story of her taking a motorcycle through there alone was bogus. Second clue was when a Chernobyl travel-guide [] told she'd been on their tour group.
    Now you might suggest its a conspiracy of them trying to cover up letting her in against rules, but Elena wrote [] on the site in response "I am being accused that it was more poetry in this story then reality. I partly accept this accusation, it still was more reality then poetry and it is why this site has millions of people visiting each month from the day when I put it online and I think I have right to say that people love it". If you go to the KiddOfSpeed website, you'll find a disclaimer from the person providing the hosting, "Regardless of what is true, this site has certainly made people think more about Chernobyl and this tragic disaster."
    So it would seem the people with "vested interests" to accuse her of making up things include both herself and the person currently hosting the site.
    Tours of the are have been available since 2002, and her website appeared in 2004. Wikipedia cites mainly Slashdot has having made the site famous. The site has ofcourse been changed numerous times since then with new pictures etc. Also Mary Mycio (who MAY have a vested interest in it) alleges many of the pictures are from books and different timeperiods.
    So in short, yes Elena's KiddOfSpeed story was fantasy. The images were of Chernobyl, but staged and not what they purpoted to be. As it relates to THIS story, the "solitary woman on unauthorized exploration of forbidden area" has a chance of being a fantasy. Looking cursorily over the site it's hard to imagine those pics being from a public tour, though the lack of actual rocket engines on site makes it a remote possibility.

  • Re:Old Plant? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Eadwacer ( 722852 ) on Sunday January 01, 2012 @04:15PM (#38557938)
    One of the photos is of an active test at the site (seen from a distance), and there's a link to a Russian news release that says (google translation): " The engine number A165 has been successfully fire tested: December 8th, 2011 at booth number 1-751 NEC JSC "NPO Energomash them. Academician VP Glushko "took LPS engine RD171M number A165 for" Zenit ". The test is successful, the comments on the process of testing have arisen. This was the last fire-LPS in the past year. " So, it's an active test facility

When you are working hard, get up and retch every so often.