Shining achievements

Print edition : December 22, 2017

A Russian peasant with the "Ilyich lamp", a symbol of the Soviet national electrification drive. This incandescent lamp, invented by Aleksandr Lodygin, got its name from Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, the leader of the Bolshevik Revolution.

Iron and steel mills under construction near the Kursk magnetic anomaly in the 1940s. The anomaly was investigated for ores under the leadership of Ivan Gubkin in 1920-25. By 1931, rich iron deposits were confirmed. Photo: Getty Images

An undated photograph of Yuri Gagarin in his spacesuit. He became the first human in space on April 12, 1961. Photo: AP

June 16, 1963: The Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova before boarding the Vostok 6, at Baikonur cosmodrome. She became the first woman to fly into space. Photo: AFP

Yuri Gagarin waving to enthusiastic crowds when he visited London on July 11, 1961. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES

November 13, 1957: A picture of Laika the dog, the first living creature ever sent to space, on board the Sputnik II Soviet spacecraft. Photo: AFP

The Nobel laureate Ivan Pavlov. Although he was an anti-communist, Lenin decided that the Soviet Union needed his leadership in science.

Pyotr Kapitsa.

Nikolai Vavilov.

Troflim Lysenko.

At the construction of the world's largest telescope by the Soviet Academy of Sciences to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the revolution. The reflector was six metres in diameter, making it one metre larger than the giant telescope at Mount Palomar, California. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES

S.I. Vavilov.

Ivan Gubkin.

Decades of state investment in planning and science propelled the Soviet Union to the forefront in a wide spectrum of fields, notably mathematics, physiology, geology, aerodynamics and space, and proved that science could be planned and its fruits made available to society at large.

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