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Lax Security At Russian Rocket Plant

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the who-cares-where-they-come-down dept.

Security 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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Translation (4, Informative)

Stradenko (160417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38555576)

Re:Translation (2)

statsone (1981504) | more than 2 years ago | (#38555678)

rocket motor seems to be described as a test stand.
Amazing how the lights are even left on and how there seem to be no locked doors.

The really strange thing (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 2 years ago | (#38556108)

The really strange thing in all these pictures is there are not Chairs and almost no tables. I think this might be an abandoned site.

Re:The really strange thing (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38556512)

Why would there be tables and chairs in shots of the exterior, the stairwells, on the factory floor, etc? Now if they were missing from photos of the break room that would a hint.

Re:The really strange thing (1)

Lisias (447563) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557252)

As far as I know, no ones leaves functional elevators [] behind on abandoned sites. ;-)

Re:Translation (1)

Taty'sEyes (2373326) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557468)

Yeah, I deal with Russian all the time and find that Google Translate does a pretty decent job of Russian to English. Not so good the other way around, but in a pinch...

Looks like ... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#38555592)

... a Soviet era washing machine to me.

another of her sitting on what looks like to be possibly a partially assembled rocket motor []

Re:Looks like ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38555604)

Is this the same girl who took photos of herself supposedly in Chernobyl, that were later found to be bogus?

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

folderol (1965326) | more than 2 years ago | (#38555682)

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.

Re:Looks like ... (5, Interesting)

Donwulff (27374) | more than 2 years ago | (#38555962)

Elena aka KiddOfSpeed. They were bogus in that she took a guided tour and was not on a solitary motorcycle ride through the area as she had claimed on her site. In other words the photos weren't photoshopped, but everything else about it was fake. I was considering this possibility myself reading the headline; there must be guided tours into the Russian space-technology facilities as well. On the other hand it would not be hard to believe the facilities are not very secure or well guarded, and probably quite empty over the holidays.

Re:Looks like ... (1)

folderol (1965326) | more than 2 years ago | (#38556476)

Clearly she was part of a group (otherwise how were there pictures of her) but I don't believe there were organised tours at that time. Also, I've never heard of organised motorcycle tours. Regardless of all of that, her trip itself was not bogus, nor was what she saw and commented on. Have you looked at here site? What about the related Serpents Wall? This is someone who had something to say, and I learned things from her.

Re:Looks like ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38556554)

> Also, I've never heard of organised motorcycle tours

What do you call Sturgis?

Re:Looks like ... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557052)

Also, I've never heard of organised motorcycle tours

What do you call Sturgis?

A nominally organized motorcycle rally.

Re:Looks like ... (3, Informative)

Donwulff (27374) | more than 2 years ago | (#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:Looks like ... (1)

dmesg0 (1342071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557708)

Lana was not alone there, and since then she was interviewed by many major news agencies, the photos have been reprinted by newspapers and shown on TV. It is real.

Re:Looks like ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38557374)

It seems like a lot of the stuff is old junk. Manufacturing high tech engines like that, the work place usually reflects workmanship quality.

I'd be surprised if they had any real QA at all. The place looks like a dirty run down dump. You want at least semi clean room assembly to keep out rust, dust, and other contaminants that might affect the engines components....

If it was a modern facility, they would have the place all painted white to help when they do cleaning.

I can seriously see why they don't bother guarding it.. I can't see any real valuable tools or other fancy looking components laying around...

Re:Looks like ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38559996)

I have a friend who was formerly an engineer in the Russian space program. The visuals from the two photos linked in the summary are in line with how he described it. They are capable of some remarkable things, but they're not going to waste precious resources on unnecessary things like paint.

Well, that's a face I haven't seen before.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38555602)

... and probably won't see ever again in the future.

Sorry, sometimes it's so sad you get jaded.

When you cut costs... (1)

Mabbo (1337229) | more than 2 years ago | (#38555606)

They're making these things as cheaply as possible. Know what happens when you do that? #1: Shit doesn't work as well as it should. #2: Repairs to things that aren't mandatory, like security systems and fences, they don't happen.

Re:When you cut costs... (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557222)

They have the best security they need to prevent anybody from stealing these rockets.

These things have great record of blowing up on the launch pad. Who wants to steal crappy rockets? Or even the designs for crappy rockets?

Same as in any big beauracracy (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38555608)

This is exactly the same problem that's existed in any big beauracracy since the beginning of time.

e.g. read how Feynman irked the guards at Los Alamos by leaving the secure area 5 times without entering.

The beauracracy spends so much effort putting on a show at guarding the official entrances and any other place you might leave or enter? It can't even fit into the minds of the security guys.

Re:Same as in any big beauracracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38555878)

By that account, you should have been able to just stroll on out with a solid rocker booster from nasa. Where's your blog so i can see your pics?

Re:Same as in any big beauracracy (2)

budgenator (254554) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557378)

When I was stationed at Redstone, we found that MSFC had some junk-piles with uber space geek appeal. No fences around them, once you was on post, you could just walk up and look around, touch things, pick them up. Once a security guard stopped and check our ID, we told him what we were doing and he said "don't get hurt and just take pictures" and left.

Re:Same as in any big beauracracy (1)

tragedy (27079) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558316)

Sorry, I must have missed the part where the parent poster was the hulk. For a better example, look at the big fuss recently about all the "stolen" moon rocks. It's exactly the kind of security show he's talking about. 30 years after the fact, a bunch of moon samples that were essentially given away or loaned out indefinitely by people who had de facto or outright official authority to do so, are now being treated as if they were stolen by the people who have them now. Basically, they left the barn door wide open in the past, now they've locked it up tight, but they want to act as if the horses that got out went through the locked door rather than the open one.

Re:Same as in any big beauracracy (1)

Aighearach (97333) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557116)

Actually, no... Feynman's reason for those antics was not to show that you can't guard things, but to show they weren't being guarded very well. He did believe things could at least be safer than they were.

That's why I love America (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38555618)

They even looked into my pants at the airport!

A trifle surprising... (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38555628)

I imagine that the sophisticated espionage types who want to abscond with your rocket-building expertise(for competitive purposes, or because you aren't selling toys to their nation state of choice) probably aren't stopped by fences and dogs. If they are really serious, you've already hired them and they just walk in the front door every morning. If that is your concern, the prison-camp props probably aren't a huge deal.

I am somewhat surprised, though, that they haven't had a greater incentive to repair the fence and put together something resembling a night watch for reasons of simple theft. Rocket surgery presumably involves some expensive tools, and big piles of parts and stock in various rather pricey metals and alloys. If your security is so fantastic that bored bloggers are wandering in, I'm amazed that the whole operation hasn't been melted down at the nearest scrapyard of loose morals...

Re:A trifle surprising... (-1, Redundant)

mvdwege (243851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38555750)

Rocket surgery

I see what you did there.

I think that will be more obvious then just 1 pesr (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38556118)

I think that will be more obvious then just 1 person snooping around.

Re:A trifle surprising... (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 2 years ago | (#38556558)

These rocket motors are sold freely. For example, they are used in Atlas V rockets by Lockheed Martin & Boeing.

So there's no great secret in their production. China or India might be interested in technologies used, but I somehow think they already have them.

Re:A trifle surprising... (2)

Amouth (879122) | more than 2 years ago | (#38556960)

having a product in hand and knowing how to build it are completely different things. I'm constantly in and out of plants that make products you can buy in stores in bulk.. but they all have a very strict no camera policy - and we have to sign NDA's because it is their process for building the products that is the important secrete.

find an average product in your home.. a light bulb.. a pen.. a drink in the fridge.. all things you can buy - all things you your self MIGHT be able to make - even though you understand how it works and what is needed.. i doubt you have any idea how to make them in 100's or 1000' per min/hour. (not that these rocket motors are made at that rate, but if they where they would be a hell of a lot cheaper, see model rocket motors)

Re:A trifle surprising... (1)

Kam Solusar (974711) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557304)

Wasn't there even a story about archiving know-how in companies a couple of weeks back that mentioned a company that ran and maintained an old plant but had no idea how it actually worked?

Re:A trifle surprising... (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557628)

yeap - that is more common in process plants than people would like to believe.. people know how to do it - they just don't know why they are doing a particular step/task - only that they need to.

Re:A trifle surprising... (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557538)

It wouldn't surprise me if the cost establish the capital equipment to replicate the manufacturing process wouldn't greatly exceed the cost of just plain buying it from the Russians. The Russians have amortised their capital costs over thousands of units, all they have to do is maintain that infra-structure. The amount of un-repaired fences, un-swept floors and unpainted iron in the factory does make one skeptical that the Russians are treating the factory like a going concern.

Re:A trifle surprising... (1)

KZigurs (638781) | more than 2 years ago | (#38559474)

The kind of chemicals expected to be on site should be sufficient deterrent for 99% of casual metal thieves.


Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38555632)

A !!

Eat tihs and die PutinTards !!

LAX security?!? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38555650)

Why is Los Angeles Airport's [] security at a Russian rocket plant?!?

There needs to be an investigation!

Re:LAX security?!? (1)

Taty'sEyes (2373326) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557506)

I thought the same thing too... Had to read it three times.

Re:LAX security?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38560210)

Lax not LAX. If you were a grammar nazi it would've made perfect sense...

Translator here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38555652)

Highlights for me:
They entered the facility at a spot where the sensors weren't working- they tested them.
They went more than once to the facility.
Safety measures for oxygen.
Just test stands - no engines.

cool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38555658)

Did she get to talk to GLaDOS?

Re:cool! (1)

strength_of_10_men (967050) | more than 2 years ago | (#38556412)

That's exactly what I thought of too when I saw this picture from the blog: [] > []

Re:cool! (1)

eharvill (991859) | more than 2 years ago | (#38556676)

Hah! Me too. Although the overall feel was more Half-Lifish IMO. Looks like it could be a model for an interesting FPS level/design.

I'm confused? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38555662)

Where are the health packs? Where are the randomly placed exploding drums?

O wait those pictures are from a real rocket factory and not some fps could have fooled me. Lots of rust there hmmm

Re:I'm confused? (1)

Valcrus (1242564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38555720)

How can you tell? I'm pretty sure when I played S.T.A.L.K.E.R last I was in there. I'm just shocked that I know its not going to be spotless but the place looks like a dump from the photos taken.

Just maybe.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38555688)

They think people are generally pretty decent and no one is going to come and steal their rockets.

This OMGWTFTERRORISTS mentality is thankfully not yet universal.

Re:Just maybe.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38556028)

They think people are generally pretty decent and no one is going to come and steal their rockets.

In other words: They are just being naive and/or stupid, and waiting for the disaster to happen?

Re:Just maybe.... (2)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 2 years ago | (#38556156)

Out of interest, when was the last time a terrorist used technology stolen from a government space agency to launch an attack? Ever?

Re:Just maybe.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38556430)

Ummm... you obviously haven't watched 24, have you? It happens all the time.

Re:Just maybe.... (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558230)

On the other hand how many launch failures have Russian space missions experienced lately? Not saying it happened, but destruction and sabotage doesn't need theft.

Re:Just maybe.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38557720)

Yes Russian people are just nice and friendly [] , who needs protection?

Washington Post Article (5, Interesting)

Guppy (12314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38555706)

The Washington Post (reg required) just had a good report on how Russia's scientific base has changed for the worse. Apparently, the labs are populated with a bimodal mix of young and elderly scientists -- the middle has been hollowed out over the last two decades. And while a new funding push has sent money towards science, much of it is wasted through corruption:

In Russia, the lost generation of science []

Re:Washington Post Article (1, Insightful)

cristianrsd (2543496) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558500)

Over the last few I think Russia has lost ambision time and strength to continue developing diplomatic. While a considerable percentage of Russians want to emigrate to the U.S., and I say poruqe conosco to 3 Russians who want to emigrate to another country [] Cristian

Impressive photos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38555712)

Lana's blog is interesting at least for the impressive photos...

Re:Impressive photos (1)

SpzToid (869795) | more than 2 years ago | (#38555990)

Yeah! Lana is freaking James Bond! Anna Chapman, Natalie Portman, and all the others are just silly bit actresses while Lana's got the infiltration plus hardware shots to prove her mettle with The Power. And Reuters takes note. Dig on those photos!

Don't know what the fuss is about (2, Interesting)

folderol (1965326) | more than 2 years ago | (#38555718)

I frequently walk in out-of-the-way places in Wales and Scotland and have often been suprised to round a bend and come across places where I simply should not be. However, I don't take photos or do anything to attract attention. I simply have a 'hmmm' moment or two, then quietly turn round and walk back the way I came.

Re:Don't know what the fuss is about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38555872)

Oh yes?

Can you name places? I've done lots of walking, and the places that are top-secret, such as Coulport in Scotland or Aberporth in Wales, have very obvious security. In the former case, patrols on quad bikes are just the most visible. I have walked past many and seen the armed guards.There is a difference between a firing range that is mostly open to the public (e.g. Cape Wrath or Donna Nook) and somewhere where rockets/missiles are actually assembled.

As an aside, Chequers (the weekend home of the PM) has a National Trail (the Ridegway) running across its grounds. Try walking across it on a weekend when the PM is in residence and you will understand the meaning of 'covert surveillance'.

Oh, and a little 'radio station' (as per Ordnance Survey maps) to the north of Bude in Cornwall can be quite hard to wander onto as well :-)

Re:Don't know what the fuss is about (2)

folderol (1965326) | more than 2 years ago | (#38556420)

Haven't a clue. If I knew what and where they were I wouldn't have gone there. Also, if I've been somewhere I shouldn't have I'm not going to be daft enough to give details! However, about 30 years ago I walked into the operational but deserted turbine hall of a Scottish hydro electric power station, and on another occasion walked onto a dam construction site in Wales. Found lots of interesting little packets covered by a tarpaulin.

Hold the press! (1)

jovius (974690) | more than 2 years ago | (#38555850)

Shouldn't this be appraised as the first crowdsourced space program? And look how cute and friendly the puppies are! No full body scans either!

Old Plant? (5, Informative)

Skylax (1129403) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Old Plant? (1)

Skylax (1129403) | more than 2 years ago | (#38555902)

Sorry it should be soyuz rocket. I'm german and we call it "sojus".

Re:Old Plant? (2)

rjames13 (1178191) | more than 2 years ago | (#38555946)

If it is vacant then who is paying the power bill? The lights are on and the lift works.

Re:Old Plant? (1)

Skylax (1129403) | more than 2 years ago | (#38556054)

Well, maybe 'vacant' is not the right word. It just looks like it has not been used for a long time and somebody forgot to switch of the electricty.

Re:Old Plant? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38558290)

Khimki isn't out of the way; the best shortcuts into Moscow from the principal international airport Moscow-Sheremetyevo run through there. The area is a strange combination of old industrial sites and high-security gated communities.

The site doesn't look abandoned, old facilities often look like this. I'll bet there is a genius old-school engineer keeping the thing running with duct tape and bubble gum. He probably comes out of retirement every time a test is fired.

Re:Old Plant? (2)

NF6X (725054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558406)

In my Western experience, I have a hard time conceiving of power being provided by somebody other than a private commercial interest that'd rush right out and pull the meter the moment bills stopped getting paid. However, would a state-run facility receiving state-owned power in a non-capitalist nation even bother with a meter? In that situation, when the facility was shut down, would workers just throw anything of interest in trucks and drive away, not bothering to disconnect power or do any other rigorous decommissioning? Would the power provider know or care that the facility no longer had a reason to receive power?

I'm just speculating here. I really don't know whether that might make sense at a facility like this one, and I don't know much about how things are/were run over there. I would be surprised to come across an abandoned factory that still had the lights on, but maybe my experience here isn't applicable over there?

Re:Old Plant? (3, Informative)

Eadwacer (722852) | more than 2 years ago | (#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

Re:Old Plant? (2)

nebulus4 (799015) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558442)

This is an active R&D test facility. The photo of the document which can be found on the blog says it's a "ÐÐÐs-751" (R&D test facility) and according to Energomash's website [] they had 21 tests there in 2011 and more tests were planned in 2012.

Re:Old Plant? (1)

nebulus4 (799015) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558464)

"ÐÐÐs-751" should read "NIK-751" in Russian.

The summary is not accurate: it is a test stand. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

I used to be an adventurer like her.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38555972)

It's funny how this is an article about "lack of security" and not "cool photos of rocket plant".
Americans..... just can't stand when people aren't being groped by a security guard.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38555978)

Seems to me that the plant she was at had been abandoned for more than a few years...

Nothing to see here..... move along.

Re:Really? (1)

Anssi55 (729722) | more than 2 years ago | (#38556902)

Well, at least one picture [] shows a recent-looking label with "18.05.12", which looks to me like a due date for next inspection or something like that...

Of course it always could be something else entirely.

Re:Really? Yes. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38557270)

Yes, you are probably correct, this is the next inspection date. But so what? It does not change the fact that the installation in question is a large test stand, by far the largest part of which is the system that deals with rocket engine's exaust. Again, it's whole point is to provide a "socket" where you plug an engine prototype in - it is the large tunnel closed by the red lid here: - as you can guess, it is close to impossible to do anything with the engine when it's working and the exhaust stream is not safely isolated from the environment and removed from the lab. On the opposite side of the exhaust socket there's the fixture which is used to supply fuel and whatnot to the engine that's being tested. The gates through which the engine is being delivered to the lab are also shown on one of the other pictures. So, no assembly takes place there, only testing. And, as far as my understanding goes, the engines being tested on that site have nothing to do with the production units that are mounted on rockets. Thus saying "look how desolated it is" and something like that is the same as saying "look how desolated GM Crash Testing Site is, no wonder their cars suck" and suchlike.

Think of what they could steal! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38555998)

This is a terrible thing. Why, just imagine if somebody walked right in and then walked right back out with a rocket on their backs!

Fairly typical Russian mentality (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38556062)

I work with a lot of Russians and have known many as friends, and this sort of thing does not surprise me. Most of them have the attitude that work is an inconvenience and anything they can do to cut corners is the way to go.

Re:Fairly typical Russian mentality (1)

nnull (1148259) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557930)

This attitude is typical through out the world, not just Russians. Just that the Russians allowed it to overtake them that everyone is doing it on a regular basis that no one cares to belittle them about it.

That's not the motor (5, Informative)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:That's not the motor (1)

Peil (549875) | more than 2 years ago | (#38556220)

Not exactly a mile through the snow, the site appears to be on the edge of a fairly large town.

Re:That's not the motor (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Sickness still bigger ðan any industry (0)

leandrod (17766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38556352)

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.

It is quite obviously part of a sickneß, but not an industrial sickneß: it is a civilisational sickneß, and as part of ðe periphery of our exChristian civilisation Rußia is bound to feel its effects even heavier ðan the civilisational core.

Historically, new civilisations start eiðer at ðe periphery of old ones (think Barbarians occupying ðe Roman empire) or out of it, so Rußia might still have some hope, but ðese ings typically take many generations of getting unconsciously rid of old habits of mind and building new ones from ðe most enduring parts of ðe old and from old things from elsewhere

Re:Sickness still bigger ðan any industry (1)

Aighearach (97333) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557176)

What the Romans called barbarians were all the people who didn't speak a language they new, and often them had more advanced technology. Romans understood the power of roads, and were very good at large stone construction and military construction, but in general their tech level was not very high. The barbarians didn't go out and occupy the land as the Romans left, they were already there all along.

Re:Sickness still bigger ðan any industry (1)

leandrod (17766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557528)

Barbarians with more advanced technology ðan Romans? Now you have my attention, please provide any references.

Actually, what really set apart Romans (including Greeks and oðer subjects of ðe empire) was a civic superstructure, not any technology; but ðat superstructure sure had technological implications. Only, at ðe time, ðe military aspect was more important ðan ðe technological one.

Barbarians were not ðere all along, but ðey were already occupying parts of the empire, particularly around ðe borders, as Romans not left, but dwindled away due to lack of fertility, just as with our civilisation now. Ðe parallels are stunning.

Re:Sickness still bigger ðan any industry (1)

Aighearach (97333) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557582)

Barbarians were not ðere all along, but ðey were already occupying parts of the empire, particularly around ðe borders, as Romans not left, but dwindled away due to lack of fertility, just as with our civilisation now. Ðe parallels are stunning.

How are they not there, if they are in fact occupying?

And not particularly around the borders, it would be more accurate to say, most of the people inside the Empire's borders, and everybody outside of it.

it is a real plant (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38556426)

stop wasting everyones time saying this plant is defunct or vacant. look at the pictures, the water in the tower one day and not the other. or look at their website where they specifically list the plant as a mailing address.

For display room of the enterprise visiting the letter with the request for visiting by group of employees of the organization (pupils of school or institute, etc.) with the indication of desirable time for visiting is necessary to send to address of the general director. It is necessary to apply the list of group to the letter with the indication of passport data (for minor schoolboys - only the list of group). Such letter should arrive in NPO ENERGOMASH 1-2 weeks prior to date of visiting for groups of citizens of the Russian Federation, for groups with foreign citizens - 2,5 months prior to date of visiting. Final time and date of visiting will be agreeed in the working order by employees of a display room by phone with the contact person of the organization (schools, etc.) specified in the letter.

Information by phones: (495) 572-76-49; (495) 777-27-27, fax (495) 777-21-36.
Address of the enterprise: 141400 Khimki Moscow area, street Burdenko, 1.

RE: Russia (2)

Archon-X (264195) | more than 2 years ago | (#38556510)

"Lax Security" is pretty much everywhere.

USA: Genuine NASA motor: []

Russia, particle colliders: []

France, air tunnels []

USA, a certain famous bridge in NYC []

The only reason this never comes to public attention is because generally, the people that do it don't want public attention.

Glasnost (1)

Tokolosh (1256448) | more than 2 years ago | (#38556520)

Used to be that ordinary Russians marveled at American openness, but now it's the other way round! You'll get arrested for taking a photo of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Re:Glasnost (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#38559224)

In Soviet USA, Brooklyn Bridge takes photo of you.

Get out of here Stalker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38556632)

Man, GSC and THQ are nailing their depictions of abandoned Soviet industrial/power plants. This looks like concept art for Metro 2033.

Saved For Posterity (1)

stoicio (710327) | more than 2 years ago | (#38556810)

Backed up the web page and images.

"That nobody bothered to repair" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38556888)

Must be nice to live in a world where everything is possible if you'll only bother to do it. In this world, things cost money, and the Russians don't have any.

Doom 3 (1)

greencork (877759) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557666)

jezus, add a few zombies and imps, and you essentially got Doom 3

blame capitalism (3, Insightful)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557834)

novaya gazeta recently had a story where they interviewed some actual technicians who work at actual rocket factories.

basically the problem is that the managers are too focused on money, and the quality is slipping as a result.

the quality assurance measures that used to be in place have been stopped and deemed too costly.

What's the difference between the US and others? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38557902)

I've walked into facilities who have absolutely no security in the US, France, Germany and the UK which would be considered important to the nation. Defense contractors who keep their backdoor open all day and a false sense of security with a locked front door and to facilities with no secretary and doors open all day long, you can waltz in, take what you want, and no one will notice, they'll think you work there or you're an outside contractor. Hell, even with a secretary, they just let you in without question. And to those who say they have "security" that there's no way that happens, I probably was already through your entire building without notifying anyone during one of your new installations in the building. You're part of the joke.

Hell, I was at the Boeing plant in Long Beach where they build the C-17, and I just waltzed right into there without any questions from anyone, all that security they have there is a joke.

The only reason no one blogs about it or posts pictures of these issues because they'll probably lose their jobs or not work with said companies ever again. Or they just simply don't care like me.

So? (1)

Goonie (8651) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558208)

The Soyuz rocket family is now 45 years old, and liquid-fuelled rockets are of limited military utility. Virtually all modern missiles use solid-fuelled rockets because you don't have to sit there with the rocket on the launchpad waiting to fill it up. As such, the security implications of anyone getting a peek at a Soyuz would seem to be rather small.

was this on sunday? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38558262)

dunno, but for me this rocket "factory" (takes you to the heavens) is just the same as a "church" (telephone to heaven).
you just steal stuff from a place you can "talk" to god...*shrug*

Unreal (1)

fak3r (917687) | more than 2 years ago | (#38559384)

this is unreal that, but completely believable considering the lackadaisical ways things are going in Russia these days. I always love seeing sites of people wandering through abandoned places in the old Soviet Union, but this is an operational facility where their (recently, much maligned) space program runs from. Wow, wonder if they'll ever pull out of this rut they've been in.

The Difference Between American and Russian Tech.. (3, Insightful)

IonOtter (629215) | more than 2 years ago | (#38559782)

American tech and machines are all so clean. Gleaming, shiny, spotless and built in clean rooms where everyone wears body-covering overalls and face masks. In order to work on it, you need a special facility and all manner of special equipment and clothing.

Whereas the Russian factories look like a steel mill. All you need to work on Russian equipment is a tool kit, shade tree and a bottle of vodka. And up until now, it's worked pretty good? To the point where we're dependent on them now.

Perhaps that's part of the problem, rather than "sabotage" or "terrorism"? Things have become too dirty, and could use a little cleaning up.

Proves why critinf cyber security is so important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38560160)

Perhaps this is why 2011 warned us of the true threat of cyber warfare:

2012 could be the year that those concerns come to fruition in the form of a serious attack against civilian critical infrastructure somewhere in the world by a non-state actor.

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