Science and technology in Russia


Russia is famous due to its many achievements in various fields of science and technology. On the top of the list are the following discoveries and inventions: Periodic Table of the Elements, first detailed study of the use of rockets for spaceflights, television, first space flights both unmanned and manned, laser as well as many others.

Scientific research in different areas is coordinated by the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia and other Ministries and Agencies in their fields of responsibility.

Fundamental scientific research is concentrated in s Russian Academy of Sciences that includes hundreds of research institutes specializing in all major natural and applied sciences. The Academy is proud of its members awarded with the Nobel prize: Ivan Pavlov, Nikolay Semenov, Igor Tamm, Pavel Cherenkov, Pyotr Kapitsa, Ilia Frank, Lev Landau, Alexander Prokhorov, Nikolay Basov, Leonid Kantorovich, Andrey Sakharov and Jorez Alferov.

It would be appropriate to draw special attention to the Soviet/Russian achievements in discovering space: launching first artificial Earth satellite Sputnik 1 in orbit (1957) and Sputnik 2 carrying a live dog Laika (1957). These events were of the world importance and resulted many consequences in various fields of policy,  science and others. Then other prominent steps followed: Luna 2 was the first spacecraft to crash-land on the Moon (1959), Luna 3 took the first photographs of the Moon’s far side (1959). Date of April 12, 1961 will be remembered by the humankind as a day of the first manned spaceflight made by a Russian cosmonaut Yury Gagarin on Vostok 1. Valentina Tereshkova turned out the first woman in space on Vostok 6 (1963). Aleksey Leonov made the first space walk from Voskhod 2 (1965). Luna 16 was the first unmanned spacecraft to bring lunar samples back to Earth (1970). Venera 7 and Mars 3 made the first soft landings on the other planets (Venus and Mars) of the Solar system (1970). The first space station Salut 1 was placed on orbit in 1971. In 1986-2000 Russian manned space station Mir was orbiting the Earth. It used to dock American shuttles and hosted US astronauts. Cosmonaut Valery Poliakov set a record of endurance in space on this versatile space laboratory of 438 days (1995). Since 1998 Russia has been one of major partners in the 16-nations consortium (USA, Russia, European Space Agency countries, Japan, Canada and Brazil) that assembles International Space Station (ISS) on orbit. The first element of the ISS Russian-built habitat module Zaria was launched in 1998. The first resident crew that occupied ISS in 2000 consisted of cosmonauts Yury Gidzenko, Sergey Krikalyov and astronaut William Shepherd.

Russian civil space programs are now led by the Federal Space Agency of Russia. Since March 2004 the post of the Agency’s Director has been occupied  by Anatoliy Perminov.