OK, this isn’t strictly a science fictional post, but it’s just that interesting a story – and a well-told one, too – that I thought it deserved sharing here, where I think it’ll be appreciated. It’s the tale of two Italian radio geeks, and how they accidentally became the ears of the West within Russia’s space programmes – the one that’s common knowledge, and the ones that were kept quiet.
It is the ultimate in Cold War legends: that at the dawn of the Space Age, in the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, the Soviet Union had two space programmes, one a public programme, the other a ‘black’ one, in which far more daring and sometimes downright suicidal missions were attempted. It was assumed that Russia’s Black Ops, if they existed at all, would remain secret forever.
The ‘Lost Cosmonauts’ debate has been reawakened thanks to a new investigation into the efforts of two ingenious, radio-mad young Italian brothers who, starting in 1957, hacked into both Russia’s and NASA’s space programmes – so effectively that the Russians, it seems, may have wanted them dead.