Radio telescopes can swim too

The radio telescopes at Irbene are quite impressive – the biggest one, RT-32, has a 32-metre diameter dish making it the 8th largest in the world. Sounds astonishing, right? But how about taking this dish and maybe couple of them and making them float? Or in other words, how about installing these gigantic antennas on a deck of a ship. And now imagine that for this job we choose a vessel as large as the legendary Titanic. What would something like that look like? Well, Soviets did it several times….

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Skrunda 1 

Kremlin in the middle of Skrunda-1

Skrunda-1 can sometimes puzzle its visitors. One reason would be the Russian symbols that can still be found in couple of places in the town like the famous inscription “Glory to the Motherland” alongside Russian flag and the double-headed eagle serving as a wall decoration. Symbols connected to former Russian Empire were banned during the Soviet times. Karl Marx himself argued that workers do not have a fatherland. The same internationalism was later “marketed” by Bolsheviks in pre-Soviet Russian Empire. So, why so distinct nationalistic symbols in a truly Soviet…

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