Cosmos and Gene

    Gene was born in the Soviet Union. Though already at the sunset of the great empire, he managed to catch a glimpse of the portrait of Lenin against the background of the red flag, located on the first page of the primer. And, of course, Gena loved everything about space. He was proud that he lives in a country that has the most impressive list of achievements in astronautics, each item of which began with the word “first”.

    Gene does not remember under what circumstances, but he got a big book about the device of various mechanisms. In addition to information about the work of the drum of the combine, it described the works of Tsiolkovsky and the principle of the jet engine. Now Gene has become even more interesting - it began to seem that perhaps someday he himself would be able to take some part in the space program.


    Then there were books and films. In Soviet times, not much was filmed and written about astronautics, but Gene, at first, was enough. He was read by the “Faets” and Kir Bulychev, watched films about teenagers in space (forgot the name, it was like a series), and continued to dream in space.

    The 90s came, our information and media space expanded, and Gena and I first saw Star Wars, revered Isaac Asimov and Harry Harrison. In our village library, the choice was scarce, and there was no money to buy books, so we were content with what we managed to find. Most of the names, alas, have already disappeared from memory. I remember there was a series of Isaac Asimov about a guy who worked as a detective - he investigated crimes on Venus, Mars, even visited Mercury. There was also a series of "American Science Fiction" - paperback books, nondescript ones with black and white covers. Some kind of book with the main character named Fizpok flying to the Earth from a planet where dudes threw hand grenades at each other and turned into a man along the way. What about Solaris? What could be more beautiful than this book? In short, we read everything we found.

    In the 90s there were animated series on TV. Who remembers the “Space Rescue Lieutenant Marsh”? Every day, at exactly 15-20, after the daily news, like a bayonet on the TV, so that, God forbid, not miss 20 minutes of happiness, about the endless battles of people - ordinary and blue, artificial. Who understood how this animated series ended?

    But the soul still lay more with Soviet works. I don’t know about you, but it seemed to Gene and it seems that they had more romance in them, or something. Or souls. It was they who aroused the thirst for space in Gene.


    The thirst was so intense that Gene felt her almost literally. He really wanted ... I don’t even know what. Not sure what he himself knew. Visit space. Visit other planets, see new worlds, establish a colony, make friends with the inhabitants of unfamiliar planets, fight with a different civilization, see trees growing from the sky, or from the head of aliens, or even from where. Look at what is impossible to even imagine.

    There was Gene in the world - a small, stupid and naive child, and there was astronautics. More precisely, his dreams of her. Gene grew and hoped. No, he didn’t hope - he was waiting. He waited for the cosmonautics to finally make the breakthrough that would turn his whole Genes upside down on a small and boring life. Not only him, of course - the whole world, but Gena, like any child, was self-absorbed. He was waiting for breakthroughs in space for himself.

    Reason suggested that a breakthrough could come only from two sides.

    The first is aliens. A random, unpredictable factor that can change the life of the planet. Actually, nothing really depends on people here. If aliens arrive, they will only have to react, and there it will go. Maybe it will turn out, as for the Martians from the “Faets” - friends will fly in, make a lifeless planet inhabited and help get out of the dungeons. Or maybe, as Hollywood films like Skyline, Cowboys vs. Aliens, and a million others like it now.

    The second is displacement technology. It seems, obviously, that humanity will not fly away anywhere, will not open anything and will not make friends with anyone until it learns to quickly move through space. Need an engine that accelerates to the speed of light, or even faster. The second option is teleportation or some of its options. Well, it seemed to us in childhood.


    But time passed, and breakthroughs somehow did not happen. I had long since abandoned dreams of astronautics, became interested in programming, and Gene continued to wait.

    They showed some astronauts in the news, mixed with astronauts flying to Mir station, as a watch. Periodically, some experiments were carried out in orbit, but ... They were small, or something. They had nothing to do with our ideas about space and its capabilities.

    The Mir station was safely flooded, the ISS was built, and everything continued according to the same scenario. They fly there, stick out in orbit for six months, they all repair something, join, close holes, sprout seeds, wish Happy New Year, tell how difficult it is to wash your hair and go to the toilet. Satellites launch in such a quantity that they no longer cram in orbit.

    Gradually, Gena began to understand that there was essentially nothing to wait for. Theirs, astronauts and scientists, plans sharply diverged from ours. Their capabilities and the speed of development of astronautics did not meet the expectations of Gena.

    So, unnoticed by himself and others, Gene became an adult. Well, how it became - hands and feet became longer than steel, the family appeared, work, loans, obligations, the right to vote. But the inner child remained. The one that was waiting.


    In the cycle of cares of adulthood, childhood dreams began to be forgotten. Woke up rarely - only when reading another good book or watching a decent movie about space. I don’t know about you, but Gene is not particularly pleased with modern films. Take the same “Star Trek” - everything seems to be good, interestingly shot, the plot is exciting, the actors are good, the director is wonderful ... But not that. Do not compare with "Solaris" (I'm talking about a book).

    Only Avatar, Interstellar, and District 9 were truly stirring their souls.

    In “Avatar” - a real different world, a magnificent complete immersion in the realities of another planet, albeit with a standard Hollywood story inscribed inside. But when watching the film, it is obvious that the director invested a significant, if not the most part of his time and soul, precisely in creating this world and demonstrating it to us using the best visual technologies.

    Interstellar is ... This is Interstellar. Thus, only Christopher Nolan could show the cosmos and the people who first got into it. This is “Solaris” and “Flight of the Earth” in one bottle, if compared at the level of mental vibrations.

    And "District number 9" just blew up the brain. The story is so far from the traditional notions of science fiction - although, it would seem, the plot was lying under my feet - and so elegantly shot that I want to review for the millionth time. And every time - like the first. This rarely happens to any of the directors.

    But all this is just bursts. On the one hand, they are very pleased, because they awaken in such as Gene, the child and his dreams. On the other hand - damn it, they wake the child and his dreams in him! It’s like a gene wakes up from a boring dream called “adult life” and recalls ... Of space, other planets, interstellar travels, new worlds, light speeds and blasters. And he is trying to relate his dreams to reality.


    But what in reality? A trillion satellites, commercial and military. Well, probably, they help Gene in something, and he, the ungrateful creature, is again unhappy.

    Some other rockets fly. Into space, then back. Some do not fly back. Some fish on the water. Some explode. Gene, so what?

    Yes, there is space tourism. Some rich people went into orbit for a ton of money. And Gene doesn’t want to go into orbit. She doesn’t even want to go to Mars - she knows that there is nothing interesting there.

    There are some automatic devices that launch to other planets. They fly through once, send pictures. Boring, uninteresting pictures. Not going to any comparison with those that painted our imagination in childhood.

    Elon Musk, it seems, wants to send people to Mars. When, whom exactly, how much they will fly, how they will return, what they will do - only Ilon Mask knows. They definitely won’t take the gene. Yes, he would not have flown, because it is a surrogate, a deal with conscience, an attempt to fool childhood dreams.

    The other day, they shot a black hole. In the headlines they write that it turned out no worse than in Interstellar. Perfectly. So, Gene has already seen a black hole several times - in the cinema and at home, on television.

    First time

    Recently met with Gena. They remembered the past, laughed, and then the conversation again went about space. Gene immediately faded, as if we were discussing some incurable sore sitting inside him. It was evident that contradictions were tearing him apart. On the one hand, as I think, besides me, he has no one to talk about space with, but I really want to. On the other - what's the point?

    But I decided to help a friend and talked to him. Gene chatted incessantly, and I listened, almost without interfering.

    Gene said that he was very unlucky with the choice of hobbies. Compared with me - I dreamed of programming from the 9th grade. He said that he, like millions of other people, was misled by the time of the first.

    What is this - it is clear, I began with this presentation. There was a time — moreover, a very short period of it — when one discovery followed another, literally a cascade. And almost everything is in our country. In those years, not a single inhabitant, like us, could have imagined that these were just the first cream, and behind them, alas, would be a huge layer of sour milk.

    Quickly and effectively did everything they were capable of. They launched a satellite, sent dogs, a man, went into outer space, sent a woman, the Americans landed on the moon, and ... That's all.

    And they presented us as if this is only the beginning. It seems like - egegei, look at what we are capable of! And this is only the first to do it! And what will happen next! And it's impossible to imagine!

    It’s just possible to imagine, and books with films helped us a lot in this. The first did their job, and we were very inspired and began to wait for the second. And the second did not come. Such a second, so that before the first there was no shame.

    Gene sincerely admitted that he had long been envious of me, with white envy.

    other hobbies

    As mentioned above, for some reason, I became interested in programming. It was 98, Basic Corvette, a book by A. Fox and D. Fox, Basic for All. Well, the first ones, as in astronautics - computers, programs, networks, etc.

    But in IT very quickly, avalanche-like, came the second, and third, and thirty-fifth. IT deals with the whole world, in all its diverse manifestations. And, frankly, for 20 years, IT has gone much further and wider than what I imagined at the very beginning.

    This is what Gene is jealous of. He sees that my childhood dreams have come true - at least in part. But he stayed with a broken trough.

    Broken trough

    The trough, alas, is really broken. Recently it was April 12th. Whom do we remember and honor on this day? Those very first ones - Gagarin, Korolev, Leonov, Tereshkova, Grechko.

    It seems normal to celebrate the first on a holiday. But it’s normal to recall the second. And who is the second? Who else can be ranked among the outstanding heroes of modern astronautics? How many names will you name - those who have moved this science forward over the past 50 plus years?

    If you are seriously interested in astronautics, you will probably call someone. And Gena called. And I will not name anyone except Dmitry Rogozin and Ilon Mask. With a woeful grin on his face, of course.

    There would be no smirk if someone, without using a search engine, would name the ministers responsible for sending the first person into space. What has cosmonautics come to, if its face was the first deputy prime minister of the government? Personally, I have nothing against these people - I understand that they did not purposefully climb the pedestal. And the most interesting thing that is happening in this branch of knowledge is a hole in the casing of the orbital station, about which there is already enough material for the whole series.

    Finely. Boring. Hopelessly.

    Gene, like me, is already 35 years old. We were born 20 years after the feat of the First. 50 years in space - a vacuum. Petty smashing, commercial projects, orbital cold wars, money, profits, intrigues, budgets, theft, criminality, effective managers and I apologize for foul language, projects.


    The paragraph above is my words. Gene I did not tell them. I am sure he thinks the same way, but even our long conversation did not bring him to the point where he could trample on his childhood dreams with a dirty boot (or patent leather shoe).

    Gene still hopes. For what - I don’t know. I am sure that he will not read this article - not his resource. Just heartily sorry for an old friend. Maybe after all the aliens will arrive?

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