Blog post Number 17 Written: 06-02-2021 Uploaded: 05-13-2022
I have a list of topics to write about for these blog posts I have been spamming out, and on that list, one of them is “significant historical events” I’m sure at the time when I wrote the list, that meant something profound, but now I have no idea what that means, and technically speaking, aren’t all events historical, and significant? Or at least significant to someone?
For lack of a better idea, I am going to list a few historical events that played a part in my writing of The Descendant Saga, with brief explanations as to what those were and why they are significant to me, to the books.
The first one that comes to mind is the Soyuz 11 incident. Which if I recall, I have mentioned somewhere before, in one of those posts. I don’t want to spend a ton of time ranting about all that they accomplished and all the firsts they achieved, in this case, it is relevant, and I named three of my secondary characters after the crew of Soyuz 11 because those three men died when their return capsule detached from the salute space station one of the valves didn’t work correctly and the air inside the capsule was vented into space. The men suffocated, after all the science they did and all they achieved for humanity, a malfunctioning valve killed them. They were heroes and legends that should not be forgotten.
I know I also mentioned Lydia Litvyak who was the first, or at least was a significant ace because she was a soviet female fighter pilot in WWII and while she died for her country, died defending the world from fascism, she too was a hero in my opinion and deserves more recognition then she gets.
Let’s see… after the cancelation of the space shuttle program in 2011, the united states has been reliant on Russian capsules to put astronauts in space. So the only two world powers that are capable of putting their own astronauts in space, at least at the time of me writing The Descendant was The Russian Federation and China. That’s the historical reasoning for why those are the two main powers in my sci-fi series.
The Soviets did lots of sketchy stuff, well so did the United States, but the soviets tried harder to hide their mistakes, not just from their own citizens, but the world as a whole. For example, they are credited with putting the first woman in space. Her name is Valentina Tereshkova and while I am not trying to discredit her, for she is a hero and a badass in her own right, she is possibly not the first woman in space, she’s just the first woman to return from space alive. Tereshkova made her famed flight in June 1963. There are however multiple amateur radio recordings of a signal containing a woman speaking Russian, in space talking about how her spacecraft is malfunctioning and all these things are going wrong with it and asking for help and begging someone to tell her how to fix it as she falls back into the atmosphere and burns to death in… if memory serves September 1961. Years before Tereshkova’s successful flight. And this has been corroborated with other known rocket launches, something was going on around that time frame, and to this day, the Russians deny that ever happened, that she was there, that they tried and she died. She was erased from Soviet history, no one knows her name. and despite several sources that can ‘prove’ that it happened, the record doesn’t say that it does. And she, whoever she was will never be known, because the Russians won’t admit they made a mistake. A hero, to humanity, to women, to science, has been lost, has died in the name of progress, and the world will never know her name, or what she looked like, and the validity of her achievement will never escape doubt’s shadow and that makes me sad.
That’s not the only case though. Similar corroborated radio signals and launch dates put two men in space before the “first man in space” Yuri Gagarin. The very first of which, also like the first woman in space, is unknown, and probably never will be known as the records were destroyed after the failed mission, and those who were actually there are either dead from the march of time or sworn to secrecy. But there are recordings of a man if memory serves in January/February 1961, of a man in space whose capsule failed atmospheric re-entry, and bounced off, drifting off into the void of space. And there are recordings of him talking, crying, cursing the engineers talking to his wife for the last time as his capsule is drifting further and further away and the radio signals get weaker and weaker until eventually he can’t be heard at all because he got too far away from earth. He suffocated, or froze out there in some rudimentary spacecraft that the Russians, the Soviets denied ever existed. And because they refuse to admit their mistakes, and erased him from all their records, we will never know his name, his face, or who to attribute the sacrifice of the hero to. The tomb of the unknown soldier is the greatest tomb of them all. I mean that both literally and metaphorically.
The achievements of those that we know are monumental and deserve to be praised, but I feel that often the achievements of those who died trying, who are lost to the record, their achievements are bigger, more important. And it saddens me.
I know, I know I said there were two men in space before yuri, so let me explicate further about the other one. Vladimir Ilyushin, yes, the son of that Ilyushin who made all the WWII fighters for the motherland. He was a pilot, he was in the space program and he flew before Yuri, by three or four days. He survived but was injured in a landing that was also off course and put him in China. Where he spent something like a year recovering from serious injuries, and then quietly went back to working in aircraft design like a good boy so that the KGB didn’t kill him if he exposed their embarrassing mistake. And that’s why Yuri, who was seemingly a nobody was hastily chosen and launched while their launch windows were good to try and make some overlap, to deny one and use the same propaganda for the second one. And after he got back Yuri turned to alcohol to help him cope, because he knew. He was touted as a world hero, turned across the massive USSR, and gave speeches and lectures and he knew it all a cover-up. later in 1968, he died in a suspicious plane crash, which many suspects was arranged by some Russian agency so he would be dead, and could be martyred and immortalized for the people and they wouldn’t have to worry about him spilling the secret or creating any more drunken public embarrassment.
I’ll stop there before I make anyone’s tinfoil hat too thicc, but I could rant all night learn your history and not just the history they teach on campus. Read everything and draw the lines yourself.