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LC-A Big Book Chapter 50: The Largest Telescope in the World and the Order of Lenin

LOM0 PLC was later honoured with the rare and prestigious Order of Lenin for the achievement of constructing the gigantic astronomic telescope. This honour remains a memorable event in the lives of many workers.

57. The gigantic BTA telescope in the Caucasus range – the mirror alone weighs 42 tons. The sight of this telescope and the nature surrounding it is so amazing that a group of Lomographers decided to travel there and casually inaugurate the LomoEmbassy Ingushetia. 58. The astrodome on Mount Pastukhov from the outside.

Meanwhile, the Soviet Union sent the first living creature out to space. Laika the dog was sent to space in 1957 on board of the satellite Sputnik 2. Around this time, the Soviet Union, under Khrushchev (who became the communist leader in 1953 after Stalin’s death), was in the middle of the Cold War Struggle with the U S which rereached its height with the Cuban Missile Crisis. The GOMZ Works experienced this period of significant change. In 1960-1961 the huge BTA (Bolshoi Teleskop Azimutalnyi) astronomic telescope was assembled and installed on Mount Pastukhov on the northern side of the Caucasus range. Until 1993, it kept its ranking as the largest telescope in the world. The mirror of the huge telescope weighed 42 tons and measured six metres in diameter. lt can only handle a maximum daily temperature change of 2“ Celsius, the whole dome is therefore kept cool by round-the-clock refrigeration.

LOM0 PLC was later honoured with the rare and prestigious Order of Lenin for the achievement of constructing the gigantic astronomic telescope. This honour remains a memorable event in the lives of many workers. The observatory is still in use and can be booked by scientists for observation. For reservations see: http://w0.sao.ru

In autumn 1962 it was announced that GOMZ would merge together with the Progress works (specialised on optical devices) and the Kinap works (specialised in cinematographic devices) to form one of nine new industrial corporations of the Soviet Union. An increase of 150% economic efficiency was expected and a new name (that’s right another one!) was also given to the new gigantic corporation: LOOMP, The Leningrad Corporation of Optical and Mechanical Works.

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written by ungrumpy

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Spanish & Deutsch.