Well, August is more than 3/4’s gone, and in Russia, no submarines have sunk, thousands of hectares of peat bogs and forests are not burning, and there hasn’t been an epidemic of drunks drowning trying to escape the heat, not to mention the absence of wars or coups. But this is not to say that the country has escaped the late Summertime Blues altogether.
Indeed, this year, there is a unifying theme to Russian travails. They all involve aerospace. First, Russia’s answer to the F-22 Stealth Fighter, the T-50, had to abort a takeoff at the Moscow Air Show due to an engine failure. About the same time, communications were lost with an advanced, uhm, communications satellite that had just been launched. And finally (h/t R) a Russian Proton rocket ferrying supplies to the International Space Station decided it liked earth better, and did a Bat Turn, burying itself in a Siberian forest and endangering pine nut gatherers.
The best part of the story is this: Alexei Kuznetsov, head of the space agency’s press service, didn’t answer five calls to his cell phone.
Somehow, I figure if he had answered, the conversation would have gone something like this:
Still a week left in August. A lot can happen in a week. And this year, if you’re in Russia, I’d keep an eye pointed skyward. Especially if you’re looking for pine nuts.