Helpful Hints:

After you have become familiar with “Russians in Space v2.1”, you can bypass the main screen and submenus by clicking the NAVIGATE button on the top bar. A screen with 3 choices will appear. The CONTENTS button will display a list of all the modules on the CD-ROM. Clicking any of them will automatically start the module. Clicking the Return arrow on the upper left bar will back you out one level at a time all the way to the Main Menu.

The PICTURE GALLERY button lets you look at every (nearly 400 of them) still picture on the CD-ROM in sequence. The camera will advance by itself periodically, or you can speed it up by clicking the Play symbol rapidly. Likewise, the VIDEO GALLERY button will give you serial access to all the videos in the database. Unlike the PICTURES, you must actually click the Play symbol to see and hear the short programs each time. Clicking the circular Plus button zooms the video to fill your screen and plays it automatically. Clicking at any time anywhere on screen stops the show and returns you to the video menu. To go forward rapidly through the videos, click inside the play screen, and the next video in line will instantly appear.

The search engine lacks frills, but since the list of modules in CONTENTS is not alphabetized, but it does have some utility when you cannot recall which module a favorite scene is in (such as the N-1 liftoff, or a naval ballistic missile being fired out of a submarine's conning tower, or the multiple series of R-7 ICBM explosions). If you are interested in a particular subject, spell a keyword, for instance "N-1" and you will get a list of all modules in which that word occurs. Clicking any of the modules once starts it.

If you see a module you really like, but can't remember the path through the menus that you used to get there, click the HISTORY button in the top toolbar. This feature stores the last 30 module titles that you have accessed. Clicking on any of the modules in the History list will launch that module.

Note: the buffer is wiped clean after shutdown, so you will have to start fresh. So keep a notepad handy too, to record permanently those modules you like.

Teachers and lecturers take note: You can navigate your CD-ROM offline or before class and run the modules you want to show most. So long as you don't Quit the Soviet Space Program application, your list will be stored in the buffer, even if you run other applications in the meantime. Then, during your class or a demonstration, use the HISTORY button exclusively to bypass the menu tree and load the modules as fast as possible.

While running video segments on either the English or Russian language disks, you can raise or lower the volume by typing the plus sign <+> or the minus sign <-> on your keyboard. This only works on your regular keyboard, not the numeric keypad off to the right on extended keyboards.

Here are some popular image destinations:

(Main -> Technology -> #1 -> ) "A Supermissile for a Superbomb" Rocketeers having a Really Bad Day; turn the sound down if you share an office

(Main -> Programs -> #2 -> ) "Missile Shields and Arrows" Contains a sequence guaranteed to scare veteran submariners

(Main -> Technology -> #4 -> ) "The Orbital Complex Mir" Computer animation of assembly sequence of space station Mir

(Main -> Personalia -> #1 -> ) "Karl Schilder" A design of a missile-carrying submarine for siege purposes-from 1834!

(Main -> Programs -> #3 -> ) "Forward, on to Mars!" Lander that resembles an Alien-egg plus cute little Mars rovers

(Main -> Technology -> #4 -> ) "The Family of Vostoks" Striking launch imagery suggestive of a bird flying from one's hand

And yes, there are pix and footage of the N-1 (the failed Soviet Moon Rocket)...

(Main -> Programs -> #6 -> ) "Unrealized Dreams" N1 takeoff looks like an upside down birthday cake. All those engines!

On a grimmer note, you can also try...

(Main -> Technology -> #4 -> ) "The Cosmos Claims its First Victim" The death of Vladimir Komarov in Soyuz-1

(Main -> Programs -> #7-> ) "Woes and Anxieties of Salyuts" The three cosmonauts who asphyxiated during reentry of Soyuz-11

(Main -> Programs -> #1-> ) "Rocketmen behind Bars" No safety from Stalin's purges: film of the father of Russian space in a gulag

(Main -> Programs -> #8-> ) "The Energia-Buran Project" Behind the "Shuttleski" tow barge on the Moskva River, you can clearly see the burned out shell of the Parliament building (a.k.a. Russian White House). Few images exemplify the changes of the post-Cold War world as well as this one.

Reference and Technical Guide

If you are using a Macintosh, there are four possible Soviet Space Program icons to choose from: PM means Power Mac-yes or no. 8-bit means number of colors on your monitor-256 colors or millions of them. Decide which icon applies to you and double-click it. If you guess wrong, the program will correct you, and you can try again. After installing, reboot.

The information on this CD-ROM is organized into 101 modules. Each module contains still pictures (color or black & white), 1-6 pages of text, and generally a video (color, archival film, computer animation) with narration, music, and full sound, some short, some long. Bold face terms in the text indicate pop-up definitions which appear when clicked.

User Interface

Russians in Space v2.1 has intuitive icons set in a menu-driven, graphical interface. Other than keyword searching (see SEARCH below) you need never type a single character to run the program. When the cursor touches an inactive area, it changes from an arrow to a red circle with a slash thru it (international "NOT" symbol). The small camcorder icon indicates whether a module has video or not. When it does, the large plus button (Zoom) starts the video right away and expands the image to fill your monitor's screen. The Forward, Reverse, Back Up, Run, and Pause icons are all identical to international symbols on consumer appliances. Unavailable functions are either ghosted or appear as blank square buttons. Clicking in a window generally stops whatever is going on in that window.

Menu Structure


--> Personalia (i.e., history, people) -->{ 7 Chapters --> 35 Modules with 10 narrated videos

--> Technology (i.e., rockets) -->{ 5 Chapters --> 24 Modules with 19 narrated videos

--> Programs (e.g., science, satellites) -->{ 9 Chapters --> 42 Modules with 23 narrated videos

--> Basics (astronomy, grab bag) -->{ 4 movies, interactive map, and video catalog of rockets

The Toolbar is always present at the top. After getting used to Russians in Space v2.1, you can bypass the menu with it.

<= (REVERSE) When active, clicking takes you to the previous module, chapter, or major heading at that level.

=> (FORWARD) When active, clicking advances you to the next module, chapter, or major heading at that level.

<-' (BACK UP) When active, clicking this backs you up the menu tree one level at a time.

TIMELINE Generates a full screen of thumbnail graphics depicting significant events and dates in the history of Russian space and rocketry.

HISTORY If you see an image or video you really like while browsing through Russians in Space v2.1, but can't remember where, click the HISTORY button. It keeps track of the last 30 modules and screens you've selected in the current session. Clicking any of the items in the buffer's list launches them. Note: The buffer gets wiped when you exit the program.

NAVIGATION Shortcuts the menu tree, and brings up a screen with 3 choices:

CONTENTS brings up a list of all 101 modules on the CD-ROM. Clicking on any one launches it. Since they are not in alphabetical order (English or Russian) SEARCH can really save you time.

PICTURE GALLERYdisplays all the still images (almost 400 of them) on the CD-ROM. They advance every 3-15 seconds depending on your computer. You can speed it up by clicking Play.

VIDEO GALLERY presents all the videos on the CD-ROM in sequence. You must click the Play or the Zoom button to run a video. Clicking inside the video window skips to the next video. Note: You cannot view the videos in reverse order.

ABOUT...Programmer and production credits.

SEARCH A no-frills search engine. Type a character string (e.g., Gagarin, Mir) and click FIND; displays a list of all the modules in which that string appears. It is very literal, so try alternate spellings.

EXIT Returns you to the opening screen at any time; click in the window to stop the movie and exit.

Adjusting Volume

Russians in Space v2.1 has high fidelity sound files; they will reproduce well on the largest speakers, including separately powered subwoofers. You can adjust the volume directly or from the keyboard by typing + (plus) or - (hyphen). Note: The + and - keys on the numeric keypad (on the right side of extended keyboards) cannot control the volume.


VERSION 1 - ENGLISH - NOTE: This version has been discontinued. Owners of Soviet Space Program v1 can upgrade to v2.1 at a substantial discount: $15.42 inc. shipping & handling ($14.93 for Planetary Society and National Space Society members). Click the ORDERING INFORMATION button on the PRODUCTS page to see the upgrade procedure.

Windows 95 Compatibility Issues:

The version of Quicktime for Windows which comes with the CD-ROM must be used. Some newer computer systems come pre-loaded with a newer version of Quicktime which has proven to be incompatible with the CD-ROM. One solution is to un-install the newer version of Quicktime and use the version which comes with the CD-ROM. A better solution, if you have a hard drive over 500 megabytes, is to partition the hard drive, and put the two different versions of QuickTime in different partitions.

Follow this procedure for installing the Soviet Space Program CD under Windows 95:

  1. Start Windows 95.
  2. Put the CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive.
  3. Click on the Start button.
  4. Select Run.
  5. Type: D:\install (where D: is the drive letter for your CD-ROM drive)
  6. Click OK.
  7. Follow the setup instructions.

Troubleshooting Tips for Windows 95 installations:

  1. Make sure that you are entering the correct drive letter for your CD-ROM (see Step 5 above).
  2. The installation program doesn't actually install anything on your hard disk, it simply creates a folder called CompactBook in the Programs folder, and creates a shortcut to the CD called Soviet Space Program.
  3. The CD-ROM must be in the CD-ROM drive when you run the program.

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These pages last updated December 11, 2002