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26 August 2016


Exclusive interview for the website "Cultural Diplomacy"

The website "Cultural Diplomacy" has published a large interview with the President of the SkyWay Group of Companies Anatoly Yunitskiy under the title "Happiness is to see the implementation of your ideas in your lifetime" (in Russian).

The publication contains the answers to various questions: why Belarus is the birthplace of SkyWay transport, why Anatoly Yunitskiy became the inventor and what the reasons were for the creation of the project on non-rocket space exploration. At the same time, the journalist talked to Yunitskiy not only as the creator of the innovative transport technology and not only as the Head of an International perspective company. So, readers will learn about Yunitskiy's preferences in the field of cinema or, for example, what can surprise and inspire the General designer.

Anatoly Yunitskiy: Happiness is to see the implementation of your ideas in your lifetime

Anatoly Yunitskiy: "Happiness is to see the implementation of your ideas in your lifetime"

Wednesday, 24 August 2016
Author Roman Maslennikov

Interview with Anatoly Yunitskiy, General designer-General director of the SkyWay technologies Co.

The media reported recently that a top Manager of the Hyperloop company Mr. Bambrogan has left the company without any explanation. The Internet posted the address from the SkyWay Company, which is ready to employ Elon Musk's former technical Director with a detailed review of engineering practices by the widely promoted American engineer.

Who knows, maybe soon Musk himself will receive a job offer from the Republic of Belarus?

I was able to meet and talk with the Belarusian Kulibin, who has been dreaming about a non-rocket space exploration for 40 years, and who is now closer to his goal than ever.


What could you tell about your business in Belarus? What challenges have you faced and what particular plans do you have in Belarus?

I would not call business the things that I am doing. This is a high-tech venture project. On the contrary, we are attracting money and at this stage this is a cash-consuming project. However, business, as you know, has to bring income.

All the challenges in a project like SkyWay can be divided into two groups: obtaining sustainable funding and engineering problems that require their solution. Neither me personally, nor the closed joint-stock company I lead are involved in the attraction of money. We are a design organization; I am primarily an engineer, and only secondly - a businessman. Therefore, the main thing for me is to solve the technical engineering challenges facing the project. And we solve these issues, we solve them successfully. We are laying these solutions into the basis of the future business, which may become the most ambitious in the history of mankind. The technology that we create is able to initiate a new industry, to form the basis for processes of creating a new center for scientific and technological development in Belarus, like the Silicon Valley in the United States. Therefore, I am planning on a very large scale.

How long is your project valid in Belarus?

I received the support of the President here yet in 1997, having passed the expert examination in the presidential administration. I also received support at an international conference, which was attended by 11 Ministers of transport from 11 countries of Europe, on the second Cretan transport corridor: London - Paris - Moscow - Yekaterinburg. And now they want to extend it to Vladivostok.

I made a proposal to build a string route "London - Paris - Moscow" via Minsk. I reported about it at the conference, everybody supported me, including the President's administration. Later I received support from the President himself, who instructed Mr. Ling (Mr. Ling - Belarusian politician, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus from 1996 to 2000 - int. note) to support Research and Technological Development (RTD).

Mr. Ling instructed five Ministers to render support. But when help comes from everybody and nobody, nothing happens, as a rule. After a year of walking around the offices of five ministries, I was told that they were sick and tired of me and I had no choice as to go to seek my luck in Russia.

Some time later, I received the support from the Ministry of construction of the Russian Federation. All the Ministers of the Ministry of construction supported me for 10 years. I received two grants from the UN with their help. I also received support and funding from General Alexander Lebed. Due to this, we have built the first test facility of string transport in 1:1 scale in 2001 in the town of Ozyory, Moscow region.

The test site in Ozyory was something like a scientific experiment. It was not the thing that is used to commission in operation. Like the Wright brothers' plane, when no one believed that an object weighing much more than air could fly. It was the same way with me, no one believed that the construction of a string route was possible in principle. Nobody believed that strings would not break, the supports would not fall, the anchors would hold, the wind would not blow it away. I just had to show that it worked. And we have shown it.

My partner Dmitry Teryokhin, an entrepreneur, also sponsored the construction of the test site in Ozyory. However, later the funding stopped, and Lebed died in a helicopter crash. Naturally, it became useless for everybody, except me. Somehow I managed to maintain the sample test site for seven years until I would find financing again. When I found such support at the State Council for innovations in transport, a week later the test site was demolished.

I returned to Belarus in 2014, after I tried to implement the string transport project in Europe, which gave no results except experience. I realized that it is even worse in the "free Europe" than here. Everyone is more cynical, but they present it as if acting in the interests and within the law. Moreover, Belarus is my homeland.

Here I found a plot of land near the town of Mariyna Gorka. Moreover, I realized that I do not need any cronyism, no need to go anywhere and ask to help me with that. A tender was announced, we have won it. We have submitted a business plan and began using investment funds to attract financing for the construction of EcoTechnoPark - that was how I called these test sections. Thus, I came back to my home country and brought from the journeys the project, in which people from abroad were willing to invest. In a sense, these investments are investments in Belarus. We have created jobs, gave a new direction to the realization of the enormous intellectual potential of this country, where there is one of the best engineering schools of machine building.

As for EcoTechnoPark, in fact, it is not simply sections, but complexes for demonstrating string overpasses of the urban, freight and high-speed (up to 500 km/h) transport, stations, terminals, park transfers, automated control system for safety and communications, an interchange hub (from the urban to high-speed), the whole environmental component of the project (with planted gardens and fields). We are also creating the soil, the humus of the Belarusian peat. We want to show that we can recover, reclaim the land and plant gardens there. Moreover, everything that will grow there will be pure, because there are no exhausts, emissions and pollution. Therefore, you can grow plants directly under the track and feed cows that will give drinkable milk.

If a cow will eats the grass under a high-voltage power transmission line, then it is better not to drink its milk, because this grass will be genetically changed due to a very powerful electromagnetic field. There is lead and more than a hundred carcinogens near a motor-road. Everything is polluted on the area of minimum a hundred meters in both directions from it.

We want to show and prove that our technology is entirely eco-friendly. Commissioning is scheduled in autumn. The most important thing is that nobody would interfere with us. We do not need any support, but we do not want to be disturbed!

I do not apply to TV, newspapers or the government. What for? We are innovators, and not some crooks. We know what we want to do, and we want to give this technology to the world. We do not want just to show some pictures or assert ourselves loudly, we want to show that it works! Moreover, it works exactly as I say. And I say that this is the most efficient, safest, most environmentally friendly and high-speed transport system.

I express my gratitude to the government of the Republic of Belarus for the fact that it does not interfere with our work. Let them draw conclusions after everything is ready. Only then conclusions should be made, but not now. We do not need any support, but we do not want to be disturbed!

Belarusian automobile school

I will tell you another reason why I am in Belarus now. It happened so, - and it is no accident - that here they have created here the most powerful automobile school in the USSR. This is the merit of Stalin, who had once sent one designer with his little diesel truck to Minsk, where only ruins remained after the war with only 4 buildings intact.

Stalin instructed this man to establish in Minsk the industry and he approached the issue quite originally. Despite the fact that there were no specialists here, one of the first orders of this man was a ban on training at the Moscow ZIL factory, so as not to learn from the others experience. He just dismissed those who went there to study. And he has created an automobile school here from scratch.

Just five years later the first trucks appeared, then heavy BelAZ trucks, then wheeled tractors, trams, trolleybuses and buses. For example, there is no analogue of BelAZ in Russia. Until now even the US have no analogue of the wheeled rocket tractor, though they were created in the 1960-ies. Imagine: 16 wheels, all are swivel, all are driven. It goes through a swamp and carries a 100-ton missile. It was created in Belarus.

There is a school here - one of the best in the CIS, based on which I am creating my own school. Fortunately, here we can get the best designers. They have a lot to learn and they are able to learn.

Well, there is one more reason why I feel better here - we are talking the same language. I cannot explain it to an American, a German or a Frenchman the thing that we do. They will not understand. They have a different thinking, a different attitude to everything and a different language. Sometimes I cannot explain it even to Belarusian designers. Many things are just not clear not only to them, but also the Ministry of transport and other organizations.

Now our partners from Australia came here. We have already a number of targeted projects for urban and freight lines. They came here for the first time in September last year. And when they arrived, they were greatly impressed by how much has already been done and by the general level of the work done. They said they do not have anything similar in their country. They do not have such engineering school, no such engineers. They are not available and never will be!

Many imagine Belarus as a fragment of Russia. They think it is somewhere beyond the Urals, near Siberia. And there is nothing here but bears and a man in a cotton quilted jacket, straw shoes, with a bottle of vodka and a balalaika. And they were so amazed by the fact that there is a powerful industry here. It turns out that we have here great engineers and designers that are not available even in Australia. They were thrilled.

We will establish partnership with many countries and this will attract investments here. We will create many new jobs and will boost the country's economy.

About 20 years ago a newspaper published an article where it was said that Belarus could thrive on its intelligence. Belarus has no resources. A little of fertilizers, a little of granite. Almost no oil. But there are almost 10 million people here who have to live somehow and develop. Intelligence is their main resource. It should be sold. That's what we are doing.

For example, Japan has no resources either but they have brains. Look - the country is booming. I still keep this note, which was written by a doctor of economics, professor, the first economic adviser of the Chapter (this and many other scans of official letters from the authorities are published in the book by Anatoly Borovskiy "Yunitskiy's Sky Ways" (in Russian) - int. note). He then wrote the same thing I just said that we could boost the economy due to intelligence, selling technologies abroad.


What is the secret of a successful innovator?

I would not say that I am successful. Success is waiting for me in the future. I have had some successful steps. For example, in the Soviet time I had implemented more than 30 inventions in different fields: industry, chemistry, science, construction, transportation, etc. One of these inventions is even used on a nuclear submarine. Another invention is connected with high-speed weapons, where the initial speed of a bullet is above than 10 km/sec. It was long ago, so we can tell about it, there are no special secrets in this.

I have published 18 books and I have 100 patented inventions. However, I would not consider this as a great success, because my aspirations and desires are more serious. I did all this casually, at odd moments.

Is it some internal engine or just the desire to do something?

I think it is even embedded in my second name. I noticed it quite recently.

If you translate my second name into English, one of the variants of its spelling is "Unitsky" - uniting the sky. I also recently realized it. Maybe, even God leads me. Moreover, he leads me through the thorns, through the difficulties because if there were none of them, I would have never done that.

I became an inventor because I have faced certain difficulties. When a child, I lived in a remote village among the marshes. I practically lived in the woods; I took off my shoes in April and put them on again in October. I slept on the stove, sometimes I fell from it hitting my head. I fell from a horse and a cart overrode me. When I started to go to school, I realized that I have almost no memory. Even now I have a very weak memory.

I could not study, because I could not learn by heart a trivial poem or anything else the school program. In my childhood it was so embarrassing that I started to use not memory, but logics. Thanks to the development of the logical thinking, I began to invent.

I do not remember formulas, I produce them. Why would I want to remember a formula if I know how it is produced? Even now I do not remember a single formula, I simply produce them all the time out.

When you have not anything, you always replace it with something else. When a person has a weak eyesight, his hearing sharpens, and when his hearing is bad, his eyesight becomes sharper. I still use and develop that skill of mine.

It is not clear to me, why exactly I started to invent. I remember how I was fond of rockets. At the age of 6-7 years I liked the gunpowder. Sometimes a motion picture operator came to our village and his film used to break. He cut off pieces and threw them out. I collected them and then set on fire. The film burned like gunpowder. It was in 1950-ies. Next to our village there were German warehouses blown up during the war. We walked there, collected shells and boxes with powder, and also made rockets of them.

Then we moved to Kazakhstan, near the Baikonur Cosmodrome I often saw missile launches. I was very fascinated, and, while still a schoolboy, I started to make rockets professionally. In the 9th and 10th grades, I already made three-stage rockets that flew up beyond the visual range. I used to put a mouse in the upper stage. It then descended by parachute. Komsomol awarded me with a certificate of appreciation for a functioning cosmodrome.

I invented gunpowder independently, because I needed something to fill the rockets. As I later found out, then I invented the composition of black powder. Moreover, I have prepared such composition that was needed to ensure the required velocity, to avoid any explosions, to obtain the necessary rate of burning, otherwise rockets simply would not fly. I had to make an engine. What materials did I use? There was nothing except paper. Paper and glue. Using paper, I made engines, special tools, casings, etc.

I was very fascinated by it, I was engaged with a creative work, I did it all myself, no one directed me. And when we lived in the village, I grew up without the father, and the entire household was on me: a cow, pigs, firewood. Even my sister! The mother worked in the collective farm - no weekends, no holidays. From 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. I was left to myself. I was farming 50 thousand square meters. However, I still managed to deal with rockets, too.

Hence, my enthusiasm about inventions began. Besides, I liked physics, mathematics, etc. When a schoolboy, I began to analyze missiles and realized that in fact it is a very bad invention. I have calculated their efficiency factor and it was less than 1%. Even a modern locomotive has this figure about 15%, but it is less than 1% for missiles. I learned that they have a very strong impact on the climate, on the ozone layer. I found out that one launched Soviet rocket makes a hole in the ozone layer the size of France. I even had a chance to make sure of it from personal experience.

One day my sister and I were in a summer cinema near the Baikonur Cosmodrome. During the movie I saw another burning point in the sky. A spaceship flew up almost 160 miles from us. It should be noted that our village was in a desert and the rains happened rarely there. But when the movie ended, such heavy rainfall started that we were walking home knee-deep in water. I linked the launch of the missile and this phenomenon. And I realized why this was happening.

Firstly, the power capacity of a heavy rocket booster is 100 million horse powers. Try to imagine such a herd of horses. All this power is emitted into the upper atmosphere. Moreover, it is thrown out not just in the form of some energy, but as a flame having the speed of 4 km/sec. For comparison, the speed of a sniper bullet is 800 m/sec. That is, the speed of such emission is five times more. And if we take into account the kinetic energy, which is squared, we get 25 times more. The temperature up to 4,000 °C is produced and it is twice higher than the melting temperature of steel.

The ozone layer is very thin and active. It absorbs the ultraviolet light coming from the sun and retains the heat dispersed from the earth's surface. Even a slight change in the amount of ozone in the atmosphere can significantly affect the weather. It is all happening very quickly. Therefore, that shower was directly linked with the launch of the rocket and the damage the missile caused to the ozone layer.

So the destruction of the ozone layer is not a fiction?

Of course not! The whole climate of the planet is formed in the ozone layer. Though it is only 1/1,000,000,000 of the atmosphere, but its effect is more than from all our industries. It retains the ultraviolet radiation. If this layer did not retain it, the ultraviolet light would kill all protein life on the planet. However, we destruct it all ourselves.

I started to realize it even in the 1960-ies, when a schoolboy. And I began to think, how could we do it some other way? Besides, I was very fond of fiction, read books by Tsiolkovsky. And it seemed there was no other way. Then I remembered the ideas of Baron Munchausen. I also loved to read about his adventures. In one of them that I really liked, he started to sink in a swamp. To save himself and his horse, he pulled himself up by his tail of hair and thus was able to get out of the swamp.

This method was good, because he did not interact with the external environment and used only his own internal forces. So this method is the most environmentally friendly. If you do not interact with the natural environment, then you do not damage it. Everything else damages. For example, take the car: exhausts, dust, tyre wear - all this is destructive to the environment. The rocket is the same. If a rocket is put into a bag, it will not fly.

I understood that the Baron violated one physical law. After all, he did not study in a Soviet school and did not know physics. However, I studied! Studied in some run-down school, which gave the knowledge that not every University gives now. There was still all kinds of interest groups, which I attended.

There are several conservation laws.

All usually know only one law - the law of energy conservation.

But there is also the law of momentum conservation. When you shoot a gun and get a blowback in the shoulder, it is the effect of the law of momentum conservation.

There is the law of conservation of angular momentum. When a helicopter rotor is spinning in one direction, its body tries to turn in another. You need to add the second rotor to balance it.

But Baron Munchausen had violated one of the little-known laws, which reads: the center of mass cannot be moved in space due to the internal forces of the system. Though he could not raise the center of mass, but he could tear off his head, to break his hand or tear out a tuft of hair. But the center of mass would still remain in place.

Then I thought what solution we could find to use this principle without moving the center of mass. It sounds pretty silly: to figure out how to get into space with the center of mass remaining in place on Earth. It is so stupid! However, it did not frighten me. I fantasized for myself and I was a critic and judge to myself. I did not tell about it to anybody, and thought why we could not do that.

And I found the only solution that did not violate this principle. Due to the elongation of 300 km (distance up to the outer space) it would be possible to keep the center of mass on the Earth.

Here is an example of this conservation law: you are standing in the boat and suddenly the boat went back. The center of mass remained in place. This the way this law works. When you throw a wrench, it spins, but its center of mass flies clearly in a mathematical parabola. Baron Munchausen had violated this law, and I found the only solution when this law was not violated in the conditions of the planet. There is no other solution.

I clung to this idea; I realized it could be developed. Because it was the only solution, not contradicting to the laws of physics of the real world. Because I believe in laws, not in supernatural forces. I do not believe in any flying saucers that will arrive and solve all our problems. Although I believe in extraterrestrial civilizations that know more than we do. But we also do know something. For example, the laws of physics that cannot be violated.

I began to look for ways to implement my idea. Mentally I inflated a ball to a billion atmospheres. I rejected many stupid options and realized that only the centrifugal force will allow to do that. I started to develop this direction, and then came to the conclusion that it was necessary to make a vacuum channel, a flywheel belt around the planet, a magnetic cushion. In vacuum I could reach the necessary speeds so that to obtain the centrifugal force. The ring will begin to expand and bring a rocket out into space.

In the end, it turned into a serious science, for which I wrote a monograph (in Russian).

Later I held for it an international conference on space exploration, which brought together 500 people from around the world. It was the first and only international conference (in Russian) on non-rocket space exploration. There were no more such conferences. It was in 1988. At the same time made the film "To the sky by wheel". Then the Soviet Union collapsed and nothing followed.

Then I wrote a book, and did it only because when I applied for the authorship of the invention, the whole National Committee on inventions made a stand against me. They looked for any reason to deny issuing the Author's Certificate to me. I guess they stated even more reasons than when Lithuania was trying to prove that I was a Russian spy.

They put forward 500 arguments against me and I have beaten off all of them. The arguments were trivial and serious. For example, they said I did not consider the impact of the solar wind, the influence of the Moon, that the Earth is not a perfect sphere but a geoid, it has a complex shape, which would destabilize the ring. They said there would be not enough materials, not enough energy, that the installation would be destroyed by sea storms, etc. When I replied to all the arguments, they still turned me down, issuing the Author's Certificate for the model to some schizophrenic. As it became known later, it was issued even without his application.

Then I realized that I was not protected. I became a patent specialist, received a special education to have the opportunity to defend himself. Before that I did not even know how to write applications and patents. But then I headed the Patent Department of the Belarusian academic Institute, and our Institute began to take first places in the USSR in the sphere of inventions. I contributed to it, too. As a result, I helped 2,000 residents of the Gomel region to become inventors. However, I did not manage to get the Author's Certificate on my invention.

Then I decided to publish my ideas. I addressed the journals "Technology for the Youth", "Inventor and rationalizer". My subject seemed cool to them, I prepared articles and they were published. The first article appeared in 1982 in the fourth issue of the journal. The second article was published in "Technology for the Youth" in the same year, in the sixth issue. I received a fee, 35 and 45 rubles, became known throughout the Soviet Union, because it was a very interesting topic.

I started getting legal lawsuits after about a year. The multiple accusations were so different! For example, in the fact that I was a telepath.

At another court trial, where the defendants were chief editors of two all-Union journals (Zakharchenko from the "Technology for the Youth" and Karpov from the "Inventor and rationalizer") and me, I was accused with a statement that Anatoly Yunitskiy is a fictional person; this is the pseudonym of Vladimir Taran. Therefore, he asked to pay the fee to him, not to pseudoauthor Yunitskiy.

I constantly went to the courts, there were so many court sessions, all of them in Moscow. I had to take time off from work regularly, and then at the last minute the hearing was cancelled or postponed. It was like a circus, but no one was smiling, everyone seriously recorded such charges.

The most funny thing was, when Taran was asked how he took this pseudonym. He answered that when he realized that he had invented such a cool thing, he thought that it would look bad with the name Taran. He had to come up with a new name. At first he wanted to use a pseudonym Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky, but it seemed indiscreet to him, so he left only the patronymic. He decided to take a common name, he became Anatoly. Similarly, he decided to think of a usual name - he became Yunitskiy.

He told it to the Soviet court. Then Zakharchenko from the "Technology for the Youth" asks, how he submitted the original manuscript. He answered that he typed it, signed with the pseudonym, for Yunitskiy, and he put his real signature with invisible ink, which appear if ironed. As such, the manuscript was sent to the editor. The editor says that they received envelopes from Gomel, Kirov street, house 90, apartment 40, from Yunitskiy A. E. How can it be explained, if Taran lives in Moscow? He said that, knowing that all this could not be done via Moscow, because there was a high risk of losing the envelope in the post service, he decided to send letters via another city. Gomel was randomly selected. The address was also fictitious: Kirov Street - because there was such a revolutionary; the house is 90, the apartment is 40 - these are degrees of alcohol and vodka.

I realized long ago why the industrialization of space is necessary, what criteria are needed for it, how to do that. In fact, there are certain criteria.

I have it all justified: why and how I specified the particular way. The things we are doing now are simply unacceptable. Eventually all of it will fall on our heads, because all the orbits intersect there. All of it is done wrong.

Anyway, the Earth is a medium planet, therefore rockets takes off from here. And the explanation to it is very simple. Rockets have one specific feature: if thrust is less than its weight, it will remain on its launch pad. All the fuel will burn up and it will not move. At Saturn the gravity is about five times more. Therefore, the fuel should burn five times faster, otherwise it will not launch. And the first velocity must be not 8 km/sec., but five times more. Therefore, energy performance will also be 25 times more, because it is squared. The fuel should be more efficient by 125 times. However, we have already reached the limit. Liquid nitrogen, liquid oxygen are the limit of a chemical reaction. We will never have such fuel.

Even this is not the most important thing. The atmosphere is very dense there, it should be passed at speeds of 30-40-50 km/sec. A meteorite flying at 20 km/sec speed burns down in the rarefied atmosphere. And here such speeds are needed to pass through dense layers. Everything will burn down instantly.

But we can pump out everything in the vacuum channel, spin it up and get out into space easily. Waste can be also thrown out there, because we do need the space in general. We are the product of the Earth's biosphere, the Earth's conditions. Space is a stranger to us. We have nothing to do there. However, we can to develop industries there; space is more suitable for it: it has zero gravity and vacuum. We can create there such technologies that are impossible on Earth. The infinite space and energy resources are available there. We already have there a thermonuclear reactor, which operates five billion years and will last the same time longer - the Sun. There is no night, no rain, no snow and other things there. And it is such a reactor that had no accidents of the Chernobyl type for five billion years. So energy performance could be easily obtained.

There are zero gravity and deep infinite vacuum there - it is a completely different level of technology. To obtain a cubic meter of vacuum on Earth, you need to pay as much as a ton of oil costs. In space this resource is unlimited. Asteroid belts and the Moon are raw materials in addition to the infinite space. Therefore, the industry should be brought out there. And we deal with it here, and it serves us.

Why did primitive people survive? They had figured out to bring their technologies out of their home. They began to burn fires outside of caves. Now we have reached such a limit, when our cave - the biosphere - is on the brink. Coincidentally, now the biosphere and the human-made technosphere are in the same place at the same time. The technosphere is stronger, it will kill the biosphere.

How did the biosphere appear? It was created on the waste of vital activity of living organisms. Oxygen is the waste of plants. The ozone layer is a waste when the oxygen rises and ultraviolet light decomposes it. Soil is humus, which passes through stomachs. It is all waste! Thus the biosphere appeared. It is self-sufficient and uses its waste in order to develop.

The industry is arranged in the same way. However, it produces a very different waste, not oxygen, but CO2, HF, lead and so on. It produces not the soil, but the piles that do not need oxygen. We need it.

When in horror movies or in disaster films people walk under the ground surface in gas masks and kill each other to get a piece of food or a sip of clean water, it is actually our future. The industry will win. So there is only one way out: to separate one from the other.

The theory of the Golden billion does not really suit us because we shall find ourselves among those who should be killed. They want to survive. Although they will die, too, because by killing us, they will kill themselves. It is also impossible to limit the birth rate. Suppose, we cease to multiply, but China and the Arab countries will not do it. We will cease to multiply, and they will inhabit everything. Though the problem will still remain, anyway it will be a technocratic civilization, which will face the same problems. So there is no other way out except the separation.

And here another problem arises: how everything could be brought out there? That is why they started to "whack" me during the Soviet era. As soon as I became a railway engineer of ways of communication, I said from the position of a railway engineer that the rockets something good, it is the advanced achievement of the science and technology, but it is simply a mode of transport, which takes the cargo from here and delivers it there, into the orbit. On average it can deliver 300 tons a year. Let us find an analogue on Earth. I found such analogue - a cart with a horse. It is the whole space industry. All of it! A cart and a horse. However, the horse is worth a trillion dollars. The horse and the cart made of diamonds.

In one of the articles, I have proposed an imaginary experiment. Let us remove all transport from the Earth leaving only one cart. Let this cart render services to seven billion people. Funny? That is in the same way funny to create industries using a rocket, to settle, to explore the space. This is complete nonsense.

I described my idea, worked it out at the engineering level. The entire rocket and space industry got a grouch on me and released an article that "a paranoid engineer from Gomel hit at the achievements of the Soviet science and technology." That is when the KGB was involved to show where my place is. Court trials and other similar things have begun.

Simultaneously, I became a member of the USSR Federation of cosmonautics, because it was a public organization that was not associated with rocket men. I received support from astronauts; many of them became my friends. For example, Igor Volk is now one of our followers. He was prepared for a flight in the Soviet shuttle "Buran" and "Energia". However, then the Soviet Union collapsed and it turned out to be useless to everybody.

All of it taught me, made me stronger but not bitter. I am grateful to what it was. How can you be offended with your own experience? This is knowledge for you to be able to do later what you want. Though I was not ready to it at that time. Now I am ready. My time has come.

What is the most important piece of advice you received in life? And from whom?

I did not receive them from anyone.

One piece of advice does not solve anything. Of course, my mother raised me. She nurtured me to work hard, to be honest. As a child, I was a work addict, and I remain it. It is not even so much my mother, but life itself has made me so. After all, I had to feed the family somehow. If you do not go into the forest and cut wood, then you will just freeze in winter. I understood it still as a child.

You could say that I grew up on the street. The street taught me in the long run.

What inspires you?

Many things. All of them are embedded in my last name, in the genes, everything came from the ancestors - Uniting the Sky. I did not go to it consciously. Although when I was still a kid, I knew I would become an academician, I would be a scientist. I realized it, but I didn't know how and why. I just knew it would be so.

All my failures led me to it. I was a student. I went to this goal, which was subconscious. I did not realize what I would come up with, what I would invent. How could I know it?

I remember the words of Churchill: "Success is the ability to move from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm". This is about me. Each new failure, when they took everything away from me, has inspired me to move forward even more vigorously.

Relaxation for me is fishing, mushrooms and berries in the woods. When they took everything away from me once again, I went on fishing for three months. I was just fishing, sitting, thinking.

What is the most difficult for you in life?

There is nothing difficult in life. Ideas or goals? No, this is not difficult. I do not even see anything difficult in building a ring around the Earth. This is a simple engineering structure. And it will be done, because the civilization does not want to disappear. If it wants, then okay, let us give place to frogs and fungus. We shall go away. Perhaps, the Creator wants it, He laid it in us once, made some sort of an experiment.

The only thing that is terrible for me, and I became convinced in it, is betrayal and deceit. I have been betrayed and deceived so many times, and by the nearest people, by the way, that this is the most terrible thing for me. At the same time, if it had not happened, I would not have reached my current stage. So, on the other hand, I must thank them for such education and training.

When someone wants to become strong, he trains himself, even through the pain. Try to lift a heavy barbell at once. You will break all the spinal bones. However, if you train yourself, then eventually you will become a champion. This cannot be achieved if you lie on the couch and watch TV.

After a series of betrayals, I realized that I should not have any partners. The things I have created by now, I have created alone. I do not have partners, I have investors. The entrance into the program is available only for investing, funding, contribution either with money, or with work, or with support. I will not give you a share just because you are my friend. When I did so, the first thing these people did, they betrayed me, because I think I gave them the opportunity to do so myself. It is as if to leave a wallet on the table. I think it will not lie there for long. Sooner or later someone will take it.

What can surprise you?

Some unusual original solution. Though not fantasy, but an engineering solution that is implemented. Unfortunately, this happens quite rarely, but it happens and even in our team.

Are you surprised by anything from the cultural phenomena?

The most important cultural event for me is a visit to a cinema. I just do not have time for anything more and, frankly speaking, I am not particularly fond of arts. As Lenin said, the best of all arts is cinema. I love to watch movies, including those from Hollywood.

My favorite movie that I watched probably 30 times is "Avatar". I think it is the best movie of all times. The idea of the movie, the script, the quality of performance, another planet, another civilization, the rasterized animal world - it is cool. And now they are doing a sequel.

In 2010-2011, I actively travelled to Australia by plane. One flight there and back is equal to a fly-around the globe that Gagarin had made. When I flew there, I watched "Avatar", and the same on the way back, too. It was above 20 times in total.

Sometimes I also read books. I have stopped reading fiction long because it is very naive. When fiction authors start to predict the future, you see that they hardly know what really will happen in the future. Especially when they are describing technologies. Social science fiction is not very interesting either, therefore I stopped reading it, too.

What is your favorite fiction book?

I liked books by Stanislaw Lem, Strugatsky brothers, but my favorite was the fiction of the engineering content, which Tsiolkovsky had written. He is not a fiction writer in the traditional sense, but he tried to foresee the future as an engineer. He described how little green men arranged in circle dances in space feeding on solar energy. He described a tower, which stands without touching the planet, not flying away and not falling. He described in such a way a space elevator, which NASA is now developing without any reference to Tsiolkovsky.

Later an engineer from St. Petersburg Artsutanov and his colleague Polyakov developed this idea. He even wrote his doctoral thesis presenting the mathematics of the elevator behavior. For you to understand, its length exceeds 40 thousand km. Then this idea was described by Sir Arthur Clarke in his novel "The Fountains of Paradise". By the way, I have corresponded with him. I liked this book very much. Coincidentally, my article and the beginning of the publication of his novel were published in the same issue of the journal "Technology for the Youth".

This was one of the reasons why the court trials were both against me, and against the editorial board of the journal. There was another reason: they also published a book about the dissident Sakharov. Arthur Clarke dedicated his book to Sakharov, which was in exile then, in the 1980ies. This was one of the reasons why they started "to whack" the editor-in-chief. I just got it in the neck, because my article was published in the same issue.

Probably more about Baron Munchausen?

Oh, yes! He had many ideas there that were contrary to physics: he flew on a cannonball, climbed on another planet by a liana (by the way, this idea also resonates with the idea of the space elevator). The idea of using internal forces, when he pulled himself out of a swamp by pulling up his pigtail, once inspired me. It only remained to figure out how to do it without violating the laws of physics. And I figured it out!

I found the idea of my Sky Wheel and the General Planetary Vehicle in Tsiolkovsky's works. In one of his fiction novels Tsiolkovsky wrote: "Imagine that we are on a minor planet, therefore the first space velocity is quite small. At the equator of this planet there is a railway track, on which an endless train runs, closed in a ring. When the train begins moving, it accelerates until it reaches the first space velocity and becomes weightless". He did not go on with his fantasy further.

This is the beginning of the General Planetary Vehicles operation. However, naturally, it is not a train. It will just spread out and disperse, in addition, it is impossible to achieve the first space velocity in the atmosphere. I place a rotor in the vacuum tube and accelerate it initially to the first space velocity and it becomes weightless, and then to a higher velocity, when a centrifugal force appears and begins to lift it into space.

I read all these books in the secondary school. They inspired me to search for some solutions at that time.

What is happiness for you?

Happiness is to see the implementation of your ideas in your lifetime. I do not need monuments in my lifetime, I need to see the realization of my ideas. There are also many intermediate things: the birth of a child, love of a loved one. Good fishing is also happiness. Some small happy moments occur almost every day. However, the largest happiness for me will be when we build everything. I see every day how we are moving forward, but there is no result so far, it is only a process.

But when we do it, and all the experts, who were indignant arguing, setting up obstacle and creating a huge number of problems see that it really works, it will be the greatest happiness for me.

What is your credo in life?

I would not want to say something pretentious and loud, so I do not know. My personal interests are less important than the interests of people, society and civilization are. If I am doing something, I have to think first not about myself but about others that are billions.

© 1977—2016 Anatoly Yunitskiy. All Rights Reserved.