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Looking Eastwards

 Russia gets in on the Act

In the 1960s the Soviet Union took the decision to build the largest particle accelerator the world had seen. Based at Serpukhov, near Moscow, the new machine was complete by 1967.

That same year, an agreement was signed between CERN and the USSR State Committee for Atomic Energy under which CERN would construct special equipment for the accelerator in return for which scientists from CERN Member States would be able to participate in the Serpukhov experimental programme.

On the extreme left Dr. G. Funke, President of the CERN Council watches CERN's Director-General, Professor B. Gregory (centre) and Professor A. Petrosiants sign the agreement.

During the 1970s several joint CERN-Soviet experiments were carried out at Serpukhov, showing how scientific collaboration could surmount political and blazing a trail future co-operation.

The following illustrates this perfectly;

The Antonov 22 transporter caused quite a stir when it arrived at Geneva airport in 1970. A top-secret military aircraft, its first mission beyond the Soviet Union was to collect a state-of-the-art experiment from CERN and take it to Russia where it was to be installed at the new Serpukhov accelerator.

The Antonov 22 transporter at Geneva airport in 1970.

To escape from the crowds, the Antonov's pilot took a light aircraft for a spin around the Alps whilst waiting for his anything-but-light aircraft to be loaded. 

The same pilot was tragically killed the following year while ferrying emergency supplies to earthquake victims in Chile.

The Antonov's pilot with the local press.


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