In the Soviet Union in 1991, voting “None of the Above” led to new elections with new candidates, eventually leading to the end of the Soviet Union.
The USSR had a televised song contest. Since few people had phones, viewers would turn their house lights ON if they liked a certain song (OFF if they didn’t). The state energy company recorded the size of each power spike and reported the results to the station to determine points for each contestant.
Fifty-five years ago today, astronaut Yuri Gagarin made history, when he got into Soviet Vostok 1 spaceship capsule and launched into space. Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space. Reports praised Gagarin for his perfect flight, but in fact he didn’t pilot the Vostok capsule. Psychologists working with the Soviet Space Program were worried that exposure to weightlessness would impact the pilot’s decision-making faculties. And so, the pilot was effectively locked out of controlling his capsule.
In the mid-1980’s the Soviet KGB launched “Operation INFEKTION,” aimed at making people believe that the United States invented HIV.
During a visit to Boeing, Soviet scientists secretly applied adhesive to the bottom of their shoes in order to covertly collect metal samples from the floor.
Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev was in space when the Soviet Union was dissolved. He went up a Soviet citizen and returned a Russian citizen.
The Tsar Bomba, the single most physically powerful device ever used, had a mushroom cloud over 7 times the height of Everest. The shockwave circled the earth 3 times and caused windowpanes to be partially broken at distances of 900 km (560 mi). The original design was twice as large.