From the conversation with Stanislaw Lec V. Petrov, a former KGB officer.
There are people, of which the first timid steps into space know very few. This was one of the most stringent state secrets to the era of stagnation, such it is probably to this day. The cosmonaut's test was created before Gagarin's flight. Then the KGB did not have confidence that the automatic unmanned stations will be reliable, and in fact at stake in these flights put the prestige of the Soviet Union, the prestige of the party. Our unmanned stations were to fly perfectly and always come back. At some of these stations were put pilot modules that is in it adjusted the output station astronaut into orbit and other maneuvers manual, passing all the information on their return to Earth. Thus, according to the KGB chiefs, are guaranteed 200% reliability and flight control systems were worked out both manual and automatic.
In the squad only volunteers recruited from the KGB. Petrov got in the squad at the beginning of 1969, when the work was carried out in full swing to create a Russian lunar rover. To fly to the moon then prepared two — 13th and 14th numbers, and before the start was already a dozen test flights. The fate of these brave guys you've probably guessed. We all know that the 13th and 14th will not come back from this highly complex flight because they had to, while in a separate module next to the Lunokhod, immediately after planting to correct damage to the chassis, debug configuration of solar cells, achieving focus cameras. And of course, all the time be near the Lunokhod. By the way, the famous images of the lunar rover that went round the world, have been made by these guys. When we saw off 13th and 14th in the lunar flight, many just had seen in his time security officers and engineers, crying. But these guys did not flinch and brought to the target ship, provided that all the programs. This episode can be considered one of the most tragic in the history of space exploration.
The first unmanned flight of Buran-1 is also accompanied by a test cosmonaut. Everything went off without a hitch: the right moment he took it over and leveled the ship in orbit. These people — the real heroes, the real secret police. Even today, Russia is not easy, not dropping prestige, name them, to tell the truth about all these people, but it must be done, come what may. That's why I do interviews. I'm retired and I have nothing to lose. But the country needs to know the names of anonymous heroes …