In our childhood every other kid for sure wanted to become an austronaut, or, at least, to involved in space exploration in some way. Nowadays the only thing we might see in space industry is total devastation and oblivion. In most cases, that’s true.
Though I’m an engineer, I was always charmed and amazed the the engines, especially by aircraft and rocket ones. For example, the liquid rocket engine may seem a simple thing at first sight: one may just pour some fuel into the combustion chamber and it’s done. But if you look deeper, you’ll find more interesting stuff.
There is a facultee in Dnipropetrovsk National University, where people study to create and launch these engines. So, when student graduates, he becomes an extremely valuable employee. KB “Yuzhnoe” gives a proof: lots of people are hired to develop engines for US, EU, Brazilian and Russian customers. As an example — the recent launch of carrier rocket ‘Vega’ 13 feb 2012.
Souvenir replica of RD-861K in a piece of glass. It’s based on RD-861 engine, which is used on early modifications of the ‘Cyclon’ missile. Fire tests of this item started in 2007. It should be used in the ‘Cyclon-4's third stage.