by Nikolai SEVASTYANOV, President and General Designer of the Energiya Aerospace Corporation, Korolev
100 years have passed since the birth of Acad. Sergei Korolev, a prominent scientist, founder of practical cosmonautics, legendary designer of rocket-space engineering, the most gifted organizer of work on the exploration of extraterrestrial space, head and chief designer of experimental Design Bureau, OKB-1 (now the Energiya Aerospace Corporation named after S. Korolev).
Over a long period of time his name has been under a thick veil of secrecy. The reason for that was the complicated international situation obtained immediately following the defeat of German fascism and as a result of military rivalry of the two superpowers-USA and USSR.
As is generally known the Soviet Union broke the USA atomic-and-thermonuclear-weapons monopoly in 1949 and 1953. However, the USA, as before, had an
absolute supremacy in nuclear delivery vehicles. Moreover, according to plan under the code name Trojan the Americans intended to drop 320 atomic bombs on USSR cities, whose yields of explosion were twenty times as high as those exploded over Japan in 1945. It could only be possible to put an end to those insidious designs by creating an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of delivering a nuclear charge to USA territory. And on May 20, 1954, the leaders of our country adopted a resolution on development of such a delivery vehicle with a flying range of 8,000 km and with a thermonuclear warhead of up to 5.5 t. The fulfillment of this task was entrusted to OKB-1 (city Kaliningrad, now Korolev near Moscow) headed by Sergei Korolev - a designer of new formation*.
While a student of Kiev Polytechnic Institute and then of Bauman Moscow Technical University, he designed gliders, tested and flew them. And beginning from 1927 he worked at the same time as a designer at capital aviation plants. Then since 1932 he headed the G ... Read more