By Academician Boris CHERTOK,* Rocket and Space Corporation "Energiya" named after S. R. Korolev
The world's first artificial satellite was launched in the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957 at 10:28:34 p.m. Moscow time. For the first time in history hundreds of millions of people could watch a man-made star moving along the roof of heaven in the rays of sunrise or sunset, which was not created by gods but man's hands. The world community took this event as the greatest scientific achievement.
The history of creating the first satellite relates to the work over a rocket as such. All the more so that both in the Soviet Union and USA it had the German origin. As a result of the ban under the Peace Treaty of Versailles (1919) to develop new types of artillery armament and build battle planes, the German military men paid attention to the prospects of long-range missiles - this document did not envisage a ban on them. The proper work was started especially actively in Germany after 1933 with the rise of Hitler to power. At that time the work of a small group of enthusiasts headed by a young talented engineer Werner von Braun obtained the support of the army and then became the priority state armament program. In 1936, here they began building the powerful science and production test rocket center Peenemunde (district of Rostock). In 1943, combat ballistic long-range missile A-4 which was later propagandistically called V-2 ("Vergeltungswaffe 2" from "Vergeltung" - vengeance) had been successfully launched for the first time. It became the first unmanned automatically controlled long-range unit: the maximum firing range was 270 - 300 km, initial weight - up to 13,500 kg, the weight of a nose warhead - 1,075 kg, fuel components were cryogenic oxygen - oxidation material and ethyl alcohol. The propulsion of a power plant at the Earth was 27,000 kgf. An active flight phase replaced a cannon trunk. The technology of multiple production of powerful liquid-propell ... Read more