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- November 29, 2011 at 9:54 pm #342418
I decided to post a series of threads about important Ukrainian scientists, engineers etc. in a similar manner like the threads about Polish cities in the Polish section. I will start today with Serhiy Pavlovych Korolov:
For years, the life and career of Sergei Pavlovich Korolev, the chief designer of early Soviet rockets, were kept in mystery as a state secret. Born on December 30, 1906, at Zhitomir, the son of a teacher, Korolev became interested in the possibilities of spaceflight at a young age. Trained in aeronautical engineering at the Kiev Polytechnic Institute, in 1930 he co-founded the Moscow rocketry organization GIRD (Gruppa Isutcheniya Reaktivnovo Dvisheniya, Group for Investigation of Reactive Motion). Like the VfR (Verein fuer Raumschiffahrt-Society for Spaceship Travel) in Germany, and Robert H. Goddard in the United States, by the early 1930s the Russian organizations were testing liquid-fueled rockets of increasing size.
In Russia, GIRD lasted only two years before the military, recognizing the potential of rockets, replaced it with the RNII (Reaction Propulsion Scientific Research Institute). RNII developed a series of rocket-propelled missiles and gliders during the 1930s, culminating in Korolev's RP-318, Russia's first rocket-propelled aircraft. Before the aircraft could make a rocket-propelled flight, however, Korolev and other aerospace engineers were imprisoned during 1937-1938 at the peak of Stalin's purges. During this time of paranoia, people of competence often received sentences of death or imprisonment simply because of a perception of disloyalty. Korolev and several other rocket designers were victims of this paranoia, although there is no evidence that Korolev himself was involved in any traitorous activities. Korolev at first spent months in transit on the Transsiberian railway and on a prison vessel at Magadan. This was followed by a year in the Kolyma gold mines, the most dreaded part of the Gulag prison camp of political enemies of the Soviet Union.
However, Stalin soon recognized the importance of aeronautical engineers for the impending war with Hitler, and he released from prison Korolev and other technical personnel who could help the Red Army by developing new weapons. A system of sharashkas (prison design bureaus) was set up to exploit the jailed talent. Korolev was saved by the intervention of senior aircraft designer Sergei Tupolev, himself a prisoner, who requested Korolev's services in the TsKB-39 sharashka. Korolev, however, was not allowed to work on rockets except at night on his own time.
With victory in World War II virtually assured by 1944, and seeing the immense progress that Wernher von Braun's team had made with the V-2 rocket in Nazi Germany, Stalin decided to develop ballistic missiles of his own. He sent Korolev and other technical experts from the Kazan sharashka to Soviet-occupied Germany to investigate von Braun's efforts in 1945. At first Korolev merely accompanied the team that salvaged what was left of the V-2 production effort, but soon he began interviewing dozens of V-2 engineers and technicians who still remained in Germany.
On May 13, 1946, Stalin signed the decree initiating development of Soviet ballistic missiles. The minister of armaments, Dmitir Fedorovich Ustinov, was placed in charge of the development. In August 1946, the Scientific Research Institute NII-88 was established to conduct the development. Korolev's personality and organizational abilities had been impressive, and Ustinov personally appointed him chief constructor for development of a long-range ballistic missile. Following Korolev's instructions, 200 German employees of the Mittelwerke V-2 factory were rounded up on the night of October 22-23, 1946, and sent to relatively comfortable living conditions at Lake Seleger, between Moscow and Leningrad. Thus the jailed became the jailer. The Germans had little direct contact with Korolev's engineers. Aside from assisting in the launch of a few more V-2s from Kapustin Yar, they mainly answered written questions. They were finally returned to Germany between 1950 and 1954.
The V-2, initially copied with all Soviet components as the R-1, was quickly developed into successively more capable R-2 and R-5 missiles. By April 1, 1953, as Korolev was preparing for the first launch of the R-11 rocket, he received approval from the Council of Ministers for development of the world's first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the R-7. To concentrate on development of the R-7, Korolev's other projects were reassigned to a new design bureau in Dnepropetrovsk headed by Korolev's assistant, Mikhail Kuzmich Yangel. This was the first of several design bureaus (some of which later competed with Korolev's) that would be spun off once Korolev had perfected a new technology.
It was Korolev's R-7 ICBM that launched Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957. This launch galvanized American concern about the capability of the Soviet Union to attack the United States with nuclear weapons using ballistic missiles. Indeed, the Soviet Union's succession of Sputnik and Luna launches, combined with the belligerent claims of Premier Nikita Khrushchev, created the public impression that the Soviet Union was far ahead of the United States in the development of unstoppable ICBMs and space weapons. In fact, Korolev's R-7-with its enormous launch pads, complex assembly and launching procedures, cryogenic liquid oxygen oxidizer, and radio-controlled terminal guidance-was a thoroughly impractical weapon. The warhead was overly heavy and therefore had a range of only about 3,500 miles (5,633 kilometers), barely enough to reach the northern United States. As a result, it would be deployed as a weapon at only eight launch pads in Tyuratam and Plesetsk, in the northern USSR. Development of more practical successors, such as Korolev's R-9, was not begun until May 13, 1959.
Soviet leaders then asked Korolev to develop ever more capable launchers, and the immediate result was the RT-2. This was a tall order. While he completed theoretical studies of the next generation of launch vehicles (the N vehicle) and spacecraft (Vostok Zh and Soyuz , others inside the Soviet space technology bureaucracy persuaded Khrushchev in 1961 to proceed with development of the launch vehicle (UR-500 Proton) and the spacecraft (the LK-1) for a piloted circumlunar mission to follow Earth orbital missions.
The Soviet space program of the early 1960s came to resemble the cautious personality of Sergei Korolev who wanted definitely to explore space, but to do it safely. Because of safety concerns, Korolev made sure his designs evolved gradually over time, always using a design that worked safely and building on the success. The Vostok capsule evolved directly into the Soyuz capsule, which underwent several subsequent design changes but is still in use. Only the Voskhod program, forced on Korolev by Khrushchev as a prestige program, was an abnormal design that substituted three cosmonaut seats for the ejection system so the Soviet Union could beat the United States in launching a three-person crew into space.
Following Voskhod, Korolev campaigned to send a Soviet cosmonaut to the Moon. Following the initial reconnaissance of the Moon by Lunas 1, 2, and 3, Korolev established three largely independent efforts aimed at achieving a Soviet lunar landing before the Americans. The first objective, met by Vostok and Voskhod, was to prove that human spaceflight was possible. The second objective was to develop lunar vehicles that would soft-land on the Moon's surface (the soft landing would ensure that a vehicle would not sink into the dust accumulated by four billion years of meteorite impacts). The third objective was to develop a huge booster to send cosmonauts to the Moon.
The most difficult of these objectives to achieve was the third one. His design bureau began work on the N-1 launch vehicle, a counterpart to the American Saturn V, beginning in 1962. This rocket was to be capable of launching a maximum of 110,000 pounds (49,895 kilograms) into low-Earth orbit. Although the project continued until 1971 before cancellation, the N-1 never made a successful flight.
By 1964, the N-1 program was in trouble. Because of design considerations for the lunar landing craft and the orbiting command capsule, the launcher needed the capability of putting 92 metric tons into low-Earth orbit. This capability called for more main engines, and the N-1 already had 30. Getting them all to work proved more than Korolev's engineers could achieve. The N-1's payload capability could support only two cosmonauts going to the Moon and only one cosmonaut actually landing on the lunar surface.
Moreover, Kruschchev directed Korolev to accomplish the lunar effort-at least a circumlunar flight-by 1967 in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution. Because of this deadline, Korolev pressed his rocket design bureau to develop liquid hydrogen (LH2) and liquid oxygen (LOX) engines for all three N-1 stages. In October 1964, Premier Khrushchev was removed from office by a coup; this cost Korolev a strong ally at the head of the government, but it did not ease the time schedule for completion of a lunar flight. Now, instead of a relentless schedule and resources made available by an enthusiastic premier to meet it, Korolev had only a relentless schedule.
On January 14, 1966, Sergei P. Korolev died from an improperly performed hemorrhoid operation. Because of his importance in the rocketry program, the Soviet Minister of Health had insisted on performing the operation himself-and when he found tumors in Korolev's intestines, the doctor continued without help, appropriate medical supplies, or extra blood. In death, Korolev received accolades for the first time for his successes in spaceflight. Having been known previously in the West as the “Chief Designer," now his true identity was revealed to the world, and the Soviet Union accorded him a hero's funeral and burial in the Kremlin Wall. When Korolev died, however, any realistic possibility of beating the Americans to the Moon also died. Several of Korolev's lieutenants and rivals emerged to direct what was left of the lunar landing program, but political intrigue and technical failures forced its eventual cancellation.
(From Launius, Roger D. Frontiers of Space Exploration. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 1998.)November 30, 2011 at 2:46 pm #368210
Good post, Sokil
Look at this:
Quate: "Nationality: Russian"November 30, 2011 at 2:54 pm #368211
AnonymousQuote:Good post, Sokil
ThanksQuote:Look at this:
Quate: "Nationality: Russian"
I have to disagree with you, take a look:
[img width=248 height=700]http://img823.imageshack.us/img823/4981/korolov.png”/>
It is well known that Soviet authorities as well as Czarist authorities made a "Russian" out of anyone, so this document doesn't prove muchNovember 30, 2011 at 2:57 pm #368212
I think any official document is a more authoritative source than Wiki, which can be edited by anyone. Aslo the surname "Korolyov" has 47th position in the list of common Russian surnames.November 30, 2011 at 2:58 pm #368213
AnonymousQuote:It is well known that Soviet authorities as well as Czarist authorities made a "Russian" out of anyone, so this document doesn't prove muchNovember 30, 2011 at 3:07 pm #368214
Sokil, don't forget that native non-Russian students had benefits in universities of USSR, many people from mixed families changed their nationality from "Russian" to another one. As you see Korolyov didn't do itNovember 30, 2011 at 3:20 pm #368215
AnonymousQuote:Sokil, don't forget that native non-Russian students had benefits in universities of USSR, many people from mixed families changed their nationality from "Russian" to another one. As you see Korolyov didn't do it
I am not sure if this was also true for the early years of the Soviet Union, around the time Korolov studied. I can imagine that in the beginning you had better chances if you claimed to be "Russian". Also consider that things could end pretty bad for you in the late 20s and early 30s if you were Ukrainian…November 30, 2011 at 3:32 pm #368216
It's only your assumptions. The early years were spent in Ukraine, but the results he has achieved in soviet Russia. Also I'm not sure if he knew the Ukrainian language well. This is a VERY controversial statement to call him "Ukrainian", although I think you will record a half of Russian scientists in the list of the Ukrainians. Sokil, who will be your next victim?November 30, 2011 at 3:49 pm #368217
AnonymousQuote:It's only your assumptions. The early years were spent in Ukraine, but the results he has achieved in soviet Russia. Also I'm not sure if he knew the Ukrainian language well. This is a VERY controversial statement to call him "Ukrainian", although I think you will record a half of Russian scientists in the list of the Ukrainians.
It wouldn't be less controversial to call him "Russian".November 30, 2011 at 4:01 pm #368218
AnonymousQuote:It wouldn't be less controversial to call him "Russian".
Today we will not see any proofs : I would not be surprised if you called Gagarin "Ukrainian". "The Ukrainian man was the first human in the space". What do you think about this?November 30, 2011 at 6:31 pm #368219
Yeah, Sokil, I agree with you, sometimes people who call themselves Russians have Ukrainian descendants, but what about this thread – that's really too much! Korolov is a typical Russian family, that's a fact. Whether he was born in Ukraine or not that doesn't change anything, especially his nationality.November 30, 2011 at 7:01 pm #368220
God dammit, if I would present Russians as Ukrainians I would have taken more famous ones like afromentioned Gargarin instead of some fairly unknown person like Korolov. He may have had some Russian blood, but that doesn't make him "Russian" by default. I do not like your double standards: if a person accomplishes something of value, he is "Russian" in your eyes, regardless of his ethnicity, where he was born etc. whereas dumbasses like Khrushchev who definitely didn't have a single drop of Ukrainian blood are presented by you as "Ukrainian commies". And then you are surprised that we don't like you > You do not even stop when it comes to our national heroes, I just remember how Puchacz wrote that Symon Petljura actually was "ethnically Little Russian"…you guys never fail to leave me completely speechless.November 30, 2011 at 7:42 pm #368221
I guess the Poles should jump into the fun – Polans inhabited Kiev in the 800-900s… and I reckon, if they look hard enough, they could claim Cossack Mamay as a Polish Hussar… :
By the way, some Russians in Ukraine are actually Ukrainian. Especially the ones who claim 'Russian noble' background are, very likely, descended from Zaporizhian Ukrainian Cossacks who became Russian nobles in the 1600-1700s.November 30, 2011 at 7:46 pm #368222
AnonymousQuote:God dammit, if I would present Russians as Ukrainians I would have taken more famous ones like afromentioned Gargarin instead of some fairly unknown person like Korolov. He may have had some Russian blood, but that doesn't make him "Russian" by default.
Fairly unknown person?! 😮 Korolov is very famous in Russia, at least.
But, hehe, Sokil, not all is so bad for Ukrainians. Korolov is likely to be really half Little Russian. But his father was Russian, it means he is also Russian. Or you not share common Slavic tradition to determine relationship according to the father?November 30, 2011 at 7:59 pm #368223
AnonymousQuote:Fairly unknown person?! 😮 Korolov is very famous in Russia, at least.
Didn't know that. Always thought he was only famous for us Ukrainians.
But, hehe, Sokil, not all is so bad for Ukrainians. Korolov is likely to be really half Little Russian. But his father was Russian, it means he is also Russian. Or you not share common Slavic tradition to determine relationship according to the father?
Of course I share this tradition. I just see nowhere written that his father was an ethnic Russian
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