Military Review

Sergey Pavlovich Korolev. Through hardship to the stars

Exactly 50 years ago, 14 January 1966, the outstanding Soviet scientist, designer and founder of practical cosmonautics Sergey Korolev passed away. This outstanding domestic figure forever entered the history as the creator of the Soviet rocket and space technology, which helped to ensure strategic parity and turned the Soviet Union into an advanced rocket and space power, becoming one of the key figures in space exploration by man. It was under the direct guidance of Korolev and on his initiative that the launches of the first artificial satellite of the Earth and the first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin were carried out. Today in Russia there is a city that was named in honor of an outstanding scientist.

Sergey Korolev was a man of amazing fate. He could break on a glider, but not crashed. He could have been shot as an “enemy of the people”, but he was sentenced to prison. He could die in the camps, but he survived. He was supposed to drown in a ship in the Pacific, but he was late for a ship that crashed in 5 days. This great scientist survived in order to literally pass through thorns to the stars and be the first to bring mankind into space. Probably, there was no other person on the planet who could love the sky so much and devotedly.

Sergey Pavlovich Korolev was born on January 12 of 1907 of the year (30 of December 1906 of the old style) in the city of Zhytomyr in the family of Pavel Yakovlevich Korolev, a teacher of Russian literature, and the daughter of the Nezhin merchant Maria Nikolaevna Moskalenko. He was three years old when the family fell apart, and by the decision of his mother he was sent to be brought up by his grandparents in Nizhyn, where Sergei lived until the 1915 year. In 1916, his mother remarried and, together with her son and new husband, George Mikhailovich Balanin, moved to Odessa. In 1917, the future scientist entered the gymnasium, which he did not have time to finish due to the start of the revolution. The gymnasium was closed, and for 4's months he worked in a single labor school, and then received education at home. He worked independently on the gymnasium program with the help of his stepfather and mother, who were both teachers, and besides teaching, he had engineering education.

Sergey Pavlovich Korolev. Through hardship to the stars

While still at school, Sergey Korolev was distinguished by exceptional abilities and a great desire for a new one for that time aviation technique. When a seaplane detachment was formed in Odessa in 1921, the future missile designer was seriously interested in aeronautics. He made acquaintance with the members of this detachment and made his first seaplane flights, deciding to become a pilot. At the same time, his passion for heaven was interspersed with his work in a school production workshop, where the future designer learned to work behind a lathe, he turned out details of a very complex shape and configuration. This "carpentry" school was very useful to him in the future, when he began to build his own gliders.

At the same time, the future designer of the missiles managed to get a secondary education not immediately, he did not have the conditions for this. Only in 1922, was a construction school in Odessa opened in which the best teachers taught at that time. 15-year-old Sergey entered into it. A naturally beautiful memory allowed Korolev to memorize entire pages of text. The future designer studied very diligently, one might say, with enthusiasm. His class teacher told his mother about him: "The guy with the king in his head." At the construction vocational school, he studied from 1922 to 1924 for years, working in parallel in many circles and at various courses.

In 1923, the government appealed to the people to create their own Air Force in the country. In Ukraine, the Society of Aviation and Aeronautics of Ukraine and the Crimea (OABUC) was formed. Sergei Korolev immediately became a member of this society and began to engage intensively in one of his glider circles. In the circle, he even gave lectures on gliding to the workers himself. Knowledge of aviation history and gliding Korolev acquired independently, reading specialized literature, including a book in German. Already at the age of 17, he developed the design of an aircraft of the original design, “K-5 motorless aircraft”.

In 1924, Sergey Korolev entered the Kiev Polytechnic Institute on the profile of aviation equipment, in just 2, he mastered general engineering disciplines in it and became a real glider athlete. In the fall of 1926, Korolyov transferred to the Bauman Moscow Higher Technical School (MVTU), where he studied at the aeromechanical faculty. The young student always studied with his characteristic hard work, he spent a lot of time on his own, visiting the technical library. Especially popular in those years were the lectures of a young 35-year-old aircraft designer Tupolev, who gave students an introductory course in aircraft construction. Even then, Tupolev noticed Sergei’s outstanding abilities and later considered Korolev to be one of his best students.

While studying in Moscow, Sergei Korolev was already quite well known as a young and promising aircraft designer, an experienced glider pilot. Starting from the 4 course, he combined his studies and work in the KB. From 1927 to 1930, he participated in All-Union glider competitions that took place in the Crimea under Koktebel. Here Korolev flew himself, and also presented the models of his gliders, including the SK-1 Koktebel and the SK-3 Red Star.

His meeting with Tsiolkovsky, which took place in Kaluga in 1929 on the way from Odessa to Moscow, had a great significance for the life of Sergey Korolev. This meeting predetermined the further life path of the scientist and designer. The conversation with Konstantin Eduardovich made an indelible impression on the young specialist. “Tsiolkovsky shook me then with his unshakable faith in the possibility of space navigation,” the designer recalled many years later, “I left him with one single thought: to build rockets and fly them. The whole meaning of life for me was one thing - to get through to the stars. ”

In 1930, he began working at the Central Design Bureau of the Menzhinsky Plant, and from March next year he became a senior flight test engineer at the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI). In the same year, 1931, he participates in the organization of the GIRD - the Jet Propulsion Study Group, which he will lead as early as 1932. Under the leadership of Sergey Korolev, the first launches of Soviet missiles on a hybrid engine “GIRD-9”, which took place in August 1933, and also on liquid fuel “GIRD-X” in November of the same year were carried out. After the merger of the Leningrad Gas-Dynamic Laboratory (GDL) and the Moscow GIRD at the end of 1933 and the Rocket Research Institute (RNII) was established, Sergey Korolev was appointed its deputy director for science, and starting from 1934, he became the head of department of rocket aircraft.

In 1934, the first print work of Sergey Korolev was published, which was called “Rocket flight in the stratosphere”. Already in this book, the designer warned that the rocket is very serious weapons. He sent a sample of the book to Tsiolkovsky, who called the book meaningful, reasonable and useful. Even then, Korolev dreamed of how to more closely engage in the construction of a rocket plane, but his ideas were not destined to be realized then. In the fall of 1937, the wave of repression that swept the Soviet Union reached the RNII.

Korolev was arrested on the false charge 27 of June 1938 of the year. 25 September he was included in the list of persons subject to trial by the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR. In the list, he ran under the first category, which meant: the punishment recommended by the NKVD bodies was execution. The list was approved personally by Stalin, so that the sentence could be considered almost approved. However, Korolev was “lucky,” he was sentenced to 10, the camps. Prior to that, he spent a year in Butyrka prison. According to some reports, the future space explorer was subjected to serious torture and beatings, as a result of which his jaw was broken. On Kolyma, the designer hit 21 on April 1939 of the year, where he worked on the gold mine Maldyak of the Western Mining Administration, while the designer of rocket engines was engaged in "general work". December 2 1939 of the Year Korolev was placed at the disposal of Vladlaga.

Only 2 March 1940, he again found himself in Moscow, was convicted again, this time he was sentenced to 8 years in the camps, sent to a new place of detention - to the Moscow special prison of the NKVD TsKB-29, in which, under the guidance of his teacher Tupolev, he took part in the development of Tu-2 and Pe-2 bombers, at the same time initiating work on the creation of guided aeropeda and a new version of the missile fighter-interceptor. These works became the reason for his transfer in 1942 to another design bureau, but also of the prison type - OKB-16, which worked in Kazan at aircraft factory No. XXUMX. Here, work was carried out on the creation of new types of rocket engines, which were later planned to be used in the aviation industry. After the start of the war, Korolev asked to be sent by a pilot to the front, but Tupolev, who by that time had already learned and appreciated him well, did not let go, saying: “Who will build the planes?”.

Sergei Pavlovich was prematurely released only in July 1944 of the year on the personal instructions of Stalin, after which he continued to work in Kazan for another year. A prominent specialist in the field of aviation equipment, L. L. Kerber, who worked at TsKB-29, noted that Korolev was a cynic, a skeptic and a pessimist, and rather gloomily looked to the future, attributing to the designer the phrase "Slam without obituary". However, there is a statement and cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, who noted that Korolev was never angry and never complained, did not give up, did not curse anyone, and did not scold. The designer simply didn’t have time for this, he was well aware that the bitterness would cause in him not a creative impulse, but only his oppression.

After the end of the Great Patriotic War, in the second half of 1945, Sergey Korolev was sent to Germany as a member of a group of specialists, where he studied German technology. Of particular interest to him was, of course, the German V-2 rocket (V-2). In August, 1946 of the year, the designer proceeds to work in Kaliningrad near Moscow, where he becomes chief designer of long-range missiles and department head No. 3 at SRI-88 for their development.

The first task that the government set before Korolev as the chief designer and all organizations involved in rocket armament at that time was the development of the Soviet counterpart of the German V-2 rocket from domestic materials. At the same time, already in 1947, a new government decree on the creation of new ballistic missiles with a larger flight range than that of the Fau-2 - up to 3-x thousand km. In 1948, Korolev conducts flight design tests of the first Soviet ballistic missile P-1 (similar to the Fow-2) and in 1950, passes the missile into service. Over the next few years he is working on various modifications of this rocket. During only one 1954 year, he completed work on the P-5 rocket, outlining five of its possible modifications at once. Work was also completed on the P-5M missile equipped with a nuclear warhead. In addition, he worked on the P-11 rocket and its naval version, and its future intercontinental rocket P-7 also gained clearer outlines.

Work on the intercontinental two-stage rocket R-7 was completed in 1956 year. It was a rocket with an 8 range of thousands of kilometers and a detachable warhead weighing up to 3 tons. The rocket, created under the direct supervision of Sergei Pavlovich, was successfully tested in 1957 year at the specially constructed for this purpose test site №5, located in the Kazakh steppe (today it is the Baikonur cosmodrome). A modification of this P-7A missile, which had an increased launch range to 11 thousands of kilometers, was in service with the Soviet of Strategic Missile Forces from 1960 to 1968. Also worth noting is the fact that in 1957, Korolyov created the first ballistic missiles on stable fuel components (mobile land-based and sea-based); the designer has become a real pioneer in these new and very important directions in the development of rocket weapons.

October 4 The 1957 of the year designed by Sergey Korolev rocket launched the first artificial satellite into the Earth’s orbit. From that day, the era of practical cosmonautics began, and Korolev became the father of this era. Initially, only animals were sent to space, but already on 12 on April 1961, the designer, together with his colleagues and associates, successfully launched the Vostok-1 spacecraft, on board of which was the first cosmonaut of the planet, Yuri Gagarin. With this flight, which would not have been without Korolev, begins the era of manned cosmonautics.

Also, since 1959, Sergey Korolev has been managing the moon exploration program. As part of this program, several spacecraft were sent to the natural satellite of Earth, including soft-landing vehicles. When designing the apparatus for landing on the lunar surface, there was much controversy about what it is. At that time, the hypothesis put forward by astronomer Thomas Gold, according to which the moon was covered with a thick layer of dust due to micrometeorite bombardment, was generally accepted. But Korolev, who was familiar with another hypothesis - the Soviet volcanologist Heinrich Steinberg, ordered the lunar surface to be considered solid. His rightness was confirmed in 1966, when the Soviet apparatus "Luna-9" made a soft landing on the moon.

Another interesting story from the life of a great scientist and designer was an episode with the preparation of an automatic station to be sent to one of the planets of the solar system. When it was created, the designers faced the problem of excess weight of research equipment on board the station. Sergey Korolev studied the station’s drawings, after which he checked the instrument that was supposed to transmit to Earth information about the presence or absence of organic life on the planet. He brought the device to a scorched Kazakh degree near the cosmodrome and the device transmitted a radio signal that there is no life on Earth, which was the reason for excluding this unnecessary equipment from the station equipment.

During the life of the great designer on spacecraft of his design in space, the 10 astronauts managed to visit, in addition to Gagarin, a man went into outer space (this was done by Alexey Leonov on March 18 of the year). Under the direct supervision of Sergei Korolev, the USSR created the first space complex, many geophysical and ballistic missiles, launched the world's first intercontinental ballistic missile, the Vostok launch vehicle and its modifications, the artificial satellite of the Earth, the Vostok and Sunrise ", the first spacecraft of the series" Luna "," Venus "," Mars "," Probe "were developed, the spacecraft" Soyuz "was developed.

Sergey Pavlovich Korolev died quite early - January 14 1966, at the age of just 59 years. Apparently, the designer's health was nevertheless undermined in Kolyma and the unfair accusation (in 1957, he was fully rehabilitated) left an imprint on his health. By this time, Korolev had already done a lot to fulfill his dream of conquering space, he implemented it in practice. But some projects, such as the lunar program of the USSR, turned out to be unrealized. The lunar project was curtailed after the death of an outstanding designer.

In 1966, the Academy of Sciences of the Soviet Union established the gold medal "For outstanding services in the field of rocket and space technology" named after Sergei Pavlovich Korolev. Monuments were erected in Zhytomyr, Moscow and Baikonur. The memory of the designer was perpetuated by a large number of streets named for him, as well as a memorial house-museum. In 1996, the city of Kaliningrad near Moscow was renamed to the science city of Korolev in honor of the outstanding designer of rocket technology working here. Also in his honor were called the pass on the Tien Shan, a large lunar crater and asteroid. So the name of Sergey Korolev continues to live not only on Earth, but also in space.

Based on materials from open sources
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must to register.

I have an account? Sign in

  1. antiexpert
    antiexpert 14 January 2016 06: 52
    An important detail is the NKVD investigator, who was conducting the case against Korolev, who was subsequently shot.
    1. Falcon5555
      Falcon5555 14 January 2016 10: 32
      What is the name of this investigator? How is it known that he was shot?
      One of the investigators, Shestakov, rose to the rank of colonel and lived to old age, having survived the Queen for 30 years at least. But there was another one about which nothing is known.
      1. The comment was deleted.
  2. parusnik
    parusnik 14 January 2016 08: 07
    Through thorns to the stars .. there’s no other name for the article ... Thanks ..
  3. Dragon-y
    Dragon-y 14 January 2016 09: 07
    In the books of Boris Chertok about the Queen a lot and is well written.
  4. Sirocco
    Sirocco 14 January 2016 09: 19
    Thanks to the author for the informative, and so important for our country as Cosmos, and the father of astronautics, represented by Korolev. It’s only insulting, annoying that there are few comments on this thread. Probably you can’t gather a lot of advantages))))))))))))
    Apparently, the designer’s health was nevertheless undermined in Kolyma and the unfair accusation (he was completely rehabilitated in 1957) left an imprint on his health.

    Here I do not agree with the author, my grandfather spent three years in captivity (concentration camp), they released him with a lamb weight. He lived for 80 years.
    I think that he (Korolev) "burned out" at work, a man with such pressure, perseverance and responsibility, both to the workers and to the state.
    1. Mera joota
      Mera joota 14 January 2016 11: 15
      Quote: Sirocco
      I think that he (Korolev) "burned out" at work, a man with such pressure, perseverance and responsibility, both to the workers and to the state.

      His jaw (which was broken during interrogation) did not grow correctly and during the operation they could not insert a breathing tube for a long time.
      1. MrK
        MrK 14 January 2016 12: 21
        Quote: Mera Joota
        His jaw (which was broken during interrogation) did not grow correctly and during the operation they could not insert a breathing tube for a long time.

        About the death of the Queen.
        “Volchkov poured cognac, and we drank on the occasion of the award. Even Vishnevsky allowed his neighbor to drink, assuring that one hundred grams would not be harmed after the hundreds of liters that he drank, earning cirrhosis of the liver. After making traditional toasts, I asked:
        - Why, after a heart operation for an aortic aneurysm, does the patient begin to walk in two days, and Korolev remains on the table after removing the polyps in the rectum?
        Vishnevsky was silent for a long time. After taking a sip of brandy, he said: “They came late for me. But, anyway, when I arrived at Granovsky, I immediately realized that I would not help. There are many who are to blame, if now they are sought. It’s my fault that I did not advise and did not say where and who should be operated on better. Korolev himself is to blame - he wished that the Minister of the Soviet Union must operate. The minister had enough work even without operations, his head was completely blocked.
        Before the operation, so I think, they did not do a serious examination. Sarcoma could have been detected earlier. She was with a fist and completely judged. He could live with her for a long time — no metastases — everything was clean. And they got to her not at all according to the plan of the operation. First, polyps in the rectum were removed. It was not possible to stop the bleeding. Then they decided on the cavity. Then they saw a tumor, decided to remove it.
        And time is running out. Under general anesthesia, not everyone's heart and lungs work reliably. And the anesthetists overlooked something. In addition, the Queen had an unusual neck structure. It is urgent to establish artificial respiration, and they can’t insert a tube into the throat. Not thought out and not prepared. The cardiopulmonary bypass was not prepared in advance. Whatever the operation, everything should be at the ready. Korolev is a tragedy and an accident in our medicine. He had to live. ”
        As we like to retell liberal stories. Where is the jaw and where is the neck. Or did his bone-breakers break his neck? But still, Stalin is to blame.

        And with regards to the arrest of the Queen, so 15 September 1939 year from the mine Korolev SP wrote A.Ya. Vyshinsky: “The director of the Kleimenov Institute, his deputy Langemak and engineer Glushko slandered me vilely ...”
        Read Alexander Kurlandchik on, maybe a little brainwash inside.
      2. The comment was deleted.
    2. Jurkovs
      Jurkovs 14 January 2016 11: 26
      Just for the sake of your enlightenment. The Queen had a complex jaw fracture during his arrest. Nobody was going to treat him and Korolev suffered in Kolyma, he ate with pain. After his release, he did not complain to anyone about anything, of course he treated something, but there were enough sores. When there was a pause in launches, Keldysh persuaded him to lie down for a planned operation. The best surgeons of the country operated, but they did not know about the old, not healed, fracture of the jaw. During the operation, some bone was sinking into the airways. Korolev, being under anesthesia, began to choke. Doctors were not ready for this situation and could no longer help. So the surname of the investigator who carried out the arrest of Korolev is still relevant.
      1. Sirocco
        Sirocco 14 January 2016 11: 35
        Quote: Jurkovs
        Just for the sake of your enlightenment.

        I think not only for the sake of my enlightenment, many details of his death are unknown.
      2. Sirocco
        Sirocco 14 January 2016 13: 30
        I read the article, and came to the conclusion that a number of factors led to the death of the Queen, and not specifically a broken jaw.
        Including a medical error. I think it makes no sense to quote the entire article, but the fragment is possible.
        In 1973, the Washington Post newspaper published an article by a doctor who emigrated from the USSR, who claimed that there was no sarcoma, there was a polyp and Korolev died as a result of a medical error. The famous surgeon, academician of the Academy of Medical Sciences F.G. Uglov, having printed a kind of memoir essay, in which there are no names of either Petrovsky or Korolyov, but the fact that it is them is clear without the names.
      3. sdv68
        sdv68 15 January 2016 09: 09
        Quote: Jurkovs
        When there was a pause in launches, Keldysh persuaded him to lie down for a planned operation.

        Do not lie. The operation was for polyps in the rectum, which turned out to be a sarcoma. Read Boris Chertok - "Rockets and People". Everything is written there in detail. And the tale of a broken jaw was not confirmed to me during interrogation even in the Korolyov memorial house-museum in Moscow.
  5. Scud
    Scud 14 January 2016 11: 14
    What a titanic, but in Usrain he is nobody. Styopa Bender and punishers in atoms of heroes.
  6. Jurkovs
    Jurkovs 14 January 2016 11: 18
    Exactly 50 years ago, our creativity in astronautics died and we began to copy everything that the Americans offer. The last example: they developed the concept of a reusable Clipper and began to wait for what the United States would come up with. As soon as Boeing published the appearance of Orion, they immediately forgot about Clipper and drew a very similar apparatus to the American one. Orion will fly in 18, and we have nothing but a conceptual design. Today there is a chance to break ahead, realizing developments on the methane engine. But the members of the Technical Council at Roscosmos do not hesitate to declare that first you need to see what Mask will get and only then make decisions. That's how we live today. Sorry for the Queen, he would have to live a little longer.
  7. kursk87
    kursk87 14 January 2016 12: 15
    Academician Sergei Pavlovich Korolev is the great genius of Russian cosmonautics, whose foundations of rocket science are relevant today, without undergoing significant changes. The man who was the first to launch spacecraft into space deserves special respect
  8. vandarus
    vandarus 14 January 2016 13: 04
    Yes, unfortunately after the Queen we actually stopped. We look more "under our feet" than "at the stars." Yes and no that uniting and guiding force that lifted from the ruins into space.
  9. Robert Nevsky
    Robert Nevsky 14 January 2016 19: 18
    The great USSR created the great PEOPLE.
  10. 1536
    1536 14 January 2016 22: 20
    They say that great people in a particular field of science, brilliant engineers, inventors are born once every 100 years. Well, SP Korolyov was born in 1906, 2006 has already passed, it is not long before the Russian space program from "taxi driver" and "feeding-general" to turn into a Martian or galactic one. We wait. The main thing is not to lose, sell or drink what has been gained. I'm tired of Russian cosmonauts claiming to be proud that their spacecraft has the same number as the American Apollo 17. Well, they would flee to Houston, not shine here, but go and change the water in the coolers there! For some reason it seems to me that S.P. Korolev, whether he was alive, advised these "Russian" cosmonauts exactly this, or something like that.
  11. Old26
    Old26 15 January 2016 00: 25
    Quote: Jurkovs
    Exactly 50 years ago, our creativity in astronautics died and we began to copy everything that the Americans offer.

    Listen to you, so for 50 years now we have been copying what the Americans are offering. Can I list what we copy?

    Quote: Jurkovs
    The last example: they developed the concept of a reusable Clipper and began to wait for what the United States would come up with. As soon as Boeing published the appearance of Orion, they immediately forgot about Clipper and drew a very similar apparatus to the American one.

    Don't blame the Americans for everything. They themselves have what is called "a stigma in the gun". If for almost 15 years there was no intelligible concept for the development of space technology - is this the fault of the Americans?
    "Clipper" and drew and made the layout of course good. And someone, before proposing this, studied, for example, its aerodynamics, its landing characteristics?
    Plus, decisions, both in the USSR and in Russia, are often made "at the top", sometimes without asking the designers

    Quote: Jurkovs
    As soon as Boeing published the appearance of Orion, they immediately forgot about Clipper and drew a very similar apparatus to the American one.

    You are sure that it was Orion that became the standard for development, and were not, say, used the groundwork for Zarya. As for the appearance, do not forget that here science dictates its own laws, incl. and aerodynamics. There are many cases in history when planes were created independently of each other in different countries, outwardly very similar.

    Quote: Jurkovs
    Orion will fly in 18, and we have nothing but a conceptual design.

    And it won’t be until, as I wrote above, there will be a harmonious ordering system, when decisions on the appearance and characteristics will be made not by politicians, but by specialists. During the period from 2008 to 2012, the EMNIP scheme of the ship, its appearance changed five times.

    Quote: Jurkovs
    Today there is a chance to break ahead, realizing developments on the methane engine. But the members of the Technical Council at Roscosmos do not hesitate to declare that first you need to see what Mask will get and only then make decisions.

    What are the developments? This problem has been dealt with for years. THIRTYwithout making a single production sample. W is somewhat understandable. Let the richer ones try to do it, but we'll see

    Quote: Jurkovs
    Sorry for the Queen, he would have to live a little longer.

    Here I agree with you on all 100. Much in the space program would be different if he had lived another 10-15 years
  12. Asperr43
    Asperr43 15 January 2016 21: 19
    Solzhenitsyn has written well about this “era” of sharashek. Well, sort of, a convict is sitting in a sharashka and mending socks. The radio is on. They declare: `` Such and such and such for special successes in the development business ... to assign the rank of lieutenant general (and before the arrest there was a p-pc!) To reward .... etc. etc. '' The newly made general is knocking on the bars - Well, you, shameful wolf! Quickly released the general! Well, the employee is at a loss ... And for sure! A car arrives from the Kremlin. Trousers with stripes, an overcoat with gold shoulder straps! .. And a man from the Moscow region went to a banquet in the Kremlin for the order!