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.
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