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Rockets and People Volume III: Hot Days of the Cold War

Chertok, Boris Yevseyevich

ISBN 10: 1470014378 / ISBN 13: 9781470014377
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2009
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Title: Rockets and People Volume III: Hot Days of ...

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Publication Date: 2009

Book Condition:Good

About this title


In this third volume of a planned four-volume set of memoirs, the famous Russian spacecraft designer Boris Chertok, who worked under the legendary Sergey Korolev, continues his fascinating narrative on the early history of the Soviet space program, from 1961 to 1967, arguably the peak of the effort. Chertok devotes a significant portion of the volume to the early years of Soviet human space flight in the early 1960’s. These include a chapter on the Vostok and Voskhod programs, which left an indelible mark on early years of the “space race,” a lengthy meditation on the origins and early missions of the Soyuz space program, the flight and death of cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov during the very first piloted Soyuz flight in 1967. Additional chapters cover robotic programs such as the Molniya communications satellite system, the Zenit spy satellite program, and the Luna series of probes that culminated in the world’s first survivable landing of a probe on the surface of the Moon. Chertok also devotes several chapters to the development of early generations of Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles and missile defense systems. Chertok’s chapter on the Cuban Missile Crisis provides a radically unique perspective on the crisis, from the point of view of those who would have been responsible for unleashing nuclear Armageddon in 1962 had Kennedy and Khrushchev not been able to agree on a stalemate. Two further chapters cover the untimely deaths of the most important luminaries of the era: Sergey Korolev and Yuriy Gagarin. Finally, historians of Soviet science will find much of the interest in the concluding chapter focused on the relationship between the space program and the Soviet Academy of Sciences.

About the Author:

Boris Yevseyevich Chertok was born in 1912 in Poland, and his family moved to Moscow when he was three years old. In 1930, he began work as an electrician in a Moscow suburb. In 1934, he joined the design bureau of Viktor Bolkhovitinov, a noted designer of bombers. In 1946, Chertok joined the newly established NII-88 institute as head of the control systems department and worked hand-in-hand with legendary Chief Designer Sergey Korolev. Chertok became one of Korolev’s closest aides in developing control systems for ballistic missiles and spacecraft, eventually becoming deputy chief designer of the famous OKB-1, the design organization that spun off from NII-88 in 1956. Chertok participated in every major project at OKB-1 (now the Energiya Rocket-Space Corporation, RKK Energiya) until the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, when he retired from active work. Academician Chertok currently lives in Moscow and serves as the Chief Scientific Consultant to RKK Energiya. His four-volume memoirs “Rekety I lyudi” (Rockets and People) were published in Moscow between 1994 and 1999. Asif A. Siddiqi is an Assistant Professor of history at Fordham University in New York. In 2008–2009 he was a visiting Fellow at the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He received his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania. Dr. Siddiqi is the author of a number of books on the history of space flight including “Challenge to Apollo: the Soviet Union and the Space Race, 1945-1974” (NASA, 2000) and the “Red Rockets’ Glare: Soviet Imaginations and the Birth of Sputnik”¬¬¬¬ (Cambridge University Press, 2099)

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