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Artificial satellites, Astronautics, History

GavaghanCommunications | Source material

SOMETHING NEW UNDER THE SUN, Satellites and the Beginning of the Space Age
Copyright for the book, including research notes, Copernicus/Springer Verlag (New York)

History of artificial satellites
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p239

More details of Korolev's character -- his strictness, compassion, and demanding nature -- appear in a collection of essays entitled Pioneers of Space, which were compiled by Victor Mitroshenkov (progress Publishers, 1989). Korolev's engineering intuitiveness apparently amazed his colleagues.

In one of the essays, Nikolai Kuznetsov, who headed the cosmonaut training center from 1963, wrote that Korolev liked the cosmonauts to meet the ground staff so that "cosmodrome specialist and cosmonaut could look one another in the eye." It was Korolev's way of ensuring that work on Earth was carried out conscientiously. This, together with his recorded friendship with cosmonauts Yuri Gagarin and Alexei Leonov, is my basis for my saying on page 8 that Korolev cared deeply about the fate of his cosmonauts.

Another essay by Pavel Popovich and Alexander Nemov says that people found Korolev either sincere, unpretentious, and accessible, or mercilessly strict and demanding with slackers. He was, they say, intolerant of vanity.

The essays include brief accounts of the months before the launch and contain nice details, such as Korolev's habit of lifting his little finger to his eyebrow when vexed.

Other books in which snippets of information about Sputnik, Korolev, and the space race appear that back up information from the main sources include Soviet Rocketry, Past, Present and Future, by Michael Stoiko (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1970); Russians in Space, by Evgeny Riabchikov prepared by Novosti Press Agency, published New York, Doubleday, 1971); Soviet Writings on Earth Satellites and Space Travel, editor Ari Sternfield (Freeport, NY; Books for Libraries Press, 1970); Red Star in Orbit, by James Oberg (Random House, 1981). Oberg quotes Solzhenitsyn as saying that Korolev worked on his rocket at night; The Sputnik Crisis and Early United States Space Policy, by Rip Bulkeley (Indiana University Press, 1991), and Race into Space: The Soviet Space Program, by Brian Harvey (Ellis Horwood, a division of John Wiley, 1988).

A description of the location of the Baikonur cosmodrome and the relative position of Korolev's cottage can be found in this 1986 edition of Jane's Spaceflight Directory.

Information about the events of the IGY meeting on rockets and satellites in Washington, DC, appears in the archives of the National Academy of Sciences.


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Page text content checked against original in print by HG on 1st May, 2013.

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