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Korabl-Sputnik & The Origin of the Soviet Vostok Program

15 May 2020, 14:33 UTC
Korabl-Sputnik & The Origin of the Soviet Vostok Program
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

At the same time American agencies like NACA and the USAF were studying manned spaceflight through the 1950s (see “The Origins of NASA’s Mercury Program”), comparable efforts were quietly taking place independently in the Soviet Union. As with virtually every other aspect of the Soviet Union’s early space program, Chief Designer Sergei P. Korolev and his OKB-1 (Experimental Design Bureau No. 1) lead the way. All during the 1950s when Korolev and his colleague, Mikhail K. Tikhonravov of NII-4 (Scientific Research Institute No. 4), were pushing their original Earth satellite proposal, it also included plans to send probes to the Moon and men into orbit. When the satellite proposal was finally adopted by the Soviet government on January 30, 1956, the lunar probe and manned satellite projects were also given the green light.
Portrait of Chief Designer Sergei Korolev who led OKB-1 which was responsible for Sputnik and other early Soviet achievements in space. (RKK Energia)
Initially the bulk of the resources at OKB-1 were poured into building Object D (which would eventually become Sputnik 3 – see “Sputnik 3: The First Orbiting Geophysical Laboratory”) as well as continuing development of the R-7 as both an ICBM and the basis ...

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