Sergey Korolyov

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Sergey Pavlovich Korolyov (often transliterated Sergei Korolëv),[3] (Russian: Сергей Павлович Королёв Sergej Pavlovič Korolëv), (12 January [O.S. 30 December 1906] 1907, Zhytomyr – 14 January 1966, Moscow), was the pioneer aerospace engineer and the lead Soviet rocket engineer and spacecraft designer during the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 1960s. He is considered by many as the father of practical astronautics.[4]

Although Korolyov was trained as an aircraft designer, his greatest strengths proved to be in design integration, organization and strategic planning. A victim of Joseph Stalin's 1938 Great Purge, he was imprisoned for almost six years, including some months in a Kolyma gulag.[5] Following his release, he became a rocket designer and a key figure in the development of the Soviet ICBM program. He was then appointed to lead the Soviet space program, made Member of Soviet Academy of Sciences, overseeing the early successes of the Sputnik and Vostok projects. By the time he died unexpectedly in 1966, his plans to compete with the United States to be the first nation to land a man on the Moon had begun to be implemented.

Before his death he was often referred to only as "Chief Designer", because his name and his pivotal role in the Soviet space program had been held to be a state secret by the Politburo.[6] Only many years later was he publicly acknowledged as the lead man behind Soviet success in space.

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