“Gray minutes” by Sergei Korolev. If it weren’t for him, we would have remained second
Weekly “Arguments and Facts” № 01-02. Why did Kazakhstan blaze? 12/01/2022
In books, films, documentaries and fiction, in most memoirs, academician S. P. Korolev seems to be a tough, stern, even merciless person. Thus, the main cosmic const & shy; handler who was able to ensure the breakthrough & shy; of mankind into space.
Writer, journalist, & nbsp; laureate & nbsp; USSR State Prize & nbsp; Vladimir Gubarev:
It is not true! Sergei Pavlovich was completely different – He never betrayed his comrades-in-arms, appreciated a joke, was charming in companies and endlessly devoted in love to a woman. This is how I remember him. Here are some episodes from his difficult and not very long life. Born on January 12, 1907, he passed away at the age of 59, also in January.
About the feeling of guilt & nbsp; before Gagarin
Oleg Ivanovsky , presenter the designer of Vostok, who saw off Yuri Gagarin in flight, at every our meeting he talked about Sergei Pavlovich Korolev. Through the endless love and respect for the joint venture (as Korolev was called at the firm), the idea that it was human qualities that attracted talented people to the boss slipped through.
& ndash; He did not remember evil, he valued dedication in people, the ability to evaluate the main thing and the absence of fear of the authorities. He could forgive everything and everyone, but not himself & hellip;
& ndash; What exactly? & ndash; I asked.
& ndash; He felt guilty before Gagarin & hellip;
& ndash; ?!
& ndash; Yes! Glory, success, all kinds of celebrations in honor of the first manned flight into space & ndash; this is only the ostentatious side of this great event. And there was another: he, the Chief Designer, put the young guy on the brink of death … A lot of gray hair appeared when Yuri was in flight. And then he carefully examined the ship, paying attention to the very details, the defects of which almost led Gagarin to death.
Even on Earth, the hatch tightness sensor failed. Ivanov and his comrades managed to quickly open the hatch, bend the sensor, and close the hatch again. But immediately after the start, communication with the ship was lost. The microphone in Korolev's hands trembled, his face turned pale, became unrecognizable. The connection was soon restored. At such moments, the hair of the chief designers turns gray & hellip;
Then ballistics said that the “ East '' launched into an off-design orbit. Again “ gray minutes '' & ndash; is it possible to land a ship? Or will Gagarin stay in orbit for two weeks? And the oxygen supply & ndash; for a matter of days. From such thoughts you can not only turn gray, but also lose your mind.
And then the brake motor ran for less than the estimated time. In addition, the instrument compartment did not separate, the ship began to spin & ndash; “ the corps de ballet happened, '' Gagarin would later comment on. And plus to this, the lining of the descent vehicle caught fire – no one had ever seen this, and therefore it was scary. When the message finally arrived that Yuri Gagarin was on Earth, Korolev slowly sank into a chair.
Did Sergei Pavlovich dream of flying into space himself? The question, of course, is rhetorical, but it seems to me that if there was such an opportunity, it would certainly fly.
The first rocket engine RD-1, designed by engineer V. P. Glushko , which headed the design bureau of the special department number 28 (“ sharashka '' of the NKVD in Kazan), was installed on the Pe-2 aircraft in 1943. From August 22 to November 18, 1943, 40 flights were carried out with the inclusion of the RU-1. The speed gain was 200 km/h! This is how the liquid-propellant jet engine began its work, which was soon to play a major role in the fate of rocketry.
Prisoner V.P. Glushko was summoned by Stalin … He was carried to Moscow in a separate compartment by two female escorts. From the Kazansky railway station to the Kremlin was carried out on foot & ndash; there was no money for the tram. Hour Glushko told the owner of the Kremlin about his accelerators. Stalin ordered the immediate release of the Chief Constant and asked him to write the names of those who deserved early release. Valentin Petrovich immediately wrote a list of 35 people & ndash; everyone I remembered. The second in it was Sergei Pavlovich Korolev.
About the attitude towards those & nbsp; who are around
Once at Baikonur, while preparing for the launch of a rocket, Korolev noticed an engineer reading a book. Sergei Pavlovich looked at the cover and flared up: 'Immediately to Moscow' woo! The very first flight. And a statement of his own free will! ''
He will be angry all day. Complains to Keldysh : “ Blossom! They already read novels on the start page. '' a person a lot: he did not notice his weaknesses, did not punish him for a mistake, never humiliated him, if he knew, felt that he was devoted to work. This was the highest & shy; criterion for his assessment of a person.
Korolev loved dogs very much. He constantly asked about their well-being, and when he came to the laboratory, he gently ruffled them. It was hot at the training ground, the dogs drank a lot of water. The duties of the soldiers guarding the enclosures included providing the animals with water. Once, passing by, Sergei Pavlovich saw that the bowls were empty. He was terribly angry, ordered to put “ on the lip '' careless soldier, and here to pick up someone who loves animals.
New, 1961 was greeted, as usual, & ndash; only the closest friends & shy; me and colleagues. We sat down at the table 10 minutes before midnight, raised a toast to the past year. In general, 1960 turned out well, although it could have been better. When the clock struck midnight, Keldysh got up. They said about him that he was laconic, stern, dry. But those whom he considered friends saw him differently – cheerful, lively, talkative. And not only at these meetings on New Year's Eve, but also at launches.
With Mstislav Keldysh at the XX Congress of the CPSU. Photo: RIA Novosti/Alexander Sergeev
“ For a space year! & ndash; said Keldysh. & ndash; And for the flight of a man! '' They clinked glasses of champagne and fell silent. All at once. Everyone imagined how it would be. And then they started the music. Korolev danced twice with his wife. Gradually, two groups were formed. The men began a “ holiday workshop, '' although each time they sat down at the table, they agreed that there was not a word about business today. Well, the wives & ndash; about their own: they have long been accustomed to this scenario of holiday evenings. The Korolevs returned home at about three. And at 10.00 Sergey Pavlovich left for work. The & nbsp; on weekends and holidays, he summoned those with whom he could not meet on weekdays, there was not enough time. So today cosmonaut instructors and one of the scientists, who definitely wanted to talk with the Chief, should arrive. Korolev automatically named the date: “ January 1 ''. And now he thought that this astronomer from Tartu probably spent New Year's Eve on the train, and he felt guilty in front of a man he had not even seen.
And about the final
Chief Theorist and Chief Designer. Mstislav Keldysh and Sergey Korolev. For a long time I was looking for an image that could express Keldysh's attitude to science. And explain why he began to serve her.
He once said of a scientific discovery and the feelings of the person who made it: “It reminds me of Grieg . He walked in the field and heard a simple village girl singing a song to his melody. And he realized that his music had become a part of her soul. His creation entered the people's soul. It is such a joy that seizes the researcher when he sees that his discovery will transform life. ''
With Sergei Pavlovich Korolev, they were not only associates, but also close friends. Our Motherland owes Keldysh and Korolev the fact that we launched the first artificial Earth satellite and the first man into space. Without these two people, no doubt we would have remained second. However, as it happened when they were gone.
From the memoirs of N. L. Timofeeva, Assistant M.V. Keldysh at the Academy of Sciences of the USSR: “ A few days before the operation, Sergei Pavlovich arrived at the Academy. He was sad and stayed with the president for a very long time. When he came out, he sat with us for a while and said that he was going to have an operation. It was felt that this was very disturbing to him. A few days later he called Mstislav Vsevolodovich by phone, but he was absent. Sergei Pavlovich asked to say hello to him and say that he was leaving for the hospital, the car was already waiting. Then & hellip;
Then the academician V.P. Mishin, who was in the “ Kremlin '', phoned on the day of S.P. Korolev's operation, and quietly said: “ S. P. died. '' It was scary, I didn't want to believe it! After all, he just spoke to us on the phone. I wrote a note to Mstislav Vsevolodovich, who was holding the meeting in the conference hall. He looked at the note and put it aside. I was just dumbfounded: what is he? Continues to lead the meeting! Suddenly he took the note again, read it and simply collapsed into a chair. I got up, stopped the speaker and read the note aloud. Everyone froze. It was quiet in the hall. What they heard seemed incredible! ''
Probably only M.V. Keldysh understood in these difficult days that the fate of Russian cosmonautics would now be different.