Notes Acknowledgments


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2  Construction Engineer Sergey Safro

1.  Post Office Box 45 was the Gatchina branch of the Ioffe Physical-

Technical Institute of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, which included 

a nuclear reactor facility. In 1971 the branch became the Leningrad 

Nuclear Physics Institute.

2.  Francis Gary Powers (1929–1977).

3.  Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev (1894–1971).

4.  Vladimir Aleksandrovich Musinov (1912–1991), major general of the 

Engineering-Technical Service, head of the South Ural Construction 

Directorate of the Ministry of Medium-Size Machine Building.

5.  Michel de Montaigne (1533–1592), a French Renaissance writer.

6.  Yuriy Alekseyevich Gagarin (1934–1968) flew the Vostok mission on 

April 12, 1961.

7.  Unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (UDMH), a highly toxic, volatile 

chemical used in some rocket fuels.

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 


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8.  Mitrofan Ivanovich Nedelin (1902–1960), the chief marshal of Artillery, 

the commander of the Strategic Missile Forces, was killed during the 

explosion of the R-12 missile on the launch pad on October 24, 1960, 

along with dozens of military and civilian rocketry specialists. See 

Asif Siddiqi, Challenge to Apollo: The Soviet Union and the Space Race, 

1945–1974, NASA SP-2000–4408 (Washington, DC: NASA, 2000), 

pp. 256–258.

9.  Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev (1906–1982).

10.  Gherman Stepanovich Titov (1935–2000) flew the Vostok 2 mission in 

August 1961.

11.  Pyotr Grigoryevich Grigorenko (1907–1987), was amajor general in 

the Soviet Army, a World War II veteran, and a teacher at the Frunze 

Military Academy. In 1961 he publicly criticized government policies 

and later became a human rights advocate and a member of the Moscow 

Helsinki Watch Group. In 1964 he was stripped of his military rank and 

forcibly placed in a psychiatric clinic, and later imprisoned for five years 

for his dissident activities.

12.  Salimgerey Toktamysovich Toktamysov (1914–1997).

13.  Nikolay Vasilyevich Pavelyev (1917–1988).

14.  F. Breus and Kh. Karzhaubayev, “Bitaya karta,” Pravda (December 17, 

1962). In 1963, soon after the publication of this article, Toktamysov 

was dismissed from his position of the first secretary.

15.  Colonel General Gleb Vladimirovich Baklanov (1910–1976).



3  Engine Designer Anatoliy Daron

1.  Anatoliy  D.  Daron,  “K  istorii  razrabotki  dvigateley  pervykh  stupeney 

rakety-nositelya ‘Vostok’,” in Iz istorii aviatsii i kosmonavtiki, vyp 66 

(Moscow: IIET AN SSSR, 1995), accessed May 21, 2014, 

http://www.

lpre.de/resources/articles/R7_Engines.pdf

; Daron, “Razrabotka dvi-

gatelya po novoy skheme,” in Odnazhdy i navsegda: Dokumenty i lyudi o 



sozdatele raketnykh dvigateley i kosmicheskikh sistem akademike Valentine 

Petroviche Glushko, edited by Viktor F. Rakhmanin and Leonid E. 

Sternin (Moscow: Mashinostroyeniye, 1998), pp. 456–497, accessed 

May 21, 2014, 

http://www.lpre.de/resources/articles/RD-270.pdf

Daron and Rakhmanin, “Evolyutsiya konstruktsii kamery ZhRD dlya 



obespecheniya poletov v kosmos,” Dvigatel, no. 5 (2007), accessed May 

21, 2014, 

http://www.lpre.de/resources/articles/Chambers.pdf

; Daron 


and Rakhmanin, “Evolyutsiya konstruktsii i vybor razmernosti kamery 

dvigatelya rakety R-7,” XXXI Akademicheskiye chteniya po kosmonav-



tike (Moscow, 2007), accessed May 21, 2014, 

http://www.lpre.de/

resources/articles/R7_EngineChamberEvolition.pdf

.

2.  Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovskiy (1857–1935); Camille Flammarion 



(1842–1925); Jules Verne (1828–1905); Yakov Isidorovich Perelman 

(1882–1942).

3.  Moscow Higher Technical School, named after Nikolay Ernestovich 

Bauman (1873–1905); currently Bauman Moscow State Technical 

University.

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



NOT ES

253


4. Valentin Petrovich Glushko (1908–1989). In 1967, OKB-456 was 

renamed the Design Bureau of Power Machine Building (Design Bureau 

Energomash). In 1974, as Glushko became the head of the Scientific-

Production Association Energiya, Energomash became part of the 

Energiya Association. In 1990 Design Bureau Energomash with its fac-

tory and branches separated from Energiya and formed the Scientific-

Production Association Energomash.

5.  Vladimir Andreyevich Vitka (1900–1989).

6.  See Georgiy E. Langemak and Valentin P. Glushko, Rakety, ikh ustroystvo 

i primenenie (Moscow: Glavnaya redaktsiya aviatsionnoy literatury, 

1935). In 1938 Glushko was arrested on a trumped-up charge of wreck-

ing, sentenced to eight years of imprisonment, and released in 1944. 

On Glushko, see Pavel I. Kachur and Aleksandr V Glushko, Valentin 



Glushko (St. Petersburg: Politekhnika, 2008).

7.  Grigoriy Nikolayevich List (1901–1993).

8.  Between 1940 and 1944, during his imprisonment, Glushko worked as 

the chief designer at an aircraft engine design bureau in Kazan, con-

trolled by the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs (NKVD). After 

his release in 1944 he worked as the chief designer of the Experimental 

Design  Bureau  of  Special  Engines  in  Kazan.  In  1946,  the  bureau  was 

relocated to Khimki near Moscow and reorganized into OKB-456.

9.  Wernher von Braun (1912–1977).

10.  The “Doctors’ Plot” refers to the arrest in early 1953 of a large group 

of prominent Soviet physicians, many of them Jewish, who were accused 

of  plotting  to  assassinate  top  Soviet  leaders.  The  arrest  engendered  a 

vicious anti-Semitic campaign, which resulted in the dismissal and arrest 

of scores of Jewish professionals across the Soviet Union. See Jonathan 

Brent and Vladimir P. Naumov, Stalin’s Last Crime: The Plot against the 

Jewish Doctors, 1948–1953 (New York: HarperCollins, 2003).

11.  The Experimental Design Bureau No. 301, led by the aviation designer 

Semyon Lavochkin.

12.  On March 31, 1953, a few weeks after the death of Joseph Stalin (1878–

1953), all charges under the “Doctor’s Plot” were dismissed and the 

arrested Jews were ordered to be released.

13.  The Black Hundreds was an extreme nationalist movement in support 

of the Russian monarchy in the early twentieth century, known for its 

rabid anti-Semitism. See Walter LaqueurBlack Hundred: The Rise of the 

Extreme Right in Russia (New York: HarperCollins, 1993).

14.  Walking to the middle of the room and speaking softly implies an effort 

to avoid a recording of the conversation by the secret police, who often 

placed hidden microphones into a telephone on the desk. “V. P.” is short 

for Valentin Petrovich (Glushko).

15.  Sergey Pavlovich Korolev (1907–1966), the chief designer of Soviet 

rockets and spacecraft, the head of the Special Design Bureau No. 1 

(OKB-1).


16.  Tsiolkovskiy’s writings, popularizing the idea of a multistage rocket, pro-

foundly influenced Soviet rocketry enthusiasts. See James T. Andrews, 



Red Cosmos: K. E. Tsiolkovskii, Grandfather of Soviet Rocketry (College 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 


NOT ES

254


Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2009); Asif A. Siddiqi, The 

Red Rockets’ Glare: Spaceflight and the Soviet Imagination, 1857–1957 

(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010).

17.  The design testing batch is usually intended only for tests of rocket design, 

not for launching payloads. The permission to launch Sputnik was con-

tingent upon the success of the first test launches of the R-7 ICBM. After 

the first successful test of R-7 in August 1957, Sergey Korolev was able 

to proceed with preparations for the launch of Sputnik. See Asif Siddiqi, 

Challenge to Apollo: The Soviet Union and the Space Race, 1945–1974

NASA SP-2000–4408 (Washington, DC: NASA, 2000), chapter 4.

18.  Vladimir Pavlovich Barmin (1909–1993).

19.  Yekaterina Alekseyevna Furtseva (1910–1974), the first secretary of 

the Moscow City Party Committee, a secretary of the Party Central 

Committee, and a candidate member of the Presidium of the Central 

Committee.

20.  Gherman Stepanovich Titov (1935–2000) flew the Vostok 2 mission on 

August 6–7, 1961. Yuriy Alekseyevich Gagarin (1934–1968) flew the 

Vostok mission on April 12, 1961.

21. The 


Proton rocket, formally designated UR-500, was designed by OKB-

52 in 1965, initially as an ICBM; later it was utilized as a space launch 

vehicle, delivering SalyutMir, and ISS modules into orbit.

22.  Mikhail Kuzmich Yangel (1911–1971).

23.  Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev (1894–1971).

24.  At a 1960 meeting of the Council of Chief Designers, Korolev stated, 

“Using UDMH for combat missiles is undoubtedly inexpedient. A single 

fueling of the N1 launcher with UDMH would cost 5–7 million rubles”; 

Georgiy S. Vetrov, comp., S. P. Korolev i ego delo: svet i teni v istorii kos-

monavtiki (Moscow: Nauka, 1998), p. 306.

25. Semyon Ariyevich Kosberg (1903–1965) headed the Experimental 

Design Bureau No. 154 (since 1966 the Design Bureau of Chemical 

Automatics, or Design Bureau Khimavtomatika), specializing in LPRE 

for high-performance aircraft, in Voronezh.

26.  Mikhail Vasilyevich Melnikov (1919–1996).

27.  Boris Aleksandrovich Sokolov (1923–).

28.  Vasiliy Pavlovich Mishin (1917–2001).

29.  In March 1952, Melnikov, Sokolov, and four other engineers were trans-

ferred from NII-1 to OKB-1. See Boris A. Sokolov, “Rulevoy dvigatel 

dlya ‘Semyorki,’” Za novuyu tekhniku, no. 25 (3236) (June 30, 2006).

30.  Vladimir Nikolayevich Chelomey (1914–1984).

31.  Nikolay Dmitriyevich Kuznetsov (1911–1995). On Kuznetsov, see 

Vladimir N. Orlov and Marina V. Orlova, Generalnyy konstruktor N. D. 



Kuznetsov i ego OKB (Samara, 2011).

32.  Since 1949 Kuznetsov headed the Experimental Design Bureau No. 

276 (OKB-276) in Kuybyshev (now Samara), later designated as the 

Design Bureau Trud (1967–1981), the Scientific-Production Association 

Trud (1981–1991), and the State Scientific-Production Company Trud 

(1991–1994).

33.  Vladimir Nikolayevich Orlov (1925–2005).

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



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255


34.  Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev (1906–1982), then a secretary of the Party 

Central Committee in charge of the defense industry and the space 

program.

35.  Mstislav Vsevolodovich Keldysh (1911–1978).

36.  In July 1962, a special expert commission, chaired by the president of the 

Soviet Academy of Sciences Mstislav Keldysh, resolved the dispute over 

the choice of fuel for the N1 in favor of Korolev. On the prolonged dis-

pute between Korolev and Glushko on this issue, see Siddiqi, Challenge 



to Apollo, pp. 319–331.

37.  The four failed N1 test launches took place on February 21, 1969; July 

3, 1969; June 26, 1971; and November 23, 1972.

38.  Korolev died suddenly in January 1966.

39.  The first test launch of the N1 was in 1969.

40.  On September 6, 2007, an engine malfunction caused a Proton rocket 

to crash shortly after liftoff in Kazakhstan. According to estimates, the 

fuel tanks still contained nearly 219 tons of highly toxic fuel. The crater 

produced by the falling rocket was estimated to be 20 meters deep and 

45  meters  in  diameter.  Luckily,  it  fell  in  an  uninhabited  area,  report-

edly producing “no casualties or property damage.” See Anatoly Zak, 

“Proton Fails during Launch,” Russian Space Web, September 6–12, 

2007, accessed September 17, 2014, 

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/

proton_jcsat11.html

.

41.  Neil Alden Armstrong (1930–2012) flew the Apollo 11 mission in July 



1969. The N1 program was terminated in 1974.

42. On the Energiya-Buran program, see Bart Hendrickx and Bert Vis, 



Energiya-Buran: The Soviet Space Shuttle (Chichester: Springer/Praxis, 

2007).


43.  See, for example, Vladimir Ye. Bugrov, Marsianskiy proyekt S. P. Koroleva 

(Moscow: Russkiye vityazi, 2007).

44.  For Soviet citizens, trips abroad were a rare privilege.

4  Guidance Engineer Sergei Khrushchev

1.  Vladimir Nikolayevich Chelomey (1914–1984) was the head of the Joint 

Design Bureau No. 52 (OKB-52), which in 1965–1983 was called the 

Central Design Bureau of Machine Building (TsKBM).

2.  Sergei Khrushchev and William Taubman, Khrushchev on Khrushchev: 

An Inside Account of the Man and His Era (Boston, MA: Little, Brown, 

1990); Sergei Khrushchev, Nikita Khrushchev and the Creation of 



a Superpower (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 

2000); Sergei Khrushchev, Nikita Khrushchev: Trilogiya ob ottse, vol. 

1:  Reformator, vol. 2: Rozhdeniye sverkhderzhavy, vol. 3: Pensioner 

soyuznogo znacheniya (Moscow: Vremya, 2010).

3.  Valeriy Yefimovich Samoylov (1926–).

4.  Yevgeniy Fedorovich Antipov (1910–1968), a leading designer of gyro-

scopes and control systems for aircraft. The Scientific-Research Institute 

No. 923 (NII-923), created in 1951 initially as a factory design bureau in 

Moscow, developed autopilots and automatic control systems for military 

 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



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256


and civilian aircraft and missiles. In 1966 NII-923 was reorganized into 

the Moscow Institute of Electromechanics and Automatics (MIEA).

5.  Viktor Ivanovich Kuznetsov (1913–1991) led the Scientific-Research 

Institute No. 944 (NII-944) in Moscow, which in 1965 was reor-

ganized into the Scientific-Research Institute of Applied Mechanics 

(NII PM).

6.  Georgiy Mikhaylovich Beriyev (1903–1979), a leading aviation designer, 

led the Central Design Bureau of Naval Aircraft Building in Taganrog 

(1934–1968).

7.  Nikolay Alekseyevich Pilyugin (1908–1982), the chief designer of auton-

omous guidance systems for missiles and space vehicles (1948–1982), the 

head of the Scientific-Research Institute of Automatics and Instrument 

Building (NII AP) (1963–1982).

8.  The Scientific-Research Institute No. 49 (NII-49) in Leningrad (now 

St. Petersburg), in 1966 renamed the Central Scientific-Research 

Institute of Instruments of Automatics (TsNIIPA) and in 1971 renamed 

the Central Scientific-Research Institute Granit, specializes in radar and 

control equipment for the Navy.

9.  The Scientific-Research Institute No. 10 (NII-10) of the Ministry of 

Ship-Building, in 1966–67 the All-Union Scientific-Research Institute 

of Radio Electronics of the Ministry of Radio-Technical Industry, after 

1967 the All-Union Scientific-Research Institute Altair, after 2001 the 

Navy Scientific-Research Institute of Radio Electronics Altair, is located 

in Moscow and specializes in electronics and missile equipment for the 

Navy.

10.  The Design Bureau No. 1 (KB-1) was organized in 1950 to develop 



Berkut, the Moscow air defense system; in 1966 it was renamed the 

Moscow Design Bureau Strela, in 1971 the Central Design Bureau 

Almaz, and in 1988 the Scientific-Production Association Almaz. 

Anatoliy Ivanovich Savin was deputy chief designer at KB-1. In 1955 the 

Special Design Bureau No. 41 (SKB-41) was formed at KB-1, and Savin 

became deputy chief designer, later chief designer and head of SKB-41 

(later OKB-41; the Central Scientific-Production Association Kometa), 

which developed space defense systems.

11.  The IS and US programs refer to the Anti-SATellite (ASAT) and 

the Radar Ocean Reconnaissance SATellite (RORSAT) programs

respectively.

12.  The Scientific-Research Institute of Nuclear Physics at Moscow State 

University.

13.  In April 1945, Marshal Georgiy Konstantinovich Zhukov (1896–1974) 

commanded a Soviet assault on Berlin via the heavily fortified Seelow 

Heights, in which the Soviet troops suffered enormous casualties. For 

an eye-witness account of that notorious assault, see Abram Krayzman’s 

interview in this book.

14.  Four heavy research satellites of the Proton series were launched between 

1965 and 1968. See Naum L. Grigorov et al., “Instrument for Measuring 

the High-Energy Gamma-Rays in the Primary Cosmic Radiation,” 

Cosmic Research 5:1 (1967): 107.

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 


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257


15.  The Satellite Destroyer was successfully tested in 1968; a space defense 

system was deployed in 1979; an early warning system for ICBM was 

deployed in 1982; and an early warning system for space weapons was 

deployed in 1985.

16.  The first launch took place on November 1, 1963, the second on April 

12, 1964. The launched IS satellites were publicly named Polet-1 and 



Polet-2.

17.  Dmitriy Fedorovich Ustinov (1908–1984); Andrey Antonovich Grechko 

(1903–1976).

18.  The Scientific-Research Institute No. 88 (NII-88), since 1966 the 

Central Scientific-Research Institute of Machine Building, is located in 

Korolev (formerly Podlipki, then Kaliningrad). Its former Branch No. 2 

in Zagorsk near Moscow, since 1956 the Scientific-Research Institute 

No. 229 (NII-229), later the Scientific-Research Institute of Chemical 

Machine Building, was a major testing facility for Soviet rocketry.

19.  The Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI) in Zhukovskiy near 

Moscow.

20. See Boris Chertok, Rockets and People:  The Moon Race, vol. 4, 



pp. 109–111.

21.  Boris Viktorovich Raushenbakh (1915–2001).

22.  This episode is also mentioned in Khrushchev, Nikita Khrushchev and 

the Creation of a Superpower, pp. 686–687.

23.  Semyon Alekseyevich Lavochkin (1900–1960) from 1939 to 1960 led 

the Experimental Design Bureau No. 301 (OKB-301) in Khimki near 

Moscow. The bureau developed fighter aircraft, jet fighters, air-to-air 

and surface-to-air missiles, and the Burya supersonic strategic cruise 

missile.


24.  Nikolay Nikolayevich Polikarpov (1892–1944), an aircraft designer, the 

head of the design bureau at the Factory No. 51 (OKB-51) in Moscow. 

Chelomey led OKB-51 from 1944 to 1953.

25.  Oleg Vladimirovich Penkovskiy (1919–1963), a Soviet intelligence offi-

cer, convicted of treason and espionage in 1963.

26.  Aleksandr Mikhaylovich Prokhorov (1916–2002), a prominent Soviet 

physicist, a Nobel Prize winner (1964), worked at the Physical Institute 

of the Academy of Sciences (1946–1982), was its deputy director (1968–

1982), then director of the Institute of General Physics of the Academy 

(1982–1998).

27.  Vladimir Aleksandrovich Modestov (1929–2004); Igor Mikhailovich 

Shumilov (1927–2002); Abdulgani Gafiyatulovich Zhamaletdinov 

(1927–1980).

5  Control Engineer Georgiy Priss

1. Nikolay Alekseyevich Pilyugin (1908–1982), chief designer of 

autonomous guidance systems for missiles and space vehicles at the 

Scientific-Research Institute No. 885 (1948–1963), the head of the 

Scientific-Research Institute of Automatics and Instrument Building 

(1963–1982).

 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 


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258


2.  This refers to the USSR Council of Ministers Decree No. 1017–419 

(top secret) of May 13, 1946, “On Questions of Reactive Armaments.” 

For the full text of the decree, see Boris Chertok, Rockets and People: 

Creating a Rocket Industry, NASA SP-2006–4110 vol. 2 (Washington, 

DC: NASA, 2006), pp. 10–15.

3.  The Scientific-Research Institute No. 885 was organized on the prem-

ises of the former Factory No. 1 of the Ministry of Armed Forces.

4.  Mikhail Sergeyevich Ryazanskiy (1909–1987) was the institute’s direc-

tor; Pilyugin was the chief engineer.

5. Sergey Pavlovich Korolev (1907–1966); Valentin Petrovich Glushko 

(1908–1989).

6.  Nikolay Dmitriyevich Ustinov (1908–1984).

7.  On the postwar organization of the Soviet missile program, see Asif 

Siddiqi,  Challenge to Apollo: The Soviet Union and the Space Race, 

1945–1974, NASA SP-2000–4408 (Washington, DC: NASA, 2000), 

chapter 2.

8. Aleksandr Sergeyevich Yakovlev (1906–1989); Andrey Nikolayevich 

Tupolev (1888–1972).

9.  Viktor Ivanovich Kuznetsov (1913–1991).

10.  Vladimir Pavlovich Barmin (1909–1993).

11.  A cyclogram is a coordinated timed logical sequence of operations of 

various systems.

12.  See Georgiy M. Priss, “O sozdanii sistemy upavleniya rakety-nositelya 

‘Vostok,’” Iz istorii aviatsii i kosmonavtiki, vyp. 70 (1997): 41–49; Yuriy 

P. Portnov-Sokolov and Georgiy M. Priss, “Prehistory of the On-Board 

Complex of Control Systems of the R-7 Launcher,” Automation and 



Remote Control, no. 6 (1999): 31–41.

13.  The first planned launch of Buran on October 29, 1988, was scrubbed 

because an alignment instrument plate had failed to disconnect from the 

rocket on time. See Bart Hendrickx and Bert Vis, Energiya-Buran: The 



Soviet Space Shuttle (Chichester: Springer/Praxis, 2007), pp. 339–344.

14.  The interviewer conflates two computers, Argon-11S and S-530, and 

two missions, Zond-4 and Mars-2. The first Soviet onboard computer, 

Argon-11S, was launched in 1968 on Zond-4 mission toward the Moon. 

The S-530 computer, developed later, was launched in 1971 on Mars-2 

mission.

15.  Sergey Arkadyevich Krutovskikh (1928–1981).

16.  Argon-11S was designed by the Scientific-Research Institute of Electronic 

Machinery in Moscow, led by the chief designer Sergey Krutovskikh. 

In 1968 the institute merged with the Scientific-Research Center for 

Electronic Computer Technology (NITsEVT), and Krutovskikh was 

appointed director of NITsEVT. Argon-11S was launched on September 

2, 1968, on an unmanned version of Soyuz 7K-L1 spacecraft; see A. G. 

Glazkov, “Pervaya sovetskaya BTsVM v kosmose,” XXVIII akademiches-

kiye chteniya po kosmonavtike (Moscow: IIET R AN, 2004), pp. 135–

137, accessed May 21, 2014, 

http://www.ihst.ru/~akm/6t28.pdf

. The 


computer was part of the L1 automatic guidance system, developed 

by Pilyugin’s firm. The launch was part of the L1 program of piloted 

 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



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circumlunar flight, which was not publicly acknowledged at the time. 

The mission was publicly announced as Zond-4.

17.  The Scientific-Research Institute No. 10; after 1955 the Scientific-

Research Institute No. 944; currently the Scientific-Research Institute 

of Applied Mechanics in Moscow.

18.  In 1949–1966 Vyacheslav Pavlovich Arefyev (1926–) worked at the 

Scientific-Research Institute No. 49.

19.  Pilyugin’s firm developed its own onboard computer, S-530, for the 

N1-L3 lunar landing program. The S-530 was also incorporated into 

the control system of the Mars spacecraft and launched for the first 

time in May 1971; see A. G. Glazkov, “Kosmicheskaya odisseya BTsVM 

S-530,”  XXIX akademicheskiye chteniya po kosmonavtike (Moscow: 

IIET R AN, 2005), p. 115, accessed May 21, 2014, 

http://www.ihst.

ru/~akm/6t29.pdf

. The Mars-71S orbiter, launched on May 10, 1971, 

failed because of an erroneous command and was publicly announced as 

Kosmos-419. See Brian Harvey, Russian Planetary Exploration: History, 

Development, Legacy and Prospects (Chichester: Springer/Praxis, 2007), 

pp. 128–130, 138–139. The failure was reportedly caused by a computer 

operator error; see Vladimir G. Perminov, The Difficult Road to Mars: 

A Brief History of Mars Exploration in the Soviet Union, Monographs in 

Aerospace History, No. 15, NP-1999–06–251-HQ (Washington, DC: 

NASA, 1999), p. 53. This failure had serious repercussions for the lead-

ership of Pilyugin’s firm. Pilyugin’s (unnamed) deputy was reportedly 

fired and the head of the computer programming department demoted. 

See S. I. Krupkin, “Georgiy Nikolayevich Babakin,” Vestnik FGUP NPO 



im. S.A. Lavochkina 1 (2009): 39. The Mars-71P lander was launched a 

few days later, on May 19, 1971, and publicly announced as Mars-2. It 

crashed on the surface of Mars, apparently because of a software error; 

see Perminov, The Difficult Road to Mars, p. 57; Konstantin Lantratov. 

“Na Mars!” (Part II), Novosti kosmonavtiki, no. 21 (1996). The Mars-3 

spacecraft, launched on May 28, 1971, successfully landed on Mars.

20.  The fourth attempted launch of the N1 lunar rocket took place on 

November 23, 1972. All four N1 launches failed, and the Soviet piloted 

lunar landing program was terminated. See Siddiqi, Challenge to Apollo

pp. 822–826.

21.  Tropa, the first Soviet integrated circuit, was developed in 1964 by the 

Scientific-Research Institute of Precision Technology (NII TT), located 

in Zelenograd near Moscow. The institute reportedly had “only a pho-

tograph of an IBM integrated circuit as a model”; see “O kompanii. 

Istoriya—sozdanie predpriyatiya,” accessed May 21, 2014, 

http://web.

archive.org/web/20110527182737/http://www.angstrem.ru/about/

history/


.

22.  On the role of the S-530 computer in the N1 control system, see Georgiy 

M. Priss, “Sistema upravleniia lunnoi rakety-nositelia N-1 kak prototip 

dlia posleduiushchikh SU,” Aviakosmicheskaya tekhnika i tekhnologiya

no. 3 (2001): 26–34.

23.  The SM series of mini-computers was developed at the Scientific-

Production Association Impuls in Severodonetsk. More than 100 SM 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 


NOT ES

260


computer complexes were installed at the Baykonur cosmodrome. See 

Yevgeniy N. Filinov, “Sistema malykh EVM (SM EVM),” accessed 

May 21, 2014, 

http://www.computer-museum.ru/histussr/sm_evm.

htm

.

24.  See Viktor Przhiyalkovskiy’s interview in this collection.



25.  The S-530 computer was first used on Mars robotic missions in 1971; 

see A. G. Glazkov, “Kosmicheskaya odisseya BTsVM S-530,” p. 115.

26.  The Special Design Bureau No. 692 (OKB-692), currently the Scientific-

Production Association Khartron. On the development of on-board 

computers at OKB-692, see S. A. Gorelova, “Istoriya sozdaniya bor-

tovoy vychislitelnoy mashiny i sistemy proverki ‘Elektronnyy pusk’ na 

NPO ‘Khartron,’” Vestnik NPU “KhPI” 48 (2009): 17–29, accessed May 

21, 2014, 

http://goo.gl/HF75DE

.

27. On the Buran computer complex, see Hendrickx and Vis, Energiya-



Buran, p. 132. The complex included four identical computers simulta-

neously executing the same program. Their outputs were compared, and 

if one computer malfunctioned, its results were discarded; the same was 

done with a second malfunctioning computer.

28.  Buran was designed by the Scientific-Production Association Molniya, 

created in 1976 under the Ministry of Aviation Industry specifically for 

that purpose.

29.  During the development of the Buran-Energiya complex, this organiza-

tion (Korolev’s former design bureau) was called the Scientific-Production 

Association Energiya. In 1994, it was renamed the Rocket-Space 

Corporation Energiya. For an Energiya engineer’s perspective on the 

development of the computer complex for Buran, see German Noskin, 



Pervyye BTsVM kosmicheskogo primeneniya (St. Petersburg: Renome, 

2011), pp. 213–223.

30.  On the testing of the BTS-002 atmospheric test model, see Hendrickx 

and Vis, Energiya-Buran, pp. 298–309.

31.  Izdeliye (product) is a code name for a rocket.

32.  Academician Vadim Aleksandrovich Trapeznikov (1905–1994), a spe-

cialist in control engineering, director of the Institute of Automatics 

and Remote Control of the Soviet Academy of Sciences in Moscow from 

1951 to 1987. In 1969 the institute was renamed the Institute of Control 

Problems.

33.  Academician Boris Nikolayevich Petrov (1913–1980), a leading specialist 

in control theory, worked on the theory of automatic control of missiles 

and space launchers.

34.  See Georgiy M. Priss, “Nekotoryye aspekty razrabotki sistemy uprav-

leniya ‘Burana,’” Aviakosmicheskaya tekhnika i tekhnologiya, no. 3 

(1999): 35–42.

35.  Academician Andrey Nikolayevich Tikhonov (1906–1993), a prominent 

Soviet mathematician. Mikhail Romanovich Shura-Bura (1918–2008), a 

leading Soviet computer scientist.

36.  On the question of software compatibility of different Bisser models, 

see B. N. Vikhorev and A. G. Glazkov, “Evolyutsiya razrabotki operat-

sionnykh system dlya BTsVM raketnykh kompleksov razrabotki NPTs 

 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

NOT ES

261


AP,”  XXXI akademicheskiye chteniya po kosmonavtike (Moscow: IIET 

R AN, 2007), pp. 416–418, accessed May 21, 2014, 

http://www.ihst.

ru/~akm/17t31.pdf

.

37.  On the first, aborted attempt to launch the Energiya booster with Buran



see Hendrickx and Vis, Energiya-Buran, pp. 339–344.

38.  On the successful flight of Buran, see ibid., pp. 349–356.

39.  Filipp Georgiyevich Staros (true name Alfred Sarant, 1918–1979) and 

Iosif Veniaminovich Berg (true name Joel Barr, 1916–1998), American 

electronics engineers who spied for the Soviets during World War II. 

After the war, they defected to the Soviet Union and were placed in 

charge of the Special Laboratory No. 11 for electronic technology in 

Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), later the Design Bureau No. 2. See 

Steven T. Usdin, Engineering Communism: How Two Americans Spied 

for Stalin and Founded the Soviet Silicon Valley (New Haven, CT: Yale 

University Press, 2005), pp. 219–220, 227.

40.  G. Samoylovich alleged that Korolev’s commitment to simple, reli-

able, fail-proof engineering solutions led to his “unwillingness to use 

an onboard computer”; see G. Samoylovich, “Ot redaktora” [Editor’s 

preface], in Alexander Bolonkin, Pogibshiye v kosmose, accessed May 21, 

2014, 

http://bolonkin.narod.ru/p29.htm



.

41.  The Special Design Bureau No. 1 (OKB-1).

42.  Boris Yevseyevich Chertok (1912–2011).

43.  The Special Design Bureau No. 692, part of the Scientific-Production 

Association Elektropribor (later Khartron), designed control systems for 

ICBMs and spacecraft. Mikhail Kuzmich Yangel (1911–1971).

44.  Nikolay Aleksandrovich Semikhatov (1918–2002), the chief designer of 

control systems at the Special Design Bureau No. 626, later the Scientific-

Research Institute of Automation, currently the Scientific-Production 

Association of Automation in Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg).

45.  Boris Mikhailovich Konopolev (1912–1960) led the Special Design 

Bureau No. 692; Nikolay Semikhatov headed the Special Design Bureau 

No. 626. Both had previously worked at the Scientific-Research Institute 

No. 885.


46.  Yuriy Alekseyevich Gagarin (1934–1968) flew the Vostok mission on 

April 12, 1961.

47.  Vladimir Nikolayevich Chelomey (1914–1984).

48.  Boris Viktorovich Raushenbakh (1915–2001), a Soviet rocketry engi-

neer, a leading specialist in manual spacecraft control and spacecraft 

guidance.




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