Rockets and People Vol IIICode: RUI0700
Auteurs: Boris Chertok
Korte beschrijving: Much has been written in the West on the history of the Soviet space program but few Westerners have read direct first-hand accounts of the men and women who were behind the many Russian accomplishments in exploring space. The memoirs of Academician Boris Chertok, who worked under the legendary Sergey Korolev, translated from the original Russian, fill that gap. In Volume 1 of Rockets and People, Chertok described his early life as an aeronautical engineer and his adventures as a member of the Soviet team that searched postwar, occupied Germany for the remnants of the Nazi rocket program. Volume 2 takes up the story with the development of the world’s first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and ends with the launch of Sputnik and the early moon probes.
In Volume 3, Chertok recollects the great successes of, and continues the fascinating narrative of the Soviet space program in the 1960s, arguably the peak of the effort. Chertok devotes a significant portion of the volume to the early years of Soviet human spaceflight from 1961 to 1967, including the launch of the world’s first space voyager Yuri Gagarin and gripping accounts of two of the most tragic episodes of the Soviet space program, the death of Korolev and the flight and death of cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov during the very first piloted Soyuz flight in 1967. Furthermore, Chertok provides a radically unique perspective on the Cuban Missile Crisis, from the point of view of those who would have been responsible for unleashing nuclear Armageddon in 1962 had Kennedy and Khrushchev not been able to agree on a stalemate. He concludes focusing on the relationship between the space program and the Soviet Academy of Sciences, which would serve as great interest to historians of Soviet spaceflight.