- Series: Nasa History (Book 4110)
- Hardcover: 832 pages
- Publisher: Scientific and Technical Information Off; First English language edition. edition (May 5, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0160817331
- ISBN-13: 978-0160817335
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 2 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,025,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Rockets and People, Volume 3: Hot Days of the Cold War (Nasa History) First English language edition. Edition
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About the Author
Boris Evseyevich Chertok was a prominent Soviet and Russian rocket designer, responsible for control systems of a number of ballistic missiles and spacecraft. Chertok was born in 1912 in Poland, and his family moved to Moscow when he was three years old. Academician Chertok began his career as an electrician in Moscow before joining the aircraft design bureau of Viktor Bolkhovitinov in 1934. In 1946, he joined the newly established NII-88 institute as head of the control systems department and worked hand-in-hand with famed Chief Designer Sergey Korolev. Chertok became one of Korolev's closest aides in developing control systems for ballistic missiles and spacecraft, eventually becoming deputy chief designer of the famous OKB-1, the design organization that spun off from NII-88 in 1956 and was responsible for a remarkable string of space firsts of the early Soviet space program. Chertok participated in every major project at OKB-1, now the S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, until his retirement from active work in 1991. Among his many contributions to the Russian space industry, he was closely involved in the launch of the world's first satellite, Sputnik, on October 4, 1957 and the first human spaceflight by Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961. Following his retirement, Chertok served as a senior consultant at RSC-Energia and published a series of memoirs, "Rockets and People," chronicling the history of the Russian space program. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
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Chertok was a top-level engineer and manager in Sergei Korolyov's OKB-1 design bureau, in charge of radio communication and telemetry. But his position gave him an overview of the entire program, including the epic battles that Korolyov fought with the other designers, the Rocket Force, the Air Force, and his own subordinates. We get a rather different view of the "Chief Designer of Spacecraft" than in previous books. I came away not very impressed with his management-by-ranting style. Does it really help solve an engineering problem to order the engineer in charge to "Walk back to Moscow on the railroad tracks!!"?
Intelligence buffs should note that Chertok is constantly sending "high-frequency messages", or "radiograms", or using the "high-frequency telephone" to send top-secret information to or from Tyuratam, Moscow, or the Simferopol lunar tracking station. Clearly these refer to HF radio signals that bounce off the ionosphere to their destination -- and onward to the US listening posts that ringed the USSR. It is well known that such messages to downrange tracking stations were intercepted and quickly decoded by the National Security Agency. But it is shocking that the Soviets relied on HF radio for high-level communications. Turatam had a rail line, so why didn't it have a secure telephone line to Moscow?? This may explain how the CIA developed such a good understanding of the Soviet space program.
I eagerly await the NASA translation of Volume IV.
Social and political insights were touching, revealing that the engineers and scientists knew that they were outrageously favored with comfortable, even opulent lives compared to the lives of villagers under the exploitation of the Communist Party for the glory and pleasures of the Party leadership,and the KGB.
A "must read" for any Westerner puzzled by the events and purposes of the new Putinshchina in Georgia, Crimea, Ukraine and the Novo-USSR. The book is almost a gift by an honest engineer to the world, if we can learn from history what men are capable of doing even in the most difficult circumstances.
The Soviets clearly contributed much to society.
But I was much too brainwashed by the US Government to appreciate it. Pity.