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50th anniversary of the first successful launch of R-7

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:12 am
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Korolev, Moscow Region (S.P. Korolev RSC Energia) – Today is the 50th anniversary of the first successful launch of R-7 intercontinental ballistic missile developed at the Special Design Bureau No.1 (now S.P.Korolev RSC Energia).

The first long-range two-stage intercontinental ballistic missile in our country was intended for delivering a warhead to any point on the territory of a potential enemy.

The R-7 rocket design was fundamentally different from all the earlier rockets in terms of its configuration, loading patterns, dimensions, mass, propulsion system power, and its systems functionality.

The lines drawing of the rocket was approved by S.P.Korolev on March 11, 1955.

The rocket was launched on August 21, 1957 at 15 hours 25 minutes from the Baikonur launch site and ended successfully with the rocket reaching its designated target area in the Kamchatka peninsula.

The missile was added to the arsenal of our country on January 20, 1960, and became one of the most important components of our country’s nuclear missile shield.

Development, manufacturing and launching of the missile involved dozens of companies and organizations throughout the country, including OKB-456 (V.P.Glushko), NII-885 (M.S.Ryazansky, N.A.Pilyugin), NII-3 (V.K.Shebanin), NII-4 (A.I.Sokolov), TsIAM (G.P.Svishchev), TsAGI (A.A.Dorodnitsin, V.V.Struminsky), NII-6 (V.A.Sukhikh), A.N.Steklov Mathematical Institute (M.V.Keldysh), etc.

The key developers, designers and researchers for the missile at the Special Design Bureau No.1 were: B.Ye.Chertok, P.I.Yermolaev, K.D.Bushuev, S.S.Krukov, Ye.F.Ryazanov, I.P.Firsov, A.I.Nechaev, G.S.Vetrov, G.N.Degtyarenko, Ya,P.Kolyako, O.N.Voropaev, S.S.Lavrov, R.F.Appazov, P.F.Shulgin, P.A.Yershov, V.M.Udodenko, A.F.Kulyabin, V.F.Roshchin, A.F.Tyurikova, V.F.Gladky, O.D.Zherebin, S.F.Parmuzin, V.M.Protopopov, V.M.Liventsev, A.N.Voltsifer, V.A.Udaltsov, M.V.Melnikov, I.I.Raikov, B.A.Sokolov.

Manufacturing and testing of the R-7 missile at factory No.88 of the Special Design Bureau No.1 (now Experimental Machine-Building Plant of RSC Energia) were supported by R.A.Turkov, V.M.Klyucharev, N.M.Berezin, S.K.Koltunov, V.M.Ivanov, I.V.Povarov, N.A.Pshenichnikov, A.V.Kirov, D.M.Shilov, A.G.Zigangirov, Yu.D.Manko, L.A.Medvedev, B.M.Afanasiev, A.N.Andrikanis and others.

This missile became the basis for developing the first space launch vehicle Sputnik, which put the world’s first Earth artificial satellite into obit.

The R-7 rocket became the basis for developing its further modifications, intended for space launches – Vostok, Molniya, Soyuz launch vehicles, which made it possible for our country’s space science to achieve many “firsts” in space.

Present-day versions of the Soyuz launch vehicles, currently built by TsSKB Progress, launch manned spacecraft Soyuz TMA and unmanned cargo spacecraft Progress M under the program of the International Space Station. Soyuz launch vehicles are also used for launching other spacecraft in the interests of state and commercial customers. Further development of this rocket’s design (Soyuz-2 project and others) is under way.

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