The 1966? End of the Soviet Reign - MyMoon

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On a recent tour of Mission Control at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, I heard an interesting story. A story about a brilliant designer named Sergei Korolev. Back in the day, any knowledge of said visionary was top-secret. After all, he developed the world’s first intercontinental ballistic missile. Korolev also supervised payloads for Sputnik, Luna, Venera, and Vostok. His leadership helped the Soviets to have a long line of space “firsts” such as the first satellite, man, woman, space walk, and lunar probe. BUT, the impressive run was about to end. Why? Korolev developed appendicitis. Because he was “under wraps”, the Soviet Union government/military was determined to do an on-site operation instead of taking their Chief Designer to the hospital. Unfortunately, Korolev met an early demise during the surgery. The amazing man behind Soviet prowess was gone thanks to some inflammation.

I found a few websites to confirm the tale but I still can’t believe how different things would’ve been if only Korolev survived. I suppose the same could be said of former President Abraham Lincoln, former President Kennedy, and Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., tragedies all.

The Soviet Manned Lunar Program via

People: Korolev

Also, I was surprised to find how naïve I had been to assume that the Soviets didn’t have any issues with political support and funding. Communism or capitalism… space exploration funding is a tricky matter!


Alec E.

Tuesday Mar-01-2011

Last year during SXSW 2010 I had the pleasure of being part of the audience during "Man on a Mission", a film about Richard Garriott's adventure into space aboard a Russian rocket to the International Space Station. Your post reminds me of this because it was during this film that they covered Korolev's influence and detailed (surprisingly) a large amount of info on him. I was particularly floored by the simple fact that the Russians actually beat us in almost every space related milestone with the exception of landing on the Moon. Quite impressive indeed!

I highly recommend the film by the way, and it covers a lot of ground regarding both the US and Russian space programs. Here's some links....

IMDB Information on film

Space Yuga covers "Richard Garriott: Man on a Mission"

Andy S.

Tuesday Mar-01-2011

Very interesting!

Natalie S.

Tuesday Mar-01-2011

Thanks Alec! Yes, I can remember quite clearly being in 8th grade and feeling like an utter failure because I chose Ed White as the first man to do a spacewalk. I think I also screwed up several other questions because I kept choosing the first Americans instead of the first man/woman.

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