“Thank you for April 12, Sergey Pavlovich!” On January 12, 1907, Sergey Korolyov was born in Zhytomyr, the main organizer of the rocket and space equipment and rocket weapons production in the USSR, the founder of practical astronautics. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. Chief designer of the rocket and space industry of the USSR. On his initiative and under his leadership, the launch of the first artificial satellite of the Earth and the flight of the first astronaut of the planet Yuriy Gagarin were carried out.
Dmitriy Balakirev decided to remind some facts from the life of the great scientist.
He was lucky – included in the list of enemies of the people in the first (execution) category, Korolev eventually received “only” 10 years in the camps.
In Kolyma, at a gold mine, Korolev survived by accident. To systematic malnutrition and scurvy, severe frosts and exhausting labor, the terror of criminals was added. Criminals generally exploited “enemies of the people” with impunity – at their expense, they freed “their people” from hard physical work, took away rations in order to eat better. An attempt of a “rebellion” by a proud loner was easily suppressed by starvation. He became a “wick”, they even stopped chasing him to work, since he could not walk, “As soon as I bend down, I fall. The tongue was swollen, the gums were bleeding, the teeth were falling out from scurvy.” If you don’t work, they reduce the already beggarly ration. A dying too skinny person appeared in front of his unexpected savior, who recognized a talented colleague, “a terribly thin, pale, lifeless man lay in unimaginable rags.”
Getting into Tupolev’s sharashka was both salvation and the beginning of the greatest deeds. But the phrase “they will kill without an obituary” became Korolev’s favorite saying for a long time. “She [Themis] is blindfolded, she can make a mistake, today you solve differential equations, and tomorrow it will be Kolyma.”
In 1965, shortly before the death of the great designer, he was visited by friends from the Tupolev sharashka. Pointing to the guards at the gate, he, an academician, twice Hero of Socialist Labor, said, “You know, guys, sometimes you wake up at night, you lie down and think, maybe someone has already been found, he gave the command – and these same polite guards will brazenly enter here and throw, – Well, bastard, pack your things!
His death was a severe blow to the industry and the country. The last attempt to save Korolev was the operation, which was personally carried out by the Minister of Health of the USSR. During the operation, the anesthesiologist encountered an unforeseen circumstance – in order to give anesthesia, it was necessary to insert a tube, and the operated person could not open his mouth wide. The patient’s jaws, once broken during interrogation, did not heal properly.
He died in 1966, just under the age of 59.