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Korolev: How One Man Masterminded the Soviet Drive to Beat America to the Moon

ISBN: 978-0-471-32721-9
432 pages
March 1999
Korolev: How One Man Masterminded the Soviet Drive to Beat America to the Moon (0471327212) cover image


How One Man Masterminded the Soviet Drive Beat America to the Moon.

"Fascinating . . . packed with technical and historical detail for the space expert and enthusiast alike . . . Great stuff!"-New Scientist

"In this exceptional book, James Harford pieces together a most compelling and well-written tale. . . . Must reading."-Space News.

"Through masterful research and an engaging narrative style, James Harford gives the world its first in-depth look at the man who should rightly be called the father of the Soviet space program."-Norman R. Augustine, CEO, Lockheed Martin.

"In Korolev, James Harford has written a masterly biography of this enigmatic 'Chief Designer' whose role the Soviets kept secret for fear that Western agents might 'get at' him."-Daily Telegraph.

"Harford's fluency in Russian and his intimate knowledge of space technology give us insights that few, if any, Americans and Russians have had into this dark history of Soviet space."-Dr. Herbert Friedman, Chief Scientist, Hulburt Center for Space Research Naval Research Laboratory.

"Reveals the complex, driven personality of a man who, despite unjust imprisonment in the Gulag, toiled tirelessly for the Soviet military industrial complex. . . . More than just a biography, this is also a history of the Soviet space program at the height of the Cold War. . . . Highly recommended."-Library Journal.

"For decades the identity of the Russian Chief Designer who shocked the world with the launching of the first Sputnik was one of the Soviet Union's best-kept secrets. This book tells vividly the story of that man, Sergei Korolev, in remarkable detail, with many facts and anecdotes previously unavailable to the West."-Sergei Khrushchev, Visiting Senior Fellow, Center for Foreign Policy Development.
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Table of Contents

Kibalchich to Korolev.

Growing Up in Ukraine: Broken Family, Bolsheviks, Gliders.

To Moscow: Tupolev, Tukhachevsky, First Rockets.

The Gulag and Sharaga Years.

The German V-2: Bedrock Technology.

The World's First ICBM: Aimed at the USA.

Sputnik: No Big Deal to Khrushchev-At First.

Unmanned Firsts: Hitting the Moon and Venus.

Gagarin First, Shepard an Anti-climactic Second.

Voskhod: A "Circus Act."

Spy Sats and Com Sats.

The Organization: Korolev Up and Down.

The Technology: Simple but Reliable.

The Party, the Paranoia.

Racing Apollo: The Odds Were Enormous.

The End of Anonymity: Burial in the Kremlin Wall.

After Korolev: Demise of the Circumlunar and Lunar Landing Missions.

Ironic Epilogue.




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Author Information

JAMES HARFORD, Executive Director Emeritus of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Washington, D.C., has been involved in aerospace for over 40 years, and was a Verville Fellow at the National Air and Space Museum. Mr. Harford lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
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"In this exceptional book, James Harford pieces together a most compelling and well-written tale . . . must reading."-Space News

"A fascinating and perceptive history of the Russian space program.... Avid space enthusiasts will find this story a necessary addition to their knowledge of space exploration."-Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., former Director of Flight Operations, NASA

"His erudite and meticulously researched charting of the life and times of Korolev provides unique insights. . . . This is a fascinating book . . . for the space expert and enthusiast alike. Great stuff."-New Scientist
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