Sergei Korolev, 1961

Sergei Korolev, 1961

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Credit: SPUTNIK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Sergei Korolev (1907-1966), pioneering Soviet rocket scientist, during the launch of Vostok 1, the first manned space mission, in April 1961. After developing an interest in rocketry, Korolev formed the Moscow Group for the Study of Reactive Motion who, in 1933, launched the USSR's first liquid-fueled rocket. During Stalin's purges he was arrested but, his importance being recognised, he was allowed to continue researching. After the Second World War he was released and set to work developing rockets, both for space exploration and for military use. Vostok 1, although a great achievement on its own, was the first stage in his failed plan to land a cosmonaut on the Moon.

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