On the 4th of October 2007 the world celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of Sputnik's take off, mankind's first adventure in space. After the release of this first artificial satelite, the world realised that the star trek was finally open and waiting to be explored. However, it was the dream of an aerospacial engineer Sergey Pavlovich Korolyov, not of Kremlin's Nomenklatura, that launched the Soviet Union into orbit and perched it, at the time, at the top of the Space Race, dragging with it the USA, in awe and truly concerned about the spacial supremacy of the USSR.
In 1911, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, one of the visionary scientists who started making mankind's dream of releasing itself from the shackles of our planet come true, uttered the prophetic phrase "The Earth is the cradle of humanity, but mankind cannot stay in the cradle forever". It was this idea of release that inspired Sergey Pavlovich Korolyov,, viewed, today, as the motor behind the Soviet Space Programme, and one of the pioneers when it came to the space conquest and mankind's 'giant leap'.
A victim, in 1938, of the Stalinist purges, Korolyov was deported to a Siberian gulag, from where he was released three years later, when the regime desperately needed engineers who could contribute to the war effort against the Third Reich. In the the heart of Germany, where he was sent by Stalin in 1945, at the end of World War II, Korolev embarked on the recovery and study of the technology behind the German V-2 rocket-bombs, the inspiration for the work he was to develop in 1957 at the Special Design Bureau: the R-7 Semyorka, the first intercontinental ballistic missile, created during the Cold War to drop nuclear bombs over the USA.
Nevertheless, Korolyov's dream of the stars remained intact and, on October the 4th that same year, propelled by a modified version of the R-7, the Sputnik 1 was launched into orbit, followed, a month later by the Sputnik 2, which carried Laika into space, the first living being to ever orbit the Earth, and three other units of the Sputnik.
Excited and clearly leading the clash of the titans that was the Soviet Space Programme, Korolyov finished the design for the first Russian launching vehicle: the Soyuz rocket and the Soyuz spacecraft, as a part of the Soyuz Programme and began the plans for the construction the giant among rockets that was expected to win the race to the moon: the ill-fated N1.
Sergey Korolyov would die at the age of 59, in 1966, at the height of his genius. However, the Soyuz inventions, decisive landmarks of the spacial era that remain from the Soviet Space Programme are still at the service of the Russian Federal Space Agency and the Sputnik satellites will forever remain as a mark of the genius who dared to dream of the stars and make his wildest dreams come true.
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