Key figures in the Russian space program

Babakin, Georgy Nikolaevich. 1914-1971. From 1965 and until his death in 1971, Babakin led the development of planetary spacecraft at the Lavochkin design bureau.

Barmin, Vladimir Pavlovich. 1909-1993. Pioneer of the rocket program in the USSR. He led the development of launch infrastructure for Russian rocketry.

Biushkin, Oleg Valerievich. Director General, Miass Mashinebuilding Plant (As of 2006)

Bogomolov, Alexei Fedorovich. Born in 1913. Chief Designer of OKB MEI (Moscow Energy Institute), developer of flight control systems for Russian rocketry.

Chelomei, Vladimir Nikolaevich. 1914-1984. Soviet rocket scientist and Chief Designer of OKB-52 (later TsKBM, NPO Mashinostroenia), He led the development of several generations of Soviet cruise missiles, and of the Proton rocket, the UR-200 and UR-100 ICBMs, and the Almaz space station.

Chertok, Boris Evseevich. March 1, 1912 – Dec. 14, 2011. As the right hand of the founder of the Soviet space program Sergei Korolev, Chertok was responsible for flight control systems and radio equipment of early Soviet ballistic missiles, launch vehicles, satellites and manned spacecraft. After a long career spanning decades as an engineer and a manager, Chertok took a role of a promoter and a historian of space program. His memoirs on the history of the Soviet astronautics is an irreplaceable resource for both historians and general public.

Efremov, Gerbert Aleksandrovich. Born in 1933. Veteran of OKB-52, a major developer of and space technology, cruise and ballistic missiles. Since 1984, Efremov has served as Director General of NPO Mashinostroenia, the successor to OKB-52.

Glushko, Valentin Petrovich. 1908-1989. Pioneer of Soviet rocketry. From 1946 to 1974 he led OKB-456, a primary developer of rocket engines in the USSR. From 1974 to 1989, Glushko led NPO Energia.

Isaev, Alexei Mikhailovich. 1908-1971. Pioneer of Soviet rocketry and developer of rocket engines.

Keldysh, Mstislav Vsevolodovich. 1911-1978. Mathematician and physicist, director of the NII-1 research institute. Soviet historians regarded him as a theoretician of Soviet cosmonautics.

Khartov, Viktor Vladimirovich. Born in 1955. Doctor of Technical Sciences, an expert in spacecraft electrical systems. Head of NPO Lavochkin since Jan. 21, 2010. Previously worked as an engineer and chief designer of development and testing of spacecraft electric systems at NPO PM (later ISS Reshetnev).

Kibalchich, Nikolai Ivanovich. 1853-1881. Russian revolutionary activist, who was considered to be an author of one of the earliest proposals for a rocket-powered manned flying apparatus. Kibalchich was executed for his role in the conspiracy to assassinate Tsar Alexander II.

Kiselev, Anatoly Ivanovich. Born in 1938. Veteran of the Khrunichev production plant since 1964. Director General of the Khrunichev enterprise.

Kleimenov, Ivan Terentievich. 1898-1938. Military engineer who led RNII, one of the first Soviet institutions specialized in jet-propulsion research. Like many other representatives of the Soviet intelligentsia, Kleimenov fell victim to Stalin's repressions.

Kondratyuk, Yuri Vasilievich. 1897-1941. A visionary writer and pioneer of space exploration and interplanetary travel.

Koptev, Yuri Nikolaevich. Born in 1940. Veteran of the Soviet space industry. Since 1992, Koptev has served as Director General of the Russian Aviation and Space Agency, Rosaviacosmos. Koptev was sent to retirement on March 11, 2004.

Korolev, Sergei Pavlovich. 1907-1966. Korolev is widely regarded as a founder of the Soviet space program. Involved in pre-World War II studies of rocketry in the USSR, Korolev, like many of his colleagues, went through Stalin's prisons and later participated in the search for rocket technology in occupied Germany. His incredible energy, intelligence, belief in the prospects of rocket technology, managerial abilities and almost mythical skills in decision-making made him the head of the first Soviet rocket development center, known today as RKK Energia. He deserves the most credits for turning rocket weapons into an instrument of space exploration and making the Soviet Union the world's first space-faring nation.

Kosberg, Semen Arievich. 1903-1965. Developer of rocket propulsion technology.

Kovtunenko, Vyacheslav Mikhailovich. 1921-1995. Designer of space technology. Kovtunenko led the KB-3 design bureau, responsible for the development of space technology at the KB Yuzhnoe development center in Dnepropetrovsk. He later led spacecraft development at NPO Lavochkin in Moscow.

Kozlov, Dmitri Il'ich. 1919-2009. Pioneer of the Soviet rocket development program and Korolev's associate. Since 1958, Kozlov oversaw the serial production of the R-7 rocket in the city of Kuybyshev (currently Samara), which became a basis for the TsSKB Progress development center with Kozlov as its Designer and Director General.

Kuznetsov, Nikolai Dmitrievich. 1910-1995. Developer of aviation and rocket propulsion systems, including the engines for the N-1 moon rocket.

Kuznetsov, Viktor Ivanovich. 1913-1991. Developer of flight control systems for rocket technology.

Lavochkin, Semen Alekseevich. 1900-1960. Aviation and missile designer, head of the OKB-301 development center, currently NPO Lavochkin.

Lozino-Lozinskiy, Gleb Evgenievich. 1909-2001. A key figure in the development of Buran, the Soviet equivalent of the US Space Shuttle.

Makeev, Viktor Petrovich. 1924-1985. One of Sergei Korolev's associates and, later, chief-designer of submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

Medvedev, Aleksandr Alekseevich. Born in 1952. A veteran of the Khrunichev enterprise since 1975. He has served as a director of Khrunichev since February 2001. On Nov. 25, 2005, President Putin fired Medvedev (order No. 569rp).

Mishin, Vasili Pavlovich. 1917-2001. Pioneer of the Soviet rocket development program, deputy to Korolev at OKB-1. Mishin led the development of the R-7 and R-9 ICBMs and the N-1 moon rocket.

Mnatsakanyan, Armen Sergeevich. 1918-1992. Developer of radio equipment for rocketry and spacecraft.

Mozhorin, Yuri Alexandrovich. 1920-1998. Veteran of the Soviet rocket development program. He led the NII-4 research institute and during 1961-1990 served as a director of the TsNIIMash research institute.

Nadiradze, Aleksandr Davydovich. 1914-1987. Developer of solid-fueled ballistic missiles.

Nedaivoda, Anatoly Konstantinovich. Born in 1938. Veteran of KB Salyut, the development arm of the Khrunichev enterprise. Since 1994, he has served as Designer General at KB Salyut.

Pilyugin, Nikolai Alekseevich. 1908-1982. Developer of flight control and navigation systems for Soviet rocket and space technology.

Poletaev, Boris Ivanovich. Born in 1946. Veteran of KB Arsenal since 1946. Director General of KB Arsenal since 1997.

Polukhin, Dmitri Alexeevich. 1927-1993. Since 1981, Polukhin has served as the head of KB Salyut, (currently the development arm of the Khrunichev enterprise).

Pomortsev, Mikhail Mikhailovich. 1851-1916. A Russian artillery engineer, who actively experimented with rockets at the turn of the 20th century.

Raspletin, Aleksandr Andreevich. 1908-1967. Developer of anti-aircraft missiles.

Reshetnev, Mikhail Fedorovich. 1924-1996. Since 1959, Reshetnev led the production and development branch of the OKB-1 in Zheleznogorosk (Krasnoyarsk-26), which became the primary developer of communications satellites in Russia.

Ryazanski, Mikhail Sergeevich. 1909-1987. Developer of radio-control systems for Soviet rocketry and spacecraft.

Sagdeev, Roald Zinnurovich. Born in 1932. Soviet physicist. From 1973 to 1988, Sagdeev served as a director of the Institute for Space Research, IKI, the developer of experiments and instruments for Soviet planetary probes and science spacecraft.

Savin, Anatoly Ivanovich. Born in 1920. Director of the TsNII Kometa enterprise, developer of military space technology.

Semenov, Yuri Pavlovich. Born in 1935. Veteran of OKB-1 since 1964. Since 1989, Semenov has served as Designer General of NPO Energia, currently RKK Energia, the developer of Russian manned spacecraft. Russian government sent him to retirement on May 28, 2005.

Sevastyanov, Nikolai Nikolaevich. Born in 1961. Served as Deputy President of RKK Energia Yuri Semenov and was responsible for development of the Yamal communications satellites. In May 2005, replaced Semenov as president of RKK Energia.

Severin, Gai Il'ich, Born in 1926. Since 1964, Severin has worked as Chief Designer of the Zvezda enterprise, a developer of spacesuits, and life-support and safety systems for Soviet spacecraft.

Testoedov, Nikolai Alekseevich, Director General of NPO PM. (As of 2006)

Tikhonravov, Mikhail Klavdievich 1900 - 1974. Pioneer of the Russian rocketry and space program

Tolmachev, Viktor Grigorievich, Director General, Votkinskiy Zavod (As of 2006)

Tsander, Fridrikh Arturovich. 1887-1933. Writer and visionary enthusiast of space exploration.

Tsiolkovsky, Konstantin Eduardovich. 1857-1935. Russian scientist, philosopher and science writer. He is recognized around the world as the founder of the modern theory of space flight.

Utkin, Vladimir Fedorovich. 1923-2000. Veteran of the Soviet rocket industry. From 1971 to 1990, Utkin served as Designer General of KB Yuzhnoe, in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, a major developer of rocket and space technology. From 1990 until his death in 2000, he served as a director of the TsNIIMash research institute.

Yangel, Mikhail Kuzmich. 1911-1971. From 1954 until his death in 1971, Yangel served as Chief Designer at KB Yuzhnoe, a major developer of rocket and space technology.