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[b]Boris E. Chertok (1912-2011)[/b]
[i]"Chertok played a part in virtually every major event in the development of the Soviet and Russian space programs. As a former deputy to Korolev at OKB-1, Chertok [had] an insider's perspective on the space race. He continued to work for the same organization, now known as Rocket Space Corporation Energia, throughout his long and interesting life."[/i] — Thomas Stafford, in his forward to [i]Rockets and People[/i].
ITAR-TASS reports the passing of Soviet rocket designer Boris Chertok at age 99.
[i]Boris Chertok - a fellow supporter of the founder of cosmonautics Sergei Korolyov, passed away in Moscow on Wednesday (Dec. 14, 2011), the press service of the RSC Energia Corporation told Itar-Tass.
"The last of the Mohicans" in the Russian cosmonautics, who was one of the first to make an endeavor to conquer space, passed away barely two and a half months before his hundredth birthday.[/i]
In an extraordinary century, academician Boris Yevseyevich Chertok lived an extraordinary life. He witnessed and participated in many important technological milestones of the twentieth century.
Chertok began his career as an electrician in 1930 at an aviation factory near Moscow. Thirty years later, he was one of the senior designers in charge of the Soviet Union's crowning achievement as a space power — the launch of Yuri Gagarin, the world's first space voyager.
Chertok's sixty-year-long career — punctuated by the extraordinary accomplishments of both Sputnik and Gagarin — [continued] to the many successes and failures of the Soviet space program... — Asif Siddiqi, introduction to [i]Rockets and People[/i].
[i]"We prepared the launch of Sputnik without any great expectations. If it were to succeed, great. If not, no big deal. Our main task was to get back to building a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead," Chertok told [URL=http://rt.com/news/chertok-russia-space-science-795/]Russia Today[/URL] in 2009.
"It took us – the Sputnik creators – four or five days to realize that the history of civilization could be divided into before the launch and after," he said.[/i]
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