To overcome the gravity
By Vladymyr Bilyk | January 12, 2017
Today, on January 12, Sergei P. Korolyov — Soviet scientist, designer, founder of practical space, the creator of the Soviet rocket and construction equipment, the person who made the breakthrough and overcame the Earth’s gravity would be 110 years old.
In 1911, four years old Sergei saw the Russian pilot Utochkin flying in an airplane, and got «sick» forever by the “air-disease”.
His biography is unique! And yet … Korolev was not famous in his lifetime. Only after his death it was permitted to talk, write about him, and remember him. He was the invisible man — without a name, biography, without the facial expressions and habits, without the two coins at kopeck that Korolev always carried in a coat pocket, — children’s strange habit. Even when Korolev was alive, sceptics had a good reason to doubt about his reality. The mystery behind which this man existed was like something fantastic. He shouldered the heavy burden. Nature endowed him by analytical mind, the ability to inspire and lead others. Evil tongues, however, always have imposed a shadow on the fence, saying that Korolev – was one of many usual bad people. But evil tongues were wrong: he stood out among the others, daring and talented, and having the ability to face the future.
«To work with Korolev was difficult, but interesting. We always had increased demands, short terms and novelty … He always wanted to know the details of the issues and problems, which solved his staff. While the stuff was reporting to him this or that issue I often heard: «I did not understand, repeat, please.» This “I did not understand» was not so obvious phrase for a manager that time, because managers are often afraid to lose their respect in the eyes of the employees. But these human weaknesses were completely alien to Sergei. All our projects were realised and embodied in rocketry, primarily due to Sergei, whom no one and nothing could stop if there was something he needed for the case. Sergei said that he always waited for confirming voice of intuition, «as the third ring» … Very often he relying on intuition, resolved disputes, and never made a mistake! He was not a scientist. Some journalists wrote that he was a great engineer — it is absolute nonsense … because he was not much engaged in engineering: there is no any theorem of Korolev, or any single formula of Korolev. But he had another surprising talent — having a lack of information he still managed to take the right decision … He had an amazing intuition that never failed. The issues, that he solved, could be solved only with his leading character — the character of the commander. Sergei P. was a great psychologist, he had not biased, not one-sided approach to the man. He did not divide people on a «white» and «black», he saw them with all their «stripes» and «spots». This helped him to fully use his talent of a leader, he was able to “infect” surrounding people by his mood: enthusiasm, haste, or, on the contrary, calmness. I think that the main thing in Sergei was not what he thought of something or invented something. I thought long about Sergei and all the people who really made major discoveries, I would say, the discoveries of global significance, and thinking how to call these people in one word: a great scientist, a great engineer? All this is nonsense. There are many great scientists and engineers. As for such people as Sergei, I would call them a unique phenomenon. And I repeat, thinking about Sergei I could not come up with a better word than the commander «- so wrote B.V.Raushenbah about Sergei.
But the pinnacle of creativity of Sergei, were manned space flights. On April 12, 1961 his rocket «Vostok» with Yuri Gagarin on board started in the space.