Boris Yevseyevich Chertok

As the last of the Pleiades of extraordinary members of Soviet rocketry, they called Chertok a patriarch of cosmonautics. For two decades (1946-1966) he worked with Sergey Korolev. He directed the department which developed guidance systems and their associated electronics. From 1966 until 1973 he was a member of the Chief Operative and Control Group at the TsUP in Yevpatoriya. He was also one of the men who in 1969 approached Ustinov behind Mishin's back and thereby started the DOS programme. Without Chertok's willingness to embark on such a major project without his boss's support, and to continue with it despite his boss's open antipathy, the history of the Soviet manned space programme would certainly have turned out very differently.

On Mishin's dismissal in 1974, Chertok was the first of the TsKBEM's senior people to meet the new director - doing so several days prior to Glushko's official

Boris Chertok, one of the leading figures in the Soviet rocket and space era.

Boris Viktorovich Raushenbakh 357

appointment. On Glushko's death in 1989 Yuriy Semyonov took over, and in 1992 Chertok became an advisor to Semyonov. Although at the time of Semyonov's retirement Chertok was 95, he continued as the principal scientific consultant to Nikolay Sevastyanov, one of his former students, who took over the directorship of RKK Energiya (as NPO Energiya had become) in 2005.6 Even after 60 years in the business he continued to work, and lectured at the N.E. Bauman University and at the Physics and Technical Institute.7 His memoirs, in four volumes entitled Rockets and People,8 provide a unique insight into the development of the Soviet rocket and space programmes.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment