Vladimir Nikolayevich Chelomey

The empire that Chelomey had spent many years building up began to decay when Ustinov became the Minister of Defence in 1976. As Ustinov did not wish to have two institutions working on manned space projects, Branch No. 1 of the TsKBM at Fili was transferred to NPO Energiya.5 It was therefore ironic that whereas Mishin had sought to offload the DOS programme to Chelomey, Almaz was removed from Chelomey and handed to the TsKBEM's successor! However, later Fili became KB Salyut, and eventually joined the Khrunichev Centre.

Vladimir Chelomey. The DOS design was derived from his Almaz reconnaissance station.

4 Mishin outlived his mentor, Sergey Afanasyev, by five months.

5 It is now part of the Khrunichev Centre.

After Ustinov had left office, work began on an unmanned version of the Almaz, but progress was so protracted that Chelomey did not live to see its completion. He died on 8 December 1984, aged 70. He had been taken to hospital following a car accident, and during medication an artery became blocked. So ended the life of one of the Soviet Union's greatest designers of missiles and space rockets.

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