|Sputnik LV - |
Credit: © Mark Wade. 1,029 bytes. 74 x 221 pixels.
Initial flight test configuration of the world's first ICBM. 12 launches, of which 4 were devoted to satellites. Built at OKB-1 in Kaliningrad (Korolev). Final assembly, and later production, then was moved to Aviation Factory Number 1, 'Progress', in Kuibyshev (Samara).
Payload: 5,370 kg. to a: 12,000 km range trajectory. Liftoff Thrust: 396,300 kgf. Total Mass: 267,700 kg. Core Diameter: 3.0 m. Total Length: 28.0 m.
Council of Soviet Ministers (SM) Decree 'On themes N1, N2, and N3 in the ballistic missile program.' was issued.
M. K. Tikhonravov in New York Times said U.S.S.R. science made feasible space flight and creation of artificial earth satellite; reported U.S.S.R. rocket advance equaled or exceeded West.
Council of Soviet Ministers (SM) Decree 'On approval of work on themes T1 and T2, on approval of work on the R-5, R-11, and EKR missiles, and on transferring draft project work for the R-12 from NII-88 to SKB-586' was issued. The decree set forth three phases of state trials tests for the R-5 missile.
Informal go-ahead was given for Korolev to start design work on the R-7. In parallel, Myasishchev OKB-23 and Lavochkin OKB-301 began design of intercontinental ramjet cruise missiles.
Council of Soviet Ministers (SM) Decree 'On selection of launch area for the R-7, 40 Buran, and 350 Burya' was issued.
Credit: © Mark Wade. 13,170 bytes. 193 x 287 pixels.
Council of Chief designers approval to proceed with development of R-7.
Council of Soviet Ministers (SM) Decree 'On NIP Plan for Special Product--course of work on the R-7 ICBM' was issued.
Council of Soviet Ministers (SM) Decree 'On approval of the R-7 draft project' was issued.
Council of Ministers selects Tyuratam for ICBM test site. The first 30 construction workers arrive at Tyuratam. The town founded at the rail staion is called Zarya (Dawn). The name will be changed to Leninsk in January 1958, but Zarya will remain the call sign of Soviet ground control.
|R-7 aft end|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 47,694 bytes. 421 x 583 pixels.
Design was original concept of Zenit reconnaisance spacecraft. The effort would later be included in the Vostok program under the name of Zenit.
Tikhonravov's unit of OKB-1 completed the preliminary design of the ISZ satellite (launched as Sputnik 3). The Fourth Scientific Research Institute of the Ministry of Defence had meanwhile completed a draft project for the KIK ground control system. Tikhonravov's 1.4 tonne ISZ satellite was to have been launched by the new R-7 ICBM as the Soviet Union's first satellite, but the R-7 was ready before the satellite, so it was preceded by Sputnik 1 and Sputnik 2. The ISZ was a miniature physics laboratory, but was launched with a known faulty recorder, limiting data to that received when the spacecraft was over Soviet tracking stations. As a result, the Van Allen radiation belts were discovered by the United States rather than Russia.
|Korolev/Kurchatov - Architects of the Soviet nuclear deterrent.|
Credit: RKK Energia. 18,111 bytes. 331 x 240 pixels.
Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On creation of the State Commission for the R-7' was issued.
Decree 1241-632 '0n creation or the Command Measurement Complex' was issued. The decree marked the beginning of development of the KIK satellite tracking system. This network was put together using a combination of PVO (Air Defence) and ICBM tracking systems. Trajectory information was fed into the KIK Centre for orbital calculations. The Centre was staffed by 680 officers and 151 civilian scientists of the Soviet Army in four sections.
Decree 'On approval of the draft project for Object D' was issued. The decree gave the go-ahead for Tikhonravov's 1.4 tonne ISZ physics satellite to be launched by the new R-7 ICBM during the International Geophysical Year . The ISZ, a miniature physics laboratory,.was to have been the first artificial satellite of the earth. In the event, it was preceded by Sputniks 1 and 2.
Decree 'On approval of flight-testing program for the R-7 ICBM' was issued.
|R-7 ICBM in assembly - R-7 ICBM in assembly hall|
Credit: RKK Energia. 23,577 bytes. 338 x 240 pixels.
After third attempt in three days to launch R-7 8K71 M1-6, the rocket is pulled from the pad. It is found that a nitrogen scavenging valve was installed backwards.
|R-7 raised - R-7 raised to launch position|
Credit: RKK Energia. 13,140 bytes. 308 x 207 pixels.
First successful ICBM flight. Problems with the curing of the nose cone material, known before launch, led to the dummy warhead disintegrating over the Kamchatka Peninsula.
Soviet Union announces successful launch of a "super longdistance intercontinental multistage ballistic rocket ...a few days ago," according to Tass Soviet News Agency.
First artificial satellite; transmitted signals for 21 days. Launching of first ever artificial satellite of the Earth; physical study of the atmosphere; remained in orbit until January 4, 1958. This event began the space race by galvanizing interest and action on the part of the American public to support an active role in space research, technology, and exploration.
|R-7 test console|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 54,559 bytes. 572 x 393 pixels.