Valentin Petrovich Glushko
Valentin Petrovich Glushko (1908-1989) is a man who breathed life into the most famous Soviet missiles. Under his leadership, dozens of powerful jet engines were created. Glushko was born in Odessa, in 1924 he graduated from the 4th vocational school "Metall" imeni Trotsky. Despite the variety of classes, the future general designer surprisingly early determined the choice of life path.
Since 1923 (from 15 years!) Glushko was in correspondence with KE Tsiolkovsky, at the same time he worked on the book "The problem of exploitation of the planets" and published articles on the topic of space exploration. During school years he was fond of astronomy and organized a circle of young lovers at the Odessa Astronomical Observatory. The first publication of VP Glushko was called "The Conquest of the Earth by the Moon". The results of his observations of the meteor shower in January 1924, sketches of Venus, Mars and Jupiter, made on their own observations, were published in 1924 and 1925. in the editions of the Russian Society of Amateurs of World Science (RLL).
In 1925 Glushko entered the Physics and Mathematics Department of the Leningrad University. Studies were complicated by monetary problems, but Valentin Petrovich managed to combine it with active scientific work. Glushko never received a diploma of higher education. He prepared a thesis on creating an electrothermal jet engine. But since in the 1920s higher education in the USSR was paid, and the father could not make the necessary amount to the cashier of the Leningrad State University, he was expelled before the very defense of the diploma. On the advice of a friend, he sent a diploma project to the Committee on Inventions. The work fell into the hands of the authorized Red Army, Nikolai Ilyin. He handed the project for examination at the first center in the USSR, which was engaged in the creation of rockets and missiles - in the Gas Dynamic Laboratory. Its head, Nikolai Tikhomirov, invited his father to work.
In 1933, Glushko headed the department of the Rocket Research Institute, three years later he became the chief designer of liquid jet engines. At this time, under his leadership, a number of engines were developed, including OPM-65. The engine was planned to be installed on the air torpedoes - a prototype of modern missiles that make up the armament of aircraft, as well as a rocketplane.
In 1938, like many other engineers, Glushko was arrested. One of the employees Andrei Kostikov wrote a denunciation of the director Ivan Kleimenov, chief engineer Georgy Langemak, as well as the most gifted designers Valentin Glushko and Sergei Korolev. The NKVD arrested them. The investigator read to him the testimony of Kleimenov and Langemak, who accused Glushko of wrecking. At first he was very offended, especially since Langemak was his friend. But soon he saw for himself how the Chekists were getting this kind of testimony, and did not keep evil on people, testifying against him.
He was arrested on March 23, 1938. Two days later, in the cellars of the Lubyanka, he signed a confession: "I am a member of an anti-Soviet organization in the defense industry, on the instructions of which I conducted wrecking subversive work. In addition, I was engaged in espionage work in favor of Germany. " A few months later in Butyrskaya prison he refused unreasonable charges and began to write letters first to Vyshinsky, therefore to Yezhov and Stalin.
On August 15, 1939 a special meeting with the People's Commissar for Internal Affairs of the USSR issued a resolution: "Glushko Valentine Petrovich for participation in a counter-revolutionary organization to enter into a forced labor camp for eight years, counting the date from March 23, 1938." Convicted for sabotage for eight years in the camps he was sent to work in the "sharashka" (special prison for scientific research) at Tushino Aviation Plant No. 82. Here he developed auxiliary jet plants for aircraft. Independent rocket science in those days was "in the pen". Glushko had the exclusive right to recruit specialists from those who found themselves in the Gulag for cooperation. He made a list of former employees and acquaintances, but most of them were already shot.
Meanwhile, informer Kostikov became the Hero of Socialist Labor, director of the Institute. He appropriated the laurels of the creator of the Katyusha, was elected a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, awarded the Stalin Prize, was promoted to Major General of the Engineering and Aviation Service. However, in 1944 he was arrested "for deception of the state." However, in a year they released him.
In 1942, at the request of Valentin Glushko SP Korolev was transferred to Kazan. Together they developed military equipment. To begin with, a Pe-2 airplane was equipped with a RD-1 rocket launcher, and its speed immediately increased by 180 km/hr.
In 1944, Glushko was released from custody (although complete rehabilitation and the removal of all charges occurred only in 1956). In 1938, when Glushko was arrested, his daughter Eugenia was born. With her mother Tamara Sarkisova, he was not officially married. After release from detention, their relationship was not renewed. Tamara denied Valentin, when he was in the dungeons of the NKVD, and he did not forgive her.
He headed the Design Bureau of Special Engines in Kazan (OKB-SD). In 1946, after a trip to Glushko in Germany, OKB-SDiwas transformed into OKB-456 on the basis of the aircraft factory in Khimki. Here in 1948, the RD-100 engine was developed for the R-1 missile, and in the future - many engines for a variety of missiles. The structure of Glushko becomes the unconditional leader in the field of creation of jet propulsion systems.
The RD-107 and RD-108 engines, created in the VP Glushko Design Bureau, were installed on the first intercontinental R-7 rocket (1957), on launch vehicles carrying artificial satellites of the Earth and the Moon into orbits, stations to the Moon, Venus and Mars, the launch of the manned spacecraft Vostok, Voskhod and Soyuz.
LRD RD-108 - the engine of the second stage of the R-7 rocket and the carrier rockets Vostok, Voskhod, Molniya, Soyuz. The engines RD-107 and RD-108, created in KB Glushko Design Bureau, were installed at the first and second stages of these carrier rockets. They have provided a breakthrough of mankind into space and today continue to contribute to the implementation of the Russian space program. The engines of the new type RD-253 designed by VP Glushko were installed at the first stage of the Proton rocket, which has three times the carrying capacity than the Soyuz rocket.
Glushko, under whose leadership the engines for the Korolev's missiles were designed for many years, unexpectedly refused to make an engine for oxygen and kerosene for a new missile. He explained this by saying that he has too little time for development, and therefore, under such unrealistic terms, he can not risk his reputation. Glushko stood for a long time and stubbornly, not wishing to yield to the Chief Designer OKB-1 and not succumbing to his persuasions.
The discord between Korolev and Glushko over propellant components, which had arisen during the period from 1959 to 1960 in connection with the design of the R-9A rocket, also affected the personal relationships of the two pioneers of Soviet rocket technology.11 Glushko did not forgive Korolev for recruiting aviation industry engine-building organizations to produce powerful liquid-propellant rocket engines: Lyulka’s OKB-165, which was developing a liquid-hydrogen engine, and Kuznetsov’s OKB-276, which was producing an engine that ran on liquid oxygen and kerosene.12 This was a direct affront to Glushko—Korolev’s old comrade-in-arms from the RNII, the design bureau in Kazan, the Institute Nordhausen, and the Council of Chief Designers, where Glushko ranked second after Korolev.
In the end, Korolev was forced to completely abandon further cooperation with OKB-456, headed by Glushko. That was the order for the engines for the H-1 missile and got to Kuibyshev, OKB-276, which was headed by ND for a long time. Kuznetsov.
Modern analysts believe that V.P. Glushko from the middle of the 1930s (from the time he worked with SP Korolev in the RNII) and until the end of his days was really the most talented and qualified developer of liquid jet engines in the USSR. But now it seems quite obvious that in the early 1960s, having made his personal ambitions, he made a serious mistake, refusing to develop promising oxygen-kerosene and oxygen-hydrogen engines. This circumstance, according to most experts, later became one of the main reasons for the failures during the implementation of the Soviet lunar program. The conflict between them is considered to be the main (though not the only) cause, because of which the Soviet lunar program subsequently collapsed.
Glushko’s deputies, old and young, sincerely respected him. They all considered Glushko to be a very complex human being, sometimes excessively fault-finding and demanding not only in dealing with his immediate subordinates, but also with subcontractors. At the same time, nobody doubted his technical prowess, erudition, general refinement, and ability to quickly identify the main issue in the heap of complicated day-to-day problems in large systems.
In 1974, VP Glushko was appointed general designer of the Energia Research and Production Association, which connected the OKB-456, founded by VP Glushko, and the OKB-1 design bureau, which was previously run by S.P.Korolev. The general designer changed the course of the enterprise quite drastically. Under his leadership, such large-scale projects as the Mir orbital station, the Energia-Buran rocket and space complex were realized.Along with the ongoing launches of orbital stations and spacecraft under the leadership of VP Glushko, the NPO Energia initiated the development of a new rocket and space system Energia with a carrying capacity of more than 100 tons at his initiative. Among other tasks, the super-heavy carrier Energia, according to VP Glushko's plan, was intended to provide manned flights to the moon and create a long-term habitable base on the lunar surface.
Glushko finally produced an oxygen-kerosene engine, about which Korolev did not even dare to dream in the early 1960s, when he occupied Korolev’s place as general designer of NPO Energiya. However, he was against the development of a repetition of the American project of a space shuttle, but the military-industrial complex and the Central Committee of the party insisted on creating the "Buran".
V.P.Glushko died on January 10, 1989. He is buried at the Novodevichy Cemetery. Shortly before his death, VP Glushko asked to dispel his ashes on the Moon or on Mars. The development of the moon was his last plan. By decision of the XXIIth General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (1994), a crater with a diameter of 43 km on the visible side of the Moon is named after VP Glushko. The Glushko Crater has a unique extended system of light beams, thanks to which, in full moon conditions, it becomes one of the dominant objects in this part of the moon.
He was a stubborn, purposeful researcher. According to the memoirs of his contemporaries, he was distinguished by pride and aristocracy of a well-educated person.
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