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Vasili Pavlovich Mishin

Vasili Pavlovich Mishin As chairman of the Council of Chief Designers in 1966-1974, Vasili Pavlovich Mishin provided technical guidance and coordination of the work of enterprises and organizations of the rocket and space industry of the country on projects developed under the leadership of CKBEM. carried out under his leadership, laid the foundation for the development of the national school for the design of transport rocket and space systems.

Despite significant scientific achievements, Vasily Mishin's activity is perceived by many veterans of the rocket and space industry negatively. Natalia Koroleva in the book "SP Korolev, Father" testifies to the numerous cases of cowardice shown by Mishin as deputy general designer. 8 years of his tenure as General Designer (1966-1974) were the most disastrous from the technological point of view and led to a deep organizational crisis of the structure created by Korolev, the practical disintegration of the Central Design Bureau and the Experimental Machine Building Plant ( ZEM ).

Starting to implement the project of Sergei Korolev on the Soyuz spacecraft, Mishin, trying to please the government, made decisions about the launch of devices with numerous flaws. This led to 2 tragedies in which 4 Soviet cosmonauts died (which did not happen before or after Mishin), and successive failures in orbit (mostly related to docking). The emergency launches of the H1 missile also clearly showed the inability of the General Designer to effectively monitor the work of subordinates.

Vasily Pavlovich Mishin was born (January 5 (18) 1917, village Byvalino, Pavlovsky-Posadsky District, Moscow Region. After the seven-year school, he entered the factory factory in 1932 at the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute ( TsAGI), received the working qualification of a locksmith and was sent to work in the workshop of TsAGI special assignments. In parallel I studied at the evening preparatory courses at the VTUZ and in 1935 I entered the Moscow Aviation Institute ( MAI ). While studying at the Institute, he was engaged in the MAI flying club, in glider and flight sections, and became a glider instructor.

After graduation from the MAI in 1941, he was sent to the aviation design bureau of VF Bolkhovitinov , where in the war years he took part in the creation of aircraft armament systems, including the first B-1 fighter jet. For successful technical solutions Mishin was awarded in 1945 the first award - the Order of the Red Star.

n August 9, 1945, under a secret directive, the 28-year-old designer Mishin, who was immediately promoted to lieutenant-colonel, flew together with other specialists to Germany to gather as much information about the German V-2 rockets. There he met with S.P.Korolev, and they became the closest associates in the creation of the first domestic ballistic missiles, launch vehicles and space vehicles. In 1946, SP Korolev was appointed chief designer of long-range ballistic missiles. VP Mishin became the first deputy chief in OKB-1 (now RSC Energia after SP Korolev), and in this capacity he worked until January 1966, when SP Korolev died.

One of the senior managers who supervised the work on the development of the country's first long-range ballistic missiles using high-boiling, low-boiling and solid propellant components, of R-7 LV, which assured the USSR's leadership in space exploration, and still remains the most reliable and mass-produced rocket in the world. He proposed the key design solutions, which made it possible to implement the unique architecture of this world's first space launch vehicle, and enabled subsequent substantial upgrades and its cost-effective use. The first proposals for the development of a new intercontinental missile, which was given the secret name R-9, came from Mishin.

Under his direction the work was conducted on the first scientific satellites Elektron, unmanned spacecraft to the Moon, Mars and Venus, the country's first communications satellite Molniya-1, programs of manned spacecraft Vostok and Voskhod, manned lunar programs L1, N1-L1, program of manned spacecraft Soyuz, world's first space station Salyut, exploratory design work was conducted on manned vehicles for missions to the planets of the Solar system, on development of a family of common launch vehicles,, including vehicles with reusable rocket stages, and other projects. Development and design work done under his direction laid the foundation for development of the country's school of design of space rocket transportation systems.

Together with him worked a galaxy of scientists and engineers, including VS Avduevsky, VP Barmin, KD Bushuev, LA Voskresensky, AM Isaev, VI Kuznetsov, A. Yu Ishlinsky, VP Makeev, GI Petrov, NA Pilyugin, BV Raushenbach, MF Reshetnev, BE Chertok and many other specialists. Academician Mishin played an important role in this creative union. His technical solutions differed not only in originality, but also in rationality, and many of them now constitute the main fund for design and development.

Glushko was the nation’s universally recognized chief authority on liquid propellant rocket engines. He made a big mistake by refusing in the early 1960s to develop powerful oxygen-kerosene and oxygen-hydrogen engines. Mishin remained an ardent opponent of Glushko’s high-boiling component concept (and Glushko reciprocated the opposition).

After the death of Sergei Pavlovich, he was appointed Chief Designer OKB-1 (from January 1, 1967 it became known as the Central Design Bureau of Experimental Mechanical Engineering - TsKBEM). After this appointment, the pace of implementation of the lunar program immediately declined markedly. If Korolev forced his subordinates to withstand very tough terms for the preparation and fabrication of the next product in the metal, Mishin never thought about such a shock work.

Being the chairman of the Council of Chief Designers, in 1966-1974 he was providing technical management and coordination of activities of companies and organizations in the country's rocket and space industry within the framework of projects developed under the leadership of TsKBEM.

Here's how this period of work on the lunar project was remembered by D.I. Kozlov: "... not only I, but also many other specialists in the field of missile technology, believe that the main "gravedigger" of the Soviet lunar program (free or involuntary) is none other than his successor, VP. Mishin... if not for interdepartmental disagreements and red tape, then H-1 would be brought to the necessary degree of perfection at the latest by the end of 1968. Thus, our country would have had great chances of landing its astronauts on the surface of the Moon before the Americans."

Neither the top political leadership, nor the ministerial authorities, nor, especially, our engineering rocket and space community have been able to concentrate their efforts on one task of "special state importance" - the landing of the expedition to the moon. Convinced that the manned flight of the Moon and the expedition to its surface could not overtake the United States, the Soviets continued to expend forces on the implementation of other projects.

Vasily Pavlovich was a very talented designer, an honest, principled man, enthusiastic, energetic, devoted to business. But his character was not sugar. Hot-tempered, uncompromising, sometimes excessively harsh, going ahead, Mishin possessed an amazing ability to make enemies in both his own offices and among his colleagues. The secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Dmitry Ustinov, did not like the obstinate, independent, unrestrained chief designer. The subordinates easily perceived these moods. And unobtrusively passed them on to colleagues Mishin.

In May 1974, on the basis of a letter to the Central Committee of the CPSU, signed by senior officials of OKB-1, including Dmitry Ilyich Kozlov, Vasily Pavlovich Mishin was removed from his post as chief designer for essential miscalculations in the CKBEM leadership and the admitted failures in the space program. After that, the experimental testing of the carrier rocket "N-1" was stopped, despite the readiness of the two missiles to test. According to the leading experts-developers, the chances for successful testing of these missiles were very high. They consider the decision to close the works erroneous, since it threw Soviet rocket and space technology back many years ago. V.P.Mishin, who was dismissed from the post of chief designer, was very concerned about the decision to stop work on this project.

"If it were not for the intrigues at the top, the undercover struggle, in which Ustinov and other party bonuses participated, if the country were not for large-scale parallelism and duplication in the work of the design bureaux and enterprises, the country could achieve much greater success in space using the threefold industrial potential" Vasily Pavlovich later said.

Since 1974 Mishin worked at the Moscow Aviation Institute Head of the Department of Design and Construction of Aircraft. Mishin lived 27 more years. He died on October 10, 2001.

He was Founder (1959) of the Flying Vehicles department at Moscow Aviation Institute, he headed this department for 30 years. He founded a scientific school of flying vehicles design. He authored and co-authored more than 400 scientific papers, monographs, articles and inventions. Honored Inventor of the Russian Federation. Winner of the Lenin Prize (1957) and State Prize of the USSR (1984). Hero of Socialist Labor (1956). He was awarded orders of Lenin (1956, 1961, 1967), of October Revolution (1971), of Red Star (1946), medals For Valiant Labor during Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 (1945), For Defense of Moscow, In Commemoration of the 800th Anniversary of Moscow (1948), S.P.Korolev Gold Medal from the USSR Academy of Sciences (No.1, 1967), V.G. Shukhov Gold Medal from the Russian Union of Scientific and Engineering Organizations (1996).

A memorial plaque to him is installed on the house in Korolev, Moscow region, where he used to live.

In order not to be humiliated and not to ask, in 1993, Mishin decided to support his family by publishing his diaries in 1993 at the Sotheby's New York auction house. They had a living history of Soviet cosmonautics from 1960 to 1974. The old notebooks of Academician Mishin became one of the "pearls" of "Sotheby's". The events of those weeks in New York were described in detail in the book "Notes of the Missile" Charles Vick - one of those who have been engaged in the history of our cosmonautics all his life. Charles Vick, making for the Sotheby's catalog, highly appreciated the value of diaries for the history of space exploration. As a result of the auctions, the diaries - along with other space attractions of a more "tangible" nature - were acquired by Ross Perot.

To decipher the diaries it was not enough to know the Russian language, it was necessary to know the language of the domestic military-industrial complex, which consisted entirely of conventions, defaults and generally accepted abbreviations. In general, for American researchers this task proved to be prohibitive. Dr. Maxim Tarasenko was asked to take a look at one section, to do a translation of it, and then gauge the scope of a grant application that would be necessary to fund the rest of the project. Maxim died in an automobile accident on 14 May, 1999.

A large volume of materials was made up of two volumes. They included: "Missile Diaries" - the transcribed materials of the daily records of VP Mishin, contained both in exercise books belonging to the Perot Foundation, and in the diaries kept by the Mishin family. The materials were equipped with a reference device developed by IM. Moiseev, a number of technical illustrations, made by A.G. Shlyadinsky. The second volume consisted of chapters of memories finished by Mishin, several small previously published works in the field of the history of cosmonautics, as well as his report on the use of missile technology in the creation of large trunk airplanes. At present, the transcribed materials of the diaries of V.P. Mishin is stored electronically with a printed copy on more than 1300 pages, they mention the names of about 2155 people.

V.P. Mishin and Charles Vick at the Congress of the International Astronautical Federation
In Washington, 1992

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