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Diaries of the Designer

"The situation with the organizing of work on the N-1 rocket has aggravated. Defense Industry Committee tried to bring together efforts of all the CD [chief designers] to accelerate the creation of a joint RN N-1" - Vasily Mishin, the first deputy head of Sergey Korolev OKB-1, wrote in his diary in February, 1962. Last entries are dated 1974. After 40 years, 36 notebooks have been transcribed and published. Presentation of the three-volume edition of the diaries of Mishin designer was held at Union Rocket and Space Corporation ( to be merged with Roscosmos).

V.P._Mishin_Diaries Three-volume V.P. Mishin "Diaries" note:
Vasily Mishin (1917-2001) - Designer of rocket and space techniques, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences. One of the founders of the Soviet practical astronautics, who continued the work of Sergei Korolev

Despite of the "regime"

After the death of Sergei Korolev in 1966 Vasily Mishin led OKB-1 - TSKBEM, having worked as chief designer until 1974. All these years – the period of creation of a new manned spacecraft "Soyuz", the world's first docking of two manned ships, flyby of the moon by four automatic machines "Zond", start of the world's first long-term orbital station "Salyut", set up jointly with the OKB Chelomeya - Vasily Pavlovich continued to write diaries.

Dmitry Paison

"He wrote in them about his attitude to the techniques, being created, recorded meetings with workers of complex space cooperation and their approaches to possible technical solutions, plenty of space in the diaries was given to search for the causes of disasters and accidents in space. After retiring in 1974 as head of TSKBEM (now RSC "Energy") – he kept notebooks, destroying the pages of "sensitive" information", - Dmitry Paison, manager of Mishin diaries’ decryption project, director of ORKK Research and Analytical Center, says.

Mishin also wrote down something that was linked to the development of new advanced launch vehicles, space crafts and preparing for human voyage to the moon: "Humanity really has gained another remarkable victory, the victory over the power of the earth's gravity. A new artificial (tenth) planet, made by the hands of man on Earth, bearing the image of a pennant with the coat of arms of the Soviet Union, was added in our solar system. This is done by means of the first Soviet space rocket, launched January 2, 1959, which reached the final stage of the second cosmic speed.The second space rocket, launched [12 September 1959] ensured the delivery of the container with equipment to the moon. The ultimate part of the rocket is likely to rest on the moon, or flies around the sun as a new [artificial] planet. With the help of the third Soviet space rocket launched [4 October 1959], AIS is put in orbit, that photographed Moon's surface invisible from the Earth and gave the pictures to Earth. 1958-1959 years were the years of the creation of the first space rocket, ensuring the reaching the Moon by automatic devices and withdrawal of heavy satellites weighing up to 5 tons, enough to send a man into outer near-Earth space. "

Here is another interesting entry:

"In 1960, two attempts were made to launch the AIS in Mars direction".

Ideas Generator

Solving new scientific problems, fate of many people, history of rocket and space technology stay behind these records, "even in three lines", Vakhtang Vachnadze, the general director of SPO "Energy" in the years 1977-1991, says. Korolev considered Mishin "a generator of all new scientific, engineering and technological ideas, and most of all it is peeped out in the R-7 rocket."

Vakhtang Vachnadze
Oleg Alifanov

A "horizontal assembly in the assembly hull instead of the more expensive vertical one; suspension of the rocket by power nodes on the side accelerators in places of their attachment to the central unit, resulting in construction of the rocket of less weight; rejection of the gas jet rudders and the transition to controlling by a controlled rocket engines” were offered among such ideas and innovative design and layout decisions on R-7 by Vasily Mishin, or with his direct participation", - Oleg Alifanov, apprentice of the designer, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Head of 601 "Space systems and rocket science" Department at the Moscow Aviation Institute, told in the article "Entries of the rocketeer". According to him,

Mishin was the person, who being a brave and principled man, made Leonid Brezhnev declassify the name of the general designer after the death of Korolev.

Vladimir Rachuk

From a historical perspective, these notes are very interesting, Vladimir Rachuk, the CEO - General Designer of OJSC KBKHA, says. They, in particular, describes in detail the difficult period of national astronautics, from 1966 to 1974, which was silenced in the Soviet Union.

"World Tour"

It’s a separate, very exciting story, how diaries got abroad during the Mishin’s life and then "returned" in Russia. It turns out, that Vasily Pavlovich, who was in charge of MAI department of design and construction of aircraft at that time (Mishin created this department in 1959), handed them to Charles Wick, an American researcher of the Soviet astronautics. It happened in 1993 - no one in the Russia had interest in either the records, or in the aerospace industry at that time. Then notebooks hit the "Sotheby's" auction, where they were bought by Ross Perot, an American businessman from IT-sphere, for his fund. And at the same time the new owner of diaries said that he wanted to keep them for descendants and was ready to return to Russia when the conditions were ripe for it.

Ross Perot kept his word and in 2001, after the death of Mishin, handed the copies of diaries, had laid in boxes for 8 years (attempts to complete their decryption did not have success), to Moscow Aviation Institute and the family of the designer. Work on the transcripts and efforts to obtain permission from the relevant organizations to publish have taken many years. To the date, the diaries of Mishin designer have been not only printed in book form (with the support of OJSC "Chemical Automatics Design Bureau" included in the ACCD), but also exhibited in the public domain in the Internet.


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