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9. Outstanding Russian scientists and designers (Korolev, Tsiolkovsky, Konstantinov, Kibalchich, Sikorsky, Mikoyan and Gurevich, etc.) Feoktistov, Konstantin Petrovich

born Feb. 7, 1926, Voronezh, Russia, U.S.S.R.

Russian spacecraft designer and cosmonaut who took part with Vladimir M. Komarov and Boris B. Yegorov in the world's first multimanned spaceflight, Voskhod 1 (1964).

When Voronezh was occupied in World War II, Feoktistov, who was then only 16, worked as a scout for the Soviet army. He was captured by the Germans and sentenced to death byfiring squad. Shot through the neck, he feigned death and escaped from a burial trench.

He later attended Moscow N.E. Bauman Higher Technical School and worked for a time as a factory engineer. In 1955 he earned the equivalent of a Ph.D. and from that time worked in the Soviet space program designing spacecraft and equipment.

Feoktistov was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour after the launching of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1 (Oct. 4, 1957), and again after the first successful manned flight by Yury Gagarin (April 12, 1961). During the flight of Voskhod 1, Oct. 12–13, 1964, Feoktistov carried out extensive scientific experiments and observations beyond the capability of previous cosmonauts. In addition to being the first craft to carry more than one man, Voskhod 1 was the first to carry specialists (a doctor and an engineer) and the first to make a soft landing on the ground. After the Voskhod I flight, Feoktistov returned to engineering and played a major role in designing the Salyut space stations.

Tsiolkovsky, Konstantin Eduardovich

He studied the effects of air friction and surface area on the speed of the air current over a streamlined body. The Academy of Sciences learned of his work and granted him modest financial aid of 470 rubles, with which he built a larger wind tunnel. Tsiolkovsky then compared the feasibility of dirigibles and airplanes, which led him to develop advanced aircraft designs.

While investigating aerodynamics, however, Tsiolkovsky began to devote more attention to space problems. In 1895 his book «Gryozy o zemle i nebe» («Dreams of Earth and Sky») was published, and in 1896 he published an article on communication with inhabitants of other planets. That same year he also began to write his largest and most serious work on astronautics, “Exploration of Cosmic Space by Means of Reaction Devices,” which dealt with theoretical problems of using rocket engines in space, including heat transfer, a navigating mechanism, heating resulting from air friction, and maintenance of fuel supply.

The first 15 years of the 20th century undoubtedly were the saddest time of Tsiolkovsky's life. In 1902 his son Ignaty committed suicide. In 1908 a flood of the Oka River inundated his home and destroyed many of his accumulated scientific materials. The Academy of Sciences did not recognize the value of his aerodynamic experiments, and, in 1914, at the Aeronautics Congress in St. Petersburg, his models of an all-metal dirigible met with complete indifference.

In the final 18 years of his life, Tsiolkovsky continued his research, with the support of the Soviet state, on a wide variety of scientific problems. His contributions on stratospheric exploration and interplanetary flight were particularly noteworthy and played a significant role in contemporary astronautics. In 1919 Tsiolkovsky was elected to the Socialist Academy (later the Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R.). On Nov. 9, 1921, the council of the People's Commissars granted him a pension for life in recognition of his services in education and aviation.

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