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Mtg&Talks: “Sergei Korolev – The Man Who Started The Space Race”

September 9, 2019 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

At the Warren Astronomical Society’s Cranbrook meetings, we spend the first hour or so of the meeting on club business and observing reports, then have two presentations, one short and one full-length.

Main Talk: “Sergei Korolev – The Man Who Started The Space Race” by Jim Shedlowsky

“The Space Race”, that period of time from the launching of Sputnik, the worlds first earth satellite,…..to Neil Armstrong’s harrowing landing of Apollo 11 on the Moon. It was an exciting period of time for those of us old enough to remember it first hand and a memorable era in history, which produced a quantum leap acceleration in mankind’s technical prowess, leading to such things as the internet, personal computing, advanced medical technology, GPS, and the like, and ahh yes,….the mastery of Rocket Science.

But how many of you know how this all came about?? What were the circumstances that brought about the “Space Race”? How did it happen? Why? And who was responsible?? While many individuals were involved…..(some might say John F Kennedy or Wernher von Braun or ??? ) I hope to convince you, that one man, more than any other single person or group of people…..was largely responsible for starting……and then steering the “Space Race”.

This man, who did not live to see Armstrong’s moon landing of the Eagle, and who’s very identity was a secret while he was alive, was a Ukrainian named Korelev,…….Sergei Pavlovich Korelev,…. “The Chief Designer”,…a monumental figure in the history of space exploration,…but unknown to the western world until his tragic death in 1966,…after which he was a worldwide celebrity. He was the mastermind behind the Soviet space effort from its beginning and personally responsible for many of the ground breaking “first achievements” in space travel …such as the first satellite…(Sputnik),…..the first animal in space…(Laika the dog),…the first photos of the back side of the moon,…Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space,….the first woman in space (Valentina Tereshkova),….the first spacewalk,…. The first spacecraft to impact the moon or another planet (Venus)….and to orbit and soft-land on the moon.

As we shall see he not only conceived and executed these and other milestones, but created the massive infrastructure and intricate technological development system which made them possible. This, in a country recovering from the terrible devastation of World War 2.

This presentation shall cover who this man was and how he was able to achieve such amazing accomplishments.

Short Talk: We’ll have a short overview from Jim about the underpinnings of the Soviet space program.

After each Cranbrook meeting of the Warren Astronomical Society, a number of Club members go to the Redcoat Tavern (31542 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak, MI 48073) for a snack and/or a drink and informal chat. Guests are also invited to join us there. We leave from the Cranbrook meeting when it ends around 10 PM and meet at the restaurant a few minutes later. We order food and beverages, eat and sit around and chat, and leave the restaurant by midnight.

Directions: Head south on Woodward. The Redcoat will be on your left, on the east side of Woodward, two blocks north of 13 Mile and just north of Burger King. Make a Michigan left and find parking either in front or the large back lot.

If you would like to present either a short talk (10-15 minutes) or a full-length talk (45-60 minutes) at a future meeting, please email Jonathan Kade at firstvp@warrenastro.org.

The views expressed in presentations are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent, and should not be attributed to, the Warren Astronomical Society.

We accept donations via PayPal (goo.gl/BwYFGp) to help us educate and inspire the general public. We are a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible public charity, and we would be happy to send you a donation receipt for your tax purposes.

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September 9, 2019
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Event Category:


Cranbrook Institute of Science
1-27 Institute Way
Bloomfield Hills, US


Warren Astronomical Society

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