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Korolev. From the book K.P.Feoktistov "Seven steps to the sky"


1964. С.Корольов, В.Комаров, К.Феоктістов, Б.Єгоров / http://www.etoretro.ru/pic54491.htm

In our time, the new technology is created by huge groups of specialists in various fields. In these circumstances, the creator of a new type of technology is the organizer and leader of the major research and development. In its core business, he moves farther from the direct technical work.

Now you can meet a lot of great, outstanding organizers, who have never been generators of specific design ideas, the authors of inventions or unique projects. Conversely, many talented inventors and designers did not stand at the head of development due to lack of capacity to manage.

There is a particular interest to the people, combining these two faces. A lot of people have been put forward in the 30s and 40s, that is, the period when the new design idea for his incarnation, as they say, from scratch demanded immediate organization of research, development, testing and production at the same time. Only such an approach in a large number of competing ideas led to the implementation of the plan, to translate it into metal.

Such people are represented by many famous aircraft designers, such as the Tupolev, Polikarpov, Ilyushin, Yakovlev. Sergei Korolev was also such a man. He was a glider and aircraft pilot. He designed and built gliders (on his glider "Red Star" first in the country it was performed the loop). He designed aircraft, developed cruise missiles and rocket planes. The country's first manned rocket flight was performed on his RP-318 in 1940.

К.П.ФеоктистовAnd then King became a pioneer in the practice of a fundamentally new scientific and technical direction - rocket and space science and technology. His knowledge and intuition, enthusiasm and confidence, perseverance and will, organizational talent and authority largely determined the success of our country in the production of missile strategic weapon, first artificial earth satellites, unmanned space probes, manned spacecraft...

Sergei Pavlovich had a sober engineering mind and realized that his primary duty - to be at the forefront of work to identify controversial technical problems, analyze failures and make timely decisions without delay and not shying away from this is not always honorable duty.

Of course, the Chief designer and head of a large company could not penetrate each question himself and go find it all "for" or "against". Korolev in complex cases preferred to arrange the collision of the parties or proposed to develop several options for discussion. He could "provoke" fruitful debates and discussions. In this case, it is easy to grasp the essence of things and penetrate to its very depths.

He loved, for example, the following method of finding a solution to the controversial issue. Speaking at a meeting with a devastating critique of one of the proposed options, and then was listening and looking: if there are anyone so desperate to protest and challenge the arguments of the Korolev? If the proposal was sensible, serious, the defender certainly would found. And then Korolev himself became suddenly at his side. Called this method "to break up the house."

Гагарін і КорольовKorolev decisions made the people think that they are common, collective. In fact, the entire burden of responsibility he took upon himself, appearing at the same time as a universal engineer, both as a designer, engineer, industrialist, economist and politician. He was the politician primarily on the strategic development of technology. But not only in this. I have already spoken about the enormous cooperation in space projects. To establish it in those terms, when there was no experience in the conduct and regulation of complex scientific and technical programs, it was necessary to be a strategist and tactician, and diplomat, able to find subcontractors, to persuade them to cooperate, to achieve the desired performance of the equipment and at the same time meet the unusually tight deadline .

Business relationships he has built on personal responsibility. He liked to emphasize: it is not what I ordered, and you fulfilled, and that you agree with me, then undertook to do, and if you are a decent person, then by all means do. With talent commensurate objectives and existing opportunities, Sergei Pavlovich knew how to create favorable conditions for work.

Easily with him was not anybody ever. First time it was difficult to prove my correctness to him and defend the solutions I found. He did not like the pat on the cubs. But I soon realized that this was his usual, very reliable method of working with the novices. And this despite the fact that we had a complete sense of independence, sometimes uncontrollably. Then it dawned on me that without him, it's difficult to move forward, and sometimes impossible, and that this lack of control was a kind of self-deception. In fact, he knew all about the work that was carried out in the DB. The mere fact that he took the man and gave him a difficult task, meant that he treats him with respect. He had no time for sentiments. Therefore, there were talks among the people about his toughness. Indeed, if he was faced with errors and inaccuracies in the work, not to mention the non-fulfillment of tasks and deadlines or negligence, than his hard nature was fully manifested: confident, clear guidance is always combined with sharp estimates. If all goes well, without any problems (although it was not often), then there was a silence, as if even indifference on his part. If any work of designers, he maintained, you can be calm - the firmness of his line was unchanged. And it was felt by not only the staff and allied DB, but superiors ...

He knew how important it was to allocate what must be done today and what can be postponed. Do not slow down progress - it was his characteristic. And it is not contrary to his constant reflection on the future, focus on the future. Korolev had the rare ability to gather around him talented designers and manufacturers, carries them away, organize their harmonious work, and could not give grow into conflicts of every kind of friction, inevitable in a tense, dynamic work.

Sophisticated design developments require constant and continuous increase of production, design and research capacities. Korolev was able to achieve this not only by offering higher authorities of valuable economic and scientific ideas, but also due to friendly relations with the major designers who participated with him in building ships, space machines missiles. He had always a good business relationships in the ministries, in the governing bodies.

He considered very important to strengthen his authority and unity of command in his DB. If someone of his subordinates did not carry out his tasks for this was inevitable retribution in the form of sanctions and threats of layoffs. However, he rarely carried out his threats, it seemed he forgot about them. This reflects his frugality to the people, although not open, not ostentatious.

As the head of Korolev was cautious and prudent man. In the extent, of course, what was necessary to engineers working in fundamentally new projects. It was primarily manifested in the careful planning, which was conducted in such a way that at any time he had the opportunity to maneuver means to redistribute power. He did not like to tie our hands so that each advance to prescribe all the work, always reserves the right to, if necessary, to shift people from one area to another ...

He was not deprived of human weaknesses, although its weakness has always been a continuation of his own merits. For example, he loved power and knew how to use it. Power from him, however, was not an end but a means immediately, in a short time to solve technical problems and promote the production, design and manufacturing switching power to make decisions along the way without tightening time for discussion and approval. Power he used to move the business forward. Sometimes, of course, that he made mistakes, took decisions unsuccessful, but the efficiency of its operations, so to speak, was extremely high.

He was an ambitious man. But there was no hint of petty ambition, which is synonymous with the desire to stand out in any way, as soon as possible to move to be in sight, get some titles, awards and privileges. His ambition was to be the first make some unique machine to solve the unprecedented technical challenge. Once Sergei Pavlovich presented a graph in which were depicted optimum launch date to the Moon, Mars, Venus and other planets. On the chart these dates look some edge work possible, distributed in time. I remember how he led the soft movement of the hand and said: "Well, it would be nice to walk around the leading edge of this and everywhere be the first."

He always wanted to be the leader, the leader of a good, important and difficult cases, the implementation of which would bring glory to his country. Yes, he did an outstanding engineering and administrative career. But the main thing in all this for him was that he was able to plan the largest scientific and technical goals and implement them with glitter.

From the book K.P.Feoktistov "Seven Steps to the sky"

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