The Secret Life of Sergei Korolev: The Hidden Leader of the Soviet Space Program

TLDR Sergei Korolev, the head of the Soviet Space Program, led a secret life and played a crucial role in the program's successes. Despite facing imprisonment and adversity, Korolev's leadership and design work contributed to the Soviet Union's achievements in spaceflight, although they ultimately fell behind the Americans in the race to the moon.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 The Soviet space program had a strong start in the late 1950s and early 1960s, but then lost momentum and fell behind the Americans in the space race.
02:42 Sergei Korolev, the head of the Soviet Space Program during the Space Race, was kept a secret and unknown to most people, including those who worked in the program.
04:42 Sergei Korolev's early life involved a passion for aviation, independent study, and involvement in rocket development institutes before eventually leading a space program.
06:38 Sergei Korolev's life took a drastic turn when he was arrested, tortured, and sent to prison during Stalin's purges, but he managed to survive and continue his work on rockets.
08:41 Sergei Korolev, formerly a prisoner in a gulag, became the chief designer of long-range missiles and successfully reassembled V-2 rockets before designing the R-2 and R-3 rockets, eventually leading to the creation of the world's first intercontinental ballistic missile, the R-7.
10:48 Sergei Korolev, the chief Soviet rocket designer, kept his identity a secret and led the Soviet space program to numerous successes before his death in 1966.
12:56 Sergei Korolev's accomplishments in spaceflight were significant, but it is unlikely that the Soviets could have beaten the Americans to the moon, as the rocket he commissioned before his death, the N1, never worked.
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