The Two Lives of an Engineering Triumph

Christian Lardier and Stefan Barensky (Translator Tim Bowler)

THE SOYUZ LAUNCH VEHICLE: The Two Lives of an Engineering Triumph The Soyuz launch vehicle has had a long and illustrious history. Built as the world's first intercontinental missile, it took the first man into space in April 1961, before becoming the workhorse of Russian spaceflight, launching satellites, interplanetary probes, every cosmonaut from Gagarin onwards, and, now, the multinational crews of the International Space Station.

This remarkable book gives a complete and accurate description of the two lives of Soyuz, chronicling the cooperative space endeavor of Europe and Russia. First, it takes us back to the early days of astronautics, when technology served politics. From archives found in the Soviet Union the authors describe the difficulty of designing a rocket in the immediate post-war period. Then, in Soyuz's golden age, it launched numerous scientific missions and manned flights which were publicized worldwide while the many more numerous military missions were kept highly confidential!

The second part of the book tells the contemporary story of the second life of Soyuz, gathered from Western sources and interviews with key protagonists. It addresses the sensitive issue of the strategic choices that led to the establishment of Soyuz in French Guiana, describing the role of a few visionaries in Russia and Europe who decided to leave their respective isolation behind and bring Soyuz and Ariane together.

In the final analysis, this book is an in-depth treatment that pays homage to a formidable human adventure.

Table of Contents

October 21, 2011

Part One - Soyuz in the East
by Christian Lardier

Chapter 1 - The V-2's heir
Chapter 2 - Designing the Semyorka
Chapter 3 - The council of Chief Designers
Chapter 4 - Korolev's subsidiaries
Chapter 5 - The various versions
Chapter 6 - The launch bases

Part Two - Soyuz in the West
by Stefan Barensky

Chapter 7 - A fantasy launcher
Chapter 8 - East meets West
Chapter 9 - The genesis of Starsem
Chapter 10 - Europeans on the steppe
Chapter 11 - Russians in the jungle
Chapter 12 - Soyuz, launcher of the future

Chapter notes
Semyorka launches
Index of names
Photo credits

Extent: 504 pages, Black and white/colour images integrated with text
Binding: Paperback
Published: 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4614-5458-8

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