Sep 5 2006, 12:36 AM
I put toghether a page of information about the 1931-1934 Russian rocket bureau:GIRD
Let me know what you think!
Sep 5 2006, 08:32 AM
That's a great piece with lots of good info! I especially like the last part, comparing the different experimental rockets.
Sep 5 2006, 10:27 AM
Thanks. My book only has a short section on early Soviet rocket work, but I realized that there was not much information about who really did what first in those early days. I've spent a week reading Russian works by Korolev and Tsander, and also digging up work on Goddard and the early German work. I figured I should write something while all that information is still in my head.
I should have said more about Goddard and the Germans, but the article was not really about them. I was actually very surprised by what I found. GIRD was much more than a "rocket club". I was also surprised by how advanced Goddard's work was.
The German rocket work was the most surprising. The early work (VfR, Winkler, Oberth) was really crap, nowhere near as advanced as the American and Russian work. But then from 1937-1942, they did a kind of "manhatten project", and suddenly built the most advanced rocket in the world. They had to have been building extensively on the published work of Goddard and the Russians, because the technology was just not there in their own early work. They also had to have some amazing project management, probably von Braun's latent talent. Certainly he was a good manager at NASA.