Half an hour with Oberth




"Kaliningrad's true," Korolev, n16, 12 February 2004

Author: Valery Burdakov

_ * If you are going into the next trip, accidentally discovered drafts miraculously surviving recording of my conversation with one of the founders of rocket and space technology Hermann Oberth — a living legend of the past century. I found it interesting. * _

Herman Oberth

How it all happened

That was twenty-one years ago in a "space" month of September. I looked at the yellowed ticket, I got to the next then "space" event: "Dear Comrade Institute of the History of Science and Technology, Academy of Sciences of the USSR, the Commission of the USSR on the scientific heritage pioneers of space exploration, the Council" Intercosmos ", Commission of the USSR on Scientific Heritage of Tsiolkovsky, Cosmonaut Training Center. Gagarin, the State Museum of Cosmonautics. Tsiolkovsky invite you to take part in the conference on the history of aviation and space devoted to the 25th anniversary of the space age, to be held in Moscow on 20-22 September 1982.

Opening of the Conference — September 20, Monday, at 11 am, in the conference room of the hall of hotel "Cosmos" (Mira, 150, Underground station "ENEA"). Complimentary ticket is valid upon presentation. "There, in the ticket and program. Nothing new: Opening remarks .., .. milestones, outcomes and prospects … yawn, one word! Naturally, the tickets are sent in a huge number of copies in the hope that in this way be able to collect more or less a decent audience. "Build your ears," as we used to say in the OKB-1.

But here's a sensation! Received a ticket from one of the founders of space still living on Earth Hermann Oberth, despite his 88 years, was willing to come to our country! The basis of my decision — he wrote later — lay two things: taking care of the future of humanity and the long-standing desire to visit the motherland deeply respected my fellow rocketeer, a man with whom I corresponded, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. "The situation has changed radically! My more young fellow "Energia" literally ordered me to meet Oberth and ask him some questions though, saying that the meeting even by itself will certainly historically significant! long time to persuade me not. On the climb I'm easy, so it was resolved very quickly.

Who is Herman Oberth

The first earthling, who does not care about the development of missile technology, and wanting to help humanity in its plight, came up with the space program and all you need for it, for example, a huge liquid guided missile, was Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. It was the 1903 — the beginning of the twentieth century.

The first wave of his followers were too few — people who have made a significant contribution to the space program in the 20s. These include Goddard, Zander, Kondratjuk and, of course, — Hermann Oberth. The next wave — is king Tikhonravov, Glushko, von Braun, Zenger, Rynin etc. There were already a lot, and start their activities in space were in the 30s …

They were the last constellation of space enthusiasts who happen to look in the eyes of the blessed "sober-minded." And two of them (King and Brown), which literally burned to save the rest of humanity (both died prematurely from cancer), so do not fit into the normal rules of representations of people, that caused a "legitimate" suspicion of the powers that be (both were arrested and charged with sabotage, when the accident occurred at an unprecedented ever technique).

* Wernher von Braun entire life considered himself a student of Hermann Oberth, and Sergei Korolyov — a student of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. And Tsiolkovsky and Oberth believed that the future salvation of mankind, when resources run out of the earth, but in space, in its truly unlimited possibilities. Thus, G. Aubert — a German Ziolkowski (with the same way of thinking about the future of the Earth and humanity), one of the four pillars of the whole of modern astronautics. *

German punctuality

I in 1982 was "only" 48 years. I worked in the "Energia" and was well acquainted with the departed from there a few years before a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR BV Raushenbakh. It also played a crucial role, since it was he who took care of Obert and tried prying him at bay. Boris V. performed with the role of the commentator, and the role of interpreter. He introduced me as a colleague and student of Sergei Korolev's capital as books on space and as a "complete doctor", which has a significant contribution in almost all the achievements of the national rocket and space technology.

Hermann Oberth at this very seriously and a knowing nod. And I … burning with embarrassment, because not all the cases involved. "Full doctor" — a tribute to the German punctuality. After all, Obert, and Rauschenbach — Germans! I remember a story about the Germans from Peenemünde, who worked with us under the city Ostashkovo and which after graduation went to work on their own young professional. The chiefs, he described himself as an engineer and held out to prove his shiny new diploma. German "special" surprise (in full "seriously"!) Looked at the document and said, "What you're an engineer, young man? 'You are not an engineer, a graduate engineer! That is the sign we hang on the door of your office." In my case, the "full doctor" meant that I do have a degree of Doctor of Science. After all, we also have a PhD, which in the West is also referred to as "doctors" …

Simple-minded answers to the "tricky" questions

It took me a few minutes to recover from such a flattering and exaggerated features of my work. Obert waited with interest … So I blurted out: "Herr Obert, and you were in the ranks of the Nazi party, as your pupil von Braun?" Boris V., who had tired sleepy voice said, "instantly awake": "Do not ask for anything except the history and technology, I translate your question will not go." And he is already "translates": "Herr Burdakov wondered whether under Nazism, and you, and von Braun did not leave the dream of space?"

— Yes, we've been dreaming about and launch of the satellite of the Earth, and of flying to the moon, and the bright future of mankind.

Deputed to us, "caretakers" controlled virtually every step we take, but we are using the fact that they did not understand the technique, and did drawings of rockets and satellites, and even the "essential settlement," as he called them your Tsiolkovsky.

— You've worked with Brown in the U.S.?

— Yes, he worked. I am a long time was not allowed into the U.S., but then in 1955 started up. We were all then convinced of the feasibility of our plans, because the United States, we thought, this is the USA! I then spoke to Werner that he made the right choice! For both of us it was a terrible shock, do not even compare with what, what was your first companion!

— How not compare with what? A collapse of Germany?

— With Germany and Hitler was clear to us all at the end of 1941, when suddenly I was "allowed" to Werner and his business, and I saw that the metal was a dream for many years. How did a pretty different idea of an engineering project, and even the actual conditions for its implementation! Your launching Sputnik in 1957, opened our eyes to many things. We realized that we won the war is not America, as everyone believed then, and it is you. They even small satellite without Werner could not run …

— But on the moon but we have not visited!

— I think this is due to the fact that you have not been then the Queen. I wish I could see him and talk … In my opinion, Tsiolkovsky wrote something to me about it. And I am very grateful to Boris Rauschenbach. He told me about the difficult and brilliant career of the Queen. You did it too well known. You are very lucky in life!

— And your correspondence with Tsiolkovsky published, or at least preserved?

— It is not yet published, but is stored in my archive.

— When you find out about the Queen?

— Almost immediately after the launch of the first satellite. Korolev help us a rather Werner, who then also launched a satellite. After all, American officials are the same as everywhere else. Looking to do the others. But the main thing — Werner provided the priority the U.S. (and German!) Flying people to the moon!

— You know, I witnessed a conversation with Academician Korolyov Stechkina — the man who invented the jet engine. He asked him to send to the moon, without waiting for the system to be worked back to Earth!

— I also asked Werner to send me to the moon! And you know what he said? He said that he is ready to fly there, if allowed.

— It is amazing! The same Steckin answered and Queens! And how do you feel about the Queen, and to Tsiolkovsky, as a scientist?

— Tsiolkovsky was generally the first and only person whose thoughts were the same as mine. To the last detail …

— Excuse me for interrupting, but he suggested that the explosive engine that was never completed!

— Do you think I would not suggest? I also dreamed of the explosive engine, knowing nothing then about the work of Tsiolkovsky. He just beat me to it for a few years! And I think that without Tsiolkovsky there would be Queen. Herr Rauschenbach told me that the King met with Tsiolkovsky, he knew all of his work on the rocket and space technology, and that most of the ideas he borrowed it from him. Same Werner spoke about me, and I'm proud of it. But it's just different. To translate research ideas into engineering and engineering — into a working complex design requires a special person. With a special gift of God. And he, this gift from the Queen, certainly was. As, however, and Wernher von Braun. I saw how it looked and catch every word, even very great scientists.

— We then learned or is it a rumor that besides the V-1 and V-2, there were other "weapons of retaliation" for example, diskolet V-7?

— I have heard something about it from the aerodynamics … But the situation was such that the more I ask no one could.

— A tragedy in Roswell? In the American press have been reports that crashed "flying saucer" aliens.

* — It was an accident of the V-2, launched from the landfill "White Sands" in New Mexico … *

— Herr Obert, you had to visit the museum in Roswell Goddard?

— Yes, I was there …

— I see that you are tired. Thank you very much for the interview. I would like to get your autograph on the invitation card. It is possible?

— No, no! I'm not tired. I am very pleased with the conversation with you. I am of you had heard. And not only the stories of Herr Rauschenbach. I have in my home library is published in Germany your book on space. And then publishing expensive. Anybody not publish!

— I wish you health and success. Thank you very much! Very happy and this meeting and conversation. And you, Boris V., see in front of your debtor. Goodbye!

At the same time, our conversation every now and then interrupted by autograph was completed.

Valery Burdakov, Honored Worker of Science, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor of Thermodynamics at the Moscow Aviation Institute, member of the Academy of Engineering Sciences.

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Curriculum vitae

Hermann Oberth (Oberth Herman) (b. 6/25/1894 Hermanshtadt, Transylvania, now Sibiu, Romania), one of the pioneers of rocketry.

He studied at the universities of Munich (1913-14, 1919-1920), Cluj (1919), Gsttingena (1920-21), Heidelberg (1921-23). In the 1925-38 college professor's mouth in Medias (Romania). In 1938-40 conducted experimental work in the field of missile technology in Vienna, and in 1940-41 in Dresden (since 1940 Professor of the Dresden Institute of Technology).

In 1941-43, a consulting engineer in the German weapons research center at Peenemunde in 1943-45 consulting engineer to develop a military propellant missiles at the Westphalian-Anhaltskih plants explosives.

Prior to 1950 was engaged in private research.

In 1950-53 he worked on missiles for the Italian Navy. In 1955-58 took part along with other German uchsnymi in the implementation of the U.S. missile program in the Army's arsenal, "Redstone" in Huntsville (Alabama), after which he returned to Germany. Developed a number of aspects of the theory rug missiles and using them to study the atmosphere, and contributed to the development of rocket engines. One of the founders of the German Society of rocketry and space flight. In 1951 the company established a medal Obert awarded for basic research and outstanding achievements in the field of rocketry and astronautics in 1963 the community was named Obert.

The main scientific works of Hermann Oberth

1. G. Aubert rocket into outer space / / The pioneers of rocketry. Ganswindt, Goddard, Esnault-Pelterie, Obert, Goman. Selected Works. Moscow: Nauka, 1977.

2. Obert G. Ways of spaceflight. M. Oborongiz, 1948.

3. Obert N. Die Rakete zu den Planetenraeumen. Nuernberg: Uni-Verlag, 1964.

4. Obert N. Wege zur Raumschiffahrt. Duesseldorf: VDI Verlag, 1986.

5. Obert N. Menschen im Weltraum. Duesseldorf: Econ-Verlag, 1954.

6. Obert N. Das Mondauto. Duesseldorf: Econ-Verlag, 1959.

7. Obert H. Stoff und Leben. Remangen: Otto Reichi Verlag, 1959.

8. Obert N. Der Geschwindigkeits-Multiplikator. "Schoepferische Leistung", Festschrift zum 10-Jaerigen Stiftungs-Jubileum und zur 7. Verleihung der Diesel-Medaille. Nurnberg, 11 November 1962.

9. Obert N. Katechismus der Uranieden. Wiesbaden-Schierstein: Venta-Verlag, 1966.

10. Obert N. Kakokratie, der Weltfeind N 1. Feucht: Uni-Verlag, 1976.

11. Obert N. Das Drachenkraftwerk. Feucht: Uni-Verlag, 1977.

12. Obert N. Waelerfibel fur ein Weltparlament. Feucht: Uni-Verlag, 1983.

13. Obert N. Die Verantwortung des Wissenschaftlers. 1964. Manuscript. Archive Oberth in Feucht.

Source Reference Data: The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, t.18, p.181.
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