Korolev, Sergei Pavlovich

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Sergei Pavlovich Korolev, 1907–66, Soviet rocket designer. His role as chief designer of the Soviet space program was revealed only after his death. After he successfully launched two intercontinental ballistic missiles in Aug. 1957, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev allowed him to attempt the orbiting of a test satellite; as a result, Sputnik 1, the first artificial earth satellite, was orbited successfully on Oct. 4, 1957. Korolev also directed the launching of the USSR's first unmanned space probes and manned space missions.