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Title: The missile design bureaux and Soviet manned space policy, 1953-1970
Author: Barry, William Patrick
ISNI:       0000 0004 2743 284X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1996
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The Soviet manned space programme is one of the most impressive and mysterious legacies of the Soviet Union. Evidence that has come to light since 1989 throws considerable doubt on earlier Western understanding of the Soviet space effort. One of the more puzzling aspects of the new data is the claim that the Chief Designers of several missile design bureaux played a pivotal role in the making of Soviet manned space policy. This claim contradicts much of what was thought to be known about the Soviet space programme, their research and development system, and Soviet politics generally. This dissertation is an empirical study that seeks to answer four interrelated questions. 1. What major manned space projects did the Soviet Union engage in during the 1960s, and how were these projects authorised? 2. Did the Chief Designers play an influential role in the promotion, selection, approval, and implementation of these projects? 3. What were the overall objectives and purposes of the Soviet manned space programme? 4. What does the example of Soviet space policy tell us about the Soviet political system? The examination of institutions, individuals, and the policymaking process has led to the following conclusions. The Soviet manned space programme was an extremely limited state undertaking until 1964. Prior to Khrushchev's ouster, the Soviet Union began several manned lunar space programmes designed to upstage the US Apollo moon landing effort. When all of these efforts failed by 1969, Soviet manned space policy was re-directed toward orbital space stations. One Chief Designer, Sergei Pavlovich Korolev, played a central role in establishing the Soviet manned space programme. However, the ability Chief Designers to influence space policy was systematically restricted after 1960. The manned space programme was essentially a political programme. Throughout the 1960s, it was effectively controlled by a handful of top party leaders to achieve their domestic and international political objectives.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Astronautics ; History ; Space sciences ; Soviet Union