“Kondratyuk’s Escape”

For those who would break free.

Definition/Summary:

Yuriy Vasilievich Kondratyuk

  • Real name Aleksandr Ignatyevich Shargei, Ukrainian
  • Soviet engineer and mathematician
  • Pioneer of astronautics and spaceflight
  • Developed the first known Lunar Orbit Rendezvous
  • LOR was invented for landing and return spaceflight from Earth to the Moon
  • The LOR was later used for the plotting of the first actual human spaceflight to the Moon
  • Earth orbit to lunar orbit and back to Earth orbit, is now known as “Kondratyuk’s route” or “Kondratyuk’s loop”

Expanded info:

Kondratyuk made his scientific discoveries during events of war, repetitious persecutions from authorities and serious illnesses

  • “Yuriy Kondratyuk” is a stolen identity
  • He was hiding after the Russian revolution and became known in the scientific community
  • As a locally born former officer of the Tsarist army, he was at high risk of arrest by Bolshevik authorities as an enemy of the people
  • Kondratyuk attempted to escape for Poland but was stopped and ordered back by border guards. The guards recognized the early symptoms of typhus in him and probably decided not to kill him at that time
  • He was nursed back and decided to flee for another location
  • His obtained forged documents from friends Yuri Vasilievich Kondratyuk, born in Lutsk in 1900 (who in reality had died of tuberculosis in 1921)
  • This new identity, Kondratyuk lived in southern Ukraine, Kuban and Northern Caucasus, working as a mechanic and railroad worker away from the threat

Science career

  • While he was imprisoned Kondratyuk completed the manuscript of a book titled Conquest of Interplanetary Space, dealing with rocket motion and issues concerning the colonization of space
  • He also suggested using a gravitational slingshot trajectory to accelerate a spacecraft
  • After his imprisonment he worked on the wind power project for the next four years until his partner Ordzhonikidze’s mysterious death in 1937
  • Overnight, the project was deemed to be too expensive and dangerous and was shut down, the tower only half-built
  • Nikitin would later use what he had learned on this project when he designed the Ostankino Tower in the 1960s
  • During this time the men designed smaller wind turbines (in the 150-200 kW range) to power farms.
  • When he learned of the arrest of Korolev on charges of treason for wasting time on designing spacecraft. He secretly gave his own notes on the subject to his friend who helped nurse him back to health when he had typhus
  • That friend sent his notebooks to the United States while she escaped the events of World War II with her daughter
  • He also sent a copy of his published work to the Tsiolkovsky museum in Kaluga.
  • Kondratyuk joined the Red Army as a volunteer in June 1941 and died in 1942 near Kalugua
  • The exact details of his death are unknown
  • His unit was involved in heavy fighting against the Nazis in October 1941, and October 3 is sometimes given as the date of his demise
  • During the 90s new information found showing that he may have disappeared in January or February 1942 while repairing a communications cable at night near Zasetski.

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