He was completely unknown during the space race. His identity hidden.
Yeah, top secret is more like it.
then released under Khrushchev.
And that's when the space race actually started. Many members of the Politburo did a stint at the Gulag under Stalin. Including some of the top brass of the army, if my memory is not failing. In itself, it's not very telling. Any slight disagreement with those high-enough in power was enough to get a few years in the Gulag's (if one was lucky).
Ultimately this cost them the race to the moon. Korolev's mistreatment in the Gulags lead to his early death, after which their space program collapsed. A very Soviet story.
Oy! This is just not even connected to reality. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.... Korolev was released in 1944 (still during WWII and long before Stalin's death).
Here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.... Baikonur was founded in 1955, which was after Stalin's death. The first launch of a dog was in 1957: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.... See how the timeline just doesn't add up to the whole idea that he was stopped by the Gulag? Soviet Union was still rebuilding from WWII under Stalin. The space program didn't start until Korolev started it. Gulag was hardly the reason for his death. He had multiple heart attacks by then and died at 59. Soviet life expectancy for men was just slightly over 60 (62 or so). For someone in a job with as much stress as he had this was actually pretty good. Soviet Union had famous actors (more than one) die on stage in their 40s.
Personally, I always wondered why the Soviets did not just send a cosmonaut to moon one way.
They abandoned the program as unworkable. Which is to say they didn't have anyone who could produce a design.
Btw, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... was released 1972 -- only 6 years after Korolev's death. He was already a well-known larger-than-life figure at that point (eg, he was already on a postage stamp in 1969). His identity was not declassified for obvious security reasons until his obituary was published. His ashes were laid next to those of all top Communist leaders. He had a private plane and all the accommodations of top military brass in the last 10 years of his life. The radio station they built in Evpatoria was most likely not for technical reasons sited in the Wikipedia. Evpatoria was the top vacation destination in the Soviet Union. The radio station was most likely built to make it more convenient for Korolev.
To sum up: he had all the accommodations of top Soviet brass without the burden of having to play an action hero for public consumption. Not quite a victim this "article" makes him out to be.
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