Mysterious Ukrainian name of world astronautics

His birth name is Alexander Shargey, but he was better known as Yuri Kondratyuk. Born in Poltava (Ukraine) in 1897, he took a deep interest in space science has since his last years of study in Kiev Gymnasium. All his life he pursued a goal: to develop technical base for interplanetary missions.

Kondratyuk studied mathematics and physics at St. Petersburgh Polytechnic Institute, but most he studied military science. His first invention was not in space sphere.

In 1927 he was working at the bakery factory, where he was dealing with construction and development of elevators. Then, he invented his famous elevator “Mastodon” that was made of wood without using nails.

In 1929, at his own expense, he published the book “Conquest of the universe”, where he, regardless of Tsiolkovsky, determined a formula of a rocket flight.

1931-1932 – Being imprisoned for a false criminal case of sabotage, he was working at the wind- power station project as a designer. The wind-power station was planned to be built in the Crimean peninsula. Project was approved in Moscow, but was put on ice because of disbanding the designer office.

1939 – Kondratyuk headed a wind-power station project in Moscow.

1941 – Second World War – Kondratyuk voluntary joined the Red Army as a phone-operator. He has disappeared in 1942. There were rumors in the USSR that he was involved in development of German rockets “FAU”.

The name of Yuri Kondratyuk was written with gold letters in the Hall of Fame of NASA Museum in the USA. A Museum of Aviation and Space in Poltava, asteroid 3084 and a crater on the other side of the Moon was named after him.


Dutcho, EMPR

EMPR, Svetlana Prishchenko contributed to this publication.

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