Die Entstehung des Sputnik

MOSKAU: Am 4. Oktober 1957 erwartete mein Vater, Nikita Chruschtschow, ein Telefongespräch. Chefkonstrukteur Sergei Koroljow sollte ihn von der Raketenabschussbasis Tjuratam (später umbenannt in Kosmodrom Bajkonur) in Kasachstan anrufen, um ihm den Start des ersten künstlichen Satelliten zu melden.

Früher am selben Tag war mein Vater in militärischer Angelegenheit in Kiew (Ukraine) gewesen. Er nahm an einem Manöver teil, bei dem Panzer den Dnjepr überquerten, und diskutierte anschließend mit sowjetischen Generälen das Schicksal von Verteidigungsminister Marschall Georgi Schukow. (Schukow stand im Verdacht, einen Staatsstreich zu planen, und bevor sie einen hochdekorierten General aus dem 2. Weltkrieg zum Rücktritt zwangen, versicherten sich mein Vater und seine Kollegen der Unterstützung anderer hochrangiger Generäle, die dem Plan alle zustimmten.)

Abends speiste mein Vater mit den Führern der Ukraine. Ich saß am Ende des Tisches, ohne auf ihr Gespräch zu achten. Alle waren müde, aber mein Vater zeigte keinerlei Bestreben, schlafen zu gehen. Um Mitternacht herum öffnete sich die Tür, und der Sekretär bat meinen Vater, ans Telefon zu kommen. Als er zurückkam, lächelte er: Der Sputnik-Start war erfolgreich gewesen.

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