La creación del sputnik

El 4 de octubre de 1957, mi padre, Nikita Khrushchev, esperaba una llamada de teléfono. Se esperaba que el jefe de diseño Sergei Korolev llamara desde la pista del lanzamiento de Tyuratam (más adelante rebautizada Cosmódromo Baikonur), en Kazajstán, para informar sobre el lanzamiento del primer satélite del mundo fabricado por el hombre.

Aquel día, horas antes, mi padre estaba en Kiev (Ucrania) por asuntos militares. Asistió a unas maniobras de tanques que cruzaban el río Dniéper, después habló con generales soviéticos sobre el destino del ministro de Defensa, mariscal Georgy Zhukov. (Se sospechaba que este último estaba conspirando para hacerse con el poder y, antes de obligar a dimitir a un general condecorado de la segunda guerra mundial, mi padre y sus colegas se aseguraron el apoyo de otros altos generales, todos los cuales asintieron al plan de Khrushchev.)

Aquella noche, mi padre cenó con los dirigentes ucranianos. Yo estaba sentado en un extremo de la mesa, sin prestar atención a su conversación, Todo el mundo estaba cansado, pero mi padre no tenía prisa por irse a dormir. Hacia medianoche, se abrió la puerta y el secretario pidió a mi padre que atendiera una llamada de teléfono. Khrushchev regresó sonriendo: el lanzamiento del sputnik había sido un éxito.

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