Group for the Study of Jet Propulsion

Group for the Study of Jet Propulsion


(Gird) (1) A public organization under the auspices of the Society for the Promotion of Defense and Aviation and Chemical Construction, created in 1931 in Moscow (MosGIRD), Leningrad (LenGIRD), and later in Kharkov, Baku, and other cities.

(2) A scientific research and experimental and design organization for developing rockets and engines, founded in Moscow in June 1932 by a decision of the presidium of the central council of the Society for the Promotion of Defense and Aviation and Chemical Construction. Along with the Gas Dynamics Laboratory (GDL), GIRD played a major part in the birth of Soviet rocket production. S. P. Korolev was made head of GIRD, and F. A. Tsander’s team was accepted on the staff of GIRD. The latter had previously worked on a voluntary basis at MosGIRD on the design of a propulsion system with an OR-2 liquid-propellant jet engine for the RP-1 rocket aircraft. Beginning in August 1932, GIRD was financed by the Administration for Military Inventions of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army. Subsequently three more design and construction teams were formed: one for developing liquid-propellant ballistic missiles, one for ramjet engines and gas dynamics test installations, and one for rocket airplanes and winged missiles. These teams were headed by M. K. Tikhonravov, Iu. A. Pobedonostsev, and S. P. Korolev. In addition, a production team and a testing station were organized.

The initial aim of GIRD was the development of liquid-propellant rocket aircrafts to gain the necessary experience. Liquid oxygen was used for the oxidizer and gasoline and ethanol for the fuel. Experiments were carried out on the combustion of metallic fuel in air. The first Soviet liquid-propellant missile GIRD-09 was launched on Aug. 17, 1933, and the GIRD-X was launched on Nov. 25, 1933. Designs were worked out for a number of other liquid-propellant ballistic and winged missiles, and a number of designs were developed and tested for liquid-propellant jet engines (OR-2, 02, 10, etc.) and for the 09 hybrid rocket engine. Successful flight tests of models of ramjet engines fired from a cannon were made, a supersonic wind tunnel was designed, and the pump feed system for fuel was studied. At the end of 1933, GDL and GIRD were merged into the Jet Scientific Research Institute.

GIRD produced major scientists and designers who took an active creative part in developing domestic rocket and space science and technology and made invaluable contributions to the development of rockets, artificial satellites, automatic interplanetary probes, and spaceships. A 520-km crater chain extending on the far side of the moon has been named GIRD.

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