Mikhail Tikhonravov

Tikhonravov, Mikhail Klavdievich


Born July 16 (29), 1900, in Vladimir; died Mar. 4, 1974, in Moscow. Soviet scientist and designer in the fields of rocket building and space exploration. Honored Worker in Science and Technology of the RSFSR (1970); Hero of Socialist Labor (1961).

In 1919, Tikhonravov volunteered for the Red Army. In the early 1920’s he built a series of record-setting gliders. After graduating from the N. E. Zhukovskii Air Force Engineering Academy in 1925, he worked at a number of aviation enterprises. He became a team leader in the Group for the Study of Jet Propulsion in 1932 and a department head at the Jet Scientific Research Institute in 1934. In 1933 he directed the development of the first Soviet rockets with liquid-propellant engines.

Beginning in 1938, Tikhonravov carried out research on liquid-propellant rocket engines and worked on the development of rockets for studying the upper layers of the atmosphere and on increasing the accuracy of unguided missiles. In the mid–1940’s he turned his attention to problems of designing multistage rockets. Tikhonravov helped develop the first artificial earth satellites, manned spacecraft, and unmanned interplanetary probes. In addition to his research and development work, he also taught, becoming a professor in 1962.

Tikhonravov became an honorary member of the International Academy of Astronautics in 1968. He received the Lenin Prize in 1957 and was awarded two Orders of Lenin, three other orders, and various medals.


Raketnaia tekhnika. Moscow, 1935.
Polet ptits i mashiny s mashushchimi kryl’iami, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1949.