Tikhomirov, Nikolai

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tikhomirov, Nikolai Ivanovich


Born 1860; died Apr. 28, 1930, in Leningrad. Soviet specialist in the field of rocket technology.

In 1894, Tikhomirov began working on the problem of developing rocket projectiles, which he called self-propelled reactive-action mines. In 1912 he presented a design for such a projectile to the Ministry of the Navy. In 1915 he applied for a patent on a new type of “self-propelled mine” to be used in the water or the air. He proposed as the propelling force the reactive action of the gases that are obtained in the combustion of explosives or highly inflammable fuels in combination with the ejection of air or water drawn from atmosphere or the sea. His invention received a positive evaluation by a commission of experts under the chairmanship of N. E. Zhukovskii.

Upon Tikhomirov’s suggestion a laboratory, subsequently named the Gas Dynamics Laboratory (GDL), was established in 1921 to develop his inventions. Soon after its establishment, the GDL concentrated on the development of rocket projectiles using smokeless powder. In 1930 a patent was issued in Tikhomirov’s name for a formula for such a powder as well as the process for making charges from it.

One of the craters on the far side of the moon has been named for Tikhomirov. In 1971 a monument to Tikhomirov was erected in Moscow.


Glushko, V. P. “Rol’ Gazodinamicheskoi laboratorii (GDL) v razvitii raketnoi tekhniki.” Vestnik AN SSSR, 1972, no. 2, pp. 100–08.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.