The Rest of the Rocket Scientists

Some went west. This is the story of the ones who went east.

Launch of a German V-2 rocket, dated October 3, 1942. (NASM)
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After the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, some of the surviving “Russian Germans,” as the rocket scientists had came to be known in their homeland, returned to Russia for a reunion with former friends and colleagues. Among them was Ursula Gröttrup, the daughter of Helmut and Irmgard and now a woman in her late 50s living in Hamburg. Back on the island, she found her childhood home still standing, and learned that shortly after her family left, a new organization began producing gyroscope technology for Soviet rockets and spacecraft. Some of that hardware eventually flew on the Buran space shuttle and the Mir space station in the 1980s. Finally, something made on Gorodomlya made it to the launch pad.


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