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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 08, 1955

CPSU CENTRAL COMMITTEE PRESIDIUM DECREE, 'ON THE CREATION OF AN ARTIFICIAL SATELLITE OF THE EARTH'

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    Presidium (Politburo) decree approving the launch of a satellite during the International Geophysical Year
    "CPSU Central Committee Presidium Decree, 'On the Creation of an Artificial Satellite of the Earth'," August 08, 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Published in Baturin (2008), 66. Selected, edited, and annotated by Asif Siddiqi and translated by Gary Goldberg. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/165446
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Nº P139/XXXVI[1]

   

8 August 1955

STRICTLY SECRET

Approve the idea of creating an artificial Earth satellite.

Charge Cdes. Khrunichev and Riabikov with beginning work to create an artificial Earth satellite, and submitting to the CPSU CC within a month-and-a-half a draft of the necessary measures on this question[2], and also submitting to the CPSU CC the text of a report for the press[3] about the work done to create an artificial Earth satellite.

SECRETARY, CENTRAL COMMITTEE

ARCHIVAL SOURCE: Archive of the President of the Russian Federation (APRF), f. 3, op. 47, d. 272, l. 40. Excerpt from the minutes on a form.

[1] With this document, which was signed at a meeting of the Presidium of the CPSU Central Committee on 8 August 1955, the Soviet Party committed to a satellite project. An excerpt from the minutes was sent to M. V. Khrunichev and V. M. Riabikov.

[2] The decision requested scientific and industrial leaders to submit a detailed plan of development for the satellite which could be approved by the Party. On 14 September 1955, M. V. Khrunichev, V. M. Riabikov, D. F. Ustinov, V. D. Kalmykov, A. V. Topchiev, M. I. Nedelin, S. P. Korolev, M. S. Riazanskii, N. A. Piliugin, M. V. Keldysh, and V. P. Glushko submitted a draft USSR Council of Ministers decree to the CPSU CC Presidium about the creation in 1957-1958 “of an artificial Earth satellite (object SP)” based on “the R-7 rocket under development”. However, the proposal was never reviewed at the Presidium, and on 11 January 1956, Khrunichev, A. N. Nesmeianov, Ustinov, G. K. Zhukov, Riabikov, Kalmykov, P. V. Dement’ev, P. I. Parshin, Korolev, and Keldysh submitted a new draft of a USSR Council of Ministers decree to the Presidium which had been coordinated with the interested ministries and departments. On 30 January 1956 the Presidium approved the new proposed draft, and on the same day USSR Council of Ministers decree Nº 149-88ss “On the Creation of Object ‘D’” (the provisional designation of the artificial Earth satellite) was issued.

[3] A draft TASS report was submitted to the Central Committee by Khrunichev, Riabikov, and Korolev on 10 August 1955 and considered at the 18 August 1955 Presidium meeting. The attendees noted that “[they] consider[ed] the draft TASS report submitted by Cdes. Khrunichev, Riabikov, and Korolev unacceptable.” As a result, M. A. Suslov, Khrunichev, and Riabikov were charged with preparing a new draft of a TASS report.

RUSSIAN (TRANSCRIPTION) HTML

№ П139/XXXVI    

8 августа 1955 г.

СТРОГО СЕКРЕТНО

Одобрить идею о создании искусственного спутника Земли.

Поручить тт. Хруничеву и Рябикову приступить к работам по созданию искусственного спутника Земли и в полуторамесячный срок представить ЦК КПСС проект необходимых мероприятий по этому вопросу , а также представить в ЦК КПСС текст сообщения для печати о проводимых работах по созданию искусственного спутника Земли.

СЕКРЕТАРЬ ЦК

АП РФ. Ф.З. Оп.47. Д.272. Л.40. Выписка из протокола на бланке.