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Mishin was a Soviet rocket scientist and one of the first Soviet specialists to see Nazi Germany’s V-2 facilities at the end of World War II. He worked with Sergey Korolev as his deputy in the development of the first Soviet ICBM as well in the Sputnik and Vostok programs.
Mishin was an engineer who had served as Korolev's deputy and right-hand man. He became head of Korolev’s OKB-1 design bureau and Chief Designer after Korolev's death in 1966. He inherited the N1 rocket program, intended to land a man on the Moon, but which turned out to be fatally flawed (partly due to lack of adequate funding).
In May 1967, Yuri Gagarin and Alexey Leonov criticised Mishin's "poor knowledge of the Soyuz spacecraft and the details of its operation, his lack of cooperation in working with the cosmonauts in flight and training activities" and asked Nikolai Kamanin for him to be cited in the official report into the Soyuz 1 crash, which killed Vladimir Komarov.
In 1974, Mishin was replaced by a rival, Valentin Glushko, after all four N-1 test launches failed.
He continued his educational and research works as the head of rocket department of Moscow Aviation Institute.
Vasily Mishin was awarded the title Hero of Socialist Labor for his work with the Soviet space program.
- Kamanin Diary, May 5, 1967
- "Testing of rocket and space technology - the business of my life" Events and facts - A.I. Ostashev, Korolev, 2001;
- A.I. Ostashev, Sergey Pavlovich Korolyov - The Genius of the 20th Century — 2010 M. of Public Educational Institution of Higher Professional Training MGUL ISBN 978-5-8135-0510-2.
- Vasily Mishin //Family history
- (Russian) Interview with Vasily Mishin one documentary made by BBC in which his role was shown
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