Mikhail Yangel

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Mikhail Kuzmich Yangel
Stamp of Ukraine s467.jpg
Born (1911-10-25)October 25, 1911
Russian Empire Zyryanka settlement of Irkutsk gubernia, Russian Empire
Died October 25, 1971(1971-10-25) (aged 60)
Soviet Union Moscow, USSR
Engineering career
Practice name missile designer
Significant awards Lenin Prize (1960), USSR State Prize (1967), 4 Orders of Lenin, Order of the October Revolution, medals

Mikhail Kuzmich Yangel (Михаил Кузьмич Янгель in Russian) (October 25 (O.S.: November 7), 1911 – October 25, 1971), was a leading missile designer in the Soviet Union.

His career started as an aviation engineer, after graduating from Moscow Aviation Institute in 1937. He worked with famous aircraft designers Nikolai Polikarpov and later, Artem Mikoyan. Then he moved to the field of ballistic missiles, where he first was in charge of guidance systems. As Sergei Korolev’s associate, he set up a rocket propulsion center in Dnipropetrovsk in the Ukraine which later formed the basis of his own OKB-586 design bureau in 1954. At first, Yangel’s facility served to mass-produce and further develop intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in which area Yangel was a pioneer of storeable hypergolic fuels. His bureau designed the R-12, R-16 and R-36, whose launch vehicle adaptations are known as Cosmos, Tsyklon, Dnepr respectively are still in use today. Yangel narrowly avoided death during the development of the R-16 in the 1960 Nedelin catastrophe.

Yangel's bureau was part of the Ministry of General Machine Building headed by Sergey Afanasyev.

For his outstanding work, Mikhail Yangel was awarded the Lenin Prize in 1960 and USSR State Prize in 1967. He was also awarded four Orders of Lenin, Order of the October Revolution, and numerous medals. He died in Moscow.

Several notable places were named after Yangel:

A minor planet 3039 Yangel discovered by Soviet astronomer Lyudmila Zhuravlyova in 1978 is named after him.[1]