|Biographical detail : ||A shadowy scientist whose leading role shaped the Soviet space programme.
Kerim, chairman of the Soviet Aeronautics Commission, had a leading role behind the Soviet space programme over several decades. He was one of the architects of the string of Soviet successes that stunned the world from the early 1960s – from the launch of the first human in space, Yuri Gagarin’s 108-minute trip around the world to Mir space station in 1986. In 1967, Cosmos 186 made history by successfully completing the first automated link-up between two unmanned spacecraft. For this achievement, Kerim was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General. He took a leading role in overseeing the numerous launches from Soviet Union’s secret cosmodromes.
Kerim Kerimov, whose identity remained a secret for most of his career until 1987 – when he was first mentioned in Pravda during Mikhail Gorbachev’s era of glasnost and perestroika, and was awarded the title of Hero of Socialist Labour and the Order of Lenin. Kerim wrote a history of the Soviet space programme, in 1995, entitled “The Way to Space.”
Kerim Kerimov was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, the son of an engineer.