Energia Rocket & Space Corporation (RSC Energia)

Energia Rocket & Space Corporation (RSC Energia) is a large Russian aerospace company which evolved from Sergei Korolev's design bureau, later known as Energia NPO and now as Energia RSC. It is currently involved in a variety of projects, including development of the Russian modules of the International Space Station, the second stage of the Angara rocket (led by the Khrunichev Center), and several series of communications satellites.


Energia RSC began as Department No. 3 of Special Design Bureau NII-88 which was given the task, in August 1946, of developing Soviet rockets based on the German V-2. Headed by Sergei Korolev, this was transformed in 1950 into OKB-1 and developed all Soviet long-range ballistic missiles until the competing OKB-586 design bureau was established in 1954 and, later, Chelomei's OKB-52. In 1956, OKB-1 was made independent of NII-88. After Korolev's death in 1966, his first deputy Vasiliy Mishin was appointed chief designer of the bureau and from the mid-1960s till 1974, OKB-1 focused on the Soviet manned lunar program. When the Moon race was lost to the United States, OKB-1's attention switched to the development of long-term Earth-orbiting stations. In 1974 Mishin was replaced by Valentin Glushko, at which point Glushko's old bureau merged with OKB-1 to form Energia NPO. Under government pressure, Energia NPO was directed to respond the American Space Shuttle by developing Buran and its massive booster. When this project collapsed, Energia NPO proposed evolving the Buran booster rocket into the Energia-M. Currently, this proposal too is in mothballs having been sidelined by Angara.



1. Godwin, Robert, comp. Rocket and Space Corporation Energia: The Legacy of S. P. Korolev. Burlington, Ontario: Apogee Books, 2001.