Satellites brought the world closer together, enabling instant communication, relaying information, and fulfilling countless military and civilian uses.

Sergei Korolev designed the first satellite, the Sputnik 1. It struck fear and hope around the globe as it orbited earth sending radio pings that anybody could hear.

Korolev spent years during the Great Purge in Stalin gulags, nearly dying, but went on to win release and lead the Soviet space program. He is also the lead engineer for the rocket that launched Yuri Gagarin, the first person to reach space, April 12, 1961.

The Soviet Union worried the US would attempt to assassinate him to win the space race so Korolev lived quietly; even Soviet cosmonauts did not know his last name.

The Soviet Union did not release his name until after his death, in 1960. To this day, many streets, monuments, and even the primary Russian space city bear his name.