Nikolay Leonidovich Semyonov - the man who hit the Moon

Meeting a historical person

Bob Christy and I visited Moscow in May 2008 at the invitation of Vladimir Agapov and Igor Lissov. I have compiled a few photo reports:

We also made an evening visit to the editorial offices of Novosti Kosmonavtiki. The picture below was taken by Bob Christy:

Standing: Sven, Bob, Nikolay Semyonov, Oleg Shinkovich, Igor Marinin, Vladimir Agapov, Alla Sinitsyna, Pavel Sharov
Kneeling: Igor Lissov

Nikolay Leonidovich Semyonov came into the NK office almost at the same time as we did. Our friends at NK introduced him as someone who had been present at the launch of Sputnik-1 to which he replied: "and Gagarin!". In the Sputnik days, he was an officer within the 16th section (otdel) of the Scientific Research Department (Sluzhba NIR) of NIIP-5 (Baikonur Cosmodrome).

Igor Lissov later told us that Nikolay Leonidovich was the person who found the error of 2 degrees in the elevation angle of the antenna of the R-7 radiocommand
system at Tyuratam/Baykonur after the launch of Luna-1, which, as we know, resulted in the Moon miss in January 1959. So Nikolay Leonidovich's contribution led to the successful lunar impact of Luna-2 in September 1959. So one could say he is the man who hit the Moon!

He's retired, of course, and he often participates in space events in the Moscow area as a free-lance photographer.

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