Space Research Institute
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Space Research Institute

   Short history of IKI with respect to it's directors and main missions
Note that missions' preparation usually takes no less than several years, and time attribution shall be considered accordingly:

1965Ц1973 Ч academician Georgy Petrov (1912Ц1987), mathematician and physicist, one of the pioneers in the rocket engineering, along with Sergey Korolev and Mstislav Keldysh. His works on atmosphere re-entry, heat shielding, and thermal regimes were those, made possible space missions to the outer space and other planets.

1973Ц1988 Ч academician Roald Sagdeev (b. 1932), physicist, expert in plasma physics. Under his leadership IKI developed several successful series of magnetosphere and planetary missions to study near-Earth environment, Mars, and most important, Venus (Venera spacecraft series). The latter included several twin projects to study Venus from the orbit and from its surface (the only successful landing to that planet), crowned with double mission VEGA (l. 1984), which consisted of balloons to float in Venusian atmosphere and two fly-by spacecraft to rendezvous with comet Halley, along with a fleet of spacecraft from Europe and Japan. Currently Roald Sagdeev is professor in University of Maryland, USA.

1988Ц2002 Ч academician Albert Galeev (b. 1940), physicist, specialist in plasma and space physics. Years of his leadership marked the years of social and economical perturbations in the USSR and, later, Russia, but despite severe financial difficulties, IKI led two great projects with extensive scientific outcome: GRANAT space observatory (1989Ц1999) and Interball (studies of terrestrial magnetosphere, 1995Ц2001). Unfortunately, two large international planetary missions to Phobos (twin spacecraft Phobos, launched in 1988) and Mars (Mars-96 launched in 1996) were lost, albeit Phobos-2 reached Mars in 1989 and made some observations from the orbit around the planet. Now Albert Galeev is honorary director of IKI.

2002Цnow Ч academician Lev Zelenyi, physicist, expert in plasma physics and plasma theory, professor. Since 2013 Lev Zelenyi is vice president of Russian Academy of Sciences and heads the Bureau of RAS's Council for Space. 2000s witnessed many launches, where IKI's scientists were involved as members of international collaboration, including Mars Odyssey and Mars Exploration Rovers (NASA), Mars Express and Venus Express (ESA), and INTEGRAL (ESA), to name just a few. Major project of the decade was Phobos Sample Return, that was launched in 2011, but unfortunately did not leave near-Earth orbit and perished in the Atlantic ocean. This tragedy led to substantial reconsideration of Russian space program. Nonetheless, IKI's current agenda includes many working missions and projects to be launched in the coming years.