Who the heck were GIRD?

This is part of the continuing “Who the Heck is” series

G.I.R.D. (Gruppa Izucheniya Reaktivhogo Dvizheniya) translated “Group for the Investigation of Reactive Motion”

GIRD was the world’s first large professional rocketry program. It was started on September 15th 1931 as a bureau in the Soviet Union. Fridrikh Tsander gave up his job and devoted himself to the group’s formation. The goal was to create a efficient working rocket engine. The group adopted the slogan “Onward to Mars, onward to Mars!” – A slogan that would be useful today. The group consisted of 4 brigades each headed by brilliant Soviet researchers. The group included:
Fridrikh Tsander – 1st brigade (rocket engine research)

1st brigade's GIRD-X rocket launching

Mikhail Tikhonravov -2nd brigade (rocket engine research)

2nd brigade's GIRD-9 & GIRD-13 rocket schematic -click to enlarge

Yuri Pobedonostsev – 3rd brigade (ramjet research)

3rd brigade's GIRD-08 phosphorus-fueled ramjet

Sergey Korolev – 4th brigade (rocket plane research)

4th brigade's RP-1 Rocket glider

Tsander inspired the group until his untimely death of Typhus in 1933.

For more info on GIRD see the following sources:
Wikipedia article on GIRD
Don Mitchell’s article

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