The personal motto of Friedrich Arturovich Zander, an engineer and inventor, one of the pioneers of rocket technology in our country, was “Forward to Mars.” He was so consumed with interplanetary communications that he even named his children Mercury and Astra.
In his early childhood, Friedrich Zander started a notebook titled “Space (Etheric) Ships That Will Provide Communications Between the Stars. Movement in the outer space.” Over the years, the notebook turned into a collection of serious research works.
“Science can make mankind happy,” Zander wrote. In any case, it made him happy. All his life he pursued his dream passionately. In the hungry and cold year of 1920, in his leisure time away from work at an aircraft factory, he started “designing an airplane for departure from the Earth’s atmosphere and obtaining space velocities, as well as developing an engine for such aircraft.” It was considered dreamlike, but Friedrich Arturovich did not give up, but made a jet engine out of a blowtorch instead and tested it with compressed air and OR-1 gasoline. O for Test. R for Rocket. 1 for One.
In 1931, Zander set up a department of jet engines under the Aircraft Technology Bureau of the Central Council of Osoaviakhim (Society for the Promotion of Aviation and Chemical Defense). A couple of months later the department was transformed into the Jet Propulsion Research Group (GIRD). The Jet Propulsion Research Group, where Zander started working with future space tamers Tikhonravov and Korolev. In 1933, the group launched the first two Soviet rockets and one of them, a liquid-propellant rocket designed by Zander. But the dreamer did not see these launches, as his body sapped by work could not resist typhoid.