According to some accounts, the Nobel Committee approached Nikita Khrushchev after the launch of Sputnik-1. But the Russian government would not reveal the name of their “chief designer”, Sergei Korolev. So the scientific achievement that began the space age went unacknowledged.

Nobel prizes can only be given to living persons, but there is still an opportunity to award the Prize in Physics to Boris Evseevich Chertok. Chertok, who is 97 years old now, was a major contributor to the development of the R-7 rocket and the launch of Sputnik. He was one of Korolev’s right hand men, the division head of rocket control systems.