Mstislav Vsevolodovich Keldysh (1911-1978) was an outstanding Soviet scientist in the field of mathematics and mechanics. He was an Academician, Member of the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1953-1960), Vice-President of the Academy (1960-1961), the President of the Academy (1961-1974) and in 1974-1978 again the Member of the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR.
M.V. Keldysh was three times awarded the title of Hero of the Socialist Labour and decorated with three Golden Star Medals of the Hero (the supreme decoration for the civilians in the Former Soviet Union) in 1956, 1961 and 1971.
He graduated from the Moscow State University in 1931, then he was working at the Central Institute of Aerodynamics in Moscow, was a Professor of the Moscow State University (beginning 1937) and worked at the Institute of Mathematics named after V.A. Steklov of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in Moscow.
In 1953-1978 he was a Director of the Institute of Applied Mathematics of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. He made great achievements in the fields of mathematics, mechanics and aero-gas-dynamics. He made great contribution to the science of the Former Soviet Union by developing efficient methods of calculation applied in nuclear and space technologies, computer science and information technology. He was one of initiators of research in the fields of space rockets systems development and space research.
In the middle of 1950-s he was in forefront of creation of theoretical principles of space flights and launching of satellites onto orbits of earth as well as other planets of the Solar System. He was heading a coordination council for guiding activities of Scientific-Research Institute and Design Bureau in the area of building manmade satellites for launching them onto earth orbit. He made great contribution to research of space within the earth orbit, definition of problems in this area, study of inter-planet environment, studies of moon and other planets, implementation of manned space flights programme, automatic control and navigation theory, heat exchange mechanics and many other fields of applied and theoretical science.
He played important role in implementation of "Intercosmos" programme aimed at development of international co-operation in aeronautics.
He was awarded the State Premiums of the USSR in 1942-1946 and Lenin Premium in 1957. He was decorated with 7 Orders of Lenin, 3 Orders of Red Labour Banner and a big number of other medals and orders, including foreign ones.
In 1978 a Golden Medal named after M.V. Keldysh was established by the Academy of Sciences of the USSR for award for outstanding achievements made in the fields of applied mathematics and mechanics as well as theoretical studies of space.
He died on 24 June 1978.