The MiG bureau was established in Moscow on 8 December 1939 as the Prototype Design Section of Aviation Plant 1. Artem Ivanovich Mikoyan, brother of Stalin's trade minister, headed the bureau. Together with Mikhail Iosifovich Gurevich, Mikoyan designed and manufactured a series of relatively unsuccessful high-altitude MiG fighters during World War II. Following a six-month evacuation to Kuibyshev, the bureau returned to Moscow in March 1942 but at a different location and renamed OKB-155.
OKB MiG already undertook studies for a copy of the Me-163B rocket fighter in 1944, using a Soviet engine by Dushkin/Glushko, but no construction was begun before the war ended. Post-war Soviet technical teams discovered the more advanced Ju-248 (Me-263) design, including one prototype airframe, and the decision was made that MiG would copy this design. The resulting I-270 rocketplane had a more refined aerodynamic form than the Me-263 and lower gross weight. A powered prototype first flew in March 1947. But in the meantime the British government had foolishly sold to the Soviet Union a small quantity of their Nene turbojet engine. This was duly copied and put into production. The combination of the Nene engine, the I-270 airframe, and a German swept wing design resulted in the faster and much longer ranged turbojet-powered MiG-15. This was a world-beating design and spawned a series of light fighter aircraft that were heavily exported throughout the Cold War.
Mikoyan was able to wrest design and production of cruise missiles from Chelomei in 1952, resulting in a missile series based on the MiG-15 aerodynamic layout. In the early 1960's, following the dissolution of the Tsybin and Myasishchev design bureaus, Korolev began discussing development of a winged space launcher with MiG. Lozino-Lozinsky was placed in charge of development of the resulting ambitious Spiral OS reusable space launch system that resulted in the build of the MiG 105-11 prototype and the BOR-4 subscale space vehicles in the 1970's. When the decision was made in 1976 to instead copy the American Space Shuttle Design, Lozino-Lozinsky was given his own NPO Molniya design bureau for that purpose.
MiG again briefly dabbled in space themes with the design of various hypersonic aerospace vehicles in the 1980's in response to the American X-30 project.