Studied at the Kazansk Aviation Institute, 1947-1953. Thereater went to work at Yangel's new missile factory at Dnepropetrovsk. Rising positions in the design bureau there, becaming Chief Designer for KB-2 from 1965-1972. First Deputy Chief Designer and General Designer 1972-1982 of Yangel design bureau. During this time Gubanov managed design and development of both intercontinental ballistic missiles and space launchers. From 1982-1993 played the same role at the Korolev design bureau, taking control of development and overseeing flight test of the Energia heavy-lift launch vehicle.