Piljugin visited Moscow State Technical University. From 1934 he was employed at the Central Aero and Hydrodynamic Institute later moved to GIRD. He was instrumental after the Second World War in the production of intercontinental ballistic missile R- 7 and the Space Shuttle Buran 1:01.
Prizes and Awards (selection)
- Hero of Socialist Labor (1956, 1961)
- Lenin Prize (1957 )
- Stalin Prize (1967 )
- Order of Lenin (1956, 1958, 1968, 1975, 1978)