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|LT. GENERAL GEORGY T. BEREGOVOY|
Born: April 15, 1921 in Poltava Oblast, Soviet Union
Died: June 30, 1995 in Moscow, Russia
Georgy Timofeyevich Beregovoy (April 15, 1921 – June 30,
1995) was a Soviet cosmonaut who commanded the space mission Soyuz 3 in 1968. At
the time of his flight, Beregovoy was 47 years of age: he was the earliest-born
human to go to orbit, being born three months and three days earlier than the
second earliest-born man in orbit – John Glenn, but later than X-15 pilot Joe
Walker who made 2 (or 3, according to USAF definition) suborbital space
Beregovoy was born on April 15, 1921, in Fedorivka,
Poltava Oblast, Soviet Union (now Ukraine). He graduated from a school in 1938
at Yenakieve, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. He joined the Soviet Air Forces (VVS) in
1941, and was soon assigned to a ground-attack unit flying the Ilyushin Il-2
"Shturmovik". He flew some 185 combat sorties during the course of World War II
and rose quickly through the ranks, finishing the war as a captain and squadron
Following the war, he became a test pilot, and over the
next sixteen years test-flew some sixty different aircraft, rising to the rank
of colonel and the position of deputy chief of the air force's flight-testing
department. In 1962, he applied and was accepted for cosmonaut
In 1965, Colonel Beregovoy was scheduled to fly the
following year in Voskhod 3, but the mission was never launched.
October 25, 1968, Beregovoy took the Soyuz 3 into outer space: he orbited the
Earth for almost four days at altitude up to 252 km. As part of his mission,
Beregovoy twice maneuvered his craft into rendezvous positions with the unmanned
Soyuz 2 satellite but was unable to establish a direct physical link to the
craft before returning on October 30, 1968.
Nonetheless, Beregovoy's flight was in some ways an
encouraging success for the Soviet manned space program, and the colonel was
celebrated as a hero upon his return. Soyuz 3 was Beregovoy's only spaceflight
and soon after it he retired from active duty, having been promoted to Major