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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
MAJOR GENERAL ANDRIAN NIKOLAYEV
Born: September 5, 1929 in Shorshely, Chuvashia, Russia
Died: July 3, 2004 in Cheboksary, Chuvashia, Russia
Andriyan Grigoryevich Nikolayev (5 September 1929 – 3
July 2004) was a Soviet cosmonaut. He was an ethnic Chuvash.
Nikolayev flew on two space flights: Vostok 3
(effectively becoming the third Soviet cosmonaut) and Soyuz 9. His call sign in
these flights was Falcon. On both, he set new endurance records for the longest
time a human being had remained in orbit. He also served as backup for the
Vostok 2 and Soyuz 8 missions. On 22 January 1969, Nikolayev survived an
assassination attempt on Leonid Brezhnev, undertaken by a Soviet Army deserter,
Viktor Ilyin. He left the cosmonaut corps on 26 January
Nikolayev was also the first person to make a television
broadcast from space, in August 1962. Vostok 3 was part the first dual space
flight, with Pavel Popovich on Vostok 4.
In the early days of space
travel, it was usual to place trainee astronauts into isolation chambers to see
how long they could last alone. They sat in silence unable to gauge time. Many
men cracked. One cosmonaut, Andriyan Nikolayev lasted the longest - four days -
and became known as the Iron Man.
On 3 November 1963, he married
Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to fly in space. They had one daughter,
Elena Andriyanovna (now a Doctor of Medicine), before their marriage collapsed.
However, it was not until 1982 that they divorced.
Nikolayev died of a heart attack in Cheboksary, the capital of Chuvashia in
VITALY I. SEVASTYANOV
Born: July 8, 1935 in Krasnouralsk, Soviet Union
Died: April 5, 2010 in Moscow, Russia
Vitaly Ivanovich Sevastyanov (8 July 1935,
Krasnouralsk, USSR – 5 April 2010) was a Soviet cosmonaut who flew on the Soyuz
9 and Soyuz 18 missions.
He trained as an engineer at the Moscow
Aviation Institute and after graduation in 1959, joined Sergey Korolev's design
bureau, where he worked on the design of the Vostok spacecraft. He also lectured
at the Cosmonaut Training Centre, teaching the physics of spaceflight. In 1967
he commenced cosmonaut training himself. Between 15-24th September 1972 Vitaly
Sevastyanov visited Zagreb, Jugoslavia.
After two successful
missions, including a two-month stay on the Salyut 4 space station, he was
pulled from active flight status in 1976. He worked in ground control for the
Salyut 6 station before returning to spacecraft design in the 1980s to work on
the Buran project.
He was president of the Soviet Union Chess
Federation from 1977 to 1986 and from 1988 to 1989.
1980s he was the host of a popular television program on space exploration
entitled Man, Earth, Universe.
In 1993, he left the space programme
and was elected to the State Duma in 1994.