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|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