Georgy Timofeyevich Dobrovolsky
|Died||June 30, 1971 43) (aged|
|Awards|| Hero of the Soviet Union |
Order of Lenin
|Rank||Podpolkovnik, Soviet Air Force|
Time in space
|23d 18h 21m|
|Selection||Air Force Group 2|
Georgy Timofeyevich Dobrovolsky (Russian : Гео́ргий Тимофе́евич Доброво́льский; June 1, 1928 –June 30, 1971) was a Soviet cosmonaut who commanded the three-man crew of the Soyuz 11 spacecraft. They became the world's first space station crew aboard Salyut 1, but died of asphyxiation because of an accidentally opened valve. They were the first and, as of 2020, the only humans to have died in space.
Dobrovolsky, Viktor Patsayev and Vladislav Volkov flew on the Soyuz 11 mission and were the world's second crew to die during a space flight (after Vladimir Komarov in Soyuz 1).
After a normal re-entry, the capsule was opened and the crew was found dead.It was discovered that a valve had opened just prior to leaving orbit that had allowed the capsule's atmosphere to vent away into space, suffocating the crew.
Dobrovolsky's ashes were placed in an urn in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis on Red Square in Moscow.He was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, the Order of Lenin and the title of Pilot-Cosmonaut of the USSR.
The Salyut programme was the first space station programme, undertaken by the Soviet Union. It involved a series of four crewed scientific research space stations and two crewed military reconnaissance space stations over a period of 15 years, from 1971 to 1986. Two other Salyut launches failed. In one respect, Salyut had the task of carrying out long-term research into the problems of living in space and a variety of astronomical, biological and Earth-resources experiments, and on the other hand the USSR used this civilian program as a cover for the highly secretive military Almaz stations, which flew under the Salyut designation. Salyut 1, the first station in the program, became the world's first crewed space station.
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