Nikolayev, Andriyan Grigoryevich

▪ 2005

      Soviet cosmonaut (b. Sept. 5, 1929, Shorshely, Chuvashia, U.S.S.R [now in Russia]—d. July 3, 2004, Cheboksary, Chuvashia, Russia), was one of the Soviet Union's pioneers in space; he set endurance records in orbit in 1962 and 1970. Nikolayev initially worked in forestry, but when he was drafted into the military in 1950, he was trained as a pilot. His interest, aptitude, and reputation for being coolheaded under pressure led to his being chosen in 1959 as one of the first 20 people to be trained as cosmonauts and in the following year to be trained for the first Soviet manned spaceflights. The Soviet Union took a decisive lead in the space race with the U.S. when Vostok 3, carrying Nikolayev, blasted off on Aug. 11, 1962, followed by Pavel Popovich in Vostok 4 on the following day. The two spacecraft traveled in parallel orbits, close enough at times for the cosmonauts to make visual contact, and pictures of Nikolayev were beamed back to Earth, the first televised pictures from space. After 96 hours and 64 orbits (the previous record had been a little over 25 hours and 17 orbits), Nikolayev's spacecraft safely returned to Earth. Nikolayev and Popovich were lionized as national heroes for the next few years, which included Nikolayev's very public marriage (1963–82) to Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space. In 1970 Nikolayev set a new endurance record in space, with Vitaly Sevastyanov on Soyuz 9, spending almost 18 days in orbit in a mission to learn the effects of prolonged spaceflight.

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▪ Soviet cosmonaut
born , September 5, 1929, Shorshely, Chuvash A.S.S.R., U.S.S.R. [now Chuvashia, Russia]
died July 3, 2004, Cheboksary, Chuvashia, Russia

      Soviet cosmonaut, who piloted the Vostok 3 spacecraft, launched August 11, 1962. When Vostok 4, piloted by Pavel R. Popovich (Popovich, Pavel Romanovich), was launched a day later, there were, for the first time, two manned craft in space simultaneously. The two made radio and visual contact, but there was no attempt at docking. Both landed on August 15.

      The son of a worker on a collective farm, Nikolayev studied and worked in forestry until drafted into the Soviet army in 1950. An early interest in flying persisted, and he soon transferred to the air force; in 1954 he became a pilot. In 1957 he joined the Communist Party, and in March 1960 he entered cosmonaut training. In 1962 he became the third Russian cosmonaut to travel into space, and during his 96-hour flight, which set an endurance record, he orbited the Earth 64 times. Nikolayev later served as the commander of the Soviet Astronauts' Detachment.

      On November 3, 1963, Nikolayev married Valentina Tereshkova (Tereshkova, Valentina), who in June 1963 had become the first woman to travel in space. They had one child and were subsequently divorced.

      Nikolayev and Vitaly I. Sevastyanov manned the Soyuz 9 flight on June 1, 1970, and set a new space endurance record of almost 18 days in orbit. The mission, primarily one of determining the effects of prolonged spaceflight, ended on June 19. Nikolayev was twice named Hero of the Soviet Union.

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Universalium. 2010.

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