Vladimir Dezhurov is a former Russian cosmonaut who has performed nine spacewalks. He was born Vladimir Nikolayevich Dezhurov on July 30, 1962 in Yavas, Zubovo-Polyansky District, Mordovia, Russia. Dezhurov attended the S.I. Gritsevits Kharkov Higher Military Aviation School, where he graduated with a pilot engineer’s diploma in 1983. After graduating, Dezhurov served as a pilot and senior pilot in the Russian Air Force. In 1987, he was assigned to the Cosmonaut Training Center, where he trained for space flight for two years. Since then, he has been a part of a group of test cosmonauts. Since 1991, he has been an associate student at the Gagarin Air Force Academy.
In March 1994, Dezhurov was chosen to train for the Mir-8 mission crew. One year later on March 14, they were launched into space aboard the Soyuz TM-21 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. After two days the crew docked with the space station Mir. Dezhurov worked as the Mir commander and helped sort out technical problems they had. Additionally, the crew carried out various life science experiments. On May 12, 1995 Dezhurov performed his first spacewalk. During the six hour walk, he and fellow astronaut Gennady Strekalov worked on the Kristall module and got ready for the Spektr module’s arrival. Throughout the rest of the mission, Dezhurov performed four more spacewalks. On July 7, 1995, after 115 days in space, the mission ended with the space shuttle Atlantis landing at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. In August 2001, Dezhurov was launched from the Kennedy Space Center aboard space shuttle Discovery as part of the Expedition 3 crew. On August 12, the shuttle docked with the ISS and left Dezhurov to live and work as a flight engineer on the station for four months. Additionally, he performed four spacewalks to work on the Pirs Docking Compartment. He returned to Earth with other astronauts aboard space shuttle Endeavour on December 17, 2001.
During his career, Dezhurov was awarded three Air Force medals, the Hero of the Russian Federation medal, and the Pilot/Cosmonaut title by Decree of the President of the Russian Federation. Dezhurov retired on July 12, 2004 and currently lives in Star City, Moscow. He is married to Elena Valentinovna Dezhurova and together they have two daughters: Anna, born in 1983, and Svetlana, born in 1987.
Image Caption: Cosmonaut Vladimir N. Dezhurov, flight engineer, representing Rosaviakosmos. Credit: NASA/Wikipedia