November 23, 2009

Russian Astronaut Feoktistov Passes Away

Russian cosmonaut and spaceship designer Konstantin Feoktistov has died at the age of 83, Roscosmos said in a statement on Sunday.

Feoktistov passed away on Saturday. No cause of death was given.

Born February 7, 1926 in Voronej, about 600 kilometers (370 miles) from Moscow, Feoktistov was the only Russian cosmonaut to have completed a flight into space not to hold Communist Party membership. He designed spaceships and even has a crater on the moon named after him.

Injured during service in World War II, Feoktistov studied at the Bauman Moscow State Technical University.

He became an cosmonaut in 1964. In October that year, Feoktistov took part in the first group space flight in history as a member of the three-man crew on Voskhod 1 for which he was honored the Hero of the Soviet Union award.

Roscosmos said this expedition made Feoktistov "the first spacecraft designer to have tested his creations under real conditions."

He worked as a spacecraft designer until 1990, working on such projects as the Soyuz rocket and the Mir space station.


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