Belyayev, Pavel

Pavel Belyayev was a cosmonaut who flew on the historic Voskhod 2 mission. He was born Pavel Ivanovich Belyayev on June 26, 1925 in Chelizshevo, USSR. He graduated from the Air Force Academy in Sarapul in 1944, and also from the Military Fighter Pilot School Yeis a year later. Belyayev was active in the Soviet Air force and Navy for over fifteen years before he was selected for the space program in 1960. He was originally scheduled to fly the Vostok 8 mission into Earth’s Van Allen radiation belt, but the mission was cancelled. In 1965, Belyayev commanded Voskhod 2 along with Alexei Leonov, who became the first human to walk in space. However, the flight only lasted a day due to a failure of the automatic guidance system. In 1965, Belyayev was awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union.

Belyayev has been featured on many different stamps from the 1960s, including Cuba, Bulgaria, DDR, the Soviet Union, and Hungary. Aleksei Leonov is commonly featured alongside him. Belyayev sadly died on January 10, 1970 from peritonitis, which was a result of an operation on a stomach ulcer. He is buried in the Novodevichy convent in Moscow.