Georgy Beregovoy was a Soviet cosmonaut who commanded the space mission Soyuz 3 in 1968. He was born Georgy Timofeyevich Beregovoy on April 15, 1921 in Fedorivka, Ukrainian SSR. In 1941, he joined the Soviet air force and was assigned to a ground-attack unit flying the Ilyushin Il-2. He flew almost 200 combat raids during the World War II and became a Captain and Squadron Commander by the end of the war. Following the war, he became a test pilot and rose to the rank of Colonel and Deputy Chief of the Air Force’s Flight Testing department. In 1962, he applied for cosmonaut training and was accepted.
Beregovoy was scheduled to fly in 1965 in Voskhod 3; however, the mission was never launched. On October 25, 1968, Beregovoy launched into space aboard the Soyuz 3 and orbited the Earth for over four days. He maneuvered his craft into rendezvous positions with the unmanned Soyuz 2 satellite twice, but was not capable of establishing direct physical contact with the craft. He returned on October 30. Despite his challenges, Beregovoy’s flight was encouraging for the Soviet manned space program, and he was celebrated when he returned. It was, however, his final spaceflight, and he retired from active duty soon after. He held a position at the Centre for Cosmonaut Training until his official retirement years later.
After his retirement, Beregovoy became a Soviet parliament member representing the Donbas region of the Ukrainian SSR. He died of natural causes on June 30, 1995, and is buried in the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow with a statue on Cosmonauts Alley. After his death, he was awarded two Orders of Lenin, two Orders of the Red Banner, and numerous other medals.