April 23, 2013
Categories: History, Russia, Soyuz

April 23, 1967 – Soyuz-1 spacecraft was launched into orbit. Hero of the Soviet Union Vladimir Komarov was a test pilot.

Vladimir Mikhaylovich Komarov was born in Moscow on March 16, 1927, where he grew up along with his sister Matilde. At the age of fifteen in 1942, Komarov entered the “1st Moscow Special Air Force School” to pursue his dream of becoming an aviator.

In September 1959, Komarov was promoted to engineer-captain and invited to participate in the selection process for cosmonaut candidate along with approximately 3,000 other pilots. He was one of only 20 candidates selected for “Air Force Group One”.

Unfortunately Vladimir Komarov didn’t enter the group of six, trained for the first ever mission to space. And nevertheless he became the first. He was the first to test Voskhod-1 spacecraft in October 1964.

And in 1966 Komarov was assigned to the Soviet  Soyuz program along with Yuri Gagarin and Alexey Leonov. Vladimir was selected to command the Soyuz-1, in 1967, with Gagarin as his backup cosmonaut. And on April 23 Soyuz-1 was launched into orbit. After completion of variuos checks ant tests he successfully re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere on his 19th orbit, but the module’s drogue and main braking parachute failed to deploy correctly and the module crashed into the ground, killing Komarov.

On April 26, 1967, Komarov was given a state funeral in Moscow, and his ashes were interred in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis at Red Square. After this flight Vladimir Komarov was posthumously awarded his second Order of Lenin and also the Order of Hero of the Soviet Union.

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