Roscosmos Head Councellor, Hero of Russian Federation, cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov was officially appointed to the position of GCTC acting head, – Roscosmos press-office secretary Irina Zubareva reports.
“Appointing order was signed on Monday. Since Tuesday, April 1, Yuri Lonchakov takes up the duties of GCTC acting Head”, – she sated.
Lonchakov was born on March 4, 1965 in Kazakhstan. He served in the naval aviation of Baltic Navy forces, then in air defense corps. In 1998 he graduated from Zhukovsky Air Force Engineering Academy and became a member of cosmonauts corps. He performed 3 space flights, the first one – onboard Endeavor shuttle. Lonchakov has been preparing to fly to the ISS onboard Soyuz TMA-16M as a crew commander in 2015 but made up his mind to leave the corps late summer 2013. When Oleg Ostapenko became Roscosmos head, Yuri Lonchakov was appointed to the position of his Councellor.
As was reported earlier the contract of GCTC previous head Sergey Krikalev, expired late March 2014, won’t be prolonged. Currently Krikalev is on 3 months vacation. Earlier he reported that he is going to accept Roscosmos proposal and deal with forming new structure of Russian manned cosmonautics strategic development. This structure is to be formed on the basis of Roscosmos main institute – TsNIIMash.
The spokesman for space industry stated week ago that GCTC will be headed either by Yuri Lonchakov or cosmonaut Yuri Gizenko. That time Roscosmos reported that candidates for GCTC head position were to be considered this week.