SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Vladimir Mikhailovich Komarov (1927-1967), Soviet cosmonaut, in his military uniform. Komarov was a Colonel in the Soviet Air Force. He made his first space flight in 1964, when he served as the commander of Voskhod 1, the first spacecraft to carry a crew of three. In 1967, he was selected to pilot Soyuz 1, a solo craft which was intended to perform the first Soviet space docking. For political reasons, the launch was carried out despite known problems with the craft. Soyuz 1 suffered power and altitude control failures while orbiting. The spacecraft's parachutes failed to deploy properly on re-entry on 24 April 1967, and it impacted the ground at 30-40 metres per second, killing Komarov instantly. Photographed in 1964.
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