Russian Cosmonaut Valery Polyakov Who Broke Record With 437-Day Stay In Space Dies At 80

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Dr. Valery Polyakov, a physician-turned-cosmonaut who spent 437 days successful outer abstraction and acceptable the satellite record, died astatine 80. Russian abstraction bureau Roscosmos announced his decease connected Monday without disclosing the origin oregon location.

“His probe helped beryllium that the quality assemblage is acceptable for flights not lone to near-Earth orbit, but besides to heavy space,” Roscosmos wrote successful a Telegram post. “We explicit our deepest condolences to the relatives and friends of Valery Vladimirovich.”

He was calved Valery Ivanovich Korshunov connected April 27, 1942, but changed his sanction aft being adopted successful 1957, according to the New Mexico Museum of Space History. Polyakov began arsenic a doc and joined the Institute of Biomedical Problems successful Moscow successful 1971, according to CNN.

After undergoing spaceflight grooming to show helium could administer assistance to chap astronauts successful orbit and passing his exams successful 1972, Polyakov became 1 of the archetypal doctor-cosmonaut trainees successful history. He earned his Candidate of Medical Sciences grade successful 1976.

Polyakov’s archetypal lengthy abstraction ngo successful 1988 lasted 8 months, and helium became lawman manager of the institute helium erstwhile joined arsenic a young antheral upon returning backmost to Earth. It was his 2nd and last mission, however, that made history.

A photograph  of Polyakov taken arsenic  the Space Shuttle "Discovery" docked with the Mir abstraction  station.
A photograph of Polyakov taken arsenic the Space Shuttle "Discovery" docked with the Mir abstraction station.

F. Carter Smith via Getty Images

Now a specializer successful the nascent tract of abstraction medicine, Polyakov volunteered to beryllium quality beings could withstand microgravity and scope Mars, according to Wired. His formation to dock with Russia’s Mir abstraction presumption launched connected Jan. 8, 1994 — and Polyakov didn’t instrumentality until March 22, 1995.

Polyakov orbited Earth 7,075 times and traveled astir 187 cardinal miles during those 14 months — during which millions of radical backmost connected Earth had marveled astatine the motorboat of the Netscape Navigator net browser, the opening of the English Channel Tunnel and O.J. Simpson’s high-speed constabulary chase.

According to “The Story of Manned Space Stations” by Philip Baker, American astronaut Norman Thagard said Polyakov returned to Earth “big and strong” and looked “like helium could wrestle a bear.” Polyakov exercised during his ngo and refused assistance upon landing, opting to locomotion connected his own.

“When his capsule landed successful Kazakhstan helium walked from it to a adjacent chair, a tremendous achievement,” wrote Baker. “He besides stole a cigaret from a person nearby, but could hardly beryllium blamed for that. He sipped a tiny brandy and inwardly celebrated his mission.”

“His grounds inactive stands today,” wrote Baker, “and it is improbable to beryllium breached until antheral ventures to Mars.”

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