Ex-cosmonaut Konstantin Feoktistov dies; Soviet space pioneer was 83

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A 1964 Russian stamp featuring cosmonaut Konstantin Feoktistov.

Pioneering Soviet cosmonaut Konstantin Feoktistov has died aged 83. A statement by the Russian Space Agency declared that he died of "unspecified causes" last Saturday in Moscow.

Feoktistov was important in the early development of Soviet space travel and was part of the first group spaceflight in history, as part of the Voskhod 1 mission in 1964. He was also the first civilian allowed to participate in the Soviet space programme.

He was born in Voronezh in 1926 and was wounded whilst serving in WWII. His inclusion in the spaceflight programme was often met by resistance from the Soviet government as he was neither a member of the communist party or in the military at the time. After his retirement from space travel he continued to work as a designer and engineer for the space programme until 1990, helping to design spacecraft and space stations such as Mir and Soyuz, amongst others.