Famous Russian Astronauts

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 1 
Yuri Gagarin
(Soviet Pilot and Cosmonaut Who Became the First Man to Travel into Outer Space)
Yuri Gagarin
10
Birthdate: March 9, 1934
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Klushino, Russia
Died: March 27, 1968
Yuri Gagarin was the first man to travel into outer space when he completed an orbit of the Earth aboard the Vostok 1 in 1961. Following this, he became a national hero in Russia. He had previously served as an Air Forces pilot. He tragically died in a MiG-15 crash.
 2 
Valentina Tereshkova
(The First and Youngest Woman in Space)
Valentina Tereshkova
12
Birthdate: March 6, 1937
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bol'shoe Maslennikovo, Russia
Former cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova is currently part of the Russian State Duma. In 1963, she became the first woman to fly into space when she went on a solo mission aboard the Vostok 6. She has won many honors, such as the Hero of the Soviet Union.
 3 
Vladimir Komarov
(First Cosmonaut to Fly into Space Twice and the First Human to Die in a Space Flight)
Vladimir Komarov
8
Birthdate: March 16, 1927
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: April 24, 1967

Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov was the first from his country to fly into space twice. He died when his Soyuz 1 capsule crashed while re-entering the Earth, due to a parachute failure, on April 24, 1967, which made him the first human to die in a space flight.

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 4 
Sergei Krikalev
(Russian Retired Cosmonaut: Ranks Third for the Most Time Spent in Space)
Sergei Krikalev
9
Birthdate: August 27, 1958
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia

Soviet and Russian mechanical-engineer and retired cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev who spent 803 days, 9 hours and 39 minutes in space over the span of six spaceflights held the record of spending most time in space before his record was surpassed by Gennady Padalka on June 28, 2015. At present Krikalev ranks third in the list after Padalka and Yuri Malenchenko.  

 5 
Valeri Polyakov
(Russian Cosmonaut Who Is the Record Holder for the Longest Single Stay in Space)
Valeri Polyakov
2
Birthdate: April 27, 1942
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tula, Russia
Died: September 7, 2022

Valeri Polyakov is a Russian retired astronaut who holds the record for the longest single stay (437 days 18 hours) in space. He achieved this record when he stayed aboard the Mir space station for over 14 months during one of his trips. Over the course of his illustrious career, Valeri Polyakov was honored with several prestigious awards.

 6 
Gennady Padalka
(World Record Holder for the Most Time Spent in Space)
Gennady Padalka
2
Birthdate: June 21, 1958
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Krasnodar

Russian Air Force officer and a Roscosmos cosmonaut Gennady Ivanovich Padalka is the current record holder for the most time spent in space. He achieved such feat spending 878 days in space over five missions (including one Mir Mission and four International Space Station Missions) and surpassing the earlier record of cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev on June 28, 2015.

 7 
Svetlana Savitskaya
(First Woman to Fly to Space Twice and the First Woman to Perform Spacewalk)
Svetlana Savitskaya
4
Birthdate: August 8, 1948
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

In 1982 Russian former aviator and Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya flew to space aboard Soyuz T-7 becoming the second woman to fly to space. She again went to space during Soyuz T-12 mission and this time she not only achieved the feat of becoming the first woman to fly to space twice but also the first woman to perform spacewalk.

 8 
Vladislav Volkov
(Soviet Cosmonaut Who alongside Two Others Became the Only Three Humans Who Died in Space)
Vladislav Volkov
2
Birthdate: November 23, 1935
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: June 29, 1971

Soviet cosmonaut Vladislav Volkov flew to space aboard Soyuz 7 in 1969 and Soyuz 11 in 1971. The latter was the only crewed mission to board Salyut 1, the first space-station of the world. It however ended in disaster resulting in death of all three crew members including Volkov thus marking them as the only humans who died in space. 

 9 
Andrian Nikolayev
(Soviet Cosmonaut and the Third Soviet to Travel into Space)
Andrian Nikolayev
1
Birthdate: September 5, 1929
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Shorshely, Russia
Died: July 3, 2004

Initially part of the Soviet army, Andrian Nikolayev later became a pilot and then joined the Communist Party, before stepping into cosmonaut training. He soon scripted history as the third Russian cosmonaut to make it to space. He was also the husband of pioneering female cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova.

 10 
Fyodor Yurchikhin
(Russian Astronaut Who Has Been on 5 Space Missions)
Fyodor Yurchikhin
3
Birthdate: January 3, 1959
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Batumi, Adjar ASSR, Georgian SSR, Soviet Union

Greek-origin Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin is a trained mechanical engineer who initially worked for Energia. He has been on 5 spaceflights and has been named a Hero of the Russian Federation. He and 4 other Russian cosmonauts raised the Russian flag at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics opening ceremony.

 11 
Yuri Malenchenko
(Russian Retired Cosmonaut and the First Person to Marry in Space)
Yuri Malenchenko
2
Birthdate: December 22, 1961
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Svitlovodsk

Former Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko currently ranks second for the most time spent in space. He worked on missions of both Mir and International Space Station (ISS). While serving as Commander of Expedition 7 of the ISS, Malenchenko married Ekaterina Dmitrieva, who was in Texas at that time, and with this Malenchenko became the first person who married in space.  

 12 
Viktor Patsayev
(Soviet Cosmonaut Who Died in His Space Capsule Alongside His Two Colleagues)
Viktor Patsayev
1
Birthdate: June 19, 1933
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Aktobe, Kazakhstan
Died: June 29, 1971

Soviet cosmonaut Viktor Patsayev created history when he, along with 2 colleagues, Georgy T. Dobrovolsky and Vladislav N. Volkov, created the first manned orbital scientific station on their Soyuz 11 spacecraft. The crew were found dead in their capsule even after making a normal landing in Kazakhstan.

 13 
Sergei Avdeyev
(Russian Engineer and Cosmonaut Who Once Held the Record for Time Dilation Experienced by a Human Being)
Sergei Avdeyev
1
Birthdate: January 1, 1956
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chapayevsk

Before starting his career as a cosmonaut, Sergei Avdeyev was an engineer for NPO Energiya. He is also an amateur radio operator, with the call sign RV3DW. A Hero of the Russian Federation, he once held the world record for time dilation by a human being.

 14 
Valery Kubasov
(Soviet Cosmonaut Known for Carrying Out the First Welding Experiments in Space with Georgy Shonin)
Valery Kubasov
1
Birthdate: January 7, 1935
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vyazniki, Russia
Died: February 19, 2014

Soviet/Russian cosmonaut Valery Kubasov carried-out first wielding experiments in space with Georgy Shonin during his first space mission Soyuz 6. He served as flight engineer in the mission and also in Apollo–Soyuz mission, the first crewed international space mission undertaken jointly by the US and the Soviet Union. Kubasov later became commander of the Soyuz 36, his last spaceflight.

 15 
Konstantin Feoktistov
(Russian Cosmonaut and Space Engineer Who Was Part of the First Multi-Manned Spacecraft, 'Voskhod 1')
Konstantin Feoktistov
0
Birthdate: February 7, 1926
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Voronezh, Russia
Died: November 21, 2009

Part of a Soviet boy scout during World War II, cosmonaut Konstantin Feoktistov narrowly escaped death in the hands of Germans at 16. He later became part of the world’s first multi-manned spacecraft, Voskhod 1. As an engineer, he designed the Salyut and Mir space stations.

 16 
Mikhail Korniyenko
(Russian Cosmonaut and Flight Engineer)
Mikhail Korniyenko
0
Birthdate: April 15, 1960
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Syzran

Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Korniyenko was initially a flight engineer on the International Space Station. He and American astronaut Scott Kelly later spent 340 days in orbit, in what was a year-long mission, from March 2015 to March 2016. In 2016, he was seen playing himself in the Russian comedy film Yolki 5.

 17 
Boris Yegorov
(Soviet Physician-Cosmonaut Who Became the First Physician to Make a Space Flight)
Boris Yegorov
0
Birthdate: November 26, 1937
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: September 12, 1994

Boris Yegorov was not part of the world’s first multi-manned spaceflight, Voskhod, but also made history by becoming the first physician to go into space. He specialized in the inner-ear sense of balance mechanism of aerospace medicine. Of his many awards was the Hero of the Soviet Union.

 18 
Sergey Volkov
(Russian Cosmonaut and Flight Engineer)
Sergey Volkov
0
Birthdate: April 1, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chuhuiv, Ukraine

Sergey Volkov, the son of legendary Russian cosmonaut Aleksandr Volkov, became the first second-generation cosmonaut. He was part of 3 missions of the International Space Station and did 4 spacewalks during those missions. He was also a lieutenant colonel in the Russian air force and became a Hero of the Russian Federation.

 19 
Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Volkov
(Retired Russian Cosmonaut and Father of Sergey Volkov, The First Second-Generation Cosmonaut)
Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Volkov
0
Birthdate: May 27, 1948
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Horlivka, Ukraine

Former Russian cosmonaut Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Volkov was in his teens when he resolved to become a cosmonaut, inspired by the accomplishment of Yuri Gagarin as the first man who flew to space. Volkov took three space flights during his career including two for the Mir space station. His son Sergey Volkov followed his footsteps and became the first second-generation cosmonaut.

 20 
Gennady Strekalov
(Astronaut Who Was Part of the First Russian-American Flight to the Mir Space Station)
Gennady Strekalov
0
Birthdate: October 26, 1940
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mytishchi, Russia
Died: December 25, 2004

Initially a coppersmith at the Russian aircraft manufacturer OKB-1, or RSC Energia, Gennady Strekalov later joined the company’s engineer cosmonaut group. He not only flew 5 times in space, but was also part of the first Russian-American collaborative flight to the Mir space station. He was made a Hero of the Soviet Union.

 21 
Nikolai Rukavishnikov
(Soviet Cosmonaut Who Was Part of 3 Soyuz Space Missions)
Nikolai Rukavishnikov
0
Birthdate: September 18, 1932
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tomsk, Russia
Died: October 19, 2002

Known for his 3 space missions of the Soyuz program, Soviet cosmonaut and physicist Nikolai Rukavishnikov became the 50th human to travel into space. Post-retirement, he worked for Energia. He was also a 2-time Hero of the Soviet Union and was honored by Bulgaria and Mongolia, too.

 22 
Yelena Kondakova
(The World's First Female Cosmonaut to Make a Long-Duration Spaceflight)
Yelena Kondakova
4
Birthdate: March 30, 1957
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mytishchi, Russia

Initially an engineer with aerospace manufacturer Energia, Russian cosmonaut Yelena Kondakova later scripted history as the world’s first female astronaut to make a long-duration spaceflight. She was made a Hero of the Russian Federation and later also served in the lower house of the Russian parliament.

 23 
Pyotr Klimuk
(The First Belarusian to Travel into Space)
Pyotr Klimuk
4
Birthdate: July 10, 1942
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Komarovka, Belarus
Died: 0000 AD

Soviet cosmonaut Pyotr Klimuk made history when he became the first Belarusian to travel into space. He flew in space thrice and headed Moscow’s Yury Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center. The 2-time Hero of the Soviet Union later also served as an advisor to the president of Belarus.