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.
Sergei Korolev was a Soviet spacecraft designer and rocket engineer who played an important role during the Space Race between the Soviet Union and the United States of America in the 1950s and 1960s. He was largely responsible for developing the R-7 Rocket and launching Yuri Gagarin into space. Sergei Korolev also launched Belka, Strelka, and Laika into space.
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky was a Russian rocket scientist. Credited with pioneering astronautic theory, Tsiolkovsky is widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of astronautics and modern rocketry. His works served as an inspiration to several other Soviet rocket engineers like Valentin Glushko and Sergei Korolev. Hence, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky's work played an influential role in the Soviet space program.
Vagit Alekperov is a Russian-Azerbaijani entrepreneur best known for his service as the president of the PJSC Lukoil Oil Company from 1993 to 2022. Counted among the richest people in the world, Vagit Alekperov is also known for his philanthropic efforts. In 2007, he established a non-profit organization called Our Future, which aims at promoting social entrepreneurship in Russia.
Often referred to as the Father of the Television, Russian-American engineer Vladimir K. Zworykin is remembered for inventing the kinescope picture tube, also known as the cathode-ray tube, used in the television. He was associated with the Radio Corporation of America, and his other creations included the iconoscope camera.
Nobel Prize-winning Soviet physicist Pyotr Kapitsa revolutionized science with his invention of new machines for liquefaction of gases. He is also remembered for discovering that liquid helium is superfluid. He had also served in World War I and had lost his father, wife, and children in the 1918-1919 flu epidemic.
From serving in Soviet labor camps to working at a metallurgical factory, Igor Smirnov had done it all before he joined the campaign to free Transnistria. He eventually became the region’s first president, in spite of it not being recognized as an independent state internationally.
One of the pioneers of electronic music, Léon Theremin invented the aetherphone, also known as the theremin, which was the first electronic musical instrument to be mass-produced. He also doubled up as a Soviet spy, eavesdropping on the British, French, and US embassies, using the Buran device and The Thing.
Russian theologian Pavel Florensky is best remembered for his essay The Pillar and the Ground of Truth. During Stalin’s regime and amid a phase of national atheism, he was sent to jail and also banished to Siberia for his religious beliefs, which he refused to renounce.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.