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Main » 2009 » September » 30 » Russian cosmonaut Pavel Popovich passed away.

Russian cosmonaut Pavel Popovich passed away.
On September 29, 2009 one of the first Soviet cosmonauts, who orbited the Earth barely a year after Yuri Gagarin's historic first spaceflight, died in the southern Crimean city of Hurzuf on Wednesday, a Ukrainian official said.

"Pavel Popovich died on Wednesday morning in his flat in Hurzuf," said Alla Goreva, spokeswoman for the speaker of the Crimean parliament.

Popovich, who would have celebrated his 79th birthday in October, became the sixth man to orbit the Earth as pilot of the Vostok-4 spaceship on August 12-15, 1962. His second and final spaceflight took place on July 3-19, 1974, when he commanded the Soyuz-14 spacecraft.

Popovich received several state awards, including two Hero of the Soviet Union Gold Star medals, two Orders of Lenin, an Order of Friendship of Peoples and an Order of the Red Star. A mountain range in Antarctica and a Mars-crossing asteroid are named after the cosmonaut.

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