Twice Hero of the Soviet Union, he had many other awards and medals.
He graduated from the Moscow Aviation Institute in 1959 and joined Sergey Korolev's design bureau, where he worked on the design of the Vostok spacecraft. He also lectured at the Cosmonaut Training Centre, teaching the physics of spaceflight. In 1967 he commenced cosmonaut training himself.
After two successful missions, including a two-month stay aboard the Salyut 4 space station, he was stood down from active flight status in 1976. He worked in ground control for the Salyut 6 station before returning to spacecraft design in the 1980s to work on the Buran project.
He was president of the Soviet Union Chess Federation from 1977 to 1986 and from 1988 to 1989.
During the 1980s, he was the host of a popular television program on space exploration entitled "Man, Earth, Universe”.
In 1993, he left the space program and in 1994 he was elected to the State Duma (Russian Parliament).
Vitaliy Sevastjanov was well known as a responsive and sympathetic person. The memory about him will always remain in our hearts.
"Sevastianov was the first to make a long-term space mission. His contribution into space exploration, evolution of Russian space program is essential”, said Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.