- Historical event
- 24 April 1967
- Vladimir Komarov was one of the oldest cosmonauts (in the first group of cosmonauts), seven years older than Gagarin. Apparently, younger cosmonauts called him "The Professor".
The first human being died during a space mission on this day in 1967, at least according to the official records. The Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov died during the return of the spacecraft Soyuz 1 to the Earth.
The spacecraft crashed in Russia, a hundred kilometers from the Ural Mountains.
Vladimir Komarov was a member of the first generation of Soviet astronauts (i.e. cosmonauts in the local terminology), with Yuri Gagarin and Gherman Titov.
But, Komarov was one of the oldest cosmonauts (in the first group of cosmonauts), seven years older than Gagarin. Apparently, younger cosmonauts called him “The Professor”.
He was the first man in history who flew into space twice. His first flight Sunrise 1 in 1964 was successful, but he died during the second flight, three years later.
The fatal flight was called Soyuz 1 and there were problems throughout the mission. The left solar panel of the aircraft didn’t work, and neither did the HF communication, nor the ion drive.
Komarov oriented the spacecraft manually in order to return it to the atmosphere. He managed to do so, but the parachute didn`t work well during the lowering, so the Soyuz 1 crashed into the ground.
The news about his death spread throughout the entire USSR, and the American colleagues grieved his death (they put his name on the list of dead astronauts, and left it on the Moon).