Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pavel Popovich

Pavel Popovich during Vostok 4 [ Siddiqi/NASA]

The sixth man to orbit the Earth, Pavel Romanovich Popovich died Wednesday, five days before his 79th birthday. According to officials in Russia, his death came following a stroke at a hospital in Gurzuf on Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula.

"Pavel was a wonderful person," recalled first woman in space Valentina Tereshkova, in an interview with RIA Novosti. "A professional cosmonaut, devoted to his work, and he was also a good friend."

The first to be chosen among the Soviet Union's original 20 cosmonaut candidates, Popovich was considered for the country's -- and world's -- first spaceflight, which was ultimately flown by Yuri Gagarin. Instead, he served as capcom for Vostok 1, conveying commands between the ground and Gagarin in space.

Full Story, HERE.

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