USSR: List of Known (Human) Cosmonauts Killed in Action (1967-1971)

Soviet Moon-Landing (c. 1960s)

During the so-called ‘Space Race’ – the Socialist Science practiced by the Soviet Union – prevailed at every stage of the contest except for the landing of a human-being on the surface of the Moon. Even when the US successfully landed Apollo 11 safely on the Moon, (and brought these brave Astronauts safely back to Earth), the Soviet Union was close to achieving this remarkable feat.

Happy Great October Revolution – Celebrating Soviet Woman Cosmonaut 1962

Whereas America was using the expertise of captured Nazi German scientists as the basis of all NASA developments – the USSR was having to recover from a disastrous war that not only (materially) devastated the Western side of the USSR between 1941-1945 – but cost the of between 27-40 million men, women and children (although one report counts the dead as being ‘over 70 million). Of course, WWII took its toll on the lives lost of the young men of America – as they bravely fought their way across Europe and across the Pacific as ‘Allies’ of the Soviet Union – but America itself was virtually ‘untouched’ by the war. Indeed, the US economy grew tremendously as a producer of war materials.  

Cosmonauts and Internationalism!

This is a list of the names of the ‘known’ and ‘verifiable’ Cosmonauts who died on ‘active duty.’ That is, those members of the Soviet Military Establishment who ‘volunteered’ to take the risks associated with space exploration knowing that despite the most stringent of safety measures – things could still go wrong. These brave men gave their lives for the Socialist System of the Soviet Union and they should be remembered with pride! 

Four Cosmonauts of the Soviet Union – Killed in Action: 

First Lost Soviet Cosmonaut: Vladimir Mikhailovich Komarov (d. 1967) – Hero
Soviet Red Army Guards the Grave of Cosmonaut Vladimir Mikhailovich Komarov (d. 1967) – Hero
Remember this Brave Soviet Cosmonaut – Vladimir Mikhailovich Komarov (d. 1967) – Hero

1) Date Lost: 24.4.1967 – Name: Komarov, Vladimir Mikhailovich (Комаров, Владимир Михайлович) – Age: 40 – Rank: Pilot – Spacecraft: Soyuz-1 – Reason: Parachute System ‘Failure’ at the final stage of descent of ship – Result: Deceased – First Soviet Cosmonaut  ‘lost’ in the history of manned astronautics. 

Lost Soviet Cosmonaut: Vladislav Nikolaevich Volkov (d. 1971) – Hero

2) Date Lost: 30.6.1971 – Name: Volkov, Vladislav Nikolaevich (Волков, Владислав Николаевич) – Age: 35 – Rank: Flight Engineer – Spacecraft: Soyuz 11 – Reason: Depressurization of descent vehicle at an altitude of over 150 km – Result: Deceased. 

Lost Soviet Cosmonaut: Georgy Timofeevich Dobrovolsky (d. 1971) – Hero

3) Date Lost: 30.6.1971 – Name: Dobrovolsky, Georgy Timofeevich (Добровольский, Георгий Тимофеевич) – Age: 43 – Rank: Commander – Spacecraft: Soyuz 11 – Reason: Depressurization of descent vehicle at an altitude of over 150 km – Result: Deceased. 

Lost Soviet Cosmonaut: Victor Ivanovich Patsaev (d. 1971) – Hero

4) Date Lost: 30.6.1971 – Name: Patsaev, Victor Ivanovich (Пацаев, Виктор Иванович) – Age: 38 – Rank: Research Engineer – Spacecraft: Soyuz 11 – Reason: Depressurization of descent vehicle at an altitude of over 150 km – Result: Deceased – First astronomer in orbit. 

Heroes of the Soviet Union – Crew of Soyuz II (d. 1971) – Heroes
Heroes of the Soviet Union-Crew of Soyuz II (d. 1971) – Heroes
Lost Cosmonauts Recovered – Crew of Soyuz II (d. 1971) – Heroes

Honorary Mention: ‘Laika’ (лайка) First Soviet ‘Dog’ Cosmonaut Lost in Space (d. 1957)

Soviet Cosmonaut ‘Laika’ (d. 1957) – Hero
Sputnik II Carried Three-Year- Old ‘Laika’ into Space (d. 1957) – Hero
A Relaxed ‘Laika’ – Good Girl! (d. 1957) – Hero

Russian Language References:

https://www.vesvks.ru/vks/article/dobrovolskiy-volkov-pacaev-poslednee-intervyu-16101

https://ruspekh.ru/people/komarov-vladimir-mikhajlovich

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