January 26, 2008
Early Soviet Fatalities?

It's Pravda, so take it with a grain of salt: Gagarin was not the first cosmonaut:

Gagarin was not the first man to fly to space. Three Soviet pilots died in attempts to conquer space before Gagarin's famous space flight, Mikhail Rudenko, senior engineer-experimenter with Experimental Design Office 456 (located in Khimki, in the Moscow region) said on Thursday. According to Rudenko, spacecraft with pilots Ledovskikh, Shaborin and Mitkov at the controls were launched from the Kapustin Yar cosmodrome (in the Astrakhan region) in 1957, 1958 and 1959. "All three pilots died during the flights, and their names were never officially published," Rudenko said. He explained that all these pilots took part in so-called sub-orbital flights, i.e., their goal was not to orbit around the earth, which Gagarin later did, but make a parabola-shaped flight.

Posted by T.L. James on January 26, 2008 10:00 PM | TrackBack


Note the article date: 2001. No developments I've heard of since.

Posted by: Tom at January 29, 2008 06:55 AM