August 12, 1961 – Vostok 4 joins Vostok 3 in orbit

Russian cosmonaut Andriyan Nikolayev was born on September 5, 1929, and died July 3, 2004. Nikolayev was the seventh person to leave the earth aboard a spacecraft on August 11, 1962. This flight, Vostok 3, was also the first space mission to broadcast television images back to earth. Another fascinating aspect of this mission is that a day later the Russians launched Vostok 4. Both spacecraft orbited at the same time though they did not dock or rendevouz. But some in the United States space program thought they did. Cosmonaut Pavel Popovich was aboard Vostok 4.

Quotes:

“Flying above our lovely planet, I was carried away by its beauty. I watched the bright colors with ecstasy . . . Earth, in all the astonishing diversity of her beauty, might be compared to an elegant bride behind a thin, tender blue veil.”
Nikolayev, cited in Into that Silent Sea (p. 196).

Nikolayev is pictured top right in this photo with fellow cosmonauts. Yuri Gagarin is bottom, second from left. The first female cosmonaut, Terashkova is pictured too.

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~ by tellinghistory on August 12, 2007.

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