Komarov, Vladimir Mikhaylovich (1927–1967)
Soviet cosmonaut and the first human being to die on a space mission. Born
in Moscow and a graduate of four Soviet Air Force colleges, Komarov was
selected as a military pilot cosmonaut in March 1960. After joining the
Vostok training group in 1961, he was assigned
to be backup pilot of Vostok 4 in 1962 and support for Vostok 5. On Oct.
12, 1964, he served as commander of Voskhod
1 along with crewmates Boris Yegerov and Konstantin Feoktistov.
Because all the Vostok missions ended with the cosmonaut ejecting at about
4 km and landing separately from the spacecraft, this crew also became the
first to touchdown on land inside their spacecraft. On Apr. 24, 1967, having
been launched as the pilot of Soyuz 1, a solo
mission, he became the first person to die during a space mission after
the lines of his spacecraft's parachute became tangled during descent. His
ashes are buried in the Kremlin Wall.