Titov, Gherman Stepanovich (1935–2000)
Soviet cosmonaut who was the first person to spend an entire day in space,
to sleep in space, and to experience space sickness. Titov served as backup
to Yuri Gagarin on the first manned orbital
mission, then flew aboard Vostok 2 on Aug.
6, 1961, to become the fourth man in space that year and the youngest at
just 25 years of age – a record that still stands. During his 17 orbits
of Earth, Titov was studied to discover if there were any effects of prolonged
weightlessness on human beings. The nausea and irregular heartbeat he suffered
through his flight concerned Soviet space engineers at the time who thought
all space travelers might be similarly afflicted, although it later turned
out that space sickness is an individual and temporary affliction. Titov
also operated the spacecraft's controls manually, unlike Gagarin whose capsule
was guided automatically from Earth.
Born in Verhnee Zhilino, Titov was in the Soviet Air Force when he was picked,
on Mar. 7, 1960, as one of the first 20 individuals for cosmonaut training.
After the Vostok 2 mission, he was assigned to a project known as the Spiral
space plane which was eventually cancelled. He never flew in space again
but became a top official in the Soviet military space forces and a became
a member of Russian's lower house of parliament. Titov's accomplishments
are honored through the naming of a lunar crater after him.