Komarov, Vladimir Mikhaylovich (1927–1967)

Vladimir Komarov

Vladimir Komarov was a 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 October 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 April 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.