Valery Polyakov: Russian cosmonaut who set record for longest space mission dies aged 80 | Scientific and technical news

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Valery Polyakov, the Russian cosmonaut who set the record for the longest single stay in space, has died aged 80.

Polyakov spent 437 days between January 1994 and March 1995 on the Mir space station.

It made more than 7,000 orbits around the Earth before returning.

Polyakov had trained as a doctor and wanted to demonstrate that the human body could withstand long periods in space.

Upon landing, Polyakov refused to be carried out of the Soyuz capsule, as is standard practice to allow readjustment to the pull of gravity.

Instead, he was helped out of the pod and walked to a nearby transport vehicle himself.

He had previously spent eight months in space on a mission between August 1988 and April 1989.

Polyakov received several awards and medals for his service to Soviet and Russian space programs, including the titles Hero of the Soviet Union and Hero of the Russian Federation, as well as the Order of Lenin.

His death was announced Monday by the Russian space agency.

“His research helped prove that the human body is ready to travel not only to Earth’s orbit, but also to deep space,” Roscosmos said in a statement, according to the Moscow Times.

He did not specify the cause of death.


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