Nikolaev, Andriian Grigor’evich
Born Sept. 5, 1929, in the village of Shorshely, Mariinskii Posad Raion, Chuvash ASSR. Pilot and cosmonaut of the USSR; major-general of the air force (1970), twice. Hero of the Soviet Union (Aug. 18, 1962, and July 3, 1970). Member of the CPSU since 1957. From a peasant family.
Nikolaev graduated from the Mariinskii Posad Forestry Engineering Technicum in 1947 and up to 1950 worked as a timber procurement foreman in Karelia. After graduating from the Frunze Military Aviation School (1954), he served as a fighter pilot. Since 1960 he has been on the cosmonaut team. On Aug. 11–15, 1962, in the Vostok 3 spacecraft, Nikolaev made 64 orbits of the earth, flying more than 2.6 million km. On Aug. 12, 1962, the Vostok 4 spacecraft, piloted by P. R. Popovich, was launched. The group flight of Nikolaev and Popovich lasted 70 hr 24 min. Two-way communication was established between the craft, and their closest approach to one another was 6.5 km. Television transmissions were made from the spacecraft. Nikolaev’s flight lasted 94 hr 10 min. Nikolaev’s second space flight was made June 1–19, 1970, as the commander of the Soyuz 9 spacecraft (with V. I. Sevast’ianov). The craft made 286 orbits of the earth and flew about 11.9 million km in 424 hr 59 min. During the flight an extensive program of scientific, technical, medical, and biological research was carried out.
In 1968, Nikolaev graduated from the N. E. Zhukovskii Air Force Engineering Academy, and in 1975 he became a candidate of technical sciences. He was a deputy of the sixth to eighth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR. He is an honorary member of the International Academy of Astronautics. He has received the Order of Lenin, the Order of the Red Star, and medals, and also many foreign orders. Nikolaev has been awarded the titles of Hero of Socialist Labor of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria, Hero of Labor of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, and Hero of the Mongolian People’s Republic. A crater on the far side of the moon has been named for him.