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Born Feb. 13, 1937, in Rautenkranz. Pilotcosmonaut of the German Democratic Republic; lieutenant colonel. Hero of the German Democratic Republic (1978). Member of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany since 1956. The first citizen of the German Democratic Republic to fly in space.
Jähn graduated from the F. Mehring Air Force Higher Officer School of Air Defense in 1958 and the Iu. A. Gagarin Air Force Academy in 1970. He is a member of the air force of the National People’s Army of the German Democratic Republic.
In 1976, Jähn was chosen as a candidate for manned flight in the Intercosmos program. He completed training at the Iu. A. Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center. From Aug. 26 to Sept. 3, 1978, Jähn flew as a cosmonaut-researcher with V. F. Bykovskii aboard the Soyuz 31 spacecraft and the Salyut 6 orbiting station. Salyut 6 was being manned by V. V. Kovalenok and A. S. Ivanchenkov, who had docked Soyuz 29 with the station. Jähn returned to earth aboard Soyuz 29. His total flight time was 7 days 20 hr 49 min.
Jähn was granted the title Hero of the Soviet Union in 1978; he has been awarded the Order of Karl Marx, the Order of Lenin, and various medals.