Ivan Anikeyev

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Ivan Nikolayevich Anikeyev
Soviet Cosmonaut
Nationality Russian
Status Deceased
Born (1933-02-12)12 February 1933
Died 8 August 1992(1992-08-08) (aged 59)
Selection Air Force Group 1
Missions None

Ivan Nikolayevich Anikeyev (February 12, 1933 - August 8, 1992) was a Soviet cosmonaut who was dismissed from the Soviet space program for disciplinary reasons.

Senior Lieutenant Anikeyev, age 27, was selected as one of the original 20 cosmonauts on March 7, 1960 along with Yuri Gagarin.

On March 27, 1963 Anikeyev, Grigori Nelyubov and Valentin Filatyev were arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct by the militia at Chkalovskiy station. According to reports, the officers of the security patrol that arrested them were willing to ignore the whole incident if the cosmonauts apologized; Anikeyev and Filatyev agreed but Nelyubov refused, and the matter was reported to the authorities. Because there had been previous incidents, all three were dismissed from the cosmonaut corps on April 17, 1963, though officially not until May 4, 1963. Anikeyev never completed a space mission.

To protect the image of the space program, efforts were made to cover up the reason for Anikeyev's dismissal. His image was airbrushed out of cosmonaut photos. This airbrushing led to speculation about "lost cosmonauts" even though the actual reasons were often mundane.

Alexei Leonov recounts that years later, while Anikeyev was at a party one night, someone stole his keys from his pocket and stole his car. The thief hit and killed a pedestrian, and to avoid responsibility, returned the keys to Anikeyev's pocket. The latter was sent to prison for a year before authorities realized he was innocent and released him, but he was never given the chance to fly again.[1]


  1. Two Sides of the Moon: Our Story of the Cold Ware Space Race by David Scott and Alexei Leonov, 2004, p. 87

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