Jügderdemidiin Gürragchaa

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Jügderdemidiin Gürragchaa
Жүгдэрдэмидийн Гүррагчаа
Jügderdemidiin Gürragchaa.jpeg
Jügderdemidiin Gürragchaa
Intercosmos Cosmonaut
Nationality  Mongolia
Status Living
Born (1947-12-05) December 5, 1947 (age 74)
Gurvanbulag, Bulgan, Mongolia
Other occupation
Flight engineer
Rank Major General
Time in space
7d 20h 42m
Selection 1978 Intercosmos Group
Missions Soyuz 39
Mission insignia
Soyuz39 patch.png

Jügderdemidiin Gürragchaa (Mongolian: Жүгдэрдэмидийн Гүррагчаа; Russian: Жугдэрдэмидийн Гуррагча, [ˈʐuɡdʲɪrdʲɪmʲɪdʲɪjn ˈɡurəktɕə], born December 5, 1947) was the first Mongolian in space.[1] He was Mongolia's defense minister from 2000 to 2004.

Early life and spaceflight

Born in Gurvanbulag, Mongolia, Gürragchaa studied in Ulaanbaatar to become an aerospace engineer. He then joined the air force, rising to the rank of Major General.

He was selected as part of the eighth Intercosmos program on March 1, 1978. His backup was Maidarjavyn Ganzorig. Gürragchaa, along with Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Dzhanibekov, departed from Baikonur Cosmodrome on March 22, 1981. They docked with Salyut 6. While in orbit, Dzhanibekov and Gürragchaa carried out experiments on earth science. After 124 orbits and 7 days, 20 hours and 42 minutes in space, Gürragchaa and Dzhanibekov landed 170 km southeast of Dzhezkasgan.


After Mongolia removed the Communist-era ban on clan names in 1997, and unable to identify his original clan heritage, Gürragchaa chose the clan name Sansar – Mongolian for "cosmos".[2] Clan names have only symbolic significance today and should not be confused with western style "family names", which are unknown in Mongolia. (See Mongolian names for details.)

Jügderdemidiin Gürragchaa was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union on March 30, 1981.[3] The Zaisan Memorial, a monument south of Ulaanbaatar dedicated to Russian–Mongolian friendship, includes a mural which depicts amongst its scenes Gürragchaa's 1981 flight.

He heads the development fund for bandy in Mongolia.[4]

Before becoming minister of defense, Gürragchaa worked as the chief of staff of air defence for the Mongolian Armed Forces. He is married and has two children.


  1. Man-In-Space Firsts
  2. Mongolia Today – In Search of Sacred Names. Retrieved 04 February 2009.
  3. (Russian) Biography at the website on Heroes of the Soviet Union and Russia
  4. "Bandy. Silver Mungunhuyag. Most exotic star team at the World Cup Bandy dreams to perform at Olympics". sovsport.ru. 1 February 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links