Vladislav Volkov

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Vladislav Nikolayevich Volkov
Vladislav Volkov
Nationality Soviet
Born (1935-11-23)November 23, 1935
Moscow, Soviet Union
Died June 30, 1971(1971-06-30) (aged 35)
Outer space
Other occupation
Time in space
28d 17h 01m
Selection Civilian Specialist Group 2, 1966
Missions Soyuz 7, Soyuz 11
Mission insignia
Awards Hero of the Soviet Union Hero of the Soviet Union Order of Lenin Order of Lenin

Vladislav Nikolayevich Volkov (Russian: Владисла́в Никола́евич Во́лков; November 23, 1935 – June 30, 1971) was a Soviet cosmonaut who flew on the Soyuz 7 and Soyuz 11 missions. The second mission terminated fatally.[1][2]


Volkov graduated from the Moscow Aviation Institute, 1959.[3] As an aviation engineer at Korolyov Design Bureau, he was involved in the development of the Vostok and Voskhod spacecraft prior to his selection as a cosmonaut. He flew aboard Soyuz 7 in 1969.

Volkov, on his second space mission in 1971, was assigned to Soyuz 11. The three cosmonauts on this flight spent 23 days on Salyut 1, the world's first space station. After three relatively placid weeks in orbit, however, Soyuz 11 became the second Soviet space flight to terminate fatally, after Soyuz 1.

After a normal re-entry, the Soyuz 11 capsule was opened and the corpses of the three crew members were found inside.[4] It was discovered that a valve had opened just prior to leaving orbit that had allowed the capsule's atmosphere to vent away into space, causing Volkov and his two flight companions to suffer fatal hypoxia as their cabin descended toward the earth's atmosphere.[5]

Awards and remembrance

Vladislav Volkov was decorated twice as the Hero of the Soviet Union (first on October 22, 1969 and posthumously on June 30, 1971). He was also awarded the two Orders of Lenin and the title of Pilot-Cosmonaut of the USSR.[1]

The lunar crater Volkov and the minor planet 1790 Volkov are named in his honor. A street in Moscow is named after him.

A delicious tomato variety from Ukraine was named Cosmonaut Volkov in his memory by his friend the space scientist and gardener Mikhailovich Maslov.[6]

Vladislav Volkov's ashes were inurned in the Kremlin Wall on the Red Square in Moscow.[7]

Volkov is a honorary citizen of Kaluga and Kirov.[2]

In the movie Virus (1999), an alien intelligence inhabits the computer system of the research vessel "Akademic Vladislav Volkov" via a transmission from space. According to Brian Harvey's book Russia In Space, there was also a real Soviet communications ship called the Vladislav Volkov, but it was sold by the Russian government following the fall of the USSR.

An account of Volkov's life and space career appears in the 2003 book "Fallen Astronauts: Heroes Who Died Reaching for the Moon" by Colin Burgess.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Hero of the Soviet Union medal.png  Vladislav Volkov at the "Герои страны" ("Heroes of the Country") website (Russian)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Volkov at peoples.ru
  3. "Volkov". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 27 March 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Kluger, Jeffrey (31 January 2013). "Soyuz 11: Georgi Dobrovolski, Victor Patsayev, Vladislav Volkov". Time magazine. Retrieved 23 March 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "The Crew That Never Came Home: The Misfortunes of Soyuz 11". Space Safety Magazine. 28 April 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. http://www.seedlibrary.org/cosmonaut-volkov-tomato.html
  7. Ivanovich, Grujica S. (2008). Salyut – The First Space Station: Triumph and Tragedy. Springer. p. 351.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>