Valery Polyakov: Russian cosmonaut who set the record for the longest space mission dies at the age of 80 | Science and technology news
Valery Polyakov, the Russian cosmonaut who set the record for the longest single time in space, has died at the age of 80.
Polyakov spent 437 days on the Mir space station between January 1994 and March 1995.
It orbited the earth more than 7,000 times before returning.
Polyakov was a doctor by training and wanted to show that the human body could survive in space for long periods of time.
Upon landing, Polyakov declined to be carried out of the Soyuz capsule, as is customary, to allow for gravity readjustment.
Instead, he was helped out of the pod and walked himself to a nearby transport vehicle.
He had previously spent eight months on a space mission between August 1988 and April 1989.
Polyakov received several awards and medals for his services to the Soviet and Russian space programs, including the titles Hero of the Soviet Union and Hero of the Russian Federation, and the Order of Lenin.
His death was announced by the Russian space agency on Monday.
“His research helped prove that the human body is ready to travel not only to Earth orbit but also to space,” Roscosmos said in a statement, according to The Moscow Times.
A cause of death was not given.