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Valeri I Rozhdestvensky, 1939-2011

2 Sep 2011, 19:52 UTC
Valeri I Rozhdestvensky, 1939-2011
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Valeri Rozhdestvensky, who as a cosmonaut flew aboard the first Soviet mission to end with a splashdown, died Wednesday at age 72. His only spaceflight, Soyuz 23, lifted off in 1976 on what was planned as a month-long mission onboard the Salyut 5 space station. A guidance system failure resulted in the docking being aborted and Rozhdestvensky, with his commander Vyacheslav Zudov, returning to Earth during a snowstorm, landing in the dark in the middle of an icy lake. Rozhdestvensky later served a flight controller and deputy chief at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center.

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