Viktor Gorbatko


Viktor Gorbatko
Viktor Gorbatko 21.jpg
Viktor Gorbatko in Vologda, 2011
Viktor Vasilyevich Gorbatko

(1934-12-03)3 December 1934
Died17 May 2017(2017-05-17) (aged 82)[1]
Resting placeFederal Military Memorial Cemetery,
Moscow Oblast
AwardsHero of the Soviet Union (2)
Order of Lenin (3)
Space career
RankMajor General, Soviet Air Force
Time in space
30d 12h 47m
SelectionAir Force Group 1
MissionsSoyuz 7 Soyuz 24 Soyuz 37/Soyuz 36

Viktor Vasilyevich Gorbatko (Russian: Ви́ктор Васи́льевич Горбатко́; 3 December 1934 – 17 May 2017) was a Soviet cosmonaut who flew on the Soyuz 7, Soyuz 24, and Soyuz 37 missions.[2]

Early life

Viktor Vasilievich Gorbatko was born on December 3, 1934, to Vasili Pavlovich and Matrena Aleksandrovna Gorbatko.[3] Viktor was raised in the Northern Caucasus settlement of Ventsy-Zarya in the Gulkevich district. Gorbatko had four siblings, an older brother, Boris, two older sisters, Elena and Valentina, and Ludmila, the youngest sibling. Viktor was given the opportunity to learn from Nadezdha Karaulova who taught from ABC books that were often censored by the Nazis of everything that had to do with the Soviet histories. Viktor finished seventh grade in 1949 and then attended a secondary school in the Novokubanski district.[3]

Personal life and career

Viktor's interest in becoming a pilot was sparked during the conflict between the Soviets and the Nazis. His siblings often told him stories of brave pilots and their adventures and he too followed in their footsteps. Upon joining the Soviet Army in 1952, Viktor requested to be assigned to flight school.[3] Following his enlisting, Viktor was sent to the 8th Military Aviation School of Pilot Basic Training in the Ukrainian town of Pavlograd, Dnepropetrovsk Region where he was taught to fly. Viktor graduated on June 23, 1956, as a lieutenant in the Soviet air force.[3]

Gorbatko married his first wife Valentina Pavlovna Ordynskaya. Gorbatko also had two children, Irina his first daughter, and Marina, his second daughter, in 1960.

Gorbatko became part of the 86th Guards Fighter Regiment of the 119th Fighter Division, attached to the 48th Air Army operating out of the Odessa Military District in Moldavia. On June 22, 1957, Gorbatko achieved the rank of senior pilot. He would not achieve the senior lieutenant ranking until August 6, 1958, and in October would achieve the military pilots ranking, third class.[3]

Gorbatko was among the first group of Soviet cosmonauts. He began training in early 1960 but he did not reach space until 1967. His first spaceflight was Soyuz 7 from 12 to 17 October 1969 where he was Research Engineer. This mission tested Soviet lunar equipment but a failed docking with Soyuz 8 was the last in-space test before that program was abandoned.[3] Gorbatko was the commander of the 18-day Soyuz 24 mission in February 1977 to the Salyut 5 space station. This was the last all-military spaceflight by the Soviet Union. In 1980, Gorbatko commanded Soyuz 37 which also carried Pham Tuân, the first Vietnamese astronaut. Gorbatko and Pham Tuân flew to Salyut 6 and landed in the Soyuz 36 capsule that had earlier docked at the space station. Gorbatko spent 7 days and 20 hours in space on this mission.

After leaving the space program in 1982 he taught at the Air Force Engineering Academy in Moscow.[citation needed][4] Upon his death he was buried in the Federal Military Memorial Cemetery.


Viktor Gorbatko (left) and Yury Glazkov (right) on a 1977 U.S.S.R. postage stamp

His multiple Soviet and Russian Federation awards include:

His foreign awards include:


  1. ^ "Умер космонавт Виктор Горбатко". 2017-05-17. Retrieved 2017-05-17.
  2. ^ Spacefacts
  3. ^ a b c d e f Burgess, Hall, Collin, Rex (2009). First Soviet Cosmonaut Team: Their Lives, Legacy, and Historical Impact. Praxis Publishing. pp. 45, 46, 47. ISBN 978-0-387-84823-5.
  4. ^ "Viktor Gorbatko, one of the first Soviet-era cosmonauts, dies at 82 | collectSPACE". Retrieved 2017-11-10.

External links

  • Media related to Viktor Gorbatko at Wikimedia Commons
  • The official website of the city administration Baikonur - Honorary citizens of Baikonur