MOSCOW, June 15. /TASS/. Cosmonaut Vladimir Shatalov, Twice Hero of the Soviet Union, has passed away aged 93, the Russian space agency Roscosmos said in a statement on Tuesday.
"Today, on June 15, 2021, Twice Hero of the Soviet Union, USSR Pilot-Cosmonaut Vladimir Aleksandrovich Shatalov has died," the statement says.
Vladimir Shatalov was born on December 7, 1927, in the town of Petropavlovsk in the Akmola province (now a region in Kazakhstan). During the Soviet Union’s 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany, he participated in the construction of defensive fortifications in the town of Gatchina near Leningrad and was subsequently accepted into the Soviet troops’ ranks as "a son of the regiment" ("a boy soldier").
Shatalov graduated from the Kachinsk Military Aviation School in 1949 and the Air Force Academy in 1956. In 1949-1956, he served as instructor-pilot at the Kachinsk Military Aviation School and in 1956-1961 as a squadron deputy commander, a squadron commander, and an aviation regiment deputy commander.
Shatalov performed his first spaceflight on January 14, 1969, aboard a Soyuz-4 spacecraft. With his assistance, the world’s first experimental space station was created, and cosmonauts Aleksey Yeliseyev and Yevgeny Khrunov spacewalked from the Soyuz-5 to the Soyuz-4 space vehicle.
Overall, Shatalov made three spaceflights. From January 1987 to September 1991, he served as head of the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center. He was awarded three Orders of Lenin, the Order of the October Revolution, the 3rd Degree Order for Service to the Motherland in the USSR Armed Forces, the 4th Degree Order for Merits to the Fatherland, the Order of Friendship, and also medals and foreign orders and decorations.