Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Soyuz 11 Cosmonaut Vladislav Nikolayevich Volkov born 1935
Cosmonaut Vladislav Nikolayevich Volkov, born November 23, 1935, blasted off June 6, 1971 on Soyuz 11, his second spaceflight. Unfortunately, tragedy struck when he, Georgy Dobrovolsky, and Viktor Patsayev died upon re-entry June 30 when their space capsule depressurized. At the time, cosmonauts did not wear space suits, but afterwards, the Soviets redesigned the capsules so only two cosmonauts would ride but in space suits.
The spacecraft operated correctly, the retrorockets fired and the parachutes deployed as scheduled. When ground crews reached the capsule, they didn't see any outer damage, but when they opened the hatch, they found all three cosmonauts dead.
The Soyuz 11 cosmonauts are the only men to die in space.