Wednesday, March 22, 2017
First Mongolian in space, Soyuz 39, launched 1981
March 22, 1981, Jugderdemidiin Gurragchaa blasted off in Soyuz 39 and became the first Mongolian astronaut. Mongolia became the 10th country to put a man into space. His backup was Maidarjavyn Ganzorig, also from Mongolia but he never went to space. Gurragchaa's fellow cosmonaut on the mission was Vladimir Dzhanibekov.
Soyuz 39 carried the eighth crew to Salyut 6. They installed cosmic ray detectors to determine the amount of exposure spacecraft crews were receiving. The last two days of the mission were devoted to studying Mongolia from space. They returned to Earth March 30, spending just 8 days in space.