Saturday, August 12, 2017
Vostok 4 launched 1962
August 12, 1962, cosmonaut Pavel Popovich blasted off in Vostok 4, just one day after Andriyan Nikolayev launched in Vostok 3. Having two men in space in different spacecraft at the same time was a huge step for the Soviets in the space race.
Popovich stayed in space just under 3 days, orbiting Earth 48 times. His flight was terminated early when a misunderstanding by ground control who thought Popovich used a codeword asking to end his flight ahead of schedule.
He landed about 7 minutes after Nikolayev and about 200km away. Like Nikolayev, Popovich ejected from his spacecraft and parachuted to Earth separately.