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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cosmonaut Popovich Dies

Former Soviet cosmonaut Pavel Popovich, the sixth man to go into orbit, died Wednesday in Gurzuf, a resort city on Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. He was 78.

Popovich died of a stroke, said Boris Yesin, the official historian of the Russian astronaut training center.

Popovich was born Oct. 5, 1929, in Uzin, outside Kiev. The first of his two trips into orbit was in August 1962 as the only man aboard the Vostok-4 capsule. The launch came a day after another Soviet, Andriyan Nikolayev, was launched into orbit, marking the first time that two humans were ever in orbit around the Earth at the same time.

Popovich next went into space a dozen years later in July 1974 as the commander of the two-man Soyuz-14, a 15-day mission to the Salyut space station.

Arrangements were being made to bring his body to Moscow for a funeral, Itar-Tass reported.   

(AP, MT)