This week the world bids a sad farewell to Valery Polyakov, the Russian cosmonaut who holds the record for the longest single spaceflight.
Polyakov spent a whopping 437 days on the Mir space station between January 1994 and March 1995. He orbited the Earth more than 7,000 times before his return. He died at 80, with the cause of his death undisclosed.
Polyakov was not only a space pioneer but also a trained physician who constantly pushed the boundaries of what the human body could endure. When Polyakov returned to Earth, he made history by refusing to be carried out of his Soyuz capsule after landing. Instead, he walked out unassisted becoming the first person to do so.
Polyakov’s record-breaking mission is a significant achievement for both him and Russia. He proves that humans can withstand extended periods in space and remain mentally and physically healthy. His legacy will continue to inspire future generations of astronauts and cosmonauts as they push the boundaries of what humans can do in space.