The Russian cosmonaut Valery Fedorovich Bykovsky died on 27 March 2019 at the age of 84 near Moscow.
The trained fighter pilot had been a member of the Soviet space program since 1960.
He made his first space flight as commander of the Vostok 5 in June 1963. After almost five days Bykovski landed in the Kazakh steppe and thus held the record for the longest solo flight in space at that time.
From 1964 Bykovski was assigned to the Soyuz program, with the distant goal of the human moon landing.
In 1978 he started together with the GDR cosmonaut Sigmund Jähn, who went into history as the first German in space, in Soyuz 31 to the space station Saljut 6. After one week in space Bykovski and Jähn returned to earth.
After finishing his active career in 1982, he worked as a test engineer. Later Bykovski became director of the House of Soviet Sciences and Culture in Berlin. He retired in 1990.