The ‘Iron Man’ who returned to Earth after 437 days and was looking for a drink… again the stars in the sky

Russian scientist Polyakov dies aged 80

A healthy body that stepped out of the lander… Fellow astronaut “I think I’ll be fighting a bear”

Polyakov immediately after returning to Earth

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(Seoul = Yonhap News) Reporter Dong-ho Kim = “He looked big and strong. He seemed to be able to fight even with a bear.”

American astronaut Norman Targaard recalled his first impressions of Russian scientist Valery Polyakov, whom he met when he arrived on the Mir space station in 1995.

Polyakov, who holds the record for the longest stay in outer space, has died at the age of 80, the New York Times (NYT) reported on the 19th (local time), citing the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos).

Born on April 27, 1942, he attended Sechenov Medical University in Moscow, earned a Ph.D.

Polyakov doing strength training in the space station
Polyakov doing strength training in the space station

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Polyakov was selected as an astronaut in 1972 and had his first space flight experience aboard the Soyuz in 1988.

His second flight, which began on January 8, 1994, six years later, lasted until March 22, the following year, for a duration of 437 days, 17 hours and 38 minutes, making it the longest in human history.

At the time, he volunteered for this project, which wanted to find out how the human body could survive in microgravity, assuming a mission to Mars.

After that, he stayed in the Mir space station for about one year and three months and orbited the earth 775 times, and it was calculated that he traveled a total of 187 million miles (about 300 million km).

Polyakov works on research
Polyakov works on research

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Polyakov reportedly did not stop training during this period.

Perhaps because of that, it is said that when he returned to Earth, he opened the lander door with his own power and immediately took a cigarette from a colleague, bit it and sipped brandy, surprising the people around him.

Astronauts usually have difficulty adjusting to gravity immediately after returning to Earth because their muscles weaken when performing missions outside the atmosphere, and the placenta is often unable to control their bodies are fine.

The record for space stays set by Polyakov is still unbreakable.

Mark van der Hey, who returned to Earth in March from the International Space Station (ISS) that replaced Mir, set the American record for a total stay in space of 355 days, but Polyakov is 82 days short.

Russian scientist Valery Polyakov, 'space record holder'
Russian scientist Valery Polyakov, ‘space record holder’

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration evaluated that “Polyakov has made a significant contribution to biomedical research on human long-term space flight.”

“Polyakov’s research helped prove that the human body is ready to fly not only into near-Earth orbit, but into far space,” the Russian Space Agency said in a statement. I feel sad,” he recalled.

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