Musa Maranov - Record-breaking Russian Cosmonaut Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Musa Maranov - Record-breaking Russian Cosmonaut

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There are few astronauts who have accomplished as much as Musa Manarov. In 1987 he became the first Soviet Cosmonaut, and the first man in history, to spend an entire year in space. In all he has spent more than 540 days in space aboard the Russian Space Station Mir. Now retired, he is one of the few men in the world who has seen the planet in its full glory. He is married and has two children.

A Brief Biography

Musachi Khiramanovich Maranov was born in Baku, Azerbaijan in 1951. From a young age he took a keen interest in engineering. On 12 August, 1978, he graduated from the Moscow Aviation Institute with an engineering diploma. He then joined the Russian Space Programme and on 1 December, he was selected as a cosmonaut. However, it was not until 1987 that Maranov made his first flight into space, as Flight Engineer on the Soyuz TM4 spaceship. The spacecraft docked with the Mir space station, and along with Vladimir Titov, another cosmonaut, Maranov became a hero in Russia.

Titov was also a veteran of two US shuttle flights and, at the time of writing, is now working for Boeing as their director for space and communications for Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Titov was also a mission specialist aboard the US Space Shuttle Discovery in 1993, and took part in a joint Russian-US mission when the shuttle Atlantis docked with the space station in October 1997. Titov had set the world record for endurance in space, returning to Earth after one year, 22 hours and 39 minutes aboard the space station Mir.

During this flight Maranov tested a new invention, a ballpoint pen designed to work under the effects of weightlessness. Called the Soyuz Mir, it was made of electroplated brass.

In 1990, Maranov returned to Mir for a second time, on the Soyuz TM11. This time Maranov monitored the Earth and worked on the manufacture of products under the effects of space. He stayed for 176 days, and performed over 20 hours of space walks, working on the maintenance of the basic structure, and making sure that Mir was in good condition.

After a combined 541 days in space on two space flights, Maranov decided to retire. He officially retired on the 23 July, 1992; a year after he returned from his second flight. He is now the Director of Smolsat, the Russian Space Programme development team.

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