Anatoli Vassilyevich Filipchenko (cyrillic Анатолий Васильевич Филипченко) was born February 26, 1928 in Davydovka, in Russia. He graduated from the Higher Air Force School and achieved the rank of Major General in the Soviet Air Force. He was selected as a cosmonaut in the 1963 group.

His first assignment came in 1965 when he was one of the cosmonauts selected for the advanced project of the Mikoyan Spiral aerospace system. This was an ambitious earth-orbit-earth reusable transportation system to be up and running by the mid-1970s. Five cosmonauts were selected to fly the spaceplane. The project was cancelled December 1973.

His first assignment to an actual spaceflight when he was name as a member of the backup crew for the Soyuz 5 flight. Soyuz 5 docked with Soyuz 4. Two crewmembers from 5 transferred across to Soyuz 4 and they undocked. This was a test of the scheme that would have to be used in lunar orbit.

Filipchenko first spaceflight was Soyuz 7 launched October 12, 1969. Also on board were flight-engineer Vladislav Volkov and research-cosmonaut Viktor Gorbatko. Soyuz 7 was to have docked with Soyuz 8 while Soyuz 6 took spectacular film from nearby. Unfortunately all three rendezvous systems failed. Soyuz 7 and 8 did however manage to come within 500 metres of each other.

He was on the backup crew for the long duration Soyuz 9 flight. It stayed in orbit for over 17 days, the longest flight at that time, and still the longest in a single spacecraft. They conducted experiments on the medico-biological, scientific and technical effects of prolonged orbital flight.

He was the proposed prime crew for tests of the Kontakt docking system. Two modified Soyuz would test the system that was to be used by the lunar lander and the lunar orbiter spacecraft during a Soviet lunar mission. The launches at that time were scheduled to occur after the missions to the Salyut 1 space station were completed.

His last spaceflight was Soyuz 16, a test of the modernised Soyuz spacecraft that was to be used for the Apollo Soyuz Test Project flight. Launched December 2, 1974, also with Nikolai Rukavishnikov on baord, the results of the tests of the life support, docking, antenna deployment, and ground control systems were excellent, all things needed for the actual mission to succeed. Filipchenko was the assigned as the backup for the actual ASTP flight, Soyuz 19.

In all Filipchenko spent 10 days, 21 hours and 3 minutes in space over 2 missions.

After leaving the cosmonaut corps he became the Deputy Director of the OKB (Experimental Design Bureau) in Kharkov. He retired on January 1, 1982.

He was twice a Hero of the Soviet Union and has two Orders of Lenin. He has Banner of the People's Republic of Hungary with First Class Honours. He has the Konstantin Tsiolkovsky Gold Medal from the USSR Academy of Sciences and won the State Premium of the USSR in 1981. He is an honourary citizen of Kaluga, Chita, Lipetsk (Russia), Karaganda, Arkalyk (Kazakhstan), Sumy (Ukraine), Houston (USA).


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