Andrian Grigoryevich Nikolayev (cyrillic Андриян Григорьевич Николаев) was born September 5, 1929 in in the city of Shorshely, Russia. He attended the Mariinskii-Posad Forest Technology School from 1944 until 1947. From then until 1950 he was a lumberjack, then a foreman. In 1950 he joined the Soviet Air Force, training as a gunner. He graduated from the Chernigov Higher Military Aviation School in 1954. He went onto fly YAKs and MiGs. He was selected as an cosmonaut in 1960, a member of the first cosmonaut group.

His first assignment was to the backup crew member for the Vostok 2 flight. This was the second orbital flight and the first day long mission. It was also the first flight where the cosmonaut experienced some sort of space sickness.

Nikolayev's first spaceflight was the Vostok 3. Launched August 11, 1962, it set a record for the longest spaceflight at the time. During the flight he came with a few kilometres of the Vostok 4 capsule which launched the next day. The capsules had no real maneuvering capability they drifted apart over the next few orbits.

The next major event in his life came on November 3, 1963, when he married Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space. The wedding was a huge state affair with 300 guests from Khrushchev down. Two days later they receive their wedding present from Khrushchev - an apartment in an highly exclusive building normally reserved for the highest Soviet leadership.

The couple had one daughter, Elena Andrionova (now a doctor of medicine), before their marriage collapsed. However it took till 1982 until they were divorced.

His next assignment is to the backup crew for the original Soyuz 2 flight. This was to have docked with Soyuz 1 containing Vladimir Komarov. The flight was cancelled after the problems that Soyuz 1 experienced in orbit as well as rain at the Baikonur launch site.

He was then assigned to the backup crew for the Soyuz 8 flight. Soyuz 7 and 8 were supposed to dock while Soyuz 6 took spectacular film nearby. The rendezvous system on all three failed and so this was not accomplished. Soyuz 7 and 8 did come with 500 metres of each other.

His last spaceflight was Soyuz 9 launched June 1, 1970. During the marathon 18 day mission that set a record for the longest spaceflight at the time, he and Vitali Sevastyanov investigated the effects of long duration spaceflight on the human body. They also watch the World Cup Soccer matches and voted in the Soviet Election.

In all he spent 21 days, 15 hours and 20 minutes in space over two missions.

After his this he worked in many administrative roles during this period, including a mission controller, training surpervisor for Salyut 1, a controller for the Salyut 3, 4 and 5 missions. On January 26, 1982 he formally retired from the cosmonaut corps.

From 1974 until 1992 he was the First Deputy Director of the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center. He fully retired in 1993 and now lives in at Star City on a government pension.

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