Georgi Stepanovich Shonin (cyrillic Георгий Степанович Шонин) was born August 3, 1935 in the city of Rovenki, Ukraine. He attended the Higher Air Force School and received an engineering degree. He reached the rank of Lieutenant General in the Soviet Air Force and was selected as a cosmonaut during the first cosmonaut group in 1960.

His first assignment was as the proposed prime crew for the Voskhod 3 flight. This would have entered into a 175 km X 500 km orbit. On a 19 day mission he and Boris Volynov would have investigated the effects of microgravity on the human body and imaged the Earth and sky. The mission was planned to coincide with the Party Congress scheduled for March 1966.The mission was cancelled after the near fatal problems of Voskhod 2.

His next assignment was to the backup crew for the Soyuz 4 flight. This spacecraft docked with the Soyuz 5 spacecraft. Two crew members transferred across from Soyuz 5 and then the two spacecraft undocked and reentered.

Shonin first and only spaceflight was Soyuz 6 launched October 11, 1969. He and Valeri Kubasov were to have taken spectacular film of the docking of Soyuz 7 and 8. However the rendezvous system on all three failed due to a helium pressurisation problem.

Even though the rendezvous failed the crew were able to complete some of their objectives. They investigated welding in orbit and a vacumn by using the Vulkan welding furnace in the depressurized orbital module.

He was the proposed prime crew for the second planned test of the Kontakt lunar rendezvous/docking system. He would have been on the passive spacecraft during the test in Earth orbit involving specially modified Soyuz. One or two of the crew would have spacewalked to the other spacecraft and returned on that spacecraft.

In all he spent 4 days, 22 hours and 42 minutes in space.

He retired from the cosmonaut corps for medical reasons on April 28, 1979. He went onto be Director of a Research Institute of Soviet Ministry of Defense

He died of a Acute Cardio-Vascular Deficiency on April 7, 1997.


Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.