Vladimir Viktorovich Aksyonov (cyrillic Владимир Викторович Аксенов) was born February 1, 1935
in the village of Giblitsy
. He attended a specialised engineering secondary school from 1953
. After this he attend the Kasimov Industrial School
and the Mytishchi Engineering School
. He was conscripted into the Soviet Air Force
and attended the Chuguyev Air Force Pilot School
. After being discharged in 1957
, he went to work for the Sergei Korolev Design Bureau
. There he was involved in the designing of Sputnik 1
. His first attempt at being selected as a cosmonaut failed in 1964
and it wasn't until 1973
that he was selected.
His first flight was Soyuz 22, launched September 15, 1976. This was a special mission, using a surplus Soyuz spacecraft that had been designed for the ASTP program. Instead of the docking system it carried a multi-spectral camera manufactured by Carl Zeiss-Jena. Eight days were spent photographing the earth.
His second and last flight was Soyuz T-2 launched June 5, 1980. This was the first manned flight of the newly designed Soyuz T spacecraft. This was a radical redesign. The major differences was the reuse of solar panels to increase autonomous lifespan and could accomodate three crew all wearing spacesuits. The Soyuz T-2 mission itself was designed just a simple and short test flight. The crew docked with Salyut 6, though the newly improved rendezvous system failed with 180 metres to go and they had to dock manually. After a stay of only four days they undocked. A new reentry profile was used where the orbital module was jettisoned before the retrofire.
In all he spent 11 days, 20 hours and 11 minutes in space over two missions.
He contunued to work in the Russian space program. He was involved in training French cosmonauts in 1982 and Indian cosmonauts in 1984 for Intercosmos flights to Salyut 7. He also trained the first two crews of the new Soyuz TM spacecraft.
He retired in 1988 and became the director of the State Scientific Research Centre into natural resources.
He was twice a Hero of the Soviet Union (by decrees of Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on September 28, 1976 and on June 16, 1980), and has two Orders of Lenin. He is an honourary citizen of Ryazans, Gagarin, Kasimov (Russia).
There is some discussion about the spelling of his name in English. If you follow the standard transliteration of Аксенов it should read Aksyenov not Aksyonov. The only difference appears to be whether you use an е (ye) or an ë (yo). Most sites in English have it spelt Aksyonov, while most sites in Russian have it spelt Аксенов, so I'll stick with the standard English Transliteration and if someone can come up with a compelling arguement to change then message me.