Viktor Ivanovich Patsayev (cyrillic Виктор Иванович Пацаев) was born June 19, 1933
in the city of Aktuybinsk
. He received a Masters degree from Industrial Institute
. He went to work at the Korolev Design Bureau
. He was selected as a cosmonaut for the 1968
intake of Civilian Engineer
His first assignment was to the support crew for the Soyuz 10
flight. This was meant to be the first space station
mission but was unable to achieve a hard dock with the Salyut 1
Patsayev was then assigned to the backup crew for the Soyuz 11 mission. The original crew of Aleksei Leonov, Valeri Kubasov and Pyotr Kolodin were bumped when it was suspected that Kubasov had contracted tuberculosis. The backup crew of Patsayev, Georgi Dobrovolsky, and Vladislav Volkov were made the prime crew. They launched on June 6, 1971.
During their three week stay the crew investigated aspects of long duration spaceflight and observed the Earth. The living conditions were somewhat difficult and there was even a small fire. There was also a a serious personality clash between the commander Dobrovolskiy - a rookie cosmonaut - and veteran cosmonaut Volkov. For these reasons it was decided to end the mission early, instead of going to the full 28 day length. They undocked after June 29 and prepared to reenter.
The crew were killed however when a pressure equalisation valve opened prematuraly. They were given a large state funeral and are interned in the Kremlin Wall.
In all Patsayev spent 23 days, 18 hours and 21 minutes in space.
Among the awards he received was the highest honour in the USSR, the Hero of the Soviet Union.
The Soviet scientific research ship (KVP) "Cosmonaut Viktor Patsayev" was named after him. This is still in use today and is used by the crew of the ISS. There is also the minor planet 1791 Patsayev and a crater on the moon.