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30 Sep, 2009 11:48

Soviet cosmonaut pioneer passes away

One of the first Soviet cosmonauts to ever go into space, Pavel Popovich, died on Wednesday. His death comes on the same day as the successful launch of a Soyuz spacecraft up to the ISS.

Popovich was best known for taking part in the world’s first-ever group space flight in 1962.

He manned one of the two Soyuz spaceships orbiting the Earth just several kilometers from each other.

The 79-year-old was often called “cosmonaut number four”, having been part of the very first team of Soviet cosmonauts which also included Yury Gagarin, the first man in space.