honoured master of sports (1965), cosmonautics
Russian pilot cosmonaut Pavel Belyayev was born on June 26, 1925 in the village of Chelishchevo, District of Babushkino, Vologda Oblast, to a family of medical attendant. In 1932 the Belyayevs proceeded to the village of Minkovo where Pavel went to school. After finishing school he applied to let him go to the front but being too young he was turned down.
In May 1943 Pavel was enrolled in the Army. In 1944 Belyayev graduated from the Sarapul Air Force Academy and in 1945 from the Military Fighter Pilot School, Yeis. Belyayev was in the Soviet Air Force in various units from 1945 to 1959. He was then made a squadron commander in the Naval Aviation for only a few months before being selected as a cosmonaut.
Belyayev was selected for the space programme in 1960 after nearly fifteen years experience in the Soviet air force and navy. He was a cosmonaut who flew on the historic Voskhod-2 mission, the Soviet spacecraft that was orbiting the planet on March 18-19, 1965. The spacecraft's crew comprised Alexei Leonov and Pavel Belyaev. Belyayev directed Leonov's first-ever space walk. Alexei Leonov spent 12 minutes and 9 seconds floating in space and was the one who climbed out of the spacecraft and into open space for the first time in history.
The spacecraft's positioning system broke down during the reentry. The crew had to direct the spacecraft manually. As a result, they landed in the wrong place, in the taiga. They were found by a search party on the second day. The mission of Voskhod-2 lasted 26 hours 2 minutes and 17 seconds. During this time the spacecraft Voskhod-2 orbited the Earth 17 times having flown 720,000 km.
From 1966 to 1967 he was head of the Almaz cosmonaut training group.
The great pilot cosmonaut died on January 10, 1970.
Pavel Belyayev was awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union (March 23, 1965), Order of Lenin, Order of the Red Star, numerous medals and foreign orders. He also bore the title of the Hero of Socialist Labour of Bulgaria, Hero of Vietnam, and Hero of Mongolia. He was a freeman of Vologda, Kaluga and Perm.