Vladislav Volkov (1935-1971) was a Soviet cosmonaut who participated in the Soviet space program during the 1960s and early 1970s. He was born on November 23, 1935, in Moscow, Soviet Union (now Russia).
Volkov was selected as a cosmonaut in 1966 and underwent rigorous training for spaceflight. He flew his first and only mission as the commander of Soyuz 7, part of a complex mission known as Soyuz 6-7-8, which aimed to perform simultaneous rendezvous and docking maneuvers in orbit.
Soyuz 7 was launched on October 12, 1969, and successfully reached orbit. However, the docking attempts with Soyuz 8 and Soyuz 6 did not go as planned due to technical difficulties, and the mission was unable to achieve its primary objectives. Nevertheless, Volkov and his crewmate, Viktor Gorbatko, conducted various scientific experiments during their five-day mission.
Tragically, Volkov's life was cut short in a spaceflight accident. On June 30, 1971, he was part of the crew of Soyuz 11, which was the first manned mission to visit the Soviet space station, Salyut 1. The crew successfully completed their mission on the space station but were tragically killed during re-entry when a cabin vent valve unexpectedly opened, causing their spacecraft to depressurize. Volkov and his two crewmates, Georgi Dobrovolskiy and Viktor Patsayev, became the first and only individuals to die in space.
Despite his untimely death, Vladislav Volkov made significant contributions to the Soviet space program and played a role in advancing space exploration and technology during his brief but impactful career as a cosmonaut.