Russian comrade of first Vietnamese space traveler dies

By VnExpress   May 17, 2017 | 05:33 pm GMT+7
Russian comrade of first Vietnamese space traveler dies
Russian cosmonaut Viktor Gorbatko (R) and Vietnamese Pham Tuan as they returned from a space trip in 1980. Photo courtesy of Vietnam News Agency

Viktor Gorbatko blasted into the cosmos with Pham Tuan, the first Asian to go into outer space, in July 1980.

Russian cosmonaut Viktor Gorbatko, who accompanied Vietnam's legendary first spaceman Pham Tuan, passed away in Moscow on Wednesday at the age of 82, Russian news agency TASS reported.

TASS cited an industry source as saying that Gorbatko died in the intensive care unit at a hospital where he had been staying for the past two weeks.

Gorbatko was part of the first Soviet cosmonaut training camp in 1960 and ventured into outer space in 1969, 1977 and 1980.

Pham Tuan was part of the crew in July 1980 and became the first Asian to travel into outer space. At the time he was a research cosmonaut in the joint USSR-Vietnamese Space Program. The 70-year-old is now a retired lieutenant general and director of the General Department of Defense Industry under the defense ministry.