Russian Cosmonauts

Soviet Cosmonaut Dr. Boris Yegorov Signed Photo, PSA/DNA Slabbed


Soviet Cosmonaut Dr. Boris Yegorov Signed Photo, PSA/DNA Slabbed

 

Soviet era color postcard, ca. 1964, signed by Voskhod I cosmonaut Boris Yegorov. The first doctor to fly in space, Yegorov is depicted wearing civilian clothing--a pinstriped dark gray suit and blue tie. His jacket is pinned with the pentagon-shaped Pilot-Cosmonaut of the U.S.S.R. medal, and the star-shaped Hero of Soviet Union medal. Yegorov's signature in Cyrillic runs vertically along the left margin. With publishing information printed on the blank and unused reverse. Graded by PSA/DNA as Mint 9. The postcard measures 4.125" x 5.75" while the slab measures 6.625" x 10.125".

 

The Voskhod I mission, launched on October 12, 1964, was manned by a 3-person crew comprised of civilians Boris Yegorov (1937-1994) and Konstantin Feoktistov (1926-2009), and ex-Air Force Command Pilot Vladimir Komarov (1927-1967). Yegorov was the first doctor and Feoktistov the first engineer in space. The Voskhod I space mission was the first to carry two non-professional cosmonauts, dispatch with protective pressurized spacesuits, and launch more than one crew member at a time. Komarov, Yegorov, and Feoktistov were the 14th, 15th, and 16th humans in space.

 

The United States and the Soviet Union had developed highly competitive space programs in the 1950s, spurred on by Cold War antagonism and anxiety. The two ideologically opposed juggernauts flexed their muscle in many ways, from the nuclear arms race to the Space Race. Selection and training of Soviet cosmonauts began in 1959, and the Soviet Union launched its Vostok space program in 1961. Its successor, the Voskhod space program, ran from 1964-1965, and the Soyuz program continued after that.

 

Boris Yegorov had attended First Moscow Medical Institute and specialized in balance disorders. Voskhod I granted Yegorov the opportunity to observe more closely the effects of space on the human body in orbit and when returning to earth. Space conditions--the absence of gravity, differences in pressure, and environmental extremes--could weaken the immune system, damage eye sight, diminish bone density, stress the heart, and cause decompression sickness. Yegorov would have been especially interested to observe the causes, symptoms, and effects of balance disorders. "Space sickness," affecting the brain, inner ear, blood pressure, and the human response to stimuli, made astronauts feel dizzy and disoriented.

 

A remarkable photograph signed by early Soviet cosmonaut Dr. Boris Yegorov!



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