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Two Soviet Astronauts Finally Land

Aug. 14, 1962 - Maj. Andrian G. Nikolayev and Lieut. Col. Pavel R. Popovich, pilots of the Soviet spaceships Vostok III and Vostok IV, have landed in the Kazakhstan desert after their historic orbital flights around the earth. The Moscow radio announced their safe return at 3:30 a.m. New York time. The broadcast said that Major Nikolayev and Colonel Popovich landed and that both astronauts “feel fine.” They came down only six minutes apart. Major Nikolayev had completed 63 orbits and Colonel Popovich 47. One of the stated purposes of the astronauts’ “group flight” was to perfect rendezvous techniques necessary for an eventual trip from the earth to the moon and back.


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