Viktor Patsayev

Viktor Ivanovich Patsayev (born June 19 1933 in Aktuybinsk, died June 30 1971) was a Soviet cosmonaut who flew on the Soyuz 11 mission and had the unfortunate distinction of being part of the second crew to die during a space flight.

After a normal re-entry, the capsule was opened and the crew was found dead. It was discovered that a valve had opened just prior to leaving orbit that had allowed the capsule's atmosphere to vent away into space, suffocating the crew.

One of Patsayev's hands was found to be bruised, and he may have been trying to shut the valve manually at the time he lost consciousness.


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