Pyotr Ilyich Klimuk was born to a peasant family on June 10, 1942 in the village of Komarovka in the Brest region of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (currently the Republic of Belarus). His father was lost in 1944 during World War II. In 1959, he graduated from middle school and entered Primary Aviation School, and then attended Leninsky Komsomol Chernigov High Aviation School. After graduation in 1964, he served with the Soviet Air Force.
In 1965 he was accepted into the Soviet cosmonaut unit (1965 Air Force Group # 3). He underwent the full general space preparation course and trained for space flight on Soyuz type spacecraft and on the orbital station Salyut.
He performed his first flight on December 18-26, 1973, as commander of the space ship Soyuz -13 (call sign - Kavkas) together with Vitaly Vasilyevich Lebedev. His space flight lasted 7 days 20 hours 55 minutes and 35 seconds.
In January 1975 he was the commander of the support crew (together with Vitaly Ivanovich Sevastyanov) during the Soyuz -17 flight.
In April 1975 he was the commander of the reserve crew (together with Vitaly Ivanovich Sevastyanov) during the Soyuz -18-1 flight.
He made his second space flight from May 24 through July 26, 1975, together with Vitaly Ivanovich Sevastyanov. During that flight he served as commander of the spacecraft Soyuz -18-2 and the orbital complex Salyut -4 - Soyuz -18-2 (call sign Kavkas). Their stay in space was 63 days 23 hours 20 minutes and 8 seconds.
Since 1976 he underwent preparations according to the program Intercosmos for co-operation with socialist countries. In 1977 he graduated from a Gagarin Air Force Academy.
He made his third space flight from June 27 through July 5, 1978, as commander of the space ship Soyuz -30 (call sign - Kavkas) together with Polish cosmonaut Miroslav Hermazsewski. This was the second manned spaceflight of the Intercosmos program. The cosmonauts worked on board the orbital complex Salyut -6 - Soyuz -29 - Soyuz -30 together with Vladimir Vasilyevich Kovalenok and Alexsander Sergeyevich Ivanchenkov. Their stay in space was 7 days 22 hours 2 minutes and 59 seconds.
During his three flights Klimuk spent 78 days 18 hours 18 minutes and 42 seconds in space.
In 1978 he left the cosmonaut team. He served as the Assistant to the Chief of the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre for political work (1978 - 1991). In 1983 he graduated from the Lenin Military Political Academy. Since 1991 he served as Chief of the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre.
Awards: Twice awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union. Awarded three Orders of Lenin, Polish Order of Krest Grunvald, Tsiolkovskij Gold Medal (USSR Academy of Sciences), Gagarin Gold Medal (FAI), Gold Medal Poland Academy of Sciences. The winner of the State premiums USSR. Honorary citizen of Kaluga, Gagarin (Russia) and Dzhezkasgan (Kazakhstan).
Author of the books Beside the Stars (Moscow, 1979) and Attack on Weightlessness (Moscow, 1983).
Copyright (C) Alexander Zheleznyakov, 1998
Call sign: Kavkas (Caucasus).
Planned second Soviet circumlunar flight. Cancelled after the success of the American Apollo 8. On 24 September 1968 Bykovskiy/Rukavishnikov were the prime candidates for the first Soviet circumlunar flight. When the crews were named, they had been bumped to the second flight.
Planned second mission to the Salyut DOS 2 space station. Cancelled after it was destroyed during launch.
Final crews selected for a dual Soyuz mission in Earth orbit to test the Kontakt docking system to be used on the lunar landing LOK and LK spacecraft. The Kontakt-P Soyuz would have been the passive spacecraft, simulating the LK lunar lander.
Planned second mission to the Salyut DOS 3 space station (Cosmos 557). Cancelled after it failed in orbit.
Experimental flight for the purpose of further development of manned space craft Soyuz 7K-T modifications. After the Soyuz 11 disaster, the Soyuz underwent redesign for increased reliability. Two solo test flights of the new design were planned. Crews for the first flight were those already planned for the deferred follow-on missions to the failed DOS 2 and DOS 3 space stations. Recovered September 29, 1973 13:14 GMT. Landed 400 km SW Karaganda.
A unique flight of the 7K-T/AF modification of the Soyuz spacecraft. The orbital module was dominated by the large Orion 2 astrophysical camera. The crew conducted astrophysical observations of stars in the ultraviolet range. Additional experiments included spectrozonal photography of specific areas of the earth's surface, and continued testing of space craft's on-board systems. Recovered December 26, 1973 8:50 GMT. Landed in snowstorm 200 km SW Karaganda.
Manned two crew. Docked with Salyut 4. Joint experiments with the Salyut scientific orbital station. Recovered February 9, 1975 11:03 GMT. Landed 110 km NE Tselinograd.
Carried Oleg Makarov, Vasili Lazarev for rendezvous with Salyut 4; but during second-third stage seperation third stage failed to separate from second stage but still ignited. The crew demanded that the abort procedures be implemented but ground control could not see the launch vehicle gyrations in their telemetry. Soyuz finally was separated from by ground control command at 192 km, and following a 20.6+ G reentry, the capsule landed in the Altai mountains, tumbled down a mountainside, and snagged in some bushes just short of a precipice. The crew was worried that they may have landed in China and would face internment, but after an hour sitting in the cold next to the capsule, they were discovered by locals speaking Russian. Total flight duration was 1574 km and flight time 21 minutes 27 seconds. Lazarev suffered internal injuries from the high-G reentry and tumble down the mountain side and never flew again. Both cosmonauts were denied their 3000 ruble spaceflight bonus pay and had to apeal all the way to Brezhnev before being paid.
Manned two crew. Docked with Salyut 4. Joint experiments with the Salyut scientific orbital station. Recovered July 26, 1975 14:18 GMT. Landed 56 km E Arkalyk.
Manned two crew. Docked with Salyut 6. Placed on board the Salyut-6 station, under the Intercosmos programme, a second, international, crew consisting of P.I. Klimuk (USSR) and M. Hermaszewski (Poland) to conduct scientific investigations and experiments. Recovered July 4, 1978 13:30 GMT