Monday, March 2, 2009

March 2: Vladimír Remek

Vladimír Remek
b. September 26, 1948
March 2, 1978 - the first man in space who was 
neither a US nor Soviet citizen.

Vladimír Remek is the first Czechoslovak in space (son of Czech mother and Slovak father), and the first cosmonaut from a country other than the Soviet Union or the United States. As of 2004, with the entry of the Czech Republic into the European Union Vladimír Remek is considered to be the first European Astronaut. He flew aboard Soyuz 28 from March 2nd to March 10th 1978, for seven days, 22 hours, and 17 minutes. In later life he became a politician and now sits in the European Parliament.

Remek was born in České Budějovice. He graduated from the Air Force Academy and worked as an Air Force pilot. He joined the Intercosmos program as an Army pilot in 1976.

Vladimír Remek was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union on March 16, 1978. Later, he became director of the Museum for Aviation and Astronautics in Prague, then representative for the company ČZ in Moscow. He later worked at the Czech embassy in Russia.

He is now a Member of the European Parliament for the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia, which is part of the European United Left–Nordic Green Left party group in the European Parliament. He is married and has one child.

The asteroid 2552 Remek is named after him.

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