Sigmund Jähn

Sigmund Jähn

Infobox Astronaut
name =Sigmund Jähn


type = Intercosmos Cosmonaut
nationality =German
date_birth =birth date and age|1937|02|13
place_birth =Saxony, Germany
occupation =Pilot
rank =Major General, East German Air Force
selection =1976 Intercosmos Group
time =7d 20h 49m
mission =Soyuz 31
insignia =|

Dr. Sigmund Werner Paul Jähn (born February 13, 1937) was the first German cosmonaut.

He was born in Morgenröthe-Rautenkranz, Vogtland, Germany. From 1943 to 1951 he attended school in his hometown, and after school trained as a printer.

In 1955 he joined the (East) German Democratic Republic air force (the Luftstreitkräfte der NVA) where he became a pilot and military scientist. From 1966-1970 he studied at the Gagarin Military Air Academy in Monino, in the Soviet Union, and afterwards worked in the administration of the East German air force, responsible for pilot education and flight safety.

In 1976 he was selected together with his later backup Eberhard Köllner to train as the first cosmonaut in the Intercosmos program. He trained in Star City near Moscow for the next two years, and finally flew on board Soyuz 31 (launched August 26, 1978) to the Soviet space station Salyut 6, and returned with Soyuz 29 (landed September 3, 1978). He spent 7 days, 20 hours, and 49 minutes in space.

During and after the flight, he and the socialist authorities of the GDR pronounced him "the first "German" cosmonaut", which was remarkable, as in those days the East German state normally stressed that their people were "GDR" citizens", to distinguish themselves from (West) Germany.

Sigmund Jähn was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union on September 3 1978 [ru icon [http://www.warheroes.ru/hero/hero.asp?Hero_id=2291 Biography] at the website on Heroes of the Soviet Union and Russia] In 1983 he received a doctorate in physics at the "Zentralinstitut für Physik der Erde" in Potsdam, specialising in remote sensing of the earth.

Starting in 1990, after German reunification, he worked as a freelance consultant for the (formerly West) German spaceflight agency DLR, and from 1993 also for the ESA to prepare for the Euromir missions. In 2002 he finally retired from this job.

Sigmund Jähn is married and has two children. He enjoys reading and hunting.

Asteroid 17737 was named "Sigmundjähn" in 2001.

Jähn, as a legendary figure of the GDR, was a part of the plot of the movie Good Bye Lenin!.

Quotes

*"Dear TV viewers in the German Democratic Republic. I am very happy for the chance to be the first German to take part in this manned space flight." (during his space flight)

*"Mankind is advanced technically. Man can build space stations, can assemble them in space, and ponders about landing on Mars, but the development of mankind itself seems to stagnate on stone age level." (radio broadcast in the 1990s)

*"..what I saw then was total happiness: Our Earth, in shining in bright blue. Just like a dream." (SUPERillu magazine interview, 1998)

*"As a pilot I just could not resist the offer to fly a space capsule..." (speech in front of DLR audience, 2005)

References

External links

* [http://www.spacefacts.de/bios/international/english/jaehn_sigmund.htm Spacefacts biography of Sigmund Jähn]


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