50 years later, Bykovsky's record for longest solo flight on a spacecraft still intact

9352 Bikovsky W Record Astronautics 4 250 years after his solo flight onboard a soviet spaceship, Valery Fiodorovich Bykovsky, born in 1934, is still the holder of the world record for duration in the "Spacecraft with one astronaut" category.

Since that date, no one broke Bykovsky's record on a solo flight, although crews of more than one person have long surpassed his flight time duration.

On 14 June 1963 at 11:58:58 am GMT, Russian cosmonaut Bykovsky, alone onboard Vostok 5,  took off from a cosmodrome near the Baikonur station. He landed on 19 June 1963 at 11:06:00 am GMT, thus spending the record time of 118 h 56 min 41 sec alone in a spaceship.

FAI record file

Direct link to the file

Status: ratified - current record
Region: World
Class: K (Space records)
Sub-Class: K-2 (Orbital missions)
Category: Spacecraft with one astronaut
Group: General category
Type of record: Duration
Performance: 118 h 56 min 41 sec
Date: 1963-06-19
Course/Location: Baikonur (Kazakhstan)
Claimant Valery Fiodorovich Bikovsky (URS)
Spacecraft: Vostok 5


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By Lieutenant-colonel Valery Fiodorovich Bykovsky, USSR pilot-cosmonaut, on the “Vostok-5” spaceship-sputnik flight June 14-19, 1963

At 11:58:58 a. m. GMT on June 14, 1963, the "Vostok-5" spaceship took off and successfully went into orbit close to the precalculated one.

During the powered flight I experienced sensible g-loads. I felt satisfactory. Flight beginning, I started to work. In accordance with the flight task I controlled the attitude of my spaceship several times. The spaceship was oriented easily and was stable after orientation. The attitude control systems, both manual and automatic ones, functioned without failure.

All medico-biological experiments and observations were carried out according to the flight program.

Throughout the flight I observed the Earth, horizon, the Moon, the Sun, shooting pictures of horizon, cloud cover, the Moon and constellations.
Watching the Earth I saw rivers, sears and oceans well. Water of seas and oceans has different colours. The Earth’s horizon curvature is seen very well.
While escaping the Earth’s shadow I saw a beautiful range of colours on horizon with the red shades predominating.

During the flight further studying of radio communications on line "Space-Earth-Space" and between the spaceships was carried out. The communication between the vehicles was stable.

A broadcast receiver was mounted on board of the spaceship. With the help of this receiver I listened to the broadcasts of Moscow and other stations.

During the second circle I reported to the Central Committee of CPSU, the Soviet Government and N. S. Khrushchev that the flight went on successfully and received a warm congratulation.

While in flight I acted and worked according to the prescribed program. I had a four-meal diet. The meal was as usual. I had an excellent appetite and sleep. I used a sanitary unit. Every day I was waiting for the time when I should be allowed to leave the restraining system and "to float" in the cabin.

I must say that I got accustomed to flight conditions rather soon. Throughout the flight climatic conditions in the cabin were maintained normal: the cabin pressure equalled to that at sea level, the temperature was normal, and the air composition was also normal as on the Earth. The air-conditioning system functioned very well.

The program of the group prolonged space flight was fulfilled completely.

In accordance with the program in 81st circle the automatic system for descent of the spaceship was triggered.

A special landing system provided the separation of the couch with the cosmonaut from the spaceship. At low altitude the couch with me separated from the craft, then the parachute system was activated with the help of which I landed successfully. The spaceship landed nearby.

It as at 11:06:00 a. m. GMT, June 19, 1963.

At present I feel fine and notice no ill effects or changes in my organism.

Pilot-cosmonaut Lieutenant- Colonel V. F. Bykovsky.

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