Born on April 27, 1942, the Russian cosmonaut lived and worked in space for 437 days, orbiting the Earth on the Mir space station between January 8, 1994 and March 22, 1995 More than 7000 times.
According to Roscosmos, Polyakov has conducted two space expeditions during his career, totaling 678 days and 16 hours.
“His research helped demonstrate that the human body can fly not only to low-Earth orbit, but also to deep space,” Roscosmos said in a statement, adding: “We extend our support to Valery Vladimirovich. Deep condolences to relatives and friends.”
Polyakov trained as a physician and joined the Moscow Institute of Biomedical Problems in 1971. The following year, he passed the exam and became one of the institute’s first trainees and astronauts. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1976.
Polyakov sent his first mission into space in 1988 and returned eight months later in 1989. That year, he was named deputy director of the Institute for Biomedical Issues.
He remained in that position after officially retiring from cosmonautics in 1995, while serving as Vice-Chairman of the Russian Cosmonaut Certification Committee.