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Infidels, Freethinkers, Humanists, and Unbelievers
Titov, Gherman Stepanovich (1935-2000)
"I don't believe in God. I believe in man -- in his strength, his possibilities, and his reason."

"I am high in the sky, and still I do not see the face of god."

-- Gherman Stepanovich Titov


Gherman Stepanovich Titov was a Soviet cosmonaut and the second person to orbit the Earth.

Titov was born in the village of Verkhnie Zhilino in the Altai Region and went to school at the Stalingrad Military Aviation School. After graduating as an air force pilot, he was selected for cosmonaut training in 1960, and from there was chosen to fly the Vostok 2 mission launched in August the following year. His call sign in this flight was Eagle. A month short of 26 years old at launch, he remains the youngest person to fly in space.

In August 1961, he was the first person to suffer from "space sickness" (i.e. motion sickness in space). Following his spaceflight, Titov went on to assume various senior positions in the Soviet space programme until his retirement in 1992. In 1995 he was elected to the State Duma as a member of the Communist Party. He died of a heart attack in his sauna at age 65.

Gherman Titov was awarded two Orders of Lenin, numerous medals, and foreign orders. He was also bestowed a title of the Hero of Socialist Labor of Bulgaria, Hero of Labor of Vietnam, and Hero of Mongolia. A crater on the far side of the Moon is named after Titov.

In the film 2010: The Year We Make Contact, the opening scene features a conversation between Dimitri Moisevitch of the Soviet Space Council and Dr. Heywood Floyd. When Moisevitch informs Floyd that the Soviets will be traveling to Jupiter on their new space ship named for Alexei Leonov, Floyd is initially puzzled, claiming that he thought the ship was to be named for Gherman Titov. Moisevitch replies that Titov has fallen out of favor, though he does not elaborate.

 
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