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Hail, Hail, The Gang's All Here
TABLE OF CONTENTS
First duos in space: Two peas in a pod, cosmonauts Pavel Belyayev and Alexei Leonov, were launched in Voskhod 2 in March 1965. Five days later, U.S. astronauts Gus Grissom and John Young were launched in Gemini 3. However, the Russians already had launched three in Voskhod 1 in 1964.
First space triplets: Konstantin Feoktistov, Vladimir Komarov and Boris Yegorov, launched in Voskhod 1 in October 1964, were the first three-man crew.
First space quads: Four Americans were in orbit at the same time in December 1965. Frank Borman and James Lovell flew in Gemini 7 followed by Wally Schirra and Thomas Stafford in Gemini 6.
First international quints: The Soviet manned flight Soyuz 13 was in space in 1973 while the U.S. space station Skylab was manned. The cosmonauts were Pyotr Klimuk and Valentin Lebedev. The astronauts were Gerald Carr, Edward Gibson and William Pogue.
First space septuplets: The Soviets made a precision launch of three spacecraft to orbit in 1969. Georgi Shonin and Valeri Kubasov flew in Soyuz 6 October 11. Anatoli Filipchenko, Vladislav Volkov and Viktor Gorbatko flew Soyuz 7 October 12. Vladimir Shatalov and Alexei Yeliseyev flew Soyuz 8 October 13. It was the first time three craft and seven cosmonauts were in Earth orbit at the same time. Each craft flew down to Earth after 118 hours in space, landing one day apart just as they had taken off.
First international septuplets: Thomas Stafford, Vance Brand and Deke Slayton in Apollo 18 in July 1975 docked in space with Soyuz 19 and Alexei Leonov and Valeri Kubasov. At the same time, cosmonauts Pyotr Klimuk and Vitali Sevastyanov were in orbit at the USSR's Salyut 4 space station.
First 11 in orbit: Five astronauts in shuttle Challenger and six cosmonauts at Salyut 7 station in April 1984, were the most people ever in space at one time, up to that time.
First dozen in orbit: The most people ever in space at the same time were 12 astronauts and cosmonauts during the week of December 2, 1990. Five were at the Mir space station and seven were in shuttle Columbia.
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