Pyotr Ilyich Klimuk (cyrillic Пётр Ильич Климук) was born June 10, 1942
in the village of Komarovka
. His father was killed during WWII
. In 1959, he graduated from middle school and entered Primary Aviation School
, and then attended Leninsky Komsomol Chernigov High Aviation School
. After graduation in 1964
, he served with the Soviet Air Force
. He was selected as a cosmonaut for the 1965 intake.
His first spaceflight was Soyuz 13 launched December 18, 1973. Also on board was Valentin Lebedev for a week long mission. They tested the new 7K-T spacecraft as well as operating the large Orion 2 Astrophysical Camera, which was fitted instead of the docking apparatus.
He was on the backup crew for the aborted Soyuz 18 launch. This mission had to be aborted when the second and third stages failed to seperate. The crew experienced a reentry that reached 20.6 G.
On May 24, 1975 the actual Soyuz 18 launched with Klimuk and Vitali Sevastyanov on board. They docked with Salyut 4 for a two month stay. During the mission they imaged the Earth for resources, studied the Earth's atmosphere, did astrophysical studies in the X-Rays and made 600 images of the Sun. The mission was flown at the same time as the Apollo Soyuz Test Project. It was the second and last mission to Salyut 4.
His last flight was Soyuz 30 launched June 27, 1978. It docked with Salyut 6 and was the second Intercosmos mission carrying Polish cosmonaut Miroslav Hermazsewski. They stayed at the station for a week performing experiments.
In all Klimuk spent 78 days, 18 hours and 17 minutes in space over three missions.
In 1978 he left the cosmonaut team. For the next 13 years he was the Assistant to the Chief of the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre for political work. In 1983 he graduated from the Lenin Military Political Academy. Since 1991 he served as Chief of the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre.
Author of the books Beside the Stars (Moscow, 1979) and Attack on Weightlessness (Moscow, 1983).
Awards: Twice awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union. Awarded three Orders of Lenin, Polish Order of Krest Grunvald, Tsiolkovskij Gold Medal (USSR Academy of Sciences), Gagarin Gold Medal (FAI), Gold Medal Poland Academy of Sciences. The winner of the State Premiums USSR. Honourary citizen of Kaluga, Gagarin (Russia) and Dzhezkasgan (Kazakhstan).