FEDOSEENKO, Pavel (1898 - 1934)

Pavel Fedorovich Fedoseenko was a Soviet military pilot and aeronaut that Commanded the stratosphere balloon Osoaviakhim-1.

He was Born in Novaia Sotnia, Voronezh Province on May 1st. 1898. In 1918 Fedoseenko joined the Red Army and served for two years during the Civil War, as a commander of an aerostation detachment.

As military aviator he logged over a hundred flights (377 hours) on tethered observation balloons in World War I and the Russian Civil War and later tested numerous free-flying balloons and airships. In 1925 he along with Alexander Friedmann set a national altitude record of 7,400 m (24,300 ft) and two years later Fedoseenko set a national solo endurance record of 23 hours 57 minutes. In 1932 he graduated from the Airforce School in Leningrad and Zhukovsky Air Force Academy in Moscow.

On January 30, 1934, under Fedoseenko's command, and with the participation of aerological engineer A. B. Vasenko and physicist I. D. Usyskin the stratosphere balloon Osoaviakhim-1 was launched from the Air Forces field in Kuntsevo, near Moscow. After a flight that lasted over 7 hours, the balloon reached an altitude of 22,000 metres (72,000 ft), but during the descent the balloon lost its buoyancy and plunged into an uncontrolled fall, disintegrating in the lower atmosphere. The three crew members, probably incapacitated by high g-forces in a rapidly rotating gondola, failed to bail out and were killed by a high-speed ground impact.

They were buried on Red Square at the Kremlin Wall.

Fedoseenko was awarded the Order of the Red Banner and, posthumously, the Order of Lenin.

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