Status: Lost In Training
2/16/1937 – 3/23/1961
Valentin Vasiliyevich Bondarenko (Ukrainian: Валентин Васильович Бондаренко, Russian: Валентин Васильевич Бондаренко; 16 February 1937 – 23 March 1961) was a Soviet fighter pilot selected in 1960 for training as a cosmonaut. He died as the result of burns sustained in a fire during a 15-day low-pressure endurance experiment in Moscow. The government concealed the death, along with Bondarenko’s membership in the cosmonaut corps, until 1980. A crater on the Moon’s far side is named after him.