Poland’s only cosmonaut, who circled Earth in 1978, has died

WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s only cosmonaut, Gen. Miroslaw Hermaszewski, who circled the Earth in a Soviet spaceship in 1978, has died. He was 81.

The retired air force pilot’s death on Monday was announced via Twitter by his son-in-law, European Parliament member Ryszard Czarnecki. He later told Polish media outlets that Hermaszewski died at a hospital in Warsaw of complications from a surgery he had undergone in the morning.

“On behalf of the family, I’m confirming the very sad news about the death of Gen. Miroslaw Hermaszewski,” Czarnecki tweeted, calling him a “great pilot, good husband and father, and much beloved grandfather.”

Hermaszewski became a national hero thanks to his trip to space. For nine days in June and July of 1978, Hermaszewski and Soviet cosmonaut Pyotr Klimuk circled the Earth in the Soyuz 30 spaceship that docked at the Salyut 6 orbital space station. They went around the globe 126 times.

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