Andrian Nikolayev, 74; Soviet Cosmonaut Set Endurance Record

From Times Wire Services

Andrian Nikolayev, 74, a Soviet cosmonaut whose 1962 space flight set an endurance record, died Saturday of a heart attack at a hospital in Cheboksary, the capital of his native Chuvash Republic in central Russia.

In August 1962, Nikolayev became the U.S.S.R.'s third cosmonaut to travel into space. A day later, Pavel Popovich was launched in a similar orbit. The pair made the first simultaneous flights, and Nikolayev set an endurance record, circling Earth 64 times in 96 hours. During his flight, Nikolayev appeared on the first live television broadcast from space.

In 1963, he married Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space. Their marriage, which was reportedly sponsored by the Soviet state as an experiment to determine how space travel affected human reproduction, produced two children but ended in divorce.

Nikolayev returned to space in 1970 for his second and final mission, aboard Soyuz 9. He and his flight engineer spent 17 days and 16 hours in orbit, almost four days more than the previous record-holder at the time, the American spacecraft Gemini 7. Altogether, Nikolayev spent more than 200 hours in space, according to Russian media reports.

He was twice named a Hero of the Soviet Union.

The son of a farmer, Nikolayev was trained as a forester and worked as a lumberjack before being drafted into the Soviet army in 1950. He joined the Komsomol, the Communist Party youth organization, and trained as an air force pilot.