Vladimir Syromyatnikov

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Vladimir Sergeevich Syromyatnikov (January 7, 1933 - September 19, 2006) was a Soviet and Russian space scientist best known for designing docking mechanisms for manned spacecraft; it was his Androgynous Peripheral Attach System which, in the 1970s, linked the Soviet and American space capsules in the Apollo-Soyuz test flight.

Syromyatnikov also helped design and develop Vostok, the world's first manned spacecraft, which launched Yuri Gagarin into space in 1961.

In the 1990s, he updated the design of his docking mechanism for the meeting of the Mir space station and the Atlantis space shuttle. Syromyatnikov's designs are still used by spacecraft visiting the International Space Station.

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"Vladimir Syromyatnikov", The Daily Telegraph, 9 Oct 2006