Who is Aleksandr Poleshchuk?
Born in Cheremkhovo, Irkutsk region, he graduated from the Moscow Aviation Institute in 1977 with a mechanical engineering diploma. He then joined RSC Energia as a test engineer, where he was occupied with perfecting repair and assembly techniques performed during space flights. He has extensive experience in test work under simulated weightlessness conditions. In February 1989 he was selected as a test cosmonaut candidate. From September 1989 to January 1991 he underwent the complete course of general space training and was qualified as a test cosmonaut, and then till March 1992 he undertook advanced training for the Soyuz-TM transport vehicle and Mir station flight.
In 1992 he was selected as the backup flight engineer of the Soyuz TM-15 joint Russian-French mission, and consequently nominated as the flight engineer of the prime crew of Soyuz TM-16. In space from January 24 to July 22, 1993, he participated in a 179-day space flight with Gennady Manakov. During the flight he performed two EVAs totaling 9 hours and 58 minutes.
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