Mirosław Hermaszewski, first Pole in space, dies at 81

A Polish military pilot, Hermaszewski, took part in a manned space flight for the USSR on June 27, 1978. His space trip lasted nearly eight days. Tadeusz Zagoździński/PAP

General Miroslaw Hermaszewski, Poland first and to date only astronaut, has died at the age of 81.

Hermaszewski died in a Warsaw hospital on Monday afternoon, a Polish MEP Ryszard Czarnecki, Hermaszewski's son-in-law, told PAP.

As PAP found out unofficially, the general suffered from kidney disease, he was operated on on Monday, but there were complications that led to his death.

A Polish military pilot, Hermaszewski, took part in a manned space flight for the USSR on June 27, 1978. His space trip lasted nearly eight days.

Tadeusz Zagoździński/PAP

During the flight aboard Soyuz-30, together with Russian cosmonauts Hermaszewski took part in scientific experiments in the field of space biology and medicine. An experiment on semi-conductors has been applied in works on space materials technology.

He was the world's 89th cosmonaut.