Vietnam marks 25th anniversary of Soviet-Vietnamese space flight

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HANOI, July 23 (RIA Novosti) - Vietnam marks the 25th anniversary of the Soviet-Vietnamese space flight on Saturday. The ceremony will take place at the Russian Science and Culture Center in Hanoi. Pham Tuan, the first and only Vietnamese cosmonaut, and Soviet cosmonaut Viktor Gorbatko flew aboard the Soyuz-37 spacecraft on July 23, 1980 and returned to Earth on July 31.

Tuan conducted research in the fields of space biology and medicine, space technology and Earth exploration from outer space during the flight.

Before he became a cosmonaut, Tuan was a Vietnamese air force pilot. He was the first Vietnamese pilot to shoot down an American B52 strategic bomber and became Hero of the Vietnamese Armed Forces.

In 1979, Tuan was selected to take part in the joint Vietnam-Soviet Union flight and was trained at the Yury Gagarin cosmonaut training center.

Today Lieutenant General Pham Tuan, 58, heads the National Defense Industry Agency.

A representative of the Association of the Russian-Vietnamese Friendship said that the Soviet-Vietnamese space flight was a historic event in the life of Vietnamese people and a vivid symbol of traditional friendship and overall cooperation between Russia and Vietnam.

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