Jügderdemidiin Gürragchaa

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Jügderdemidiin Gürragchaa
Жүгдэрдэмидийн Гүррагчаа
Gürragchaa in 2011
Minister of Defence of Mongolia
In office
PresidentNatsagiin Bagabandi
Prime MinisterNambaryn Enkhbayar
Member of State Great Khural
In office
PresidentNatsagiin Bagabandi
Nambaryn Enkhbayar
Prime MinisterTsakhiagiin Elbegdorj
Miyeegombiin Enkhbold
Sanjaagiin Bayar
Personal details
Born (1947-12-15) December 15, 1947 (age 76)
Gurvanbulag, Bulgan, Mongolia
Alma materZhukov Air Force Academy
ProfessionAerospace Engineer/Flight engineer
AwardsHero of USSR Hero of Mongolian People's Republic
Order of Lenin Order of Sukhbaatar Order of Sukhbaatar
Military service
Allegiance Mongolia
Branch/service Mongolian People's Army
Years of service1966–?
Rank Major General
Space career
Intercosmos Cosmonaut
Time in space
7d 20h 42m
Selection1978 Intercosmos Group
MissionsSoyuz 39
Mission insignia

Jügderdemidiin Gürragchaa (Mongolian: Жүгдэрдэмидийн Гүррагчаа; Russian: Жугдэрдэмидийн Гуррагча, [ˈʐuɡdʲɪrdʲɪmʲɪdʲɪjn ˈɡurəktɕə], born 5 December 1947) is a Mongolian cosmonaut and military leader. He was the first Mongolian and second Asian to go into space.[1][2] He also was Mongolia's Defense Minister from 2000 to 2004.[3]

Early life and spaceflight[edit]

Mongolia's first astronaut suit, National Museum of Mongolia

Born in Gurvanbulag, Bulgan, Gürragchaa studied in Ulaanbaatar to become an aerospace engineer. In 1966, he joined the Mongolian Air Force. He graduated from the Zhukovsky Air Force Engineering Academy in 1978.

He was selected as part of the eighth Intercosmos program on 1 March 1978, at time he was in the rank of Major General. His backup was Maidarjavyn Ganzorig. Gürragchaa, along with Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Dzhanibekov, departed from Baikonur Cosmodrome on 22 March 1981. They docked with Salyut 6.[4][5]

While in orbit, Dzhanibekov and Gürragchaa carried out experiments on Earth science. After 124 orbits and 7 days, 20 hours and 42 minutes in space, Gürragchaa and Dzhanibekov landed 170 km southeast of Dzhezkasgan.

Post-flight career[edit]

A sculpture commemorating Gürragchaa, in Choir

The Zaisan Memorial, a monument south of Ulaanbaatar dedicated to Russian–Mongolian friendship, includes a mural which depicts amongst its scenes Gürragchaa's 1981 flight.

Gürragchaa worked as the chief of staff of air defense for the Mongolian Armed Forces, served as the Defense Minister of Mongolia from 2000 to 2004[6][7] and was a member of State Great Khural from 2004 to 2008.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Gürragchaa is married and has two children. He heads the fund for development of bandy in Mongolia.[9] Aside from Mongolian, Gürragchaa is fluent in Russian due to his time in Russia.



  1. ^ "OpenLearn Live: 30th November 2015 - OpenLearn - Open University". www.open.edu.
  2. ^ axcurtis@sprynet.com, Anthony R. Curtis. "Space Today Online -- Man In Space Firsts -- table of contents". www.spacetoday.org.
  3. ^ "The Defense Attaché at the Embassy of Mongolia in Russia, Colonel Gotovyn LUNDEN, answers the questions of the "Red Star"". old.redstar.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 12 June 2021.
  4. ^ "ЗӨВЛӨЛТ МОНГОЛЫН САНСРЫН ХАМТАРСАН НИСЛЭГ". www.sansar81.mn. Retrieved 11 June 2021.
  5. ^ Dicati, Renato (10 January 2017). Stamping the Earth from Space. Springer. ISBN 978-3-319-20756-8.
  6. ^ Country Report: China, Mongolia. The Unit. February 2001.
  7. ^ Sanders, Alan J. K. (25 August 2017). Historical Dictionary of Mongolia. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-5381-0227-5.
  8. ^ Mongol Survey: A Publication of the Mongolia Society. Mongolia Society. 2004.
  9. ^ "Bandy. Silver Mungunhuyag. Most exotic star team at the World Cup Bandy dreams to perform at Olympics". sovsport.ru. 1 February 2008. Archived from the original on 25 February 2014.
  10. ^ (in Russian) Biography at the website on Heroes of the Soviet Union and Russia
  11. ^ "First Mongolian cosmonaut receives Order of Genghis Khan - Xinhua | English.news.cn". www.xinhuanet.com. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  12. ^ "J.Gurragchaa awarded with the Order of Alexander Nevsky". MONTSAME News Agency. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  13. ^ "Лавров обсудит с главой МИД Монголии экономическое сотрудничество Москвы и Улан-Батора". ТАСС. Retrieved 11 June 2021.
  14. ^ "Указ Президента Российской Федерации от 09.06.2011 г. № 743". Президент России.
  15. ^ "Указ Президента Российской Федерации от 17.03.2001 г. № 315". Президент России.
  16. ^ Указ Президента Российской Федерации от 12 апреля 2011 года № 437 «О награждении медалью «За заслуги в освоении космоса» иностранных граждан».

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