Yevgeny Mikrin, a top scientist behind Russia’s manned spaceflight program and a contributor to the International Space Station designs, succumbed to the coronavirus in a Moscow hospital, the Academy of Sciences said.
Mikrin, who was due to turn 65 this year, has passed away “in the prime of life,” President of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) Alexander Sergeev told the media on Tuesday, calling him an “outstanding scholar” and “a very bright man.”
The scientist, who served as a chief designer for Russia’s famed corporation Energia – founded by the forefather of the Soviet space program, Sergey Korolev – had tested positive for Covid-19 but was able to be treated at home. As his condition deteriorated rapidly, however, he was admitted to hospital, where he then died.
Roscosmos has also confirmed the tragic news, extending its sympathies to Mikrin’s family. As the RAS president put it, Mikrin is irreplaceable, as the 64-year-old “was a key scientist in charge of connecting fundamental science with practical space [exploration].”