Polish Language Blog

Poles in Space – Polacy w kosmosie Posted by on Sep 14, 2010 in Vocabulary

Space: It’s been called the final frontier. I am not going to tell you stories of the voyages of the Starship, Enterprise. No, I am going to tell you of a seven day mission, one that was set aboard the Soyuz 30 ship commanded by Russian cosmonaut, Colonel Pyotr Klimuk, and carried out experiments at the Salyut 6 research station. The voyage boldly went where no Pole had gone before.

Yes, believe it or not, one of our countrymen has been in space. He’s the only one, and that makes him all the more noteworthy. And tomorrow’s his birthday. So, today we’re going to celebrate the first and only Pole in space: Mirosław Hermaszewski.

Hermaszewski Credit: www.spacefacts.de

Hermaszewski Credit: www.spacefacts.de

Here are some quick early biographical facts on Mirosław Hermaszewski:

  • Born on September 15, 1941 in the village of Lipniki to a peasant family
  • Father died in 1944 during the Second World War
  • In 1961, he graduated from middle school and entered Aviation High School in Demblin
  • Graduated in 1965 and then served with the Polish Air Force
  • In 1971, graduated from the Karol Sverchevski Military Academy

Mirek, short form or nickname for Mirosław, obviously did not have the easiest of childhoods. He was pre-school age when he lost his father during the war. And this is not atypical. My own grandfather passed during the war, leaving my father (only seven at the time), my uncle and my five aunts. I know of several families in the same situation. Post-war Poland in a peasant family most likely meant that Mirek probably did a lot of chores to help his family out, on top of going to school. Despite these tragic circumstances, he applied himself well at school and graduated from a military academy.

It was in 1976 that his space carreer began, being accepted into the Soviet cosmonaut unit. Another Pole, Zenon Jankowski and Mirek were part of the 1976 Intercosmos Group # 1. There, they prepared for space under the Intercosmos program for co-operation with socialist countries.

Soyuz 30 Klimuk and Hermaszewski before launch Credit: RKK Energia

Soyuz 30 Klimuk and Hermaszewski before launch Credit: RKK Energia

His big break came in 1978. He was selected to be a part of the Soyuz-30 mission, commanded by Russian cosmonaut Pyotr Illyich Klimuk. They embarked on their space flight on June 27, 1978. They were in space for 7 days 22 hours 2 minutes and 59 seconds, returning to earth on July 5, 1978. While in space, Mirek, whose call sign was Kavkas-2, performed research experiments onboard the orbital complex Salyut-6 – Soyuz -29 – Soyuz -30. They worked alongside cosmonauts Vladimir Vasyllyevich Kovalenok and Aleksandr Sergeyevich Ivanchenkov.

Some additional biographical facts on Cosmonaut Hermaszewski:

  • After his space mission, continued service in the Polish Air Force
  • 1981 – 1982, member of Poland’s Military Council for National Salvation
  • 1982 graduated from the Voroshilov Military Academy in Moscow
  • 1982 – 1985 served as the Chief of the Shkola Orlyat High Aviation School
  • 1985 – 1989 served in the Defence Office of Poland
  • Cosmonaut Hermaszewski is currently listed as inactive and is enjoying retirement
  • Was awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union, the Soviet Order of Lenin and the Poland Order of Krest Grunvald

You can visit his official web page: http://www.hermaszewski.com/

And if you have always had aspiration to go to space or have a little one who dreams of being an astronauta, here are some Polish space terms to launch your vocabulary:

statek kosmiczny – spacecraft
prom kosmiczny – space shuttle
ładownia – cargo bay
pomost kontroli lotu – flight deck
pomieszczenia dla załogi – living quarters
załoga – crew
rakieta – rocket
wahadłowiec – space shuttle
wyrzutnia – launchpad
stacja kosmiczna – space station
sonda kosmiczna – space probe
astronauta – astronaut
skafander kosmiczny – space suit

You can also get more space vocabulary in my primer on spacial bodies, Starry-eyed Surprise.

Hope you enjoyed reading my short biographical tribute to the first and only Pole in space. Wishing Mirosław Hermaszewski congratulations on his space success and wishing him a very happy birthday – Sto Lat Mirek!

Do następnego czytania…

Mirosław Hermaszewski
. (2010). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved September 14, 2010, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1497686/Miroslaw-Hermaszewski

Mirosław Hermaszewski. (2010). In Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved September 14, 2010, from Encyclopedia Astronautica: http://www.astronautix.com/astros/herewski.htm

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  1. Łowiczanka:

    Interesting blogsite ! Great information !
    You should also visit my new site…
    I have blogs about Polish music, history, etc.
    I’ve just posted a couple of blogs about the Zespół Mazowsze (and there will be more soon) to remind everyone about their upcoming North American tour.

  2. Mika:

    This blog is super! I from Poland i bardzo mi się podobają twoje natatki! 🙂
    welcome to my polish blog about Japan

    PS. Try to get write something about Polish singers or actors! 🙂 for example:

    Doda – you’ll find, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=it71O2KupEE
    Ewa Farna – polish-chech singer, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKHaqqjaydA
    Natalia Kukulska- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Y5S4mMkTSU

    Ania Wyszkoni – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MeKjxytN1A

    Video- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0riIebkPeqo&feature=related

    Volcer – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcJvj8GG2JQ

    (I can’t speak and write really good English…)

  3. Lacey:

    This is probably a long shot but I am tracing my ancestry and hit a rough spot and I am hoping you can help me. Through research of a 1920 US Census I found out that my Great Grandfather listed his place of birth as Galicia Po. and listed is parents place of birth as Galicia Au. would you be able to tell me the difference if there is any and where I might be able to begin to look for birth records in Galicia? The other thing is that on the passenger manifest from the ship he came over in stated his last place of residence as Strykow but somewhere else it is written as Stykow do you know which is the correct spelling or are there 2 different cities like that? One more thing…his ethnicity on the passenger list is marked as: Austrian, Ruth….what is Ruth? and if they have that as his ethnicity does that mean I am not really Polish? I know I get confused a bit because of all the partitions that took place and the division of Poland. If you can help me in anyway I would greatly appreciate it.

    I dont know if you are going to reply on here or if you want you can email me…..my email is LaceyTaylor91383@gmail.com


  4. Elvus:

    @Lacey, as for “Ruth”: