INFORMATION FOR TRAVELERS
MONGOLIAN LEGENDARY PERSONS
Jugderdemidiin Gurragchaa born December 5, 1947) was the first Mongolian and the
second Asian in space. He was Mongolia's defense minister from 2000 to 2004.
Born in Gurvanbulag, Mongolia, Gürragchaa studied in Ulan Bator to become an
aerospace engineer. He then joined the air force, rising to the rank of Major
He was selected as part of the eighth Intercosmos program on March 1, 1978. His
backup was Maidarzhavyn Ganzorig. Gürragchaa, along with Soviet cosmonaut
Vladimir Dzhanibekov, departed from Baikonur Cosmodrome on March 22, 1981. They
docked with Salyut 6. 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
After Mongolia removed the Communist-era ban on clan names in 1997, and unable
to identify his original clan heritage, Gürragchaa chose the clan name Sansar -
Mongolian for "cosmos". Clan names have only symbolic significance today and
should not be confused with western style "family names", which are unknown in
Before becoming minister of defense, Gürragchaa worked as chief of staff of air
defence of Mongolian Armed Forces. He is married and has two children.
Jügderdemidiin Gürragchaa was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union on
March 30 1981. The Zaisan Memorial, a monument south of Ulan Bator dedicated to
Russian-Mongolian friendship, includes a mural which depicts amongst its scenes
Gürragchaa's 1981 flight.
First Space Mission
March 22,1981, will forever go down in the history of our country as one of
the most memorable and glorious dates. On that day, J. Gurragchaa, the first
Mongolian researcher-cosmonaut, at present a member of the Mongolian Parliament,
set off on a space mission together with Russian cosmonaut Vladimir Dzhanibekov
aboard the "Soyuz-39" spaceship. During this flight, which lasted a week, he
conducted a long series of geological, physic-technical and medico-biological
experiments. Thus, Mongolia has become the tenth country
to send an astronaut into space and J. Gurragchaa - the hundredth astronaut of
There are a few people in Mongolia who observed with their own eyes the
flight from Baikonur 27 years ago. One of the witnesses of that historical
event, B.Chadraa, Academy of Sciences President, published a book entitled
"Mongolian space start" providing the historical facts in 2007 on the occasion
of the 26th anniversary of the first space mission of the Mongolian cosmonaut.
Incidentally, the photographic reporter of the
MONTSAME News Agency, S. Batsukh, embodied events around this historical flight
between 1978 and 1981 in a large number of photographs. He has approximately
2,500 pictures immortalizing the event. About 80 percent of photographs included
in the book are his work.
On the occasion of the space mission, a large number of children born during
that period have received names concerning the space topic, and about 50 kinds
of products were produced with pictures displaying this topic.