Toktar Aubakirov – Muslim in Space
Toktar Ongarbayuly Aubakirov (Kazakh: Тоқтар Оңғарбайұлы Әубәкіров, born on July 27, 1946, in Karaganda, Kazakhstan) is a retired Kazakhstani Air Force officer and a former cosmonaut (Kazakh: ғарышкер ğarışker).
Toktar Aubakirov was born on July 27, 1946 in Karaganda, Kazakh SSR, which is now Kazakhstan. He graduated from the Air Force Institute and was a parachutist and test pilot with the rank of Major General in the Kazakhstan Air Force before he was selected as a cosmonaut. Aubakirov also flew the first arrested landing, and deck take off of the MiG-29K, aboard the Soviet aircraft carrier Tblisi.
On October 2, 1991 he launched with Russian cosmonaut Alexander Volkov as flight commander, and the Austrian research cosmonaut Franz Viehböck in Soyuz TM-13 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome spaceport, and spent over eight days in space. He also the first Soviet citizen to go into space without being fully certified as a cosmonaut, as his flight was hurried forward — several commercial international cosmonauts were already booked, but the flight of a Kazakh cosmonaut was part of the Baikonur rental agreement between Kazakhstan and Russia.
Since 1993, he has been the general director of the National Aerospace Agency of Republic of Kazakhstan. He was a member of Kazakhstan parliament. Now he is a pensioner and consultant.