Demise of the scientistcosmonaut group

Despite their frustration at the lack of flight opportunities, the three IZMIRAN cosmonauts continued to maintain their physical condition. They took regular medicals in order to retain their cosmonaut status in spite of the increasingly slim prospects of flying in space. However, despite years spent helping to develop a scientific programme for space flight and the hope that the potential for scientific research on the new space stations (Salyut) would improve their chances of flying in space, none would ever do so.

Gulyayev and Kolomitsev left the team in 1968 to return to IZMIRAN, but they eventually failed their medicals which saw an end to their dreams of space flight. Fatkullin ceased attending his medical check-ups in 1970 when it became clear that he would not be assigned to a flight in the near future. He also returned to IZMIRAN where he worked towards his doctorate in physics and mathematics, which he was awarded in 1975. Fatkullin died on 16 April 2004, a month before his sixty-fifth birthday.

In May 1970, a further attempt was made to rejuvenate the Academy of Science team with the creation of the Zarya (later Salyut) programme of space stations. The rivalry of other teams, and the suspended status of the Academy of Science team, meant that this plan did not progress very far. If it had been implemented, Katys and Yershov would probably have been joined by four new candidates.

Katys eventually left the cosmonaut detachment in 1972, due to the lack of any firm flight plans, and joined the Scientific Research Institute for Automatic Systems (NIIAS). Yershov fared better, working on the L-1/L-3 programme until 1974. He was considered for inclusion in a proposed Salyut crew in 1973, but failed the medical and was eventually dismissed from the team in 1974 due to progressive deafness. He had also refused to join the Communist Party, which probably did little for his prospects. The lunar programme was itself terminated in 1974, formally ending all plans for an Academy of Sciences cosmonaut group

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