Marina Popovich, The Hero of the Nation

Marina Popovich, The Hero of the Nation

2007, The Hero of the Nation “Marina Popovich”

On this day on January 14, 2007, Legendary Russian test pilot and UFO expert, Marina Popovich was awarded the honorary title “The Hero of the Nation” by the Russian Federation.

Madame MiG

Portrait of Soviet test pilot Marina Popovich wearing her flying kit, circa 1960

Everyone knew her as a “Madame MiG”. Popovich is one of the most famous pilots in Russian history. During her time she broke over 100 flying records.

Marina was born July 20, 1931, at Smolensk, Velizhsky District, Soviet Union. She starts learning to fly as a child and in 1951 she graduated from Novosibirsk Aviation Technicum.

Meanwhile, Madame MiG joined the first group of women that would train to become cosmonauts in the Soviet space program in 1962. After that, in 1963 she became a Soviet Air Force pilot and entered as a military test-pilot in1964.

She was the first Soviet woman to break the sound barrier in a MiG-21 fighter jet in 1964 and making her third in the world.

Marina The Hero of the Nation
Marina The Hero of the Nation

Meanwhile, Marina has developed a new line as an expert on UFOs, publishing a book entitled UFO Glasnost (2003). She was a co-author of two film scripts, Nebo So Mnoy (Sky Is With Me, 1974) and Buket Fialok (Bouquet of Violets, 1983). After that, she authored nine books including the poetry collection Zhizn – vechny vzlyot (Life’s An Eternal Rise, 1972).

Marina in 2014
Marina in 2014

Marina died at age 86 on November 30, 2017, and was buried with military honors at the Federal Military Memorial Cemetery.

Awards and Honour

  • Order of the Red Banner of Labour
  • Order of the Badge of Honour
  • Honoured Master of Sports
  • Winner of the Great Gold Medal “FAI” for the distribution of aeronautical knowledge