I was born in Shchigry, RU, in 1932. I worked as a cosmonaut for 20 years and served as head rocket engineer for the Red Army. I've sailed >70,000km and made >2,000 parachute jumps. I've soloed the Atlantic, had my town occupied by Nazis, an...
I've done many other things, too, but a good number of them are at least in part related to the above (thousands of hours of training in zero-g/underwater and in vacuo, started a sailing school for youths, knew Gagarin and the rest, etc), and at any rate 300 characters wouldn't even suffice for what I'd initially put above.
/actually, I've not done any of those things, but my grandpa, who's in the room over and who has agreed to do an AMA, has. Yesterday I posted in the Foreign Redditors thread and had a request for him to do an AMA. I figured hey, this could be interesting, so here I/we am/are. This'll go pretty slowly, as I'll be printing out questions and then chatting with him for a bit and then returning to type them here, and in any case will have to translate to and from Russian (as he's far from fluent in English), so I'll really only be doing 5-10 questions at a time. I'll try to get to as many as I can, though, so long as he stays interested. Keep in mind that some things may be lost due to my imperfect translation, but I'll be as faithful as I can.
A gold star would be nice for this, but all the corroborating documents are out of reach and in Russian, so that might prove difficult. I have a few news articles in the house somewhere that mention him; I'll try to scan them in. Here are a few pictures of him I put up yesterday (B&W are old, color ones are from the previous month).
Oh, and also, no debates/insults please. I'll refuse to translate those. And if anything in here seems particularly aggrandizing, it's my fault, as I respect, admire, and love the man greatly.
So, without further ado, begin!/
/edit:ps. when it's me, the grandson, speaking, I'll couch my words in slashes. When it's him, I won't/
/edit2: Okay, I've done about a dozen questions so far and need to do some yard work right now, but I'll be back to do more (the "best" first and then the bottom page ones after) in a bit. He's enjoying it so far, but each question takes me a good 10-15 minutes to get through because he's very fond of telling lengthy stories on not too pertinent asides/
/edit: I'm answering a few questions I personally know the answers to and will resume when we finish with our runs with the dogs. I also gave some soft evidence in favor of this thread's legitimacy here. (Ha, and I've also just realized that his book has tons of pictures of him working on rockets or in space suits or with recognizable Russian officials. Should have just posted that to begin with): http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/etu2s/i_was_born_in_shchigry_ru_in_1932_i_worked_as_a/c1awfsl
/edit: ok, we just got back, I'll do the top 8-12 questions right now but then he has to go to bed. He falls asleep at 20:00ish and wakes up at 4:30 for exercise and assorted housework. After these I'll only be continuing sometime tomorrow.
/edit: Ok, done for tonight, he's long asleep now. Oh, and while taking pictures from his book to help answer the question pertaining to the mission to mars, I snapped a shot of a picture of him standing in a group picture with a bunch of other important people (I think some guys from nasa are in there too). He's the guy above his finger in the big white suit. :] http://i.imgur.com/jRioO.jpg
Oh, and we haven't answered too many questions so far, but some of the ones we have are buried because of higher voted comments getting in there first. Please keep that in mind./
/edit: Ok, new day, but we have a few things to do and won't get to anything before the afternoon. We'll be continuing on for sure though! And the user L33tphreak found the article from above online, if anyone wants to read it: http://goo.gl/lsXkS Google translate sort of butchers the text though./
/edit: Ok, so I tried asking some more questions but we got stuck on the first one, which asked for examples of trolling, and I've put them all here: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/etu2s/i_was_born_in_shchigry_ru_in_1932_i_worked_as_a/c1awh46 we're taking a break for now/
/hey guys, sorry for being so bad in answering questions to this thing, but I've been rather busy this past week and it's been difficult to coordinate with my grandpa. And today's my last day of winter break so I'll not get a chance to really answer more for a while, unless my grandpa learns to use the internet or we do it via phone. I'll try to make some progress in translating his book, though, and will inform reddit once that is under way. It contains many of the things asked here anyway. Again, apologies for only getting to so small a fraction of the questions/