Mirosław Hermaszewski was the first and only Polish Cosmonaut. He was born 15 September 1941, in Lipniki, Volhynian Voivodship. After World War II, he moved with his mother, brothers, and sister to Wolow near Wroclaw where he graduated from primary and secondary school. In his childhood he was mainly interested in aviation. At the age of 19, he started to fly gliders and aircraft with the local aero club. In 1961, he enrolled in the Polish Air Force Academy in Deblin and graduated in 1965 as a second lieutenant and a MiG-15 fighter pilot. He later flew MiG-17 and MiG-21 fighter planes. In 1975, he was assigned as the commander of 11th Fighter Regiment flying MiG-21 fighter jets and was promoted to major.
Shortly after his command assignment, Hermaszewski was chosen from almost 500 Polish fighter pilots to be a cosmonaut in the Russian Intercosmos Space Program. He went through the space preparation program in the so-called “Star City” – the Russian Cosmonaut Training Center. He was scheduled to make his space flight with the notable Russian cosmonaut Piotr Klimuk. The launch of their spaceship, Soyuz 30, took place on 27 June 1978. After two days of orbiting, they executed a rendezvous and docked with the space station Salyut 6. They stayed in space for 7 days 22 hours 2 minutes and 59 seconds while carrying out geoscience experiments and Earth photography. They landed on 5 July, approximately 300 kilometers west of Tselinograd, Kazakhstan.
Following his spaceflight, Hermaszewski graduated from Voroshilov Military Academy in Moscow in 1982. Later, he was assigned as the Commandant of the Polish Air Force Academy in Dęblin, a position which he held from 1987 to 1991. In 1991, he became the Deputy Commander of the Polish Air Forces and, subsequently, an inspector in the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces. Brigadier General Hermaszewski is currently retired and a member of the Association of Space Explorers and Polish Academy of Sciences. He still holds a few official Polish records recognized by the International Air Sports Federation, including Altitude of Flight, Velocity of Flight, and Endurance of Flight. He was also decorated with many military awards in Poland and Russia throughout his career. He currently resides in Warsaw, Poland, with his wife Emilia.