Image: Konstantin Feoktistov
AP
In this 1965 file photo Russian spaceship designer and space traveler Konstantin Feoktistov, bottom, seen with other Soviet cosmonauts during the nation's Cosmonaut Day ceremony in Moscow.
updated 11/22/2009 1:22:20 PM ET 2009-11-22T18:22:20

Russian spaceship designer Konstantin Feoktistov, the only non-Communist space traveler in the history of the Soviet space program, has died at the age of 83.

The Russian Space Agency said in a statement Sunday that Feoktistov died of unspecified causes late Saturday in Moscow.

In 1964, he traveled aboard the Voskhod spaceship as part of the first group space flight in history.

Feoktistov played key role in the development of the Voskhod.

Approval of his flight met resistance from the Politburo since Feoktistov was not a Communist Party member at the time.

Until 1990, Feoktistov helped design Soviet space ships and stations such as Soyuz, Progress and Mir.

He criticized the idea of manned space flights to other planets as a "stupid" waste of money.

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