Inetrnational Centre of the Roerichs

International Non-Governmental Organization | Special consultative status with UN ECOSOC
Associate member with UN DPI | Institutional member of International Council of Museums (ICOM)
Member of pan-European Federation for Cultural Heritage EUROPA NOSTRA | Associate member with INTO

Roerichs' familyRoerichs' evolutionary actionsMuseum named after Nicholas RoerichPublishing activity
Scientific enlightment workProtection of the Roerichs' name and heritageICR: general information

printer friendly
Марина Лаврентьевна Попович, вице-президент МЦР

Marina Popovich was born on July 20, 1937 in the town of Velizh in Smolenskaya region into a peasant family. On the very first day of mobilization during the Great Patriotic War her father went to the front leaving four children on his wife's hands, Marina being the eldest of them. Two months of heavy fighting near Smolensk and the subsequent Fascist occupation entailed hardship, hunger, suppression and deadly danger. Then there were the ordeals of the evacuation to Novosibirskaya region. Life full of dangers and work alongside adults, as well as the responsibility for younger inmates have hardened the girl. Witnessing air battles and craving for Soviet soldiers to win have contributed to the formation of her strong character. That was the time when the girl got a dream, seemingly unachievable, to become a pilot, and not just a pilot but a test pilot.

Since then, her entire life becomes the embodiment of that dream.

In 1954 Marina Popovich graduates from the Novosibirsk Aviation College, completes primary flight training at the Novosibirsk flying club, seeks a personal audience with Kliment Voroshilov and receives a referral to the Saransk flight school of the Voluntary Association for Assistance to Army, Aviation and Fleet (DOSAAF). On leaving the school she works as an instructor pilot, DOSAAF pilot inspector and participates in parades, flying over the skies of Moscow.

Later Marina Popovich got an audience with the Chief Marshal of Aviation Konstantin Vershinin, and in 1962 was called out for active military service in the Armed Forces of the USSR. She received a referral to the space regiment, which later was named after Vladimir Seregin. Marina Popovich passed a medical examination, but was not admitted to the team of cosmonauts for political reasons. Following the advice of academician BorisRauschenbach Marina Popovich decided to devote her life to military aircraft testing.

In 1963, Marina Popovich was retrained to manage the supersonic MiG-21 (the Mikoyan-Gurevich jet fighter aircraft). At the same time she continued her studies at the Kiev Institute of Aviation, and then at the Leningrad Academy of Civil Aviation named after A.A. Novikov. She defended her thesis on the aerodynamics on the theme “Flight Distance Increase due to Laminarization”.

In 1964 she was one of the first women enrolled in the board of the State Red-Banner Research and Development Institute of the Air Force named after V.P. Chkalov (the NII VVS named after V.P. Chkalov). For twenty years she was working as a test pilot. During these years she flew 5,600 hours. She mastered 42 types of aircraft and helicopters, including the An-22 (Antey). Being an Air Force colonel and a military test pilot of the first class, she tested the most modern military aircraft in the NII VVS named after V.P. Chkalov and the Antonov Design Bureau. She holds 101 world records and 126 all-Soviet Union records set on various types of aircraft. For her outstanding achievements in aviation Marina Popovich received five highest international awards, including the Grand Gold Medal of the FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale).

Today there might be no country in the world where the name of Marina Popovich would be unknown. She is an honorary citizen of such cities as: Samarkand, Chemeshelya, Abinsk, Budyonnovsk and Velizh.

Marina Popovich was awarded the highest honor of her motherland - "Gold Star" of Hero of Socialist Labor. She was also awarded the Order of the Red Star, the Order of the Red Banner of Labour, the Order of the Badge of Honour and many medals, including the Paul Tissandier Gold Medal and the S.P. Korolev Gold Medal. On January 14th, 2007 the Russian Federation Government awarded her the honorary title "The Hero of the Nation". For her activities Marina Popovich received a number of public awards, including the Order of Peter the Great, the Order of Alexander Nevsky and the order "The Pride of Russia".

Marina Popovich is known not only as an outstanding test pilot, her versatile talent has clearly manifested in science and literature as well.

She is a professor, a member of six academies, including Peter's Academy of Sciences and Arts, the International Academy of Ecology and Man and Nature Protection Sciences, Plato's Academy of Sciences (Paris), the International Academy of Spiritual Unity of the World, the President of the Academy named after P.K. Oschepkov and the vice-principal of the International Institute of Management.

As the Grand President of CAKKUFORA (Central-Asian Kazakh Kyrgyz UFO Research Association) this brave woman was repeatedly on research expeditions in the mountains of Tibet, the Pamir and the Altai Mountains, as well as in Chile, USA, Argentina, England and other countries.

Being a member of the Writers' Union of Russia, Marina Popovich is the author of 14 books totaling over a million copies, among which there are poetry collections, a play and two screenplays. Her literary work is awarded the Lenin Komsomol prize "Podmoskovie", the Alexander Suvorov prize and the International Lomonosov prize.

From 2007 to the present day Marina Popovich is the Vice-President of the International Centre of the Roerichs.