He trained as an engineer at the Moscow Aviation Institute and after graduation in 1959, joined Sergey Korolev's design bureau, where he worked on the design of the Vostok spacecraft. He also lectured at the Cosmonaut Training Centre, teaching the physics of spaceflight. In 1967 he commenced cosmonaut training himself.
After two successful missions, including a two-month stay on the Salyut 4 space station, he was stood down from active flight status in 1976. He worked in ground control for the Salyut 6 station before returning to spacecraft design in the 1980s to work on the Buran project.