After graduating in 1951 as a carpenter, Popovich graduated from a local aeroclub and then served in the Soviet Air Force.
Popovich's first flight was on Vostok 4, launched 12 August 1962. He was to tell the ground crew that he was observing
thunderstorms if he felt motion sickness and would return next opportunity. He did actually see thunderstorms over the Gulf
of Mexico and was ordered to return a day early due to the ground crew thinking that he had given the motion sichness code.
This was a joint flight with Vostok 3 and lasted 2 days 22 hours and 57 minutes.
Popovich had to wait 12 years for his
second flight. This was on Soyuz 14, launched 3 July 1974 and docked with the Salyut 3 space-station. This flight lasted 15
days 17 hours and 30 minutes.
Popovich was made Deputy Head of the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre and has had
several books published.