Pham Tuan was born on February 14, 1947 in Thai Binh. He graduated from the Soviet Air Force Technical School in 1968.
In 1979, he was selected to join the Vietnam – Soviet friendship flight for peaceful purposes.
Exactly 01h 33 minutes 03 seconds on July 24, 1980 (local time in Hanoi) at the Baikonur space airport (the former Soviet Union), the 37 spacecraft (Soyuz 37) carried two cosmonauts, Vichtor Vaxilievich Gorbatko (former Soviet Union) and Pham Tuan (Vietnamese) into space.
During 8 days of flying in space, two astronauts conducted a total of 142 orbiting the Earth and 30 experiments involved observing Vietnam from space, life sciences (including tests of growth of Vietnamese azolla water ferns, with application to future closed-loop life support systems), and materials processing.
On July 31, 1980, two cosmonauts returned to Earth safely.
The cosmonaut Pham Tuan became the first person in Indochina to fly into space.