Russian cosmonaut sets record for most time in space – more than 878 days
Oleg Kononenko, a Russian cosmonaut, set a new world record on Sunday for the total amount of time spent in orbit. He surpassed his compatriot Gennady Paalka, who had spent more than 878 consecutive days in orbit.
Roscosmos announced that Kononenko had broken the record at 0830 GMT. Kononenko will reach 1,000 days in the space by June 5, and 1,110 days by late September.
Kononenko, who is currently orbiting the International Space Station (423 km from Earth) at a distance of 263 miles (423 kilometers), told TASS that he was flying into space for his favorite thing and not to break records.
“I’m proud of my achievements but even more so that the Russian cosmonaut still holds the record for total duration of human stays in space.”
Roscosmos reported that the 59-year old took over from Padalka who had accumulated 878 days, eleven hours, 29 minutes, and 48 seconds.
In the early days of the space race, the Soviet Union shocked the West by being the first to launch a space satellite – Sputnik 1 – in 1957. Then in 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was the first person to enter space.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia’s space program was plagued by massive funding shortages as well as corruption.
According to space analysts and officials, President Vladimir Putin’s officials have repeatedly pledged to reverse the decline in Russia’s space programme, despite serious problems that still exist.
LIFE IN SPACE
Kononenko explained that he regularly worked out to counteract the “insidious effects” of weightlessness. However, it was only after returning to Earth that he realised how much he missed.
He said, “I don’t feel deprived or alone.”
“Only after returning home did I realise that my children had been growing without a father for hundreds of day.” “No one will come back to me this time.”
He said that despite the fact that cosmonauts can now stay in touch with their families via video calls and messages, preparing for every new space flight has become more difficult as technology advances.
“The job of a cosmonaut has become more complex.” Systems and experiments become more complex. “I repeat, preparation is not easier,” he said.
Kononenko was a child who dreamed about going into space. He enrolled at an engineering school before receiving cosmonaut training. His first space mission was in 2008.
Last year, his current trip to ISS was launched on a Soyuz MS-24.
The ISS remains one of few international projects where the United States and Russia are still closely cooperating. Roscosmos announced in December that a NASA-led cross-flight program to the ISS has been extended until 2025.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine two years ago, relations between the two nations have deteriorated in other areas. Washington has responded to this by sending weapons to Kyiv as well as imposing successive rounds on sanctions against Moscow.