On Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. Belgian time, 59-year-old Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko officially took over the record from his compatriot Gennady Padalka, who in 2015 clocked exactly 878 days, 11 hours, 29 minutes and 48 seconds on the planet. hour. Kononenko has not set his own world record, but he is racing around an orbit around the world where no one else who has spent more time in the other world can currently be found.
For both Kononenko and Padalka, that time is split between different tasks. Kononenko is currently serving his fifth mission aboard the International Space Station. He was also there in 2008, 2011, 2015 and 2019. The astronaut began his career as an engineer, and at the age of 34 he was selected for a mission to the International Space Station. Its first flight in 2008 took about 200 days.
The astronaut confirmed to the Russian state agency TASS that he is not interested in record books. “I go into space to do my favorite thing, not to set records,” he said. “I am proud of all my achievements, but I am even more proud that the record is still held by a Russian cosmonaut.”
If the rest of his mission goes as planned, Kononenko's cosmic timer will cross the 1,000-day mark on June 5. It will not return to Earth until the end of September. At that point, he will have spent more than 1,100 days in space.
In 2023, NASA astronaut Frank Rubio set the record for the longest continuous stay on the space station. He spent 371 days on board. The world record for the longest continuous period in space has been held since 1995 by astronaut Valery Polyakov, who lived and worked above Earth for 437 days. This did not happen on board the International Space Station, but rather on the former Russian space station, Mir.
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