Russian man becomes the first person to spend 1,000 days in space

Oleg Kononenko achieved the milestone having made five journeys to the International Space Station

Rich Booth
Wednesday 05 June 2024 14:04 BST
Russian Cosmonaut 1000 Days
Russian Cosmonaut 1000 Days (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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A 59-year-old Russian cosmonaut has become the first person to spend 1,000 days in space, Russian space agency Roscosmos said on Wednesday.

Oleg Kononenko achieved the milestone having made five journeys to the International Space Station dating back to 2008.

His current trip to the ISS began September 15, 2023, when he launched alongside NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara and compatriot Nikolai Chub.

Kononenko first took the cumulative space time record in February 2024, when he surpassed the total of 878 days, 11 hours, 29 minutes, and 48 seconds set by fellow Russian Gennady Padalka in 2015.

If Kononenko’s mission ends as scheduled September 23, 2024, he will have spent a total of 1,110 days in orbit.

"There’s this awareness that you have achieved something new and important, that you’ve overcome a certain milestone, touched the unknown,” Kononenko told Russian state news agency TASS. “It gives you confidence, and pride in the work you’ve done.”

He also told TASS that his American colleagues on the ISS were among the first to congratulate him on his achievement.

The International Space Station is one of the few areas in which the United States and Russia still cooperate closely following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

“The International Space Station team is continuing to safely conduct research operations in low-Earth orbit,” a spokesperson said in 2022.

“Ongoing station operations continue including work to fly crew to the orbital outpost and to return them safely to Earth.”

Roscosmos announced in December that its cross-flight program with NASA transporting astronauts to the ISS had been extended until 2025.

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