Gennady Padalka sets New Record for spending Highest Number of Days into Orbit
Veteran Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka has surpassed countryman Sergey Krikalev's record of spending 803 days, 9 hours and 39 minutes of cumulative time in space. Padalka spent more than three months of time during his fifth trip into the orbit.
Time spent by Padalka is equal to more than 12,000 laps around Earth at the speeds of the International Space Station (ISS) and Russia's space station Mir, the two massive orbiting outposts Padalka has crewed in his cosmonaut career.
Padalka, who turned 57 last week, is presently commander of the space station's Expedition 44 crew. Padalka will have logged 878 days in orbit by the time he returns to Earth in September.
Before being launched in March, Padalka told interviewers that he hopes to pass 1,000 days in space on his next mission.
It has been said that Padalka was selected as a cosmonaut in 1989, and he took his first flight in space aboard the Mir space station in 1998 and 1999, spending 198 days there as commander.
Before his current mission, Padalka lived on the ISS during three stints in 2004, 2009 and 2012, leading the Expedition 9, Expedition 19 and Expedition 32 crews.
Padalka is now part of a record-setting mission on the space station. Besides, two other members of the Expedition 44 mission including NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko are on a nearly year-long residency on the complex.
Kelly will become the most-experienced US astronaut by the end of the flight, setting new records for cumulative time in space by an American and the longest single spaceflight by a NASA crew member.
Scientists will be studying how Kelly and Kornienko will respond to prolonged exposure to microgravity to help prepare for future voyages into the solar system.
Krikalev, now deputy head of the Russian Central Research Institute of Machine Building, told Russian media that he planned to congratulate Padalka on his achievement.
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