Russian cosmonaut Padalka sets world spaceflight duration record
In August 1998, Gennady Padalka embarked on his first journey through space as the commander of the Soyuz TM-28 spacecraft. During the flight he made one spacewalk and one transfer to the Spektr depressurized module. These operations lasted 6 hours 26 minutes.
Seventeen years have passed and on March 27, a three-man crew – spacecraft commander Gennady Padalka, flight-engineer Mikhail Kornienko and NASA astronaut Scott Kelly – flew up to the International Space Station on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
This mission, Padalka’s fifth, marked a special event in his career, alongside a significant landmark in human history: at 01:42 Moscow time, the Russian cosmonaut broke the record for the most days spent in space.
Congrats to my crewmate Gennady Padalka for surpassing the record of 803 days in space- Genna has been in space more than any human!
— Terry W. Virts (@AstroTerry) 28 июня 2015
Gennady Padalka will return to Earth in September, becoming the world’s most experienced spaceman in the process, clocking up nearly two and a half years in space.
You think you travel a lot? Gennady Padalka, a cosmonaut at #ISS, has traveled 546 mn kms in 804 days (new record for time spent in space)!
— Eklavya Sinha (@eklavyasinha) 28 июня 2015
In 2005, Colonel Padalka, a top gun Russian Air Force pilot, was the first to go to the North Pole in a balloon.
“I don’t believe in omens,” said Gennady in an Esquire magazine interview. “My lucky number is 13. My third daughter was born on October 13. I flew up on August 13. During a prelaunch medical check I was a thirteenth.”