First person in history spends 1,000 cumulative days in space

Russian cosmonaut, Oleg Kononenko, has made history by becoming the first person to spend a cumulative 1,000 days in space, according to Russia’s space agency Roscosmos. Kononenko, 59, achieved this milestone during his current mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Kononenko’s current mission, which began on September 15, 2023, is scheduled to end on September 23, 2024, bringing his total number of days spent in orbit to 1,110. He has accumulated these days over several missions, with his first being Expedition 17 to the ISS in April 2008. In total, Kononenko has participated in five separate missions to the ISS.

This is not the only record set by Kononenko, as in February 2024, he surpassed the previous record of 878 days held by his colleague Gennady Padalka for the longest amount of time spent in space. Kononenko expressed his passion for space travel, stating that he does it because he loves it, not to set records.

Unlike Roscosmos cosmonauts, NASA astronauts typically spend no more than six months aboard the ISS before being rotated out for a new crew. However, there have been exceptions, such as Frank Rubio, who spent 371 days in space before returning to Earth last September after his original six-month mission was extended.

Experts have highlighted the significant physical and psychological changes that astronauts experience during prolonged space missions. They are closely monitored upon their return to Earth to assess these changes.

Kononenko’s achievement marks a significant milestone in space exploration history, showcasing the dedication and passion of astronauts like him.

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