Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko is the man who has spent the most time in space so far. Here are all the details you need to know…
It has now been orbiting the Earth for more than 878 days, almost two and a half years. That is a really long time!
Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko has been in space for two and a half years
Kononenko broke a record previously held by another Russian cosmonaut, Gennady Padalka. Padalka spent 878 days in space on five missions before retiring in 2017.
Kononenko currently lives on the International Space Station (ISS). It’s like a giant house floating 250 miles above the Earth! She started her last mission in September 2023 and will return home in seven months. By then, his record will be an incredible 1,110 days!
Even though he has set a record, Kononenko says he doesn’t fly into space to win. He loves it! He told a news agency that being a cosmonaut has been his dream since he was a child. He enjoys exploring space and working there.
Still, being away from home for so long can be difficult. Kononenko says he keeps in touch with family and friends through video calls and texts. But when he returns to Earth, he realizes what he missed. She especially misses spending time with her children, who have grown up without her.
Peggy Whitson holds the record for the most days in space by an American astronaut. She spent 678 days in space over four missions. The record for the longest time spent alone in space belongs to another Russian cosmonaut, Valeri Polyakov. Polyakov spent 437 days aboard the Mir space station in the 1990s. More recently, American astronaut Frank Rubio spent 371 days on the ISS, setting a new single-stay record for NASA.
The next time you look up at the stars, remember Oleg Kononenko and all the amazing people who went into space! They inspire us to keep exploring and learning about our universe.
Featured image credit: Ann Danilina / Unsplash