Cosmonaut Gennady Padalka seen in the Pirs Docking Compartment of the International Space Station. on July 8, 2009. Image Credit: NASA

Russian Cosmonaut Sets Record For Most Time Spent In Space

A Russian cosmonaut has broken the record for the most time spent in space by a human.

Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka has now spent more time in space than any other person in history. The Russian cosmonaut broke the record for the most time accumulated in space while aboard the International Space Station at 5:42 p.m. EDT on Sunday, June 28.

Padalka surpassed the record previously held by Sergei Krikalev with 803 days, 9 hours and 41 minutes spent in space. Padalk’a new spaceflight record follows closely on the heels of Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti’s recent record-setting spaceflight. Cristoforetti set the record for the longest continuous spaceflight by a woman before returning home earlier this month.

Padalka launched on his latest expedition to the International Space Station on March 27 with crewmates Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko, who are currently embarking on the first year-long mission aboard the space station. Kelly and Kornienko’s mission aims to study the effects of long-duration spaceflights on the human body. Unlike his crewmates, Padalka’s stay aboard the space station will last only 6 months.

By the time he returns to Earth on Sept. 11, he will have spent nearly two and a half years in space, racking up a total of 878 days off-Earth. However, Padalka doesn’t want to stop there. In a press conference prior to his launch in March, he said he’s hoping to return to space again to try and accumulate more than 1,000 days in orbit.

This was Padalka’s fifth spaceflight, and the fourth aboard the International Space Station. Padalka’s first spaceflight was aboard the Mir space station. The mission’s primary goal was to repair life support systems and prepare the space station for its planned atmospheric reentry. Padalka celebrated his 57th birthday on June 21st aboard the International Space Station.