Oleg Kononenko: 1000 days in space and 3 more months to go

5 June, 2024 marked a historic day for space exploration. At midnight in Moscow, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko reached the incredible milestone of 1000 days in space.

Oleg Kononenko 1000 days
On June 5, cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko reached the milestone of 1000 days in space.

Oleg Kononenko reached the mark of 1000 days in space. This extraordinary feat surpasses the previous record of 878 days, 11 hours, 29 minutes and 48 seconds, achieved by his compatriot Gennady Padalka.

Kononenko, 59, is currently on his fifth mission to the International Space Station (ISS), where he set the new record, and will continue to extend it for at least three more months. When he returns to Earth on 23 September, a total of 1110 days will have passed in orbit.

More than a record: a career dedicated to space exploration

Due to his remarkable career, Kononenko's stay in space will mark history, but it also demonstrates an inspiring vision for the future of space exploration. At a time when the world's leading powers consider the installation of permanent bases on the Moon and trips to Mars, Kononenko advocates the construction of a more robust and comfortable space station, which he calls "an authentic space house".

Oleg Kononenko space house
Kononenko is responsible for the statement that more comfortable and robust stations can turn into authentic "space houses".

To achieve this goal, Kononenko, based on his experience, proposes to improve the systems of water regeneration, oxygen availability and recycling of space debris. These improvements, according to the cosmonaut, would make life in space more defensible and suitable for future astronauts.

In addition, long-term space missions, such as Kononenko's, are crucial to the advancement of space science. New campaigns of this kind may contribute to the study of the effects of microgravity on the human body, an essential knowledge for longer space travel, such as those destined for Mars.

Kononenko, who performed seven space walks during the missions, totaled 44 and a half hours outside the ship, contributing to the improvement of the techniques of repair and maintenance of equipment in orbit.

Inspiration for future generations of astronauts

Kononenko's exceptional dedication and commitment to space exploration serve as inspiration for future generations of astronauts and scientists. His particular vision of a "space house" and contributions to space science are important steps on the way to the realisation of the dream of living and working in space.

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Kononenko's feat is a source of pride for the entire international community, namely those who are dedicated to aerospace sciences. The achievement demonstrates the human ability to overcome challenges and achieve extraordinary achievements.