A Russian Cosmonaut Sets A New Record For The Most Time In Space

FILE - Russian Space Agency experts test a space suit of Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, a crew member of the next mission to the International Space Station, prior to the launch of Soyuz-FG booster rocket with the space capsule Soyuz TMA-14M at the Russian leased Baikonur Cosmodrome, in Kazakhstan, Wednesday, July 22, 2015.  The Russian space agency says one of its cosmonauts has broken the world record for the most time spent in space. Oleg Kononenko, who's 59 has made five journeys to the International Space Station, dating back to 2008. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File)
FILE - Russian Space Agency experts test a space suit of Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, a crew member of the next mission to the International Space Station, prior to the launch of Soyuz-FG booster rocket with the space capsule Soyuz TMA-14M at the Russian leased Baikonur Cosmodrome, in Kazakhstan, Wednesday, July 22, 2015. The Russian space agency says one of its cosmonauts has broken the world record for the most time spent in space. Oleg Kononenko, who's 59 has made five journeys to the International Space Station, dating back to 2008. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File)
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Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko has broken the world record for the most cumulative time spent in space, Russia’s space agency Roscosmos reported Sunday.

The 59-year-old has now spent more than 878 days and 12 hours in space, surpassing fellow Russian Gennady Padalka, who set the previous record of 878 days, 11 hours, 29 minutes, and 48 seconds in 2015.

Kononenko has made five journeys to the International Space Station, dating back to 2008.

Speaking with Russian state news agency TASS, the engineer said that each trip to the ISS required careful preparation due to the station’s constant upgrades — but that life as a cosmonaut was a childhood dream come true.

“I fly into space to do what I love, not to set records. I’ve dreamt of and aspired to become a cosmonaut since I was a child. That interest — the opportunity to fly into space, to live and work in orbit — motivates me to continue flying,” he told TASS.

Kononenko’s current trip to the ISS began on Sept. 15, 2023, when he launched alongside NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara and Roscosmos compatriot Nikolai Chub. By the end of this expedition, the cosmonaut is expected to become the first person to accumulate 1,000 days in space.

The International Space Station is one of the few areas in which the United States and Russia still cooperate closely following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in Feb. 2022. Roscosmos announced in December that its cross-flight program with NASA transporting astronauts to the ISS had been extended until 2025.