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Gennady Padalka

Gennady Ivanovich Padalka
Gennady Padalka
RKA Cosmonaut
Nationality Russian
Born (1958-06-21) June 21, 1958
Krasnodar, Soviet Union
Other occupation
Yeysk Military Aviation College
Rank Colonel, Russian Air Force
Time in space
Selection 1989 Cosmonaut Group
Total EVAs
Total EVA time
38 hours and 37 minutes
Missions Soyuz TM-28, Soyuz TMA-4 (Expedition 9), Soyuz TMA-14 (Expedition 19/20), Soyuz TMA-04M (Expedition 31/32), Soyuz TMA-16M (Expedition 43/44)
Mission insignia

Gennady Ivanovich Padalka (Russian: Гeннадий Иванович Падалка; born June 21, 1958, in Krasnodar, Russia) is a Russian Air Force officer and an RKA cosmonaut. Padalka has spent 879 days in space, more than any other person.[1][2][3] He worked on both Mir and the International Space Station.


  • Personal 1
  • Education and training 2
  • Awards 3
  • Cosmonaut career 4
    • Mir Mission 4.1
    • ISS Missions 4.2
      • Expedition 9 4.2.1
      • Expedition 19/20 4.2.2
      • Expedition 31/32 4.2.3
      • Expedition 43/44 4.2.4
    • Spacewalks 4.3
  • References 5


Padalka is married to Irina Anatoliyevna Padalka (Ponomareva). They have three daughters: Yuliya, Yekaterina, and Sonya. He enjoys the theater, parachute sport and diving.[4][5][6][7]

Education and training

Padalka graduated from Yeysk Military Aviation College in 1979. After graduation, he served as a pilot and later a senior pilot in the Russian Air Force, eventually attaining the rank of colonel. He has logged 1500 flight hours in six types of aircraft as a First Class Pilot in the Russian Air Force. In addition, he has performed more than 300 parachute jumps as an Instructor of General Parachute Training. Padalka also worked as an engineer-ecologist at the UNESCO International Center of Instruction Systems until 1994.[8] He is an investigator for the Advanced Diagnostic Ultrasound in Microgravity Project, a US Government funded study investigating strategies for applying diagnostic telemedicine to space.


Padalka is a recipient of the Hero Star of the Russian Federation and the title of Russian Federation Test-Cosmonaut.[9] He is decorated with Fatherland Service Medal fourth class, Medals of the Russian Federation and also Medal of the International Fund of Cosmonautics support for Service to Cosmonautics. Padalka is a prize winner of the Russian Federation Government in the field of science and technology.[10]

Cosmonaut career

Gennady Padalka was selected as a cosmonaut candidate to start training at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in 1989. From June 1989 to January 1991, he attended basic space training and in 1991 was qualified as a test-cosmonaut.

Mir Mission

On August 13, 1998, Gennady launched with Sergei Avdeyev aboard Soyuz TM-28 to become the crew of Mir Expedition 26, whose primary mission was to make repairs to life support systems and prepare the station for deorbit, which was to take place after Expedition 27. On February 8, 1999 at 11:23 GMT Padalka and Avdeyev undocked from Mir's -X port in Soyuz TM-28, and redocked at the +X Kvant port at 11:39 GMT, freeing up the front port for the Soyuz TM-29 docking.[11] He returned to Earth on board the Soyuz TM-28 capsule on February 28, 1999. The Soyuz TM-28 undocked from the Kvant rear docking port on February 27 at 22:52 GMT and landed in Kazakhstan on February 28 at 02:14 GMT. Padalka accumulated 198 days and 16 hours of space travel during the mission.

ISS Missions

Expedition 9 commander Gennady Padalka inside the Zvezda module of the ISS.

June 1999 through July 2000, Padalka trained for a space flight on a Soyuz-TM transport vehicle as an ISS contingency crew commander. August 2000 to November 2001, he trained for a space flight as the Expedition 4 back-up crew commander.

Expedition 9

In March 2002, Padalka was assigned as commander of the ISS Expedition 9 crew. Expedition 9 was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan aboard the Soyuz TMA-4 spacecraft, and docked with the ISS on April 21, 2004. Following a week of joint operations and handover briefings, they replaced the Expedition 8 crew who returned to Earth. In a six-month tour of duty aboard the station Padalka continued ISS science operations, maintained Station systems, and performed four spacewalks. The Expedition 9 mission concluded after undocking and landed back in Kazakhstan on October 23, 2004. In completing this mission, Padalka logged an additional 187 days, 21 minutes and 17 seconds in space, and 15 hours, 45 minutes and 22 seconds of EVA time.

Expedition 19/20

Expedition 20 commander Gennady Padalka inside the Pirs Docking Compartment of the Space Station.

Padalka returned to the ISS in 2009 to serve as commander of Expeditions 19 and 20.[12][13] He commanded the Soyuz TMA-14 spacecraft which was launched from Baikonur on March 26, 2009 and docked with the ISS two days later. Padalka also commanded the first six-person space station crew (Expedition 20), returning to Earth on October 11, 2009.[14]

Expedition 31/32

In May 2012 Padalka returned to the ISS for a third time. He served as a flight engineer as part of Expedition 31 before graduating to command Expedition 32.[15]

He launched to the ISS aboard Soyuz TMA-04M on May 15, 2012, along with fellow crew members Sergei Revin and Joseph Acaba[16] and arrived at the space station on May 17 at 4:36 UTC.[17] He, along with Revin and Acaba, returned to Earth on September 17, 2012.[18]

Expedition 43/44

Padalka returned to the ISS aboard Soyuz TMA-16M during Expedition 43 and Expedition 44, along with Mikhail Korniyenko and Scott Kelly. He landed on Soyuz TMA-16M on September 12, 2015. Padalka set the record for most time in space of anyone in history.


On September 15, 1998, Padalka performed the first spacewalk of his career during a stay aboard Mir along with Sergei Avdeyev. After donning spacesuits, the PKhO compartment of the Mir Core Module was depressurized and the spacewalkers entered the dead Spektr module at 20:00 GMT. The crew reconnected some cables for the solar panel steering mechanism and closed the hatch a half hour later. The PKhO was then repressurized after a spacewalk which lasted 30 minutes.

On November 10, 1998, Padalka and Avdeyev again ventured out into space. The two made the EVA from the Kvant-2 airlock on Mir. The starting time of the spacewalk was at 19:24 GMT. The two spacewalking cosmonauts installed a meteoroid detector in for the upcoming Leonid shower, and hand-launched the Sputnik-41 amateur-radio mini-satellite. The space walk concluded at 01:18 GMT on November 11 clocking a total time of 5 hours and 54 minutes.

Padalka with his Orlan spacesuit in the Pirs Docking Compartment.

Padalka's third spacewalk was performed on June 24, 2004 from the ISS's Pirs Docking Compartment. The spacewalk was cut short due to a spacesuit malfunction of his fellow spacewalking partner, NASA astronaut Michael Fincke.[19] After Fincke egressed, within minutes flight controllers noticed a decrease in pressure in his primary oxygen tank. Although the spacewalk was planned for six hours, as a result of the problems it only lasted 14 minutes.

On June 30, 2004, Padalka performed his fourth spacewalk along with astronaut Michael Fincke. The duo successfully and repaired a faulty circuit breaker on the space station an hour ahead of the schedule.[20] During their repair job, the two spacewalkers replaced a failed device called a remote power control module (RPCM) that had cut off power to its gyroscope. The spacewalk lasted 5 hours and 40 minutes.

On August 3, 2004 Gennady Padalka and Mike Fincke again left the space station to install communications gear and replace space exposure experiments on the outside of the Zvezda Service Module.[21] The spacewalk was conducted from the Pirs Docking Compartment airlock and commenced when Padalka and Fincke opened the outer hatch of the airlock at 6:58 GMT. During the spacewalk the two spacewalkers removed six obsolete laser reflectors used for docking and replaced four of them with newer versions. The crew also installed two antennas to allow the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) to communicate with the space station and removed a cable from a faulty television camera. The 4 hour 20 minute excursion out of the ISS marked Padalka's fifth career spacewalk.

Padalka completed his sixth career spacewalk on September 3, 2004 when he and Mike Fincke ventured out into space. The spacewalk took place outside the Zvezda module. Padalka and Fincke began the spacewalk at 16:43 GMT, after emerging from the Pirs airlock.[22] On the Zarya module, the two spacwalkers replaced a pump control panel that measures the module's coolant levels. They also installed three communications antennas at its aft end of the Zvezda module. The spacewalk lasted 5 hours and 21 minutes.

Gennady Padalka participates in a spacewalk to move the Strela-2 cargo boom from the Pirs docking compartment to the Zarya module on August 2012.

Padalka completed his seventh career spacewalk on June 5, 2009.[23] He and NASA astronaut Michael Barratt egressed outside the ISS beginning at 7:52 UTC to install docking system antennas and cabling to accommodate the Mini Research Module 2 (MRM-2). The spacewalk began at an hour behind schedule because of higher than expected carbon-dioxide levels in the spacesuits. The spacewalk ended when the two crew members returned to the Pirs Docking Compartment airlock at 12:46 GMT. The spacewalk lasted 4 hours and 54 minutes.

Gennady Padalka, Expedition 32 commander participates in a session of EVA on 20 August 2012.

On June 10, 2009 Gennady Padalka and Michael Barratt entered the transfer compartment in the Zvezda module.[24] The "internal spacewalk" began 10 minutes behind schedule because of initial problems with pressure inside the airlock, which did not fall as fast as expected. While they were not in open space outside the ISS, Padalka and Barratt had to wear space suits in the depressurized compartment. During the 12 minute spacewalk the two crew members moved a docking mechanism to accommodate the MRM-2. The event marked the eight career spacewalk for Padalka.

On 20 August 2012, Padalka together with cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko participated in his ninth career spacewalk.[25] Tasks assigned to the two cosmonauts included hardware relocations, installations, retrievals, and deployments. For the spacewalk, Malenchenko donned an Orlan spacesuit with the blue stripe. The duration of the spacewalk was 5 hours and 51 minutes. The spacewalk was delayed for about an hour due to a small leak between Space Station modules. The spacewalk started from the Pirs Docking Compartment Module at 15:37 GMT. The first task for Padalka and Malenchenko was to relocate the Strela-2 boom from the Pirs module to the forward end of the Zarya module. The relocation was needed since Pirs module will be detached from the Space Station in the future for the arrival of the new Multi-purpose Laboratory Module (MLM) Nauka. The next task completed by Padalka and Malenchenko was to deploy a 21-inch diameter spherical satellite. The two cosmonauts also retrieved five debris shields from the Pirs Module, prior to installing them on the Zvezda Module. They also completed several get-ahead tasks (since the both opted not to take rests during the night passes) as the duo were about an hour ahead of the timeline. They retrieved an external experiment called Biorisk from the Pirs Module for return to Earth, and for added stability installed two structural support struts between the Pirs Module and the EVA ladder. Padalka and Malenchenko then both ingressed the Pirs Module, prior to closing the hatch and beginning the re-pressurisation procedure, to end a highly successful spacewalk.


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  • NASA bio
  • Spacefacts biography of Gennady Padalka
  1. ^ Cheng, Kenneth (27 March 2015). "Breaking Space Records". New York Times. Archived from the original on 2015-06-28. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  2. ^ Thompson, Curtiss (29 June 2015). "Russian Cosmonaut Sets Record For Most Time Spent In Space". Penny4NASA. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  3. ^ Russian astronaut record-breaker Padalka returns to Earth, BBC News, 12 September 2015
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  12. ^ NASA (2008). "NASA Assigns Crews for STS-127 and Expedition 19 Missions". NASA. Retrieved February 11, 2008. 
  13. ^ NASA. "Expedition 20". Retrieved June 3, 2010. 
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  15. ^ NASA HQ (2010). "NASA And Partners Assign Crews For Upcoming Space Station Missions". NASA. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  16. ^ Albanesius, Chloe (15 May 2012). "3 Soyuz Astronauts Blast Off for Space Station". PC Magazine. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  17. ^ Harwood, William (17 May 2012). "Three-man crew docks at International Space Station". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
  18. ^ "Soyuz lands in Kazakhstan after ISS mission". RT. 17 September 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  19. ^ William Harwood (June 24, 2004). "Suit problem ends station spacewalk". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  20. ^ Tariq Malik (July 1, 2004). "ISS Spacewalk a Success: Gyroscope Power Restored". Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  21. ^ Tariq Malik (August 3, 2004). "Third Spacewalk a Breeze for Space Station Crew". Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  22. ^ NASA (September 3, 2004). "International Space Station Status Report #04-50". Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  23. ^ William Harwood (June 5, 2009). "Successful spacewalk ends". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  24. ^ Robert Block (June 10, 2009). "Space station crew completes short spacewalk". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  25. ^ Pete Harding (20 August 2012). "Russian cosmonaut duo complete a highly successful spacewalk on ISS". Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
Preceded by
Michael Foale
ISS Expedition Commander
19 April to 24 November 2004
Succeeded by
Leroy Chiao
Preceded by
Michael Fincke
ISS Expedition Commander
8 April to 30 October 2009
Succeeded by
Frank De Winne
Preceded by
Oleg Kononenko
ISS Expedition Commander
1 July to 16 September 2012
Succeeded by
Sunita Williams
Preceded by
Terry W. Virts
ISS Expedition Commander
11 June to 11 September 2015
Succeeded by
Scott Kelly
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