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Leonid Kostyantynovych Kadenyuk (Ukrainian: Леонід Костянтинович Каденюк, 28 January 1951 – 31 January 2018)[1] was the first astronaut of independent Ukraine. He flew on NASA's Space Station Columbia in 1997 as part of the international mission STS-87. Kadenyuk held the rank of Major General in the Ukrainian Air Force.

Leonid Kostyantynovych Kadenyuk
Leonid Kadenyuk.jpg
Born(1951-01-28)28 January 1951
Died31 January 2018(2018-01-31) (aged 67)
Kiev, Ukraine
OccupationTest pilot
AwardsHero of Ukraine
Space career
Soviet / Ukrainian astronaut
RankMajor General, UAF
Time in space
15d 16h 34 m
Selection1976 Air Force Group 6
Mission insignia



Kadenyuk was a Soviet military pilot. He began his service in the Soviet Air Forces and was selected in 1976 for the Soviet Cosmonaut Corps being on a team of test pilots of the Soviet new space shuttle Buran, but was removed after marital issues. He was allowed to rejoin the Cosmonaut Detachment several years later.[2] With the break-up of the Soviet Union, Kadenyuk remained in the Russian Space Forces and adopted Ukrainian citizenship.[3] In 1995, during the preparation of the first Ukrainian space mission, he volunteered to take part and returned to his homeland.[3]

There were two main candidates for the mission, the other being Yaroslav Pustovyi, a civil Ukrainian scientist in space research. Kadeniuk was chosen as better-trained and accustomed to space mission organization.

After the flight, Leonid Kadeniuk continued his Ukrainian space program career in the State Space Agency of Ukraine.

In the 2002 parliamentary election, he was elected to the Verkhovna Rada in the list of pro-Kuchma United Ukraine Bloc. Later, Kadeniuk joined the "Trudova Ukrayina - Industrialists and Entrepreneurs" faction, but hadn't been politically active. He worked within parliament's Committee on Defense and National Security.

In the 2006 parliamentary election,[4] Kadenyuk was #3 in the electoral party list of Lytvyn's People's Bloc, but the block won only 2.44% of the popular vote (short of the required 3%) and no seats in the parliament.

Kadenyuk died on 31 January 2018, three days after turning 67.[5][6] He was interred in the central avenue of Kiev's Baikove Cemetery.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Помер космонавт Леонід Каденюк". BBC.
  2. ^ Yuri M. Baturin (editor) (2005). World Manned Cosmonautics - History, Equipment, People (Russian language). Moscow Publishing House. pp. 600–601.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  3. ^ a b ‹See Tfd›(in Russian) Леонид Константинович Каденюк Biography on
  4. ^ "Народні депутати України IV скликання (2002-2006)". 5 February 2018.
  5. ^ Ukraine’s first astronaut Leonid Kadenyuk dies at 67 Kyiv Post, 31 January 2018
  6. ^ First Ukrainian cosmonaut Leonid Kadeniuk dies Interfax, 31 January 2018
  7. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in Ukrainian) On Baykovyi cemetery, farewell to dissident Levko Lukyanenko (video), UNIAN (9 July 2018)

External linksEdit