Oleg Dmitriyevich Kononenko (Russian: Олег Дмитриевич Кононенко; Turkmen: Oleg Dmitriýewiç Kononenko; born 21 June 1964) is a Russian cosmonaut.[1] He has flown to the International Space Station five times as a flight engineer for Expedition 17 aboard Soyuz TMA-12, as a flight engineer on Expedition 30 and commander of Expedition 31 aboard Soyuz TMA-03M, as a flight engineer on Expedition 44 and Expedition 45 aboard Soyuz TMA-17M, and as commander of Expedition 58 and Expedition 59 aboard Soyuz MS-11 and Expedition 70 and Expedition 71 aboard Soyuz MS-24/MS-25.

Oleg Kononenko
Олег Кононенко
Kononenko in 2016
Oleg Dmitriyevich Kononenko

(1964-06-21) 21 June 1964 (age 59)
AwardsHero of the Russian Federation
Hero of Turkmenistan
Space career
Roscosmos cosmonaut
Time in space
Currently in space
Selection1996 RKA Group
Total EVAs
Total EVA time
39 hours, 54 minutes
MissionsSoyuz TMA-12 (Expedition 17), Soyuz TMA-03M (Expedition 30/31), Soyuz TMA-17M (Expedition 44/45), Soyuz MS-11 (Expedition 58/59), Soyuz MS-24/Soyuz MS-25 (Expedition 69/70/71)
Mission insignia

Kononenko accumulated over 948.021 days in orbit during his five (including current one-year flight) long duration flights to ISS, which is the longest time in space of any cosmonaut or astronaut. Gennady Padalka previously held the world record for the most time spent in space at 878 days with Kononenko breaking the record on February 4, 2024 at 07:30:08 UTC.[2][3][4]

Early life and career edit

Oleg Kononenko was born on 21 June 1964 in Chardzhou, Turkmen SSR (now Türkmenabat, Turkmenistan) to a simple family. His father Dmitry Ivanovich Kononenko worked as a driver in a freight trucking company, and his mother Taisiya Stepanovna Churakova was a communications operator at the Türkmenabat Airport. Kononenko graduated from high school No. 15 of Turkmenabat city, where he received excellent marks in the subject of the Turkmen language.[5]

Education edit

After school, Oleg Kononenko was not able to enter the Kharkov Aviation Institute the first time. He returned home, worked for a year in the tool shop of the Türkmenabat Airport aviation technical base.[5] The second attempt was successful. Kononenko graduated from the N. E. Zhukovskiy Kharkiv Aviation Institute in 1988 as a mechanical engineer.[1]

Experience edit

After graduation, Kononenko worked at the Russian Space Agency's Central Specialized Design Bureau TsSKB-Progress in Kuybishev, starting as an engineer and working his way up to the leading design engineer. His responsibilities included system design, analysis, and development of spacecraft electrical power systems.[1]

Cosmonaut career edit

Oleg Kononenko floats through the Destiny Laboratory of the Space Station.

On 29 March 1996, Oleg was selected as a cosmonaut candidate by the Interagency Committee, and from June 1996 to March 1998, he underwent cosmonaut training at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center and on 20 March 1998, was awarded the title of test cosmonaut by the Interagency Qualification Committee.[1] In October 1998 he began training as part of the group of cosmonauts selected for the International Space Station (ISS) Program.[1]

From December 2001 through April 2002, Kononenko trained as a backup flight engineer for the Soyuz TM-34 vehicle for the third ISS visiting crew. From March 2002, through February 2004, he trained as the flight engineer for the Soyuz TMA vehicle and the Expedition 9 and Expedition 11 primary crews. From March 2004 through March 2006, he trained as part of the group of cosmonauts selected for the ISS program. In March 2006, Kononenko began training as a flight engineer for the Soyuz TMA-12 vehicle and the Expedition 17 crew.[1]

Expedition 30 flight engineer Oleg Kononenko performs a SPRUT-2 experiment run in the Zvezda Service Module of the Space Station.

Expedition 17 edit

Kononenko was a flight engineer on both the Expedition 17 mission to the International Space Station, and the Soyuz TMA-12 mission that flew him there. The crew launched on 8 April 2008, and landed on 24 October 2008.[1] Kononenko spent 199 days in space.[6]

Spacewalker Oleg Kononenko seen outside the Space Station on 12 February 2012.

Kononenko conducted his first spacewalk on 10 July 2008 when he ventured into space from the Pirs docking compartment airlock of the ISS.[7] He and cosmonaut Volkov inspected their Soyuz TMA-12 spacecraft and retrieved a pyro bolt from it. This spacewalk lasted 6 hours and 18 minutes.[citation needed]

On 15 July 2008 Kononenko again went outside from Pirs to conduct his second spacewalk.[8] Kononenko and Volkov installed one experiment and retrieved another. They also continued to outfit the station's exterior, including the installation of a docking target on the Zvezda service module. The spacewalk was in Russian Orlan suits and Kononenko wore an Orlan suit with blue stripes. The spacewalk lasted 5 hours and 54 minutes.[citation needed]

Kononenko returned to Earth with Expedition 17 commander Sergei Volkov, and spaceflight participant Richard Garriott (who launched aboard Soyuz TMA-13 to the ISS on 12 October 2008 with the Expedition 18 crew).[9][10] They landed at 11:37 p.m EDT 55 miles north of Arkalyk, Kazakhstan. They were flown to the Baikonur Cosmodrome by helicopter, and then went on to Zvezdny Gorodok (Star City), Moscow.[11][12][13]

Expedition 30/31 edit

On 21 December 2011, Kononenko, along with André Kuipers and Donald Pettit, launched to the International Space Station to join the crew of Expedition 30.[14] He, along with his fellow crewmembers, arrived at the space station on December 23.[15] On 12 February 2012, Kononenko and colleague cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov were scheduled to conduct a six-hour spacewalk outside the ISS. They installed shields on the Zvezda Service Module to protect it from micrometeoroid orbital debris and moved the Strela 1 crane from the Pirs docking compartment to the Poisk Mini Research Module (MRM-2). The two cosmonauts also installed struts on a ladder used by spacewalkers on the Pirs Docking Compartment. As another get-ahead task, they also installed an experiment called Vynoslivost on the Poisk Mini Research Module. As part of the Vynoslivost or "Endurance" experiment, two trays of metal samples would be left exposed on the surface of the Poisk Module.[16] The crew returned to Earth on 1 July 2012.[17]

Expedition 44/45 edit

On 22 July 2015, Kononenko launched to the International Space Station as Soyuz commander, together with NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui from the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on Soyuz-TMA-17M. They spent 5 months on the International Space Station as members of the Expedition 44 and Expedition 45 Crews. The trio returned to Earth in rare night landing on 11 December 2015, when their Soyuz TMA-17M landed safely on the steppe of Kazakhstan. Kononenko spent 142 days in space on his third mission.

Expedition 58/59 edit

Kononenko on EVA to examine the external hull of Soyuz MS-09, standing on a Strela crane, on 11 December 2018

Kononenko launched towards the ISS for the fourth time as Soyuz commander of Soyuz MS-11 on 3 December 2018. He was originally scheduled to be serving as flight engineer on Expedition 58 and commander on Expedition 59, although due to the launch failure of Soyuz MS-10 on 11 October 2018, the original Expedition 58 commander, Aleksey Ovchinin was no longer aboard the station for Expedition 58, therefore Kononenko commanded both Expedition 58 and Expedition 59. Expedition 58 started on 20 December 2018 with the departure of Soyuz MS-09.[18] Kononenko and fellow crew members Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques returned to Earth on 24 June 2019, after 203 days 15 hours and 16 minutes in space.[19]

Kononenko always warmly recalls his stay in his motherland - Turkmenistan.[20][21] On 31 December 2018 Kononenko showed the flag of Turkmenistan and the book "Turkmenistan is the heart of the Great Silk Road" of Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov from the ISS and wishes Happy New Year from the orbit of all Turkmenistan citizens.[22] The astronaut also noted that he has special feelings for the country where he was born and grew up, proud and rejoiced at her achievements.[23]

Expedition 69/70/71 edit

In June 2020, Kononenko announced that he was planned to return to the ISS. In September 2023, he launched aboard Soyuz MS-24. He is assigned for a year mission with his Russian crew member Nikolai Chub that started on September 15, 2023. If the mission lasts 300–365 days, Kononenko will have spent a total of 1,036-1,101 days in space. He broke the world record of 878 days in space held by Gennady Padalka on February 4, 2024 at 07:30:08 UTC. He is expected to also be the first person to reach 1000 days in space on June 5, 2024.[2][3][4][24]

Personal life edit

Kononenko studied at a specialized school of volleyball, was a member of the youth team of Turkmenistan.

He is married to Tatyana Mikhailovna Kononenko (née Yurieva). They have a son, Andrey Olegovich Kononenko, and a daughter, Alisa Olegovna Kononenko. Oleg enjoys reading and team sports.

Hero of Russia Oleg Kononenko, with the Russian president Vladimir Putin

Honours and awards edit

References edit

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

  1. ^ a b c d e f g NASA (2008). "Oleg Dmitrievich Kononenko". NASA. Archived from the original on September 16, 2008. Retrieved October 25, 2008.
  2. ^ a b "Госкорпорация "Роскосмос"". Telegram. Archived from the original on 2023-12-16. Retrieved 2023-12-16.
  3. ^ a b "ISS Expedition Reports". www.spacefacts.de. Archived from the original on 2021-06-09. Retrieved 2023-12-15.
  4. ^ a b "One American, Two Russians Blast Off in Russian Spacecraft to International Space Station". Voice of America. 2023-09-15. Archived from the original on 2023-12-15. Retrieved 2023-12-15.
  5. ^ a b "Биография космонавта МКС, уроженца Туркменистана - Олега Дмитриевича Кононенко". Archived from the original on 2022-12-07. Retrieved 2019-08-16.
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  8. ^ NASA (July 15, 2008). "Russian Spacewalkers Outfit Station's Exterior". Archived from the original on June 19, 2017. Retrieved June 3, 2010.
  9. ^ Mark Carreau (2008). "$30 million buys Austin resident a ride on Soyuz mission". The Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved October 12, 2008.
  10. ^ Tariq Malik. "Former Astronaut's Son Signs on as Next Space Tourist". SPACE.com. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. Retrieved October 9, 2007.
  11. ^ BBC (October 24, 2008). "Soyuz space capsule lands safely". BBC News. Archived from the original on April 15, 2021. Retrieved October 25, 2008.
  12. ^ ITAR (2008). "Cosmonauts examined with special system". ITAR-TASS News Agency. Archived from the original on December 27, 2008. Retrieved October 25, 2008.
  13. ^ Peter Leonard for the Associated Press (2008). "US Game Designer Blasts Into Space With DNA Cargo". ABC News. Archived from the original on October 20, 2008. Retrieved October 25, 2008.
  14. ^ Harding, Pete (21 December 2011). "Russian Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft launches to International Space Station". NASASpaceFlight.com. Archived from the original on 28 April 2021. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  15. ^ Klotz, Irene (23 December 2011). "New crew arrives at International Space Station". Reuters. Archived from the original on 9 January 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2011.
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  17. ^ Bora, Kukil (2 July 2012). "Three Expedition 31 Crew Members From International Space Station Land In Kazakhstan". International Business Times. Archived from the original on 13 July 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  18. ^ Garcia, Mark (2018-11-01). "Expedition 58". NASA. Archived from the original on 2018-11-30. Retrieved 2020-10-06.
  19. ^ Harwood, William (June 25, 2019). "3 station fliers complete 'once-in-a-lifetime ride' home after 204-day stay in orbit". CBS News. Archived from the original on 2022-02-18. Retrieved 2019-06-25.
  20. ^ "Космонавт Кононенко с орбиты поздравил народ Туркмении с Новым годом". January 2019. Archived from the original on 2019-08-16. Retrieved 2019-08-16.
  21. ^ "Олег Кононенко: "В четвёртый космический полёт обязательно возьму какую-то частицу Туркменистана"". Archived from the original on 2019-04-08. Retrieved 2019-08-16.
  22. ^ "Космонавт Кононенко продемонстрировал с борта МКС флаг Туркменистана и книгу Бердымухамедова". Archived from the original on 2019-04-08. Retrieved 2019-08-16.
  23. ^ "Кононенко с борта МКС поздравил жителей Туркменистана с Новым годом". Archived from the original on 2020-09-02. Retrieved 2019-08-16.
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  25. ^ "Космонавту Олегу Кононенко присвоено звание Героя Туркменистана". Archived from the original on 2019-09-25. Retrieved 2019-09-25.
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  27. ^ "Archive". Archived from the original on 2019-11-27. Retrieved 2011-12-08.

External links edit

Preceded by ISS Expedition Commander
27 April to 1 July 2012
Succeeded by
Preceded by ISS Expedition Commander
20 December 2018 - 24 June 2019
Succeeded by