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Gennady Padalka : biography

June 21, 1958 -

Gennady Ivanovich Padalka () (born June 21, 1958, in Krasnodar, Russia) is a Russian Air Force officer and an RSA cosmonaut. As of October 2012, Padalka ranks fourth for career time in space with 710 days. He worked on both Mir and the International Space Station.

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. 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

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

Padalka returned to the ISS in 2009 to serve as commander of Expeditions 19 and 20. 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.

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.

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


As of November 2012, Gennady Padalka has participated in 9 spacewalks.

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.

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