Ivan Bella : biography
Ivan Bella (born 25 May 1964 in Brezno, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia)) is a Slovak Air Force officer who became the first Slovak citizen to fly in space. He participated in an eight-day joint Russian-French-Slovak mission to the Mir space station in 1999.
Bella began training as a Research Cosmonaut on 25 March 1998. He completed his training successfully at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in August of the same year.
Bella launched along with mission commander Viktor Afanasyev and flight engineer Jean-Pierre Haigneré on the Soyuz TM-29 mission on 20 February 1999. TM-29 arrived at Mir on 22 February. While on board the station Bella performed various scientific experiments as well as experiments involving the possibility of survival of Japanese Quails during long flights. Bella spent just over a week in space and returned to earth on 28 February aboard Soyuz TM-28 along with fellow crew member Gennady Padalka.
In 2004, Bella was appointed to serve as a military attaché for Slovakia in Moscow, Russia.
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