Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko has set a new space record by spending more time in space than anyone else, surpassing fellow cosmonaut Gennady Padalka. This was announced by Russia’s space corporation, Roscosmos. Kononenko achieved this milestone at 0830 GMT and is expected to reach 1,000 days in space on June 5. By late September, his total time in space will reach 1,110 days.

Kononenko expressed his pride in his accomplishments from the International Space Station (ISS), where he orbits about 263 miles (423 km) from Earth. He emphasized his passion for space exploration over setting records, stating that he flew into space to pursue his favorite activity, not to break records. Aged 59, Kononenko took over the record from Padalka, who spent a total of 878 days, 11 hours, 29 minutes, and 48 seconds in space. Despite the challenges of space travel, such as the physical effects of weightlessness and time spent away from family, Kononenko remains dedicated to his profession as a cosmonaut. He stressed the challenges of modern space missions and technological advancements. Kononenko’s journey began with his childhood dream, leading to engineering studies and cosmonaut training. His recent mission to the ISS, launched on a Soyuz MS-24 spacecraft last year, underscores ongoing US-Russia collaboration despite tensions.