Longest time spent in space (aggregate)
Gennady Padalka
879 day(s):hour(s):minute(s)
Not Applicable ()

Cosmonaut Gennady Ivanovich Padalka has spent more time in space than any other person. He broke fellow cosmonaut Sergey Krikalev’s record of 803 days on 28 June 2015, 92 days into his 168-day stay on the ISS as part of Expedition 43, and by the time he landed on 12 September had spent 879 days in space (that’s more than two years). Padalka, born 1958, had risen to the rank of colonel in the Soviet Air Force before being selected for cosmonaut training in 1989. His first space mission came in August 1998, when he was one of the last cosmonauts to stay on the ageing Mir space station. He spent 198 days preparing the station for deactivation and de-orbit, returning to Earth on 28 February 1999. Between 2002 and 2012, he made three visits to the newly completed ISS, including two tours as commander of the station.

Padalka has carried out nine spacewalks over the course of his career, ranging from half-hour repair jobs to complex equipment installation jobs that lasted for as much as six hours. Consistent with Albert Einstein’s theories of relativity, Padalka has also genuinely travelled through time, as his internal body clock will have slowed down marginally in comparison to clocks back on Earth. From his perspective, he has returned to an Earth that has moved forward in time by around 0.02 seconds.