Charles Bolden, who has been awarded the prestigious FAI Gold Space Medal for 2016, knows about space. Not only has he been in orbit four times, but for the last seven years he has been at the head of NASA.
60 years ago on 7 September 1956, American Test pilot Iven C. Kincheloe Jr. flew at more than 3.200 km/h (2.000 mp/h) and to a height of 38.5 km (126.200 feet), becoming the first human ever to fly above 100.000 feet with the Bell X-2 rocket-powered research airplane.
“I am absolutely delighted for Scott and Mikhail to receive that very well deserved honour.” Live from the International Space Station (ISS), the British Astronaut Tim Peake congratulated Scott Kelly (USA) and Mikhail Kornienko (RUS) on being awarded the FAI Komarov Diploma. Certainly a unique occasion to acknowledge his fellow crewmates! Peake’s congratulations came right after FAI’s Astronautic Records Commission (ICARE) President, Anu Ojha OBE, announced the attribution of the award during a live call with the astronaut from UK’s National Space Centre.
11 October 2005: Russian Cosmonaut Krikalev becomes the Absolute Record Holder in Accumulated Space Flight Time
Ten years ago, on October 11th 2005 at 01:10:00 (UTC), the manned transport space vehicle “Soyuz TM - 6” landed in the north of Kazakhstan. Hours before, the eleventh expedition to the International Space Station (ISS) undocked and returned to Earth with the three crew members on board. Amongst them was the Russian pilot-cosmonaut Sergei K. Krikalev (Сергей Константинович Крикалёв), who completed his sixth orbital space flight mission over the period from 1988 to 2005. By ending this journey, the total cumulative time he spent in space summed up to 803 days, 9 hours, 39 minutes and 9 seconds and set the Absolute World Record in the category “Accumulated Space Flight Time”. In other words and to give a better idea of the dimension of this truly exceptional achievement: Krikalev spent 2 years, 10 weeks, 2 days, 22 hours, 1 minute and 9 seconds in space, including eight Extravehicular Activities (EVAs or space walks).
On 18 March 1965, FAI celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first space-walk. Russian cosmonaut Alexey Leonov achieved this feat during the Voshkod 2 mission. He stayed out in space for 12 min 9 sec, a performance that the FAI recognised as a world record in the “Extravehicular duration in space”. Born on 30 May 1934, he still lives in Russia.
Today is a special day in the history of space exploration. It is the day, 50 years ago, that Russian cosmonaut Alexey Leonov became the first person to walk in space.