Sergei Krikalev is a Soviet-Russian cosmonaut who participated in a large number of important space missions, including the Soyuz TM-7 spacecraft mission and the International Space Exploration Mission. Krikalev also served as a mission pilot on the Russian space station Almir on several missions.
Born in 1958 in Kazakhstan, Krikalev studied electrical engineering at Leningrad University. After graduation, he worked in the field of engineering and contributed to the development of many space projects.
In 1985, Krikalev was selected as a candidate for the Russian cosmonaut program, and in 1988, he participated in his first space mission aboard the Soyuz TM-7 spacecraft. Subsequently, he participated in several other space missions and served as a mission pilot on the Almir space station.
Among Krikalev’s most important achievements is his stay in space for 311 days during the International Space Exploration Mission in 1998. With this, Krikalev became the Russian cosmonaut with the longest stay in space ever.
Moreover, Krikalev was the first cosmonaut to participate in a space mission after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, when he participated in the joint space station Mir-Shtila mission. This achievement represented an important achievement in the field of space and evidence of the continuity of space work between Russia and the United States, despite the political shifts in the relationship between the two countries.
Since retiring from the Russian cosmonaut program in 2005, Krikalev has worked as an astronomer at the European Space Agency, leading several space projects, including an Earth observation mission and a satellite mission.
Sergei Krikalev’s contributions to the field of space are an inspiration to many scientists and astronomers around the world, and reflect the spirit of exploration and innovation that is within humanity.
What happened when he came back to Earth?
When the Soviet Union disintegrated into 15 separate states in late 1991, Krikalev was told that he could not return to his homeland, because the country that had promised him no longer existed, and no one could follow the decision of his scientific program, manage and supervise his return, or even find an adequate budget.
Sergey Krikalev was in space as part of his extraterrestrial trip program when the Soviet Union collapsed on December 26, 1991. Overnight, he was unable to return to Earth, and ended up spending twice as long in orbit as he had planned. Officials refused to return it.
As tanks drove across Red Square in Moscow, barricades were built on bridges, and the era of Mikhail Gorbachev and the Soviet Union ended on that date.
Meanwhile, Krikalev was stuck in space, 350 kilometers from Earth, in the “Mir” space station, which became his temporary home, until he finally returned after long procrastination that threatened his safety and life. From that moment on, he was known as “the last citizen of the Soviet Union.”
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