Leonid Kadeniuk

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Leonid Kostyantynovych Kadenyuk
Leonid Kadenyuk.jpg
Soviet / Ukraine Cosmonaut
Nationality Ukrainian
Born (1951-01-28) January 28, 1951 (age 66)
Klishkivtsi, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine
Other occupation
Test Pilot
Rank Major General, UAF
Time in space
15d 16h 34 m
Selection 1976 Air Force Group 6
Missions STS-87
Mission insignia
Sts-87-patch.svg
Awards Hero of Ukraine

Leonid Kostyantynovych Kadenyuk (Ukrainian: Леонід Костянтинович Каденюк), born 28 January 1951 in Klishkivtsi, Chernivtsi Oblast of the Ukrainian SSR) is the first astronaut of independent Ukraine. He made his flight on NASA's Columbia in 1997 as part of the international mission STS-87. Kadeniuk holds the rank of Ukrainian Air Force Major General.

Kadeniuk was a career Soviet military pilot. He began his service in the Soviet Air Force and was selected in 1976 for the Soviet Cosmonaut Corps. With the break-up of the Soviet Union, Kadeniuk remained in the Russian Space Forces and adopted Russian citizenship.[1] In 1995, during the preparation of the first Ukrainian space mission, he volunteered to take part and returned to his homeland.[1]

There were two main candidates for the mission, the other being Yaroslav Pustovyi, a civil Ukrainian scientist in space research. Kadeniuk was chosen as better-trained and accustomed to space mission organization.

After the flight, Leonid Kadeniuk continued his Ukrainian space program career in the NKAU.

In the 2002 parliamentary election, he was elected to the Verkhovna Rada in the list of pro-Kuchma United Ukraine Bloc. Later, Kadeniuk joined the "Trudova Ukrayina - Industrialists and Entrepreneurs" faction, but hasn't been politically active. He worked within parliament's Committee on Defense and National Security.

In the 2006 parliamentary election, Kadenyuk was #3 in the electoral party list of Lytvyn's People's Bloc, but the block won only 2.44% of the popular vote (short of the required 3%) and no seats in the parliament.

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