Oleg Kononenko

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Oleg Kononenko
'A Beautiful Planet' World Premiere (NHQ201604160010).jpg
RKA Cosmonaut
Native name
Олег Дмитриевич Кононенко
BornOleg Dmitriyevich Kononenko
(1964-06-21) June 21, 1964 (age 54)
Chardzhou, Turkmen SSR
Other occupation
Time in space
Currently in space
Selection1996 RKA Group
Total EVAs
Total EVA time
18 hours 27 minutes
MissionsSoyuz TMA-12 (Expedition 17), Soyuz TMA-03M (Expedition 30/31), Soyuz TMA-17M (Expedition 44/45), Soyuz MS-11 (Expedition 58/59)
Mission insignia
Soyuz TMA-12 Patch.png ISS Expedition 17 patch.png Soyuz-TMA-03M-Mission-Patch.png ISS Expedition 30 Patch.png ISS Expedition 31 Patch.png Soyuz-TMA-17M-Mission-Patch.png ISS Expedition 44 Patch.svg ISS Expedition 45 Patch.png Soyuz-MS-11-Mission-Patch.png ISS Expedition 58 Patch.png ISS Expedition 59 Patch.png
AwardsHero of the Russian Federation medal.png

Oleg Dmitriyevich Kononenko (Russian: Олег Дмитриевич Кононенко) is a Russian cosmonaut.[1] He has flown to the International Space Station three times, as a flight engineer for Expedition 17 aboard Soyuz TMA-12, as a flight engineer on Expedition 30 and commander of Expedition 31 aboard Soyuz TMA-03M, and as a flight engineer on Expedition 44 and Expedition 45 aboard Soyuz TMA-17M. Kononenko has accumulated over 533 days in orbit during three long duration flights to ISS.


Kononenko was born June 21, 1964, in Chardzhou, Turkmen SSR. He is married to Tatiana Mikhailovna Kononenko (née Yurieva). They have a son, Andrey Olegovich Kononenko, and a daughter, Alisa Olegovna Kononenko. Kononenko enjoys reading and team sports.


Kononenko graduated from the N. E. Zhukovskiy Kharkiv Aviation Institute in 1988 as a mechanical engineer.[1]


Kononenko was awarded the Hero of the Russian Federation medal and the Yu. A. Gagarin Medal of the Cosmonautics Federation, Russia. President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov awarded the cosmonaut with the Star of President Order.[2]


After graduation, Kononenko worked at the Russian Space Agency’s Central Specialized Design Bureau TsSKB-Progress in Kuybishev, starting as an engineer and working his way up to leading design engineer. His responsibilities included system design, analysis, and development of spacecraft electrical power systems.[1]

Cosmonaut career[edit]

Oleg Kononenko floats through the Destiny Laboratory of the Space Station.

On March 29, 1996, Oleg was selected as a cosmonaut candidate by the Interagency Committee, and from June 1996 to March 1998, he underwent cosmonaut training at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center and on March 20, 1998, was awarded the title of test cosmonaut by the Interagency Qualification Committee.[1] In October 1998 he began training as part of the group of cosmonauts selected for the International Space Station (ISS) Program.[1]

From December, 2001, through April 2002, Kononenko trained as a backup flight engineer for the Soyuz TM-34 vehicle for the third ISS visiting crew. From March 2002, through February 2004, he trained as the flight engineer for the Soyuz TMA vehicle and the Expedition 9 and Expedition 11 primary crews. From March 2004 through March 2006, he trained as part of the group of cosmonauts selected for the ISS Program. In March 2006, Kononenko began training as a flight engineer for the Soyuz TMA-12 vehicle and the Expedition 17 crew.[1]

Expedition 30 flight engineer Oleg Kononenko performs a SPRUT-2 experiment run in the Zvezda Service Module of the Space Station.

Expedition 17[edit]

Kononenko was a Flight Engineer on both the Expedition 17 mission to the International Space Station, and the Soyuz TMA-12 mission that flew him there. The crew launched on April 8, 2008, and landed on October 24, 2008.[1] Kononenko spent 199 days in space.[3]

Kononenko returned to Earth with Expedition 17 commander Sergei Volkov, and spaceflight participant Richard Garriott (who launched aboard Soyuz TMA-13 to the ISS on October 12, 2008 with the Expedition 18 crew).[4][5] They landed at 11:37 p.m EDT 55 miles north of Arkalyk, Kazakhstan. They were flown to the Baikonur Cosmodrome by helicopter, and then went on to Zvezdny Gorodok (Star City), Moscow.[6][7][8]

Expedition 30/31[edit]

On December 21, 2011, Kononenko, along with André Kuipers and Donald Pettit, launched to the International Space Station to join the crew of Expedition 30.[9] He, along with his fellow crewmembers, arrived at the space station on December 23.[10] They returned to Earth on July 1, 2012.[11]


Spacewalker Oleg Kononenko seen outside the Space Station on 12 February 2012.

Kononenko conducted his first spacewalk on July 10, 2008 when he ventured into space from the Pirs docking compartment airlock of the ISS.[12] He and cosmonaut Volkov inspected their Soyuz TMA-12 spacecraft and retrieved a pyro bolt from it. This spacewalk lasted 6 hours and 18 minutes.

On July 15, 2008 Kononenko again went outside from Pirs to conduct his second spacewalk.[13] Kononenko and Volkov installed one experiment and retrieved another. They also continued to outfit the station's exterior, including the installation of a docking target on the Zvezda service module. The spacewalk was in Russian Orlan suits and Kononenko wore an Orlan suit with blue stripes. The spacewalk lasted 5 hours and 54 minutes.

On February 12, 2012, Kononenko and colleague cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov were scheduled to conduct a six-hour spacewalk outside the ISS. They installed shields on the Zvezda Service Module to protect it from micrometeoroid orbital debris and moved the Strela 1 crane from the Pirs docking compartment to the Poisk Mini Research Module (MRM-2). The two cosmonauts also installed struts on a ladder used by spacewalkers on the Pirs Docking Compartment. As another get-ahead task, they also installed an experiment called Vynoslivost on the Poisk Mini Research Module. As part of the Vynoslivost or "Endurance" experiment, two trays of metal samples would be left exposed on the surface of the Poisk Module.[14]

Expedition 44/45[edit]

On July 22, 2015, Kononenko launched to the International Space Station as Soyuz Commander, together with NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui from the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on Soyuz-TMA-17M. They spent 5 months on the International Space Station as members of the Expedition 44 and Expedition 45 Crews. The trio returned to Earth in rare night landing on December 11, 2015, when their Soyuz TMA-17M landed safely on the steppe of Kazakhstan. Kononenko spent 142 days in space on his third mission.

Expedition 58/59[edit]

Kononenko on EVA to examine the external hull of Soyuz MS-09, standing on a Strela crane, on 11 December 2018

Kononenko launched towards the ISS for the fourth time as Soyuz Commander of Soyuz MS-11 on December 3, 2018. He was originally scheduled to be serving as Flight Engineer on Expedition 58 and Commander on Expedition 59, although due to the launch failure of Soyuz MS-10 on 11 October 2018, the original Expedition 58 Commander, Aleksey Ovchinin will no longer be aboard the station for Expedition 58, therefore Kononenko will now Command both Expedition 58 and Expedition 59, Expedition 58 is scheduled to start on 20 December 2018 with the departure of Soyuz MS-09[15].

Honours and awards[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  1. ^ a b c d e f g NASA (2008). "Oleg Dmitrievich Kononenko". NASA. Retrieved October 25, 2008.
  2. ^ http://www.turkmenistaninfo.ru/?page_id=6&type=article&elem_id=page_6/magazine_79/681&lang_id=en
  3. ^ NASA (2008). "Expedition 17". NASA. Retrieved October 25, 2008.
  4. ^ Mark Carreau (2008). "$30 million buys Austin resident a ride on Soyuz mission". The Houston Chronicle. Retrieved October 12, 2008.
  5. ^ Tariq Malik. "Former Astronaut's Son Signs on as Next Space Tourist". SPACE.com. Retrieved October 9, 2007.
  6. ^ BBC (October 24, 2008). "Soyuz space capsule lands safely". BBC News. Retrieved October 25, 2008.
  7. ^ ITAR (2008). "Cosmonauts examined with special system". ITAR-TASS News Agency. Archived from the original on December 27, 2008. Retrieved October 25, 2008.
  8. ^ Peter Leonard for the Associated Press (2008). "US Game Designer Blasts Into Space With DNA Cargo". ABC News. Archived from the original on October 20, 2008. Retrieved October 25, 2008.
  9. ^ "Russian Soyuz rocket blasts off". ITN. 21 December 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2011.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Klotz, Irene (23 December 2011). "New crew arrives at International Space Station". Reuters. Retrieved 23 December 2011.
  11. ^ Bora, Kukil (2 July 2012). "Three Expedition 31 Crew Members From International Space Station Land In Kazakhstan". International Business Times. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  12. ^ NASA (July 10, 2008). "Russian Spacewalkers Retrieve Soyuz Pyro Bolt". Retrieved June 3, 2010.
  13. ^ NASA (July 15, 2008). "Russian Spacewalkers Outfit Station's Exterior". Retrieved June 3, 2010.
  14. ^ "Soyuz TMA-03M". Russianspaceweb.com. 23 December 2011. Retrieved 25 December 2011.
  15. ^ https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition58/index.html

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Daniel Burbank
ISS Expedition Commander
1 July to 16 September 2012
Succeeded by
Gennady Padalka