A DOCTOR who holds the record of longest single spaceflight in HUMAN HISTORY !!!
Posted January 7th, 2014
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Valeri Vladimirovich Polyakov (Born Valeri Ivanovich Korshunov on April 27, 1942) is a Russian former cosmonaut. He is the holder of the record for the longest single spaceflight in human history, stayingaboard the Mir space station for more than 14 months (437 days 18 hours) during one trip. His combined space experience is more than 22 months.


Selected as a cosmonaut in 1972, Polyakov made his first flight into space aboard Soyuz TM-6 in 1988. He returned to Earth 240 days later aboard TM-7. Polyakov completed his second flight into space in 1994–1995, spending 437 days in space between launching on Soyuz TM-18 and landing on TM-20, setting the record for the longest time continuously spent in space by an individual in human history.


Polyakov was born in Tula, Tula Oblast, Russian SFSR on April 27, 1942. Born Valeri Ivanovich Korshunov, Polyakov legally changed his name after being adopted by his stepfather in 1957. He was educated at the Tula Secondary School No. 4, from which he graduated in 1959.


He enrolled in the I. M. Sechenov 1st Moscow Medical Institute, where he graduated with a doctoral degree. After, he enrolled in the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems, Ministry of Public Health, Moscow, where he specialized in astronautics medicine. Polyakov dedicated himself to the field of space medicinein 1964 after the flight of the first physician in space, Boris Yegorov, aboard Voskhod 1.


Polyakov was selected as a cosmonaut in Medical Group 3 on March 22, 1972. His first flight into space occurred on Soyuz TM-6 in 1988. After staying aboard the Mir space station and conducting research for 240 days, Polyakov returned to Earth aboard Soyuz TM-7.


Polyakov's second spaceflight, the longest human spaceflight in history, began on January 8, 1994 with the launch of the Soyuz TM-18 mission. He spent approximately 437 days aboard Mir conducting experiments and performing scientific research. During this flight, he completed just over 7,000 orbits of the Earth. On January 9, 1995, after 366 days in space, Polyakov formally broke the spaceflight duration record previously set by Vladimir Titovand Musa Manarov six years earlier. He returned to Earth aboard Soyuz TM-20 on March 22, 1995. Upon landing, Polyakov opted not to be carried the few feet between the Soyuz capsule and a nearby lawn chair, instead walking the short distance. In doing so, he wished to prove that humans could be physically capable of working on the surface of Mars after a long-duration transit phase.


This record, however, was later broken by Sergei Avdeyev and is currently held by Sergei Krikalev. Polyakov's record for longest cumulative time in space of 678 days over two missions stood until surpassed in 1999 by cosmonaut Sergei Avdeyev with a total of 747 days in space during three different missions.



The Spaceflight details are given below:

  • Soyuz TM-6 / Soyuz TM-7 – August 28, 1988 to April 27, 1989 – 240 days, 22 hours, 34 minutes

  • Soyuz TM-18 / Soyuz TM-20 – January 8, 1994 to March 22, 1995 – 437 days, 17 hours, 58 minutes

Polyakov has won several awards for his spaceflight and academic achievements, including the Hero of the Soviet Union/Russian Federation, Order of Lenin, Order of the Legion of Honour, and the Order of Parasat. He is a member of organizations related to astronautics, including the Russian Chief Medical Commission on cosmonauts' certification.


  • Hero of the Russian Federation

  • Hero of the Soviet Union

  • Pilot-Cosmonaut of the USSR

  • Order of Lenin

  • Medal "For Merit in Space Exploration"

  • Order of Parasat (Kazakhstan)

  • Officer of the Legion of Honour (France)

  • Hero of the Republic of Afghanistan

  • Order "The Sun of Liberty" (Afghanistan)

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