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Q. Who has spent the most time in space? — Leander McD.
A. Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, for more than two years.
On August 16, 2005, International Space Station commander Sergei Krikalev surpassed the record for most cumulative time spent in space by any person. On that date, his accumulated total during six flights passed 749 days in space. The previous record had been 747 days, 14 hours, 14 minutes and 11 seconds held by fellow Russian cosmonaut Sergei Avdeyev. When Krikalev returns to Earth from the ISS, he will have 815 or more days in space.

Krikalev was born in 1958 in the former Soviet Union at Leningrad – now St Petersburg, Russia. He was selected to be a cosmonaut in 1985 and completed his basic training in 1986. He has been a member of the Russian and Soviet national aerobatic flying teams and has been awarded various titles, including Hero of the Soviet Union and the Order of Lenin.

During his 20-year career, Krikalev lived aboard Russia's former Mir space station. He made his first long-duration mission to Mir in 1988. The cosmonaut flew aboard U.S. shuttle Discovery flight STS-60, the first joint US-Russian shuttle mission in 1994. He also was a member of the first crew to live aboard the International Space Station. Among his six trips to space, Krikalev has made three long duration flights. One was aboard Mir and two were on the ISS.

Former ISS commander Michael Foale is the U.S. space endurance record holder with a total of 375 days.

Sergei Krikalev
Sergei Krikalev
Michael Foale
Michael Foale
Russian record holders. Avdeyev's record of some 748 days in space was accumulated on three flights.

Cosmonaut and doctor Valery Polyakov set the world single-flight endurance record in 1994-1995, when he completed a 437.7-day mission aboard Soyuz TM-18.

A recent space traveler, Russian cosmonaut Alexander Kaleri, is among the most experienced space travelers, having logged more than 610 days in orbit on four flights, placing him fifth on the all-time space endurance list.

U.S, record holders. Foale has been a member of six space shuttle crews and two space station crews. He was aboard U.S. space shuttles in 1992, 1993, 1995, 1997 and 1999. He was a flight engineer aboard Russia's Mir space station in 1997 and was commander of the International Space Station in 2003-2004. Foale traveled to the ISS on board a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

U.S. astronaut Carl Walz had held the record before Foale with 230 days, 13 hours, three minutes and 37 seconds in space.

Walz still is co-holder, with astronaut Daniel Bursch, of the record for the longest single U.S. spaceflight. Walz and Bursch spent nearly 196 days aboard the International Space Station as Expedition crew 4.

American astronaut Shannon Lucid holds the single flight and cumulative record for time in space by a woman. She had a 188-day flight aboard Russia's Mir space station contributing to a cumulative total of 223 days in space on five flights.

Personal Spaceflight Endurance Records
Rank Person Days Nation
1 Sergei K. Krikalev ~815 Russia
2 Sergei Avdeyev 747.593 Russia
3 Valeri Polyakov 678.690 Russia
4 Anatoly Solovyev 651.117 Russia
5 Alexander Kaleri 609.911 Russia
6 Viktor Afanasyev 555.772 Russia
7 Yury V. Usachev 553.016 Russia
8 Musa Manarov 541.021 Russia
9 Alexander Viktorenko 489.066 Russia
10 Nikolai M. Budarin 444.060 Russia
11 Yuri Romanenko 430.765 Russia
12 Alexander A. Volkov 391.495 Russia
13 Yuri I. Onufrienko 389.282 Russia
14 Vladimir G. Titov 387.036 Russia
15 Gennady Padalka 386.592 Russia
16 Vasili Tsibliyev 381.662 Russia
17 Valery G. Korzun 381.653 Russia
18 Leonid Kizim 374.749 Russia
19 Michael Foale 373.763 USA/UK
20 Aleksandr Serebrov 372.954 Russia
21 Vladimir Soloviyov 361.952 Russia
22 Talgat Musabayev 339.409 Russia
23 Yuri P. Gidzenko 329.950 Russia
24 Yuri Malenchenko 322.703 Russia
25 Gennadi Manakov 309.889 Russia
26 Aleksandr Aleksandrov 309.758 Russia
27 Valery Ryumin 297.924 Russia
28 Gennady Strekalov 268.938 Russia
29 Vladimir Lyakhov 259.563 Russia
30 Viktor Savinykh 252.849 Russia
31 Vladimir Dezhurov 244.229 Russia
32 Oleg Atkov 252.849 Russia
33 Carl E. Walz 230.212 USA
34 Daniel W. Bursch 226.594 USA
35 Shannon W. Lucid 223.161 USA
36 Valentin Lebedev 219.250 Russia
37 Vladimir Kovalyonok 216.382 Russia
38 Kenneth D. Bowersox 211.594 USA
39 Anatoli Berezovoy 211.378 Russia
40 Susan J. Helms 211.048 USA
41 Jean-Pierre Haignere 209.517 France
42 Edward T. Lu 205.972 USA
43 James S. Voss 202.314 USA
44 Leonid Popov 200.574 Russia
45 Pavel Vinogradov 197.732 Russia
46 Edward Fincke 187.884 USA
47 Sergei Y. Treschev 184.927 Russia
48 Peggy A. Whitson 184.927 USA
49 Aleksandr Lazutkin 184.922 Russia
50 Thomas Reiter 179.071 Germany

Michael Foale Spaceflight Record
Mission Vehicle Position Date
Orbits EVAs
STS-45 Atlantis Mission
24/03/92-02/04/92 08:22:10:24 143 0
STS-56 Discovery Mission
08/04/93-17/04/93 09:06:09:22 148 0
STS-63 Discovery Mission
02/02/95-11/02/95 08:06:29:36 129 1
(04 hrs 39 min)

launched on

landed on
Mir Flight
15/05/97-06/10/97 144:13:47:21 2313 1
(06 hrs 00 min)
STS-103 Discovery Mission
19/12/99-27/12/99 12:19:51:57 201 1
(08 hrs 10 min)
ISS Expedition 8

Soyuz transport
ISS Commander 18/10/03-30/04/04 194:18:35:00 3116 1
(03 hrs 55 min)
Missions flown: 6 Total flight time: 378:15:03:40 6050 4
(22 hrs 44 min)

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