LIKE THE USSR, RUSSIA CONTINUES TO EXCEL IN SPACE – On 4 Feb 2024, Oleg Kononenko had spent the most cumulative time in space. Soviet and Russian cosmonauts hold the top 8 slots on the most-time-in-space list.


On 4 Feb 2024, the Russia Federal Space Agency Roscosmos announced that Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko had broken the world record for the most cumulative time in space. Oleg, who is 59, had launched to the international Space Station on 15 Sept 2023 in the company of Roscosmos’ Nikolai Chub and Nasa’s Loral O’Hara

To that date of 4.2.24, Oleg had spent the most time in space, with a total of 879 days. This is only slightly more than Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, but Gennady has now returned to Earth whilst Oleg is still flying. Oleg hopes to have completed 1100 days when he is due back from the International Space Station on 23 Sept 2024. highlights how “Soviet and Russian cosmonauts dominate the spaceflight-duration record book. They hold the top 8 slots on the most-time-in-space list”.

Women are full participants in such missions, the 9th place being held by Nasa’s Peggy Whitson

Oleg Kononenko says: “I fly into space to do what I love, not to set records”.  He shows here the absence of the parochial sentiment of competition that oozes from most press reports in the capitalist world.

At the heart of the capitalist regime, everything said about Russian achievements evokes rivalry and the wish to disparage Russia; the preoccupation is to constantly re-assess the (ex-Soviet) & Russian attainments against those of the United States. But even to this day, the capitalist world remains stunned by the continuing qualitative advances being made in Russia. And this, in the steps of the USSR on most levels – economically (sanctions failed), politically (support for Iran, Syria and Palestine) and militarily (in Ukraine). More important still is the continuity between Russia and the USSR at cultural level. This is why Oleg says that he does not fly to be the best, but to achieve the best.

Before any flight, Russian cosmonauts put flowers on Yuri Gagarin’s tomb (he died in a plane crash, age 34).

After having hoped that Soviet implosion was going to press Russia back into colonial dependency, the representatives of the world capitalist regime can hardly believe their eyes. In a mixture of fear, fury, jealousy and perverse half-admiration, they witness the continuing human, technological and cultural advance of Russia. In his speech, Oleg Kononenko expresses the attitude – which comes from the USSR and Yuri Gagarin – not of competition, but of scientific desire to collaborate as humankind, to the opening of new frontiers in space and in human capabilities. 

Oleg says “I am proud of all my achievements, but I am most proud that the record for the total duration of human stay in space is still held by a Russian cosmonaut”.  Although he does not seek to disparage other countries and their feats, he expresses his satisfaction to see Russia continuing to excel, as in the USSR past, in the blazing news trails.

It is not true that Russia occupies itself with stealing land in other countries, or with threatening the security of other countries. Capitalism says this to hide that it is precisely what capitalism does. Although still with grave limitations, Russia continues to edify the world with feats like that of Oleg’s, nurturing and growing Russia with the same thirst as the old USSR for discovery, world collaboration, world development and world peace.

Feature Image is Oleg Kononenko

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