cosmonauts day

A Russian woman sits near a portrait of Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, in a themed Moscow Metro train marking the 55th anniversary of Gagarin’s pioneering space flight in Moscow, Russia, on April 12th 2016. In celebration of Cosmonaut Day, Moscow Metro has teamed up with the Russian Federal Space Agency to launch the ‘cosmic’ train, which is decorated with images of the starry sky, planets and spaceships. Credit: EPA/Sergei Ilnitsky

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Taking Flight for Cosmonautics Day with @sergeyiss

To see more of Sergey’s photos from this planet and beyond, check out @sergeyiss on Instagram.

(This interview was conducted in Russian.)

Sergey Ryazanskiy (@sergeyiss) shares images of stunning sunrises, erupting volcanoes and cities lit up at night from the most exotic of locations: outer space. After years of working in biochemistry and research, he left Moscow to study at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, in 2003. Sergey waited 10 years for his first flight to the International Space Station, and is preparing for his next mission, scheduled for November 2017. “Life on board is bizarre and unusual,” Sergey says. “You have to learn how to do a lot of things all over again, discovering things you hadn’t even thought about on Earth.” #CosmonauticsDay

ESA Human Spaceflight statistics

The top ten longest individual ESA space missions and the top ten cumulative times in space for ESA astronauts over one or more missions. The longest flight by any one astronaut was 437 days, by the Russian doctor Valeri Polyakov on board Mir, 1994-95. The record for longest cumulative time in space is held by Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, 803 days over six flights (the US astronaut with the longest time in space is Peggy Whitson, with 376 days over two spaceflights. Michael Lopez-Alegria holds the record for longest US spaceflight, of 215 days). The longest solo flight was by Russian cosmonaut Valeri Bykovsky, who spent 4 days and 23 hours alone in space from 14–19 June 1963.