Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalyov turns 50 today! С днём рожденья, Сергей! (Not that he ever reads this…) I wonder what he will achieve in his next half-century? Maybe be 1st on Mars!
From Novosti Kosmonavtiki news №724:
28/08/2008/00:09 – The President of Russia, D.A. Medvedev, congratulated the pilot-cosmonaut S.K. Krikalyov on his 50th birthday
On 27 August the President of Russia, Dmitrii Medvedev, congratulated pilot-astronaut and deputy chief designer of Rocket and Space Corporation Energiya, Sergei Krikalyov, on his 50th birthday.
“You are deservedly considered one of the record holders among cosmonauts for the total length of time spent in orbit,” Mr. Medvedev said in his telegram. “Your truly heroic biography is an outstanding example of courage, strength of will and firmness of character. Your competence, organisational talents and professional and personal qualities have earned the deserved respect of your colleagues and friends.”
From the Energiya website:
August 28, 2008. S.P.Korolyov RSC Energiya, Korolyov, Moscow region.
An S.P. Korolyov RSC Energiya deputy general designer, instructor-cosmonaut-tester, 1st Class, Hero of the Soviet Union and of the Russian Federation, Sergei Konstantinovich Krikalyov turned 50 on August 27, 2008.
The President of the Russian Federation D.A. Medvedev sent him a congratulatory telegram, which, among other things, says: “You are rightfully considered one of the record-breakers among active cosmonauts with regard to the total duration of your orbital missions. Your truly heroic biography became an outstanding example of courage, will-power and fortitude. Your competence, managerial ability, professional and personal qualities earned you a due respect of your colleagues and friends” (news on the web site of the Russian President www.kremlin.ru).
On this significant day, S.K. Krikalyov was congratulated by Governor of St.Petersburg V.I. Matvienko, heads of the Federal Space Agency, management and staff of the S.P. Korolyov Rocket and Space Corporation Energiya, representatives of various companies and organizations in the Russian space industry and Russian Academy of Sciences, including the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Head of the town of Korolyov A.F. Morozenko, S.P. Korolyov RSC Energiya cosmonaut team, NASA representatives, friends and colleagues.
Dear Sergei Konstantinovich!
The management and staff of the S.P. Korolyov Rocket and Space Corporation Energiya heartily congratulate you on this significant day of your 50th anniversary!
Upon graduating with honors from the Leningrad Mechanical Institute in 1981, you took a job with the world-known Korolyov’s company, where you have been working for more than a quarter of a century now, having risen through the ranks from an engineer to a deputy general designer.
You worked on developing manuals for cosmonauts, proposals on displaying operator’s data on consoles of the Mir space station, updating the on-board documentation of the Salyut-7 space station. You worked at the Mission Control Center during several long-term missions. After communication was lost with Salyut-7 in 1985, you, as a member of a “ground crew”, took part in developing various options for procedures of flying and docking with the uncontrollable space station. Afterwards, this operation was successfully performed for the first time in history! The same year you joined the team of cosmonauts of NPO Energiya. You were training yourself and were taking an active part in training cosmonauts at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center and at Baikonur.
You have accomplished six space missions to the muti-modular space station Mir, the unique creation of the 20th century, and the International Space Station, an ambitious international project of the 21st century, during which hundreds of sessions of scientific and applied research experiments were carried out, providing invaluable results for Russian and world science. And your pictures taken in space are the envy of any professional photographer!
Special milestones in your career are the activities on the International Space Station. Three times you worked onboard the station, and each of these missions was unique in its own way. The first mission was the first manned mission under the International Space Station assembly program, in the course of which US Node 1 module was docked to the Functional Cargo Module Zarya. Together with Space Shuttle Commander R. Cabana, you were the first to open the hatch leading to ISS. The second mission was under the program of the first expedition to ISS (ISS-1). It started the continuous operation of the ISS. You were the first to make habitable the Service Module Zvezda and Functional Cargo Module Zarya, and, later on, the Laboratory Module Destiny, and started scientific research under Russian and US programs. In the third mission you set up the absolute world record for the total space flight endurance of 803 days, which remains unbroken by any other nation in the world!
For the courage and heroism displayed during your missions into space, you were given titles of the Hero of the Soviet Union and the Hero of the Russian Federation, and awarded both Russian and foreign orders and medals. You are an honorary citizen of St. Petersburg. Your energy, commitment and perseverance in achieving your goal, high professionalism and erudition, communication skills and kindness towards people earned you due respect among your Russian colleagues and foreign partners. Everybody also knows about your achievements in sports: you have learned to fly several types of airplanes, including a foreign airplane, and you won prizes several times at the USSR, Europe and world championships.
On this great day, dear Sergei Konstantinovich, please accept our heartfelt wishes of good health, happiness and prosperity to you and your relatives, of new creative successes and luck in the course of flight design tests and operation of the rocket and space hardware for the sake of strengthening the power and prosperity of Russia.
– President, General Designer V.A. Lopota
(Photo via Energiya)