Um, Being an Astronaut or Cosmonaut Isn’t Interesting?

In an unusual news item from Russia’s RiaNovosti news, cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov, who was scheduled to fly to the International Space Station in 2015, has resigned for undisclosed reasons. But one of the heads the Russian Space Corporation Energia, former cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, was quoted by Russian media as saying that Lonchakov had “found a more interesting job.”

The type of new job was not disclosed, but it has to be pretty good to beat flying in space … at least in our opinion.

It’s not that astronauts and cosmonauts haven’t ever quit or retired, but usually they don’t quit when they have a space flight scheduled. Lonchakov was set to fly to the ISS as the commander of Expedition 44 in May 2015 along with Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Korniyenko and NASA astronaut Scott Kelly; the latter two are going to be part of an experimental one-year mission on the ISS.

Lonchakov has flown in space three times: on space shuttle Endeavour in 2001 on a construction mission to the ISS, helping to deliver the Canadarm2 Arm, then was part of the Soyuz flight to the ISS in 2002, staying just ten days, and then was part of Expedition 18 to the International Space Station in 2008-2009.

RiaNovosti said Lonchakov will be formally discharged from his job on September 14.

Hat tip: Jeff Foust

11 Replies to “Um, Being an Astronaut or Cosmonaut Isn’t Interesting?”

  1. Maybe he’s one of those “been there, done that” kind of people. Or maybe his family said “errr, how many Russia rockets have exploded in the past couple years? And you’re flying on one now that they have no quality controls? Yeah… right”. Guilt trip!

    1. Why don’t you get potty trained and grow up. How many cosmonauts have ever been killed in Soyuz craft explosions? None, right?
      And how many died when NASA shuttles blew up? That’s in the double digits, surely.
      Quality control indeed.

      1. Wow… you’re a little angry over a minor comment.

        Who says that NASA didn’t need to increase it’s quality controls during the shuttle era? Of course it did. NASA’s obvious safety and managerial failings have no impact the fact that Russia’s rocket industry is currently producing nothing but crap.

      2. Producing crap, eh? Hmm…so what people-carrying rockets are we producing these days? Oh yeah, none.
        [Edited by moderator.]

  2. I say the Russians have just perfected time travel and he’s on their short list for the 1st trip….

  3. Didn’t Carter decline a position at NASA to remain in the STG program? Hmmm….
    N’ah, that was just fiction, right?

  4. Maybe he finally woke up to the obvious fact that the ISS is a white elephant (a complete waste of time and money) and decided to work at the zoo instead.

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