Categories: Space Flight

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

Nancy Atkinson

Nancy has been with Universe Today since 2004, and has published over 6,000 articles on space exploration, astronomy, science and technology. She is the author of two books: "Eight Years to the Moon: the History of the Apollo Missions," (2019) which shares the stories of 60 engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make landing on the Moon possible; and "Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos" (2016) tells the stories of those who work on NASA's robotic missions to explore the Solar System and beyond. Follow Nancy on Twitter at and and Instagram at and

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