A Russian cosmonaut just broke the record for cumulative time spent in space, at 803 days.

Gennady Padalka celebrated his 803rd day in space on June 28, breaking a previous record set in 2005 by cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev. Padalka is however still in space aboard the International Space Station (ISS), so the final count isn't even over.

Padalka, who returns to Earth in September, has been on the ISS consecutively for 90 days. Add that to his three other journeys into space, and you get more than two years spent in space. Because of Padalka's situation, his current mission involves studying the effects of long-term space exposure to vision. The results could also help people on Earth who suffer from eye diseases such as glaucoma.

Padalka isn't the only space-person breaking records. ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti is not just the first Italian woman in space, but she also has the record for most consecutive days in space by a woman, at 200 — beating out NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, who previously held the record at 195 days. Cristoforetti achieved her 200th day last month. She's also still onboard the ISS, so she'll rack up more days for her record before returning to Earth later this year.

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly will break a record in October when he achieves the single longest spaceflight by an American. The current record is 215 days by astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, but Kelly will reach 216 on October 28. His mission, though, is a year-long one.

The ISS also has its own record-breaking to look forward to. In November, it will hit 15 years of continuous human occupancy — astronauts have occupied the space station since November 2, 2000.

NASA hopes that the long amount of time these austronauts have spent in space will help the agency better understand the effects of spaceflight on the human body. It plans on using what it learns during these recent missions to develop future expeditions into deep space, including manned missions to Mars. NASA intends to send the first manned mission to Mars in the 2030s.

Via: CNET

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