Sergei Krrikalev was dubbed the "last citizen of the Soviet Union". While tanks were rolling through Moscow's Red Square, Mikhail Gorbachev and the Soviet Union experienced unprecedented historical upheaval, Sergei Krikalev was still wandering outside the Earth. By the time his country disintegrated, the Mir space station had become his temporary home.
In 1991, the Soviet Union disintegrated into 15 separate countries . Krikalev, now in outer space, was informed that he could not return home because the country that promised to bring him back no longer existed.
Astronaut Sergei Krrikalev works on the Mir space station.
Four months earlier, Krikalev, a 33-year-old aircraft engineer, was on his country's command to the Mir space station at the Soviet Union's Baikonur Aerodrome, located in present-day Kazakhstan. Krikalev's mission should have lasted only five months, but he ended up in space for almost a year.
During Krikalev's outer space, a coup took place. Krikalev was informed that the government had no money to bring him back and asked him to wait.
A month later, Krikalev still received the same answer. And another month passed, until almost a year later.
Krikalev said: "They say my situation is really difficult and not good for my health. But now the country is also facing difficulties and must give priority to saving money. I wonder if I am. I am not sure I am not sure, muscle atrophy, radiation, cancer risk, and immune system getting weaker with each passing day in space. can occur in outer space for too long ".
Krikalev's time in outer space has doubled compared to the original estimate. He spent 311 days, or 10 months in outer space, and accidentally set a world record in the process.
Krikalev's time in outer space has doubled compared to the original estimate.
Russia, which at the time was having a major financial problem due to hyperinflation , had sold rates to Soyuz rocket station to other countries. Austria bought a chair for $ 7 million, Japan bought a chair for $ 12 million to send TV reporters to the space station. There was even a talk about urgently selling Mir space station while it was still in operation.
All this means that the other crew members have returned to Earth, while Krikalev is the only one who cannot. Because Krikalev is the only person operating the Mir space station.
Abandoned in outer space, away from home for months, he had to ask the government to send honey to himself to lift his spirits, but instead they sent him all lemons and mustard greens.
On March 25, 1992, Krikalev was finally returned to Earth after Germany paid $ 24 million to buy a replacement seat.
On landing, a newspaper described Krikalev: "he looked as pale as a wet dough".
The 4 men must help him to stand up and support him when he set foot on the ground.
On March 25, 1992, Krikalev was finally back to Earth.
The place Krikalev landed, formerly part of the Soviet Union, is now part of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The city he used to live in was no longer called Leningrad, but instead became St. Petersburg.
While in outer space, Krikalev has orbited the Earth 5000 times and his territory has shrunk to more than 5 million square kilometers. The monthly salary he received was considered a good salary for a scientist at the time he left the Earth was devalued when he returned. A bus driver even made double his salary.
Krikalev became the Hero of Russia and two years later he continued to perform another space mission, this time he became the first Russian astronaut to fly on a space shuttle of NASA. And a few years later, he was also the first to spend time with the new International Space Station (ISS).