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March 4, 2015

Today the Head of Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre Yuri Lonchakov celebrates his 50th Birthday.

Yuri Lonchakov devoted many years of his life to space exploration.  His efforts, courage, sense of purpose and love for his motherland helped him to  become the cosmonaut and succeed in this profession.

Yuri Lonchakov performed three space flights, with total duration amounting to 200 days and 19 hours and two spacewalks.

His first space mission Yuri Lonchakov started on April 19, 2001 as Endeavour shuttle specialist (STS-100) in accordance with ISS deployment program.

The second flight Yuri Lonchakov performed onboard Russian Soyuz TMA-1 spacecraft together with Sergey Zalyotin and Frank de Winne.   The flight started on October 30 and lasted up to November 10, 2002.

After completion of all necessary researches and testing the crew returned to the Earth onboard Soyuz TM-34 spacecraft.

After this flight Yuri Lonchakov was awarded Hero a Russian Federation.

The third flight Yuri Lonchakov performed onboard Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft being crew commander with Michael Fincke as flight engineer and Space tourist Richard Garriott.  During this mission Yuri Lonchakov performed two spacewalks spending on the whole 10 hours and 45 minutes in the outer space. The cosmonauts installed equipment necessary for scientific experiments. Soyuz TMA-13M descent module carrying the crew landed on April 8, 2009.  Total duration of the flight was 178 days.

In the period from 2003 to 2011 Yuri Loncakov was holding a position of GCTC cosmonaut corps commander.

In October 2013 he was appointed to the position of Roscosmos Head assistant, in April 2014 Yuri Lonchakov  became the Head of GCTC.

We congratulate Yuri Lonchakov on his Birthday and wish him space health, good luck and great success!

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