Col. Gennady Padalka
Mission Director & Cosmonaut
Gennady is an amazing person- he has spent more time in space than any other human being, and some of those 879 days were with Terry when he was commander of the International Space Station during their Expedition 43 mission. When Terry left the ISS, he handed over command to Gennady. Genna was born in the Soviet Union and flew fighters in the Soviet Air Force, jets that Terry had studied in depth as a Western F-16 pilot.
After deciding that Kazakhstan would be the first fuel stop, Terry knew that Gennady would have to join us for the leg to Mauritius. They spent that whole 10-hour flight laughing and telling stories from space. Gennady and the rest of the crew remain good friends, and now that they’re back on Earth they always seem to be running into each other for one project or another.
Gennady lives near Moscow with his wife, and tries to visit his daughters and grandchildren in Vienna, Austria, and Los Angeles, California, whenever possible. Terry has run into one of his daughters several times in LA because she is studying there to become a film maker.