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  Cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov's post-RKA career

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Author Topic:   Cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov's post-RKA career
Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-05-2013 08:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Russian cosmonaut resigns space station command for 'better job'

A veteran Russian cosmonaut who was assigned to command the International Space Station in 2015 has unexpectedly resigned.

Cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov tendered his resignation to the Russian federal space agency, Roscosmos, on Thursday (Sept. 5). Russian news agencies, quoting the head of the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, reported Lonchakov will be "formally discharged" on Sept. 14.

"He came and told me that he had found a better job than working in space," Sergei Krikalev, the training center's chief and the current record holder for most time in space by any human, told the Interfax news service. "Frankly, we were counting on him because he was not just in the unit, [but] he was assigned to a crew."

Philip
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posted 09-06-2013 01:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Have been following the manned spaceflight program for 40 years and, unlike others, I can easily understand "cosmonaut" nor "astronaut" are no longer a dream job...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-06-2013 01:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lonchakov's decision to leave doesn't necessarily mean that being a cosmonaut isn't still his "dream job." Since we don't know yet what new job he's accepted, or his reasons for leaving Roscosmos, it's difficult to draw conclusions.

Regardless of why, Lonchakov's departure has him side-stepping a much larger media spotlight. Had he flown as was expected, he would have launched with the first yearlong space station crew and returned from space with Sarah Brightman.

eurospace
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posted 09-06-2013 09:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In their media wire, RIA Novosti provides a take on the question whether being a cosmonaut is still a dream job or not.
Once a dream job for Soviet kids, being a cosmonaut does not hold much allure in modern Russia: Only 5 percent of adult Russians actually wanted to grow up to be cosmonauts, with doctors, teachers, truck drivers and aviators all being more popular, according to a 2011 study by the Public Opinion Foundation. Russia’s first-ever open cosmonaut recruitment drive attracted a mere 300 applications last year, compared with 6,000 for NASA in 2011.

cspg
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posted 09-06-2013 10:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Russia can launch astronauts/cosmonauts and only 300 people applied. The US cannot launch astronauts and 6,000 applied. How ironic.

It's a first that someone quits for non-medical reason, right?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-06-2013 10:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
It's a first that someone quits for non-medical reason, right?
Assuming you are meaning quit after being assigned to a mission, than no, as noted in our article:
NASA astronaut Joan Higginbotham left the U.S. space agency in November 2007 to become a vice president of an oil company. Her departure came the month after she was named to the crew of STS-126, which would have been her second space shuttle mission.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 09-06-2013 11:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As well, Fabian was assigned to the canceled before Challenger Mission 61D as well as to 61G (Thagard replaced Fabian on the latter.) Cleave was assigned to STS-42, replaced by Carter, who was then replaced by Hilmers. I'm sure there are others.

MrSpace86
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posted 09-06-2013 11:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Makes me want to go apply to become a cosmonaut!

But I agree, I don't think it means he left his "dream job". I left my "dream job" recently because I was offered more money somewhere else. It was a tough call but I had to think about my family and future. That "dream job" will always be there.

issman1
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posted 09-06-2013 11:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In space no-one can hear me scream... I would gladly take Lonchakov's place even if I've nothing practical or useful to offer the ISS project except my enthusiasm and good wishes.

Tom
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posted 09-06-2013 02:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Who actually replaced Higginbotham on "126"? Thanks.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-06-2013 02:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Don Pettit (NASA Amends Crew Assignment for STS-126 Mission).

Skylon
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posted 09-07-2013 11:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Skylon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What I find unique here, is that this is the first time I can recall a crew member resigning, and their boss making a public statement that equates to "this abrupt resignation has messed us up." That is how I read Krikalev's "Frankly, we were counting on him" comment.

Typically (with all the NASA ones mentioned) its "We wish him/her well." And there are so many others waiting for a flight, someone else gets plugged in rather quickly.

Also, to throw into the pile of mission assigned astronauts resigning - Fred Haise, who was in training for an OFT Shuttle flight (it either would have been STS-3 or 2) when he resigned.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 09-07-2013 11:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It may be a culture thing. Privately, NASA (and other US companies) may want to scream at the person, but to avoid a lawsuit, all they'll say (with gritted teeth) publicly is "We wish them well." You may get a, "We wish they weren't leaving," which is a little more telling, but that's it.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-07-2013 05:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to the Daily Express, Lonchakov has accepted a job at the state-owned gas company Gazprom.
A source at the space agency said Colonel Lonchakov, who has flown on three missions, "has a bank loan and his wife was not happy with his income – he thought he had done enough in space and he got an offer he could not turn down."
As a cosmonaut, Lonchakov was reportedly making about $29,000 a year. His new position doubles that salary.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 09-08-2013 02:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As a non-union journalist turned online producer, it's scary to think I make more money than a Russian cosmonaut. But then again, I remember Grechko charging USD $20 for a signature on a poster he provided back in 1993 and thought he was probably cleaning up that night.

eurospace
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posted 09-08-2013 03:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hart, your employer might read your post and immediately agree with your assessment, lowering your salary to about half of it...

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 09-08-2013 08:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Already done, taking into account 1) cost of living 2) inflation and more importantly 3) haven't gotten a raise in I don't know how long. Those that did were in the neighborhood of 1 percent.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-21-2013 08:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interfax is reporting that Yuri Lonchakov may become state secretary - deputy head of the Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos.
"The possibility of appointing him to the post of Roscosmos state secretary is being considered," the source said.

East-Frisian
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posted 10-21-2013 10:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for East-Frisian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And that would be "a better job" I guess.

cspg
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posted 10-25-2013 01:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Order of the Federal Space Agency Yuri V. Lonchakov appointed Assistant Director of the Federal Space Agency.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-31-2014 02:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to a brief statement from Roscosmos, former cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov has been named the acting chief of the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) in Star City.
In accordance with the order from the Russian Space Agency 31 March 2014 147k number Acting Chief FGBI "SRI Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center" appointed Yuri V. Lonchakov.
Lonchakov replaces Sergei Krikalev, who has been the chief since February 2007.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-10-2014 01:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yuri Lonchakov is now the chief of the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, per an order signed on April 7 by Roscosmos chief Oleg Ostapenko.

music_space
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posted 04-18-2014 06:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for music_space   Click Here to Email music_space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MrSpace86:
I left my "dream job" recently...
What, you were an astronaut?

All times are CT (US)

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