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Nikolai Mikhailovich Budarin
Born April 29, 1953(1953-04-29) (age 68)
Place of birth Kirya, Chuvashia
Hero of the Russian Federation

Nikolai Mikhailovich Budarin (Russian: Николай Михайлович Бударин) (born April 29, 1953 in Kirya, Chuvashia) is a Russian cosmonaut, a veteran of three extended space missions aboard the Mir Space Station and the International Space Station. He has also performed eight career spacewalks with a total time of 44 hours.

Named a cosmonaut candidate in 1989, Budarin's first space mission was a long-term assignment aboard the space station Mir in 1995. Since then, he again made extended stays on Mir in 1998 and the International Space Station Expedition 6 from 2002 to 2003.

Personal data[]

Nikolai Budarin is married to Marina Lvovna Budarina (née Sidorenko). They have two sons, Dmitry born in 1977 and Vladislav, born in 1983. His hobbies include fishing, skiing, picking mushrooms, tourism and cycling. His father, Mikhail Romanovich Budarin, died in 1984. His mother, Alexandra Mikhailovna Budarina, died in 1986.

Since 2007 he is a member of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, representing the pro-Kremlin United Russia party.


Specializing in aircraft manufacturing, Budarin graduated from the night-time education department of Ordzhonikidze Moscow Aviation Institute in 1979 with a mechanical engineering diploma.

Awards and honours[]


From 1971 to 1973 Budarin was serving the Soviet Army in Czechoslovakia. Budarin occupied various engineering positions at NPO Energia where he was involved in experimental investigations and testing of space technology. From 1976 he was employed as an electrician, from 1978 as an electrical foreman, from 1982 as a test engineer, from 1986 as the head of a group, from 1988 until joining the cosmonauts corps as the lead specialist, head of a group at the NPO Energia check-out and testing facility.[1]

Cosmonaut career[]

Cosmonauts Nikolai Budarin and Valery Ryumin (left) reunite moments after hatch opening, following docking of Mir and Space Shuttle Discovery.

In February 1989 he was enrolled in the Energia cosmonaut detachment as a candidate test cosmonaut. From September 1989 to January 1991, he underwent a complete basic space training course at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center and passed a State examination and was qualified as a Test Cosmonaut. From February 1991 to December 1993, he took an advanced training course for the Soyuz-TM transport vehicle and the Mir Station flight. From May 1994 till February 1995 he completed training as the flight engineer of the backup crew of Soyuz TM-21 under Expedition-18/NASA-1 program, and, simultaneously, as the flight engineer of the main crew of Mir under Expedition-19 (Mir EO-19) program. From March 27 till May 1995, Budarin was trained for a mission under Mir EO-19 program as the flight engineer of the first crew, and from May 15 to June 26, he trained for the STS-71 mission in the United States.

Mir EO-19[]

From June 27 to September 11, 1995, Budarin participated in a space mission as a board engineer of the 19th long-term Mir expedition. He was launched into space by Space Shuttle Atlantis on the STS-71 mission. Atlantis lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center at 19:32:19 UTC on June 27, 1995. After 2 days of solo flight the space shuttle docked with the Mir station on June 29, 1995, at 13:00:16 UTC. Budarin spent 75 days, 11 hours and 20minutes in space and landed on the Soyuz TM-21 spacecraft. The Soyuz capsule carrying Budarin and cosmonaut Anatoly Solovyev landed on September 11, 1995 at 06:52:40 UTC, 108 km north east of Arkalyk.

Nikolai Budarin, Expedition 6 flight engineer, is pictured in a Soyuz spacecraft that is docked to the ISS.

Mir EO-25[]

From January 28 to August 25, 1998, he participated in a space mission as a board engineer of the 25th long-term expedition aboard the Mir orbital station. The Soyuz TM-27 spacecraft with Budarin, cosmonaut Talgat Musabayev and ESA astronaut Léopold Eyharts lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on January 29, 1998, at 16:33:42 UTC. Following a two day autonomous flight the Soyuz spacecraft docked with the Mir station on January 31, 1998. Musabayev and Budarin together with NASA astronaut Andy Thomas became the 25th resident crew of Mir. First in the focus of the crew was the French mission PEGASE which was mainly dedicated to the life sciences, physical sciences physiques and space technology.[2] They also worked on common scientific experiments. Soyuz TM-27 carrying Budarin, Musabayev and Yuri Baturin landed near Dzhezkazgan on August 25, 1998 at 05:24:44 UTC. During the Soyuz and Mir missions Budarin spent 207 days, 12 hours and 51 minutes in space.

Expedition 6[]

From November 23, 2002 to May 3, 2003, Budarin logged 161 days, 1 hour and 14 minutes in space as Expedition 6 Flight Engineer aboard the International Space Station. The Expedition 6 crew was launched by Space Shuttle Endeavour on the STS-113 mission.[3] Endeavour launched into space from the KSC LC-39A on November 24, 2002, at 00:49:47 UTC and docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on 25 November 2002 at 21:59 UTC. During the stay aboard the ISS, Budrain spent time between several Russian science and medical experiments.[4] One experiment called Diatomeya involved observation of ocean surface in order to determine regions best suited for fishing. Another was to monitor glacier dynamics from space to better understand the effects of global warming. The medical research he conducted studied the effects of microgravity on the human body. Budarin returned to Earth on board the Soyuz TMA-1 spacecraft with NASA astronauts Kenneth Bowersox and Donald Pettit. The capsule landed on May 4, 2003 at 02:04:25 UTC and following a ballistic trajectory.[5] A technical commission was established to find the cause of the problem. It revealed that the cause of switching to the ballistic descent mode was an inadequate reaction of the descent control unit within the descent control system to the signals from gyroscope and the angular rate meter.[6]

Nikolai Budarin inside the Zvezda Module of the ISS.


During his two visits to the Mir orbital station, Budarin performed eight spacewalks totaling 44 hours.

On July 14, 1995, Budarin conducted his first career spacewalk joined by fellow cosmonaut, Anatoly Solovyev. The two spacwalkers deployed the Spektr solar array and inspected the docking port. The spacewalk lasted 5 hours and 34 minutes.

On July 19, 1995, Budarin conducted his second career spacewalk along with Anatoly Solovyev. The two prepared for MIRAS spectrometer deployment and retrieved the TREK experiment and changed exposure materials. The spacewalk lasted 3 hours and 8 minutes.

Two days later on July 21, Budarin conducted his third career spacewalk, again with Solovyev. During the 5 hour 35 minute EVA, the two installed the MIRAS spectrometer.

On April 1, 1998, Budarin conducted his fourth career spacewalk. He and fellow cosmonaut Talgat Musabayev started repairing a solar panel damaged in the collision between Mir and the Progress M-34 supply ship.[7] The spacewalk started at 13:35 UTC and ended at 20:15 UTC, lasting 6 hours and 40 minutes.

On April 6, 1998, Budarin conducted his fifth career spacewalk, with Talgat Musabayev. The two completed the repair work on the broken Spektr solar panel. The spacewalk lasted 4 hours and 15 minutes. While the two spacewalkers were struggling with installing a brace on the solar panel, Mir suddenly went to free drift and began turning away from the sun.[8] The two were ordered to rush through the final bracing procedure and then perform an expedited entry. The spacewalk was originally planned for March 3, but the crew was unable to open the EVA hatch leading to space, which necessitated the rescheduling of the spacewalk. Budarin failed to open the last of the 10 locks that was closed so tightly and in the process he broke three wrenches.[9] On April 11, 1998, Budarin conducted his sixth career spacewalk. Along with Talgat Musabayev, the two removed Mir's VDU. The spacewalk lasted 6 hours and 25 minutes.

On April 17, 1998, Budarin conducted his seventh career spacewalk. During a 6 hour 33 minute spacewalk, Budarin and Talgat Musabayev installed a new VDU which was delivered by Progress M-38. The spacewalk lasted 6 hours and 33 minutes.

Five days later on April 22, Budarin completed his eighth career spacewalk. He and Musabayev completed the new VDU installation. The spacewalk lasted 6 hours and 21 minutes.

During Expedition 6, on January 15, 2003, Budarin was supposed to join NASA astronaut Kenneth Bowersox in a six-hour spacewalk outside the ISS. However, after failing to meet U.S standards in tests on a stationary bicycle in December 2002, NASA barred him from making a spacewalk citing medical reasons.[10] The claim was rejected by the Russian authorities, which pronounced Budarin was healthy despite NASA concerns about cardiovascular "peculiarities". They said that the peculiarities of Budarin's cardiovascular system were known to the authorities and that Budarin had them on previous flights as well. The spacewalk was eventually carried out by NASA astronauts Bowersox and Donald Pettit.


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  1. ENERGIA. "Nikolai Mikhailovich BUDARIN". Retrieved June 8, 2010. 
  2. "Pegase mission". 2007. Retrieved June 9, 2010. 
  3. "NASA Biography: Nikolai Mikhailovich Budarin". May 2003. Retrieved June 8, 2010. 
  4. NASA (June 23, 2003). "Preflight Interview: Nikolai Budarin". 
  5. Simon Saradzhyan (May 4, 2003). "Soyuz Data Recorders Indicate Human Error Not to Blame". June 8, 2010. Archived from the original on June 24, 2003. 
  6. "RSC Energia Report on Cause of Soyuz TMA-1 Reentry Problems". RSC Energia Press Release. May 28, 2003. Retrieved June 9, 2010. 
  7. "Mir and Supply Ship Dock, Accomplishing Feat After Failure". The Newyork Times. February 24, 1998. Retrieved June 9, 2010. 
  8. James Oberg (May 18–24, 1998). "Handling Mir Misinformation". Retrieved June 9, 2010. 
  9. "Mir Cosmonauts Break Tools, Cancel Spacewalk". Associated Press. March 4, 1998. Retrieved June 9, 2010. 
  10. Steve Gutterman (January 8, 2003). "Russian Doctors Reveal Cosmonaut's Medical Condition". Archived from the original on January 10, 2003. Retrieved June 9, 2010. 

External links[]

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