Russian female cosmonaut Elena Serova has been in orbit for three months already. She is the fourth Russian woman to travel to space.
Russian female cosmonaut Elena Serova has been in orbit for three months already. She is expected to spend a total of 169 days in orbit and perform nearly 59 experiments over 715 sessions. Serova is the fourth Russian woman to travel to space. In 1963, Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to ride a rocket into the sky, with Valentina Savitskaya following her, making two spaceflights in 1982 and 1984. Elena Kondakova also made two space trips, in 1994 and 1997.
Elena Serova arrived at the International Space Station on September 26, becoming the first Russian female to travel to space in the past 17 years. Above: ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst, Roscosmos cosmonaut Elena Serova, Maxim Shur, Alexander Samokutyaev, NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman and Barry Wilmore (L to R) on board the ISS.
Elena Serova was born in Vozdvizhenka, a little town near Ussuriysk in the Far East in Russia. "Since my very childhood I couldn’t imagine myself without being in the skies. My father is a military man; he served as an Air Force officer. I spent all my time at the airfields," Elena said. Above: Roscosmos cosmonaut Elena Serova in childhood.
Before becoming as an cosmonaut, Serova worked as an engineer of the 2nd category for RSC Energia, and also at Mission Control Center. Above: Roscosmos cosmonaut Elena Serova on a simulator of the Russian segment of the International Space Station.
In 1993, Elena Serova graduated from 99 public school for children of military families in the city of Grossenhain, Germany. In March 2001, she graduated from the Aerospace Faculty of the Moscow Aviation Institute and qualified as an engineer.
In October 2006, Serova was selected for testing as a cosmonaut at the age of 30 while working as a flight engineer. She completed basic training at Star City in 2009. Above: Roscosmos cosmonaut Elena Serova (center) during the preparation for the flight to the ISS.
On January 23 2002, Elena Serova gave birth to a daughter, also named Elena. Before the blast-off to the ISS, Serova promised she would regularly call from space to her husband and daughter. However, even if there was no way for her to contact her family, Serova would still travel to space for six months, because she "loves endlessly her husband and daughter, and trust them". Elena’s daughter has also said she wants to be a cosmonaut, but she is 11, and her interests are changing. Above: Roscosmos cosmonaut Elena and her husband Mark Serov during the wedding ceremony.
"Flying in zero-gravity is an amazing, unbelievable experience," Elena says. "When I was a child I flew in my dreams, and now the dreams come true. It seems I knew what it was going to be like, when I arrived at the station. Now I enjoy this experience every minute." Above: Roscosmos cosmonaut Elena Serova and astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.
Every weekend, Elena has a video-chat with her relatives and family. They have a great chance to see each other and talk. The ISS is equipped with a telephone, so Elena can call home and speak to her daughter and husband. Above: Roscosmos cosmonaut Elena Serova before the flight to the ISS.
In an interview, Serova told how she applied to be a cosmonaut: "It came pretty naturally. I met my future husband at the institute. We worked together for RSC Energia. He joined the team of cosmonauts in 2003, and then I joined the team in 2006." Above: Roscosmos cosmonaut Elena Serova on board the ISS.
Before the flight, Elena Serova told journalists that she is proud of her mission. "I will be the first Russian woman to travel to the ISS. It is a great responsibility for those who trained us. I would like to say: we will not let you down!" Above: Roscosmos cosmonaut Elena Serov and memebers of expedition to the ISS at the cosmodrome "Baikonur".