Leonid Kadeniuk, First Astronaut of Independent Ukraine
Within the framework of campaigns on strengthening national unity, the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine presents the communication campaign about the first astronaut of independent Ukraine, Leonid Kadeniuk. Ukraine’s MIP believes that every Ukrainian ought to remember the heroes of their country and be proud of them.
The communication campaign is being carried out under the motto ‘Don’t Be Afraid to Dream’. Thematic stories are being placed on outdoor advertising media, including boards and citylights, all over Ukraine. In addition, the stories can be seen at airports in Ukrainian cities.
Leonid Kadeniuk: Capsule Biography
1. Leonid Kadeniuk was born in Chernivtsi Region into the family of village teachers. He finished school with a silver medal, having been marked ‘good’ for the final dictation in Ukrainian.
2. In order to enter into a flight school, he pretended to be a year older: People of 17 years and older were admitted there, whereas the young Leonid was only 16 at the time. During the entrance exams at the regional centre he admitted to the commissioner that he was a year younger, and, after the boy’s blandishments, the commissioner phoned the civil registry office and asked them to issue a new birth certificate. “Perhaps one day we will meet him with flowers at a spaceport. Let’s help this boy,” the commissioner said then.
3. In 1976, Leonid Kadeniuk was among the nine lucky to be assigned to a cosmonauts team within the Buran space system group. They had been selected from among several thousand candidates after two months of ordeals. A year after, Kadeniuk finished the Test Pilot Training Centre and was qualified as a ‘trial pilot’. Since 1979 he became a ‘test cosmonaut’.
4. From late 1970s till the 1990s, Kadeniuk underwent engineer and pilot training under the Buran programme as a commander, test cosmonaut and test pilot. He also underwent training as a commander of the Soiuz-TM crew transfer vehicle. Kadeniuk was trained for carrying out experiments on board a spaceship in the field of biology, medicine, metrology, ecology, astronomy, etc., and studied Soviet and American spaceships. He flew on board more than fifty makes of planes.
5. In 1995, Leonid Kadeniuk was selected for a cosmonauts team of the National Space Agency of Ukraine. The very same year, he got Ukrainian citizenship.
6. Onboard the Columbia spaceship he flew into outer space in 1997 as part of the international crew. In order to do this, he underwent dedicated training at NASA. On the spaceship, Kadeniuk carried out biological experiments and studied the impact of lack of gravity on plants. During his flight, the Ukrainian trident and flag were in outer space, and the anthem of independent Ukraine was played there, too.
7. In 2006, Kadeniuk became a member of the Commission on Space Activities. He was adviser to the Prime Minister of Ukraine on aviation and cosmonautics. Leonid Kadeniuk is Major General of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
8. The first Ukrainian astronaut had a number of awards, including the Order of the Golden Star, the third-class medal of the Order of Merit, and the Order of Courage. He had the title of an Honourable Citizen of the city of Chernivtsi.
9. Leonid Kadeniuk wrote five academic papers and a publicist book ‘Mission Space’.
Leonid Kadeniuk suddenly passed away on 31 January 2018. He was the first and, as of now, the only astronaut of independent Ukraine. Ukraine’s MIP commemorates Leonid Kadeniuk and believes that this figure will remain in our history, and the state will always be proud of his achievements.
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