Aleksandr Kaleri is a Russian cosmonaut and veteran of extended stays on the Mir Space Station and the International Space Station. He was born Aleksandr Yuriyevich Kaleri on May 13, 1956 in Russia. In 1979, Kaleri graduated from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology as a specialist in Aircraft Flight Dynamics and Control. After his graduation, he was hired by the Energia Corporation and began his work on the Mir space station, helping with the development of design and engineering documentation. Four years later, he completed post-graduate studies as a specialist in the field of Mechanics of Fluids and Plasma.
Kaleri was selected as the Energia RSC cosmonaut candidate in April 1984. He finished basic training at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, and in 1987, he qualified for a flight assignment as a test cosmonaut. Since then, Kaleri has participated in three extended missions aboard the Mir Space Station. On July 8, 1992, Kaleri started his first career spacewalk and inspected some of Mir’s gyrodynes for just over 2 hours. Four years later, on December 2, 1996, Kaleri, alongside fellow cosmonaut Valery Korzun, completed a six hour spacewalk, during which they established better connections to provide more electrical power to the Mir station. During the same flight just seven days later, Kaleri went on another six hour spacewalk to finish connecting the solar array. He also helped attach a new docking antenna that would be used to guide Progress vehicles as they docked with Mir. In 2003, Kaleri made his first flight to the International Space Station with NASA astronaut Michael Foale. On February 26, the two floated outside of the ISS from the Pirs Docking Compartment airlock. Their four hour long spacewalk was Kaleri’s fifth career spacewalk, and a very successful one. They were able to complete the majority of their tasks, including swapping out experiment packages and mounting a dummy torso on the station’s hull in order to measure the radiation affects on spacewalking astronauts. In total, they spent 194 days in space until they landed in Kazakhstan on April 30, 2004.
Kaleri is now a member of the ISS Expedition 25/26 that was launched on October 7, 2010. He, along with Oleg Skripochka and NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, arrived at the space station on October 10, 2010. The mission is Kaleri’s fifth flight into space, and he is expected to remain in the ISS until March 2011. Back on Earth, Kaleri has a wife, Svetlana L. Nosova, and together the two have a son, Oleg Aleksandrovich Kaleri.