Sergei Krikalev, the man who has spent the most time in space at 803 days, has joined the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology as a professor of practice.

Krikalev giving a talk at Skoltech as a guest in September. Photo:

Krikalev, 56, will promote the development of new educational courses and research programs for students and research staff at the Moscow-based innovations university, which was established in collaboration with MIT in 2011.

“I cannot wait to begin,” said Krikalev, who gave a guest talk on the space sector in September, drawing on his experience on the international space station and also as vice president of Russia’s top spacecraft manufacturer, the state-owned RKK Energia.

“It is no secret that many of the interesting ideas in this industry are developed by young researchers. This is why I think the interaction with Skoltech is particularly important,” Krikalev added.

He named as his top priorities the transfer of his industry experience to the university students and also fostering more interaction between the students and the professors.

“This is something we cherish and focus on here at Skoltech,” Krikalev said.

Additionally, Krikalev said would like to “implement a number of ideas that have been discussed for a while in industry and scientific circles. These are such issues as spacecraft manipulation, interaction between humans and complex engineering systems, the design and creation of man-machine interfaces.”

'Krikalev is one of the most distinguished explorers of space in our history' - Skoltech president Ed Crawley

Skoltech president Ed Crawley, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT called Krikalev “one of the most distinguished explorers of space in our history.”

“He is one of the most experienced engineers, educators and planners in the field. We are excited that Sergei takes up the position of professor of the practice of human spaceflight at Skoltech. Now a distinguished practitioner can work closely with our scientists, students and innovators.”

Krikalev has an impressive CV, racking up experience on the Mir space station before flying on the first joint US-Russian space shuttle mission in 1994 and supporting joint missions ever since. He was a member of Expedition 1, the first long-duration mission to the international space station, and has clocked up 41 hours in spacewalks alone over his career.

He gained added fame for being in the Mir space station during the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The exact record for his time spent in space is 803 days, 9 hours and 39 minutes.