летчик-космонавт Александр Мисуркин
Hero of Russian Federation
Motivational Speaker
Motivational Speaker
Alexander Misurkin
In 2013, became the youngest person on board the ISS
Pilot-cosmonaut, Hero of Russian Federation
In 2013, became the youngest person
on board the ISS


«People are not born cosmonauts – this is who they become. And many can do it.
Why do we need to fly to space? Exploring the world around us, we get to know ourselves better»

I was born and spent the first years of life in Smolensk, the homeland of the first cosmonaut of our planet. Later I moved to Oryol, where my childhood fantasies of flying to other worlds, the desire to visit places where no one had gone before us, evolved into the goal of becoming a spaceman.

This is where I took my first steps toward my goal. I had started flying a glider on my own long before I learned to drive a car.

After school, I entered the Higher Military Aviation School of Pilots in Kachinsk. My study was continued at the Armavir Military Aviation Institute. For the next seven years, my main goal was to improve my professional skills. All I lived and strived for at the time was to become a 1st class flight instructor. Having achieved this goal, I felt I was ready for the next step.

By qualifying for the Cosmonaut Squad, I really took my life to the next level. My whole life consisted of endless lectures, exams, and this alternated with parachute jumps, diving, airplane rides, survival training. Extensive geography of business trips, the widest circle of communication, and most importantly — all this was in a special atmosphere, among special, open, responsive, kind and brave people. And we were all one — a team, which for me has always been and remains one of the most important values. It really was a New World. I was happy, happy to live in it, happy to realize that all this gives me the opportunity to develop and move forward.

Step by step, I was approaching my goal and at the same time the most important exam in my life. Who would have thought that the plan «How to Be a Cosmonaut», invented one fine spring day more than 20 years ago by my schoolteacher Nataliya Vladimirovna Afanasieva, would work!

On March 29, 2013, at the age of 35, I undertook my 35th expedition to the ISS, thus achieving the goal that I had set for myself 23 years ago. By becoming the 116th cosmonaut of Russia, I also became the youngest cosmonaut/astronaut to have been to the ISS.

Later, within 8 years, I was in space twice more: as an expedition commander on the ISS expedition and as the crew commander of the first fully commercial flight in Russian astronautics. Twice I set the record for the longest time in outer space in Russian spacesuits. And, just as importantly, I met a wide range of smart people from all kinds of spheres, from science to business and the arts.

In addition to unforgettable impressions, this experience gave me the opportunity to understand that people often explain by luck what is actually the result of systematic work. Russian singer Garik Sukachev is 300% right «This phrase is worthless „You’re lucky“». It was a revelation to me that being friends and being a team are two completely different things, but I realized what it needs to be a team, I realized the price and the role of such qualities as trust and responsibility. By will of fate, I saw the analogy of a flight into space with the latest realities of remote work on Earth, understood what helps me stay effective in conditions of high uncertainty, thought about how to manage stress and prevent internal burnout.

The goal-calling of the first part of life has been achieved, and new goals appear on my life horizon...

And yet, the view of our planet from space is a most precious and unforgettable feeling, prompting speculation about our place in the universe and whether and when we will encounter other worlds similar to ours and when will it happen.

Space observations

What space can teach us. Personal life hacks of development.
Space flights made it possible to understand how you can affect the efficiency of your activities, how a team is formed and how it works, to value the fundamental importance of qualities such as trust and responsibility,
and many other aspects that are important not only in space, but also on Earth.

Experience comes to a person in different conditions, in space among others, but it is not the conditions that teach, but people who, under these conditions, enter the communicational sphere of this person, but the first is this person being a self-teacher. The main thing is to be observant and to be able to analyze.

The top-3 qualities necessary for astronauts, the most demanded abilities in future as well as in present — all in the lessons of those people from whom I try to learn myself.

Effective strategy in the context of uncertainty
When I decided to be a cosmonaut, I had absolutely no idea how to do it, and even after my teacher suggested a strategy to achieve the goal, a lot of things remained unclear.

In general, my path to the cosmonaut profession, as well as space activities themselves, has a common feature — both of them are activities under high levels of uncertainty.

Efficiency under these conditions is largely determined by the following:
— willingness to accept risk and responsibility;
— the ability to make non-standard decisions;
— the desire to constantly learn new things;
— the ability to work in a team.

But that’s in space, and what’s on Earth? As it turns out, life on Earth today cannot be called stable either. We live in an environment of constant change, or rather, in an environment of accelerating changes! Consequently, it is possible to extrapolate the cosmic experience to life and activity on earth.

Stress and burnout in space activities
In preparation for spaceflight you face acute stress more often, such as when you lose 5 kilograms of your own weight in 2 days of survival training or when you spend a week alone in an isolation chamber
including 66 hours of non-stop activity, and of course in the special parachute training of cosmonauts.

In flight there is also acute stress, but predominant is chronic one, because from the moment you enter the rocket to the landing of the capsule you live and work according to a cyclogram, where you personally determine nothing: neither the scope of your tasks, nor your social circle, nor your environment in general — and this is already stress. We are all different and the specific cause of chronic stress can be different for everyone: communication with colleagues, lack of opportunity to go for a walk, repetitive food...

The ability to manage stress largely determines how much energy you will spend on your goals and how long you will be passionate about your work.

Risk management in outer space
Four times I have had the opportunity to go into outer space, twice we have set the record for the longest work in outer space in Russian space suits. This is both my favorite and the hardest job of my life.

Each spacewalk is a new defiance. Every time I remembered the words of the Hero, the USSR pilot-cosmonaut V.A. Lyakhov, «It’s not what it will be like!» I was prepared for it and convinced of its rightness, because, despite rigorous preparation, each time there were nuances that one had not expected and with which we had to cope here and now, counting on yourself, your partner and the support of a specialist in the MCC.

Analyzing this experience, you understand that it helps to control the situation in any risky business to follow the following principles:
— careful preparation and planning of regular and possible non-staff work;
— quality communication in the process of work;
— work in team.

Leader and the Team. Becoming a space crew
Thanks to my space activities, I realized the difference between a team and a collective. We have our own term — crew, which is a team, but in fact, it turns out in different ways.

The team, like the crew, is not just the people who board the rocket; the team may also include specialists who remain on Earth. It all depends on how these people relate to each other. Just as any crew has a commander, so any team has a leader, they form a single system. And the effectiveness of this system should be considered as a whole.

Living and working remotely — on Earth as in space
In 2020, almost every person on Earth had a truly cosmic experience of self-isolation, with which also came the most unexpected difficulties

— restriction of movement;
— imbalance of mental and physical activity;
— no boundaries between personal and work time;
— the presence of relatives, which suddenly grew considerably more.

If you can solve these questions, you are a real cosmonaut, who, on a big spaceship called «Earth», is confidently racing across the expanses of the galaxy to meet new challenges :)

Life in space and its prospects on Earth
The most beautiful thing I have seen in space is our planet. When you press your face against the porthole window, your breathing and pulse slow down, and you immerse yourself in the process of contemplation.
There is an almost physical feeling of the uniqueness and perfection of Earth on one hand, and its fatal vulnerability to the cold, hostile universe on the other. But when I ask myself the question, ’Is our planet and our life the only one of its kind?’ I realize that the question is not whether there is life in the universe, but when we will find it.

The only thing is, as we gaze at the distant stars in anticipation of this meeting, are we not missing something much more important here on Earth? The process of evolution took billions of years, and now events have dramatically accelerated. Technological growth is exponential, but can humanity mature and mentally keep up with its increasingly vast possibilities? Isaac Asimov once said on this subject, «The saddest aspect of life today is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.»

We are approaching the singularity point of our civilization, after which a qualitative transformation of life may await us. There are already harbingers of fantastic possibilities, such as victory over diseases and aging, unimaginable transformations into android or digital forms of existence, unity with the worldwide network, and symbiosis with the civilization of artificial intelligence...

We are already at the «horizon of events,» what will happen to us in a few steps? Will we pass through this critical point, fundamentally transformed, or will we plunge ourselves into the abyss and turn to dust, to repeat the entire path of evolution from the very beginning? It depends only on ourselves.

But I agree with American actor and comedian Irwin Corey, if we do not hurry to change direction, we risk arriving where we departed from.

Alexander Misurkin, pilot — cosmonaut.

The Story of the Boy Who Dreamed of Flying to the Stars
One day I realized that I wanted to be a cosmonaut, and my teacher showed me the way. As we progressed, various obstacles came up along the way.

Sometimes they seemed to be beyond my strength, but still each time I managed to overcome them. The most interesting thing I’ve observed along the way was people’s reactions when they got to know about my goal. The vast majority didn’t believe it was real, and some people thought I was crazy. It became obvious to me: as soon as a person stops believing in his abilities, he closes the road to his chosen horizons forever. Thank God the question never once popped into my head, «Is that really possible?»

The rules of space are the rules of success
One day, on my first flight, I asked myself: «Why am I so lucky?» And, in fact, I was the youngest person aboard the ISS since it had been in operation. Our crew practiced a quick rendezvous scheme for the first time.

I have three spacewalks, one of which is a record length. And I was trained for my first flight not in the average 10 years, but in 6 years and a half. I seriously thought about it: «What is this — a fortunate coincidence or the natural result of something that I was not even aware of until now?»

My surprise was very great when I realized that in all my activities I had unknowingly followed a number of rules. This is how I have discovered my rules of space, and following them has determined success of my activity. And the first of these is never to hesitate in the belief that the impossible is nothing.

Trust and Responsibility
I was once asked to speak about the role of trust in space activities. That’s what really got me thinking about this issue. And then I suddenly saw something that I had overlooked earlier.

It became clear:
— why I wasn’t scared at the start or during the descent from orbit;
— why exactly I was assigned to a crew with such a busy and complicated flight program;
— that the awareness of the trust placed in you is the highest degree of motivation to do your job perfectly;
— that trust is the only possible foundation on which the team can be built.

Since then, in my frame of reference, the pair of qualities «trust» and «responsibility» is the fundamental basis of any activity where two or more people are involved. This pair of qualities is like a double helix of DNA. And along this spiral, like a spiral staircase, we go through life either up or down.

Personal responsibility as a key to the space mission success
In addition to the unforgettable impressions of contemplating our planet, I returned from each of my flights with new observations about human relations.
That’s really true, we get to know the world around us in order to know ourselves better.

I went on my third flight with the goal of transporting a tourist crew safely and reliably, operating a spaceship alone for the first time. Imperceptibly, even at the stage of preparation, I realized that not only the fact of the safe flight of people who trusted me personally is important for me — it is also important that after the flight they highly appreciate Roscosmos work and recommend it as the best service in the field of space tourism. This largely determined my activity both before and during the flight. Therefore, when, after some time, I learned about Maezawa-san’s desire to perform another flight with Roscosmos and me personally, I realized that I had achieved my goals completely, and also saw in a new light the importance of personal responsibility for the project as a whole, regardless of the scale of your position in it.

Performance Experience

Public talk
Telecom companies
Industrial company
And other
South Summit
Progress, JSC, Conference
MINI&BMW Distributors Conference

Another space

I have got acquainted with you thanks to the profession of a cosmonaut. And even though it happened much later than I would like now, you came into my life so easily and became an integral part of it, as if you had always been in it.

Today I know for sure that badminton is not just a sport, it is a lifestyle that allows you to increase its duration and quality of life. I hadn’t seen more mobile people at the age of 65 than those on the badminton court. In my opinion, the best way to relieve stress and have fun with friends is to play badminton. That’s why on January 1, 2018, the entire crew played badminton aboard the ISS. Thus, badminton was the first playing sport to leave the Earth’s atmosphere. Wishing to share badminton with our fellow countrymen in the Oryol region, we created the Badminton Federation of the Oryol region. We started by setting an unofficial Guinness World Record on June 23, 2018 — I was playing badminton with all wishing people for exactly 24 hours. And on August 04, 2018, we held our first tournament. Today badminton is one of the basic sports in Orel, both adults and children are engaged in it, more than 100 tournaments have been held. Start playing badminton right now and you’ll wish you had done it earlier :)

In 2016 just before my leaving for Baikonur as the backup crew commander, somebody called me from an unknown number. It was Alyona Kuzmenko, a nice girl with a noble heart and unbending will, as I later learned.

Alyona and her team «Unity» help children who have a terrible disease — cancer. They cheer them up, help to see the beauty of this world and try to attract public attention to this global issue.

ART PROJECT «The Space Suit» I had been skeptical about art therapy until I accidentally heard a legend about the 19th century glass-blower from the town of Gus-Khrustalny, Razumey Vasiliev. The legend has it that for his sick daughter this master made a bouquet of crystal flowers which helped her to feel the joy of life again and to recover. This story touched me to the quick and I saw the essence of what Alyona was doing. And later we were able to create a special «overcoat» for the spacesuit Orlan, to deliver it to the board of the international space station and then back to the Earth. We called it «Victory». Little patients from various cancer centers with the help of the artists from the Unity team painted «Victory» — they depicted on it their most secret desires. On board the international space station I looked through the children’s paintings and one of them caught my eye at once — it was a little prince, to be more exact, a Little Princess with her rose. It was a curious coincidence because right at that time I was listening to the audio-book «The Little Prince» by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It made me know at once which emblem I and Anton Shkaplerov would use for our spacewalk. I am grateful to all my colleagues who helped us to carry out this project, those of them who managed to remain kind-hearted and capable of thinking not only about personal benefits. I wish all our little painters a quick recovery!

Vera Polozkova in space
The Little Prince on Earth and in space
Space poetry. Elena Ustiyantseva
Space fun
New Year in space
Space will not wait
Mankind's rush into space is accelerating! 🚀

Space industry market 5 years ago was €250 billion; today it is €300 billion, which is 7 times bigger than the Artificial Intelligence market. By mid-century, the space industry market is projected at the level of €2.3 trillion. This means that the space is closer to each of us than we think. That’s why we organized this project together with the Cosmonautics Museum in Moscow, in order to highlight the history of space exploration in the past, its development in the present and prospects for the future.

Our project was awarded the 2nd degree diploma of the All-Russian Prize «For Fidelity to Science» in the category «The best online project about science,» but most importantly, the project was interesting to our citizens. And I will be very happy if it helps in the formation of future followers of Sergei Pavlovich Korolev and Yuri Alexeyevich Gagarin, because space will not wait!


Главное - поверить в себя!
We Can Only Succeed if We Believe in Ourselves!
I’ve been asked many times, «How come that so many boys and girls dream about space but so few of them achieve their dream?». I explain that it is very important not to be afraid of your ambitions, deal with the challenges and go on to pursuit your goals.
«...we climbed up the ropes, then down, then up again ... then we swam across underground lakes and at those moments I recalled scenes from modern science fiction films I so well knew - «This film seems to be shot on this location, and that film seems to be shot here…» It was so breathtaking!»
«What then is my name to you»
When I was at one of our regular sessions in Houston, I could not but fly for a weekend to visit my friend in Los Angeles, simply because we are close friends and also because we had some business to finish...
The examination complex training is far behind now, I can breathe out and relax for a couple of days. We have not yet left for Baikonur to see off Sergei's crew, but we are already beginning our preparation and training as the main crew of the Soyuz MS-06 spacecraft...

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Official website of the pilot-cosmonaut,
Hero of Russia Alexander Misurkin
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