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The first cosmonaut of the independent Ukraine Leonid Kadenyuk on board the U.S. space shuttle "Columbia" went into space 15 years ago.
According to the website of the State Space Agency of Ukraine (SSAU), the first report on participation of the Ukrainian astronaut within the U.S. space shuttle missions was announced on May 13, 1994 in the general statements of President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma and U.S. President Bill Clinton.
In 1995, the SSAU together with NASA started training for a space flight and scientific experiments. Deputy director of the SSAU Eduard Kuznetsov was approved as a team leader for the selection of candidates for the flight and the flight implementation, Yelizabetha Kordyum was a head of the research program of the State Space Agency of Ukraine.
In February of 1996, Leonid Kadenyuk was enrolled in a group of Ukrainian astronauts to be trained to fly on spacecraft "Space Shuttle." In July of 1996, he arrived in the United States. From November of 1996 to November of 1997, together with backup astronaut Yaroslav Pustovy trained to fly at the Johnson Space Center (USA).
The space flight took place from November 19 to December 5 of 1997 on the space ship "Columbia." The flight consisting of the international crew lasted 15 days 16 hours 35 minutes 1 second.
For the first time, the trident and Ukrainian flag visited the space, and the anthem of the independent Ukraine was sounded during the flight of Kadenyuk.
On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the space flight of the first Ukrainian cosmonaut, the State Space Agency of Ukraine approved a program of activities, which includes the press conference for the media, themed exhibitions in the Air and Space Museums, meetings with the first cosmonaut of Ukraine and round table with the participation of direct organizers of the flight.