Ivan Bella
Ivan Bella is a Slovak
The Slovaks, Slovak people, or Slovakians are a West Slavic people that primarily inhabit Slovakia and speak the Slovak language, which is closely related to the Czech language.Most Slovaks today live within the borders of the independent Slovakia...

 Air Force officer who became the first Slovak citizen to fly in space. He participated in an eight-day joint Russian-French-Slovak mission to the Mir
Mir was a space station operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001, at first by the Soviet Union and then by Russia. Assembled in orbit from 1986 to 1996, Mir was the first modular space station and had a greater mass than that of any previous spacecraft, holding the record for the...

 space station in 1999.

Education and military career

Bella graduated from military school in 1983 and subsequently graduated from Košice
Košice is a city in eastern Slovakia. It is situated on the river Hornád at the eastern reaches of the Slovak Ore Mountains, near the border with Hungary...

 Military Academy in 1987. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Slovak Republic Army as a pilot at the 33rd Air Force Base in Malacky
Malacky is a town and municipality in western Slovakia around 35 km north from capital Bratislava. From the second half of the 10th century until 1918, it was part of the Kingdom of Hungary...

, Slovakia.


Bella began training as a Research Cosmonaut on March 25, 1998. He completed his training successfully at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in August of the same year.

Bella launched along with mission commander Viktor Afanasyev and flight engineer Jean-Pierre Haigneré
Jean-Pierre Haigneré
Jean-Pierre Haigneré is a French Air Force officer and a former CNES astronaut.Haigneré was born in Paris, France and joined the French Air Force, where he trained as a test pilot....

 on the Soyuz TM-29
Soyuz TM-29
Soyuz TM-29 was a Russian manned spacecraft launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome aboard a Soyuz 11A511U rocket. It docked with Mir on February 22 at 05:36 GMT with Cosmonauts Viktor Afanasyev of Russia, Jean-Pierre Haigneré of France, and Ivan Bella of Slovakia aboard. Since two crew seats had...

 mission on February 20, 1999. TM-29 arrived at Mir on February 22. While on board the station Bella performed various scientific experiments as well as experiments involving the possibility of survival of Japanese Quail
Japanese Quail
The Japanese Quail, also known as Coturnix Quail, Coturnix japonica, is a species of Old World Quail found in East Asia. They are a migratory species, breeding in Manchuria, southeastern Siberia, northern Japan, and the Korean Peninsula, and wintering in the south of Japan and southern China. They...

s during long flights. Bella spent just over a week in space and returned to earth on February 28 aboard Soyuz TM-28
Soyuz TM-28
TM-28 was a Soyuz mission to the Mir space station.-Crew:-Mission Accomplishments:*Docked with Mir*Baturin is first Russian politician in space...

 along with fellow crew member Gennady Padalka
Gennady Padalka
Gennady Ivanovich Padalka is a Russian Air Force officer and an RSA cosmonaut. As of June 2010, Gennady ranks sixth for career time in space due to his time on both Mir and the International Space Station....


Diplomatic career

In 2004, Bella was appointed to serve as a military attaché
Military attaché
A military attaché is a military expert who is attached to a diplomatic mission . This post is normally filled by a high-ranking military officer who retains the commission while serving in an embassy...

 for Slovakia in Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

, Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...


External links

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