Time in space
|7d 21h 56min|
|Selection||1998 Cosmonaut Group|
|Missions||Mir-Štefánik (Soyuz TM-29 / Soyuz TM-28)|
Ivan Bella (born 21 May 1964 in Brezno, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia)) is a Slovak 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 space station in 1999.
Bella graduated from military school in 1983 and subsequently graduated from Košice 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, Slovakia.
Bella launched along with mission commander Viktor Afanasyev and flight engineer Jean-Pierre Haigneré on the Soyuz TM-29 mission on 20 February 1999. TM-29 arrived at Mir on 22 February. While on board the station Bella performed various scientific experiments as well as experiments involving the possibility of survival of Japanese quails during long flights. Bella spent just over a week in space and returned to earth on 28 February aboard Soyuz TM-28 along with fellow crew member Gennady Padalka.