Gennady Ivanovich Padalka (Russian: Гeннадий Иванович Падалка) (born June 21, 1958, in Krasnodar, Russia) is a Russian Air Force officer and an RSA cosmonaut. He is also an investigator for the Advanced Diagnostic Ultrasound in Microgravity Project. He is married to Irina Anatoliyevna Padalka (Ponomareva). They have three daughters: Yuliya, Yekaterina, and Sonya. Gennady enjoys the theater, parachute sport and diving.
Padalka is a recipient of the Hero Star of the Russian Federation and the title of Russian Federation Test-Cosmonaut. He has logged 1500 flight hours in six types of aircraft as a First Class Pilot in the Russian Air Force. In addition, he has performed more than 300 parachute jumps as an Instructor of General Parachute Training.
Padalka graduated from Eisk Military Aviation College in 1979. After graduation, he served as a pilot and later a senior pilot in the Russian Air Force, eventually attaining the rank of colonel. He was selected as a cosmonaut candidate to start training at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in 1989. From June 1989 to January 1991, he attended basic space training. In 1991, Padalka was qualified as a test-cosmonaut. He worked as an engineer-ecologist at the UNESCO International Center of Instruction Systems until 1994.