More NASA Tales

As part of my job, I was sent to Moscow, Russia, twice, as part of a delegation of U.S. Human Factors Specialists. Our "mission" was to meet with Russian Human Factors Specialists and resolve outstanding issues for the design of certain components of the International Space Station. Those trips are tales in and of themselves. However, we also hosted the Russian delegation in Houston for similar meetings. One of the Soyuz-Apollo astronauts, Valeri Kubasov, came to Houston as part of the Russian delegation one time.

I hunted down some vintage Apollo-Soyuz photographs in NASA's press photo archive. I found a group photo of the 5 cosmonauts and astronauts involved in the project, and Valeri agreed to sign copies for all of us. We always tried to do some fun stuff with the Russian delegation whenever they visited. During Valeri's trip, we took them to a place called Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas. There's a rainforest ecosystem to explore there, as well as a 3-D IMAX movie theatre. In the rainforest, Valeri entertained himself by squawking at the parrots and freaking them out completely. He also chased turtles back into their pond, like a 3-year-old boy. It was very endearing to watch. The IMAX movie had one of those high-speed, roller coaster scenes. I noticed Valeri was gripping his armrests with white knuckles during those scenes. Afterwards I teased him (in Russian): "You've flown in space! How can this make you dizzy?" He replied, "Well, space is nothing like an American roller coaster." :)

Check back later for more tales...

Back to Me & NASA
Andrea H. Berman (