Sunday, August 17, 2008

Launch of Soyuz TM-24

[Above: Валерий Григорьевич Корзун]

This date in 1996, Soyuz TM-24 launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome enroute to Fred Sanford's salvage yard Russian space station Mir.
Onboard were Aleksandr Kaleri and one of my very favorite cosmonauts space travelers of any country ever, Valeriy Korzun.

Mir EO-22 would become one of the most dangerous famous expeditions, giving us fun times like the Great Space Fire of '96, during which Valeriy's hands were badly burned had absolutely nothing of consequence happen to them, and the Great Human Waste Container Crisis of '96, during which the crew had to "improvise" storage for their space pee and space poo. Nice.
Korzun spent tons of time talking to amateur radio enthusiasts around the globe; he was really into this hobby. If it had been me, every single transmission I made would have been, "Get me off this piece of shit NOW."
But by all accounts, Korzun is good-natured and patient and professional and has a much less vulgar mouth than I do, so he kept a sunny outlook and a stiff upper lip and just talked about fun space stuff with average Joes around the world.

Undeterred by EO-22's mishaps and by TsUP's blaming of crisis after crisis on the cosmonauts, Valeriy went on to fly on STS-111 and was a crewman of ISS Expedition 5.

Valeriy Korzun is freaking awesome, and if I had the chance to meet one single cosmonaut, he'd be it.

No comments: