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US media dub Talgat Mussabayev “a space babysitter”

29 april 2011, 17:18
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Talgat Mussabayev. By Yaroslav Radlovsky ©
Talgat Mussabayev. By Yaroslav Radlovsky ©
Americans dubbed Head of KazKosmos [Kazakhstan's National Space Agency], Talgat Mussabayev,“a space babysitter”, he recalled that during an on-line conference arranged by Bnews.kz.

“I was the first commander of a spaceship to deliver the first tourist to space. US media immediately dubbed me as “Mussabayev, the first space babysitter”, Mr. Mussabayev said.

“I am proud that it was me who was entrusted with such a serious task. In partnership with flight engineer Yuri Baturin I accomplished the task. We performed all the planned program of the flight to prove that tourists can be flown to space”, Mr. Mussabayev said.

Today is the 10th anniversary of the first tourist flight to space.

Talgat Mussabayev is a Kazakh test pilot and former cosmonaut who flew on three spaceflights. His first two spaceflights were long-duration stays aboard the Russian space station Mir. His third spaceflight was a short duration visiting mission to the International Space Station, which also carried the first paying space tourist Dennis Tito.

Dennis Anthony Tito is an Italian American engineer and multimillionaire, most widely known as the first space tourist to fund his own trip into space. In mid-2001, he spent nearly eight days in orbit as a crew member of ISS EP-1, a visiting mission to the International Space Station. This mission was launched by the spacecraft Soyuz TM-32, and was landed by Soyuz TM-31.

“You are not a baby. I am not a babysitter. I am commander. You are 'first cosmonaut tourist,' an 'engineer in education.' It is very important for mankind”, Newsweek quoted Talgat Musabayev, cosmonaut commander, regards Dennis Tito, as saying in April 2001.

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