icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Being “The Astronaut’s Wife”

Being “The Astronaut’s Wife”
A mission honoring the 50th anniversary of mankind's first journey to space is set to depart for the International Space Station at 02:18 Moscow time (22:18 GMT).

The Russian-American crew will blast off from the same launch site that propelled Yury Gagarin into space. Their spaceship will be carrying an image of Yury Gagarin. As the Soyuz TMA-21 crew gears up for takeoff, RT met up with the spacemen’s wives to learn how they are preparing for six months of separation.The three Soyuz TMA-21 crew members are readying themselves for their mission to the International Space Station. Tuesday morning’s launch will honor Soviet cosmonaut Yury Gagarin, who 50 years ago this month became the first man in space. “When I was in kindergarten, they gave us a play rocket,” cosmonaut Aleksandr Samokutyaev recalls smiling. “I spent all my time inside and I wouldn’t let other kids get in there. Since then, they started calling me Gagarin.”Preparations have been intense, both for the crew and the Soyuz rocket. Any cosmonaut can attest to the arduous process.“Working and training was so hard that sometimes, we fell asleep behind our desks,”Oleg Artetyev, test cosmonaut from the training center, told RT. “We had to take many exams and sometimes we had to repeat those exams.”But now there are much tougher days ahead for their families. Far from the frenzy and the glare of camera lights, the “better halves” of the astronauts have been going through preparations of their own – albeit, more personal ones.“It’s really hard to explain the wave of emotions I’ve been feeling: worry, anxiety and pride,” said Oksana Samokutyaeva, wife of Aleksandr Samokutyaev. “I’m very proud of him. He, on the other hand, held his own. He showed no emotions. I was more worried and excited. He took our photographs with him – those that show us and our daughter Nastya.”Ever since the official confirmation that their husbands would be going into space, every little thing becomes a memento for their wives.“I am wearing my husband’s pullover,” confessed Zoya Borisenko, wife of Andrey Borisenko. “It’s warming me so I can feel closeness and unity with my husband. Here, all the wives wear their husbands’ clothes.”A close bond has formed among the women.Carmel Garan, wife of NASA astronaut Ron Garan, gave Oksana and Zoya a bracelet as a symbol of unity.“We are going to be as united as our husbands have become,” adds Oksana Samokutyaeva.Because for six months these women and their husbands are literally going to be worlds apart.

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.