Greek in Space
Τι Greek in Space μού λες; Εδώ εμείς γυρίζουμε από τις μυριόχρονες διαπλανητικές μας βόλτες.

The first ever astronaut of Greek descent, Fyodor Yurchikhin, made an official visit to Athens last January, presenting president Kostis Stefanopoulos the Greek flag he had carried into space during an 11-day US-Russian assembly mission on board the Atlantis.

The mission to the International Space Station was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on 7 October.

Fyodor Yurchikhin - Greek in SpaceGreek newspapers dubbed the 44-year-old astronaut "Gagarin," after his hero, first Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin. Yurchikhin, was the specialist representing the Russian Space Agency on the mission. While onboard, he spoke by phone in the Pontian dialect with his mother Mikrula Yurchikhina, who has been living in Thessaloniki for 10 years, married to Nikolai Yurchikhin- both Greek citizens of Russian-Pontian origin.

The astronaut was born in Batumi, capital of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara in Georgia and home to many Greeks. He now lives in Moscow.

After graduating from the Moscow Aviation Institution in 1983 as an engineer specializing in airspace vehicles, he worked at the Russian Space Corporation Energia until August 1997. Eventually, he became a lead engineer for Shuttle-Mir and Nasa-Mir programs. Then, in pursuit of his teenage dream, he enrolled in RSC Energia as a cosmonaut candidate.

When one of his high school teachers once asked him what he wanted to be, he apparently replied: "I will be a goalkeeper in the Soviet football team." When the teacher responded that this was not a profession, he quickly retorted: "Oh, ok, I will be a cosmonaut."

During his visit to Athens, Yurchikhin asked Greece to sponsor him to be the crew member on a Russian spacecraft flight to take off on the eve, or at the start of the 2004 Olympic Games, while foreign minister George Papandreou invited him to sign up for Greece's Olympic Truce peace initiative.

Michalis Drakakis

Από το


Ἐν ἀρχῄ ἤν τό Χάος…

Ο άλλος λέει ότι τα UFO
είναι οι πανάρχαιοι Ελληνες
που γυρίζουν από τα διαπλανητικά τους ταξίδια…


…καί ἐγένετο blog!