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The Ride Of Your Life
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Faster than a speeding bullet: Astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders lifted off atop a powerful Saturn 5 rocket in December 21 1968 to fly Apollo 8 to the Moon. They orbited the Moon ten times, then headed back to Earth where they plunged into the atmosphere at 24,696 miles per hour, a speed no human had reached before.
First to change horses in mid stream: Vladimir Shatalov in January 1969 flew in Soyuz 4 while Boris Volynov, Alexei Yeliseyev and Yevgeny Khrunov went to space in Soyuz 5. They met in space and Yeliseyev and Khrunov left Soyuz 5 in spacesuits. They pulled themselves along handrails into the Soyuz 4 airlock, to fly home with Shatalov in Soyuz 4. Volynov flew down to Earth in Soyuz 5.
First to splash in the Pacific: Wally Schirra, in the Mercury capsule Sigma 7, spent nine hours in space in October 1962, then splashed down in the Pacific Ocean within five miles of his target site.
First space taxicab: Leonid Kizim and Vladimir Solovyev flew in March 1986 in Soyuz T-15 to Mir to check-out the new third-generation station. In what the USSR called the first "space taxicab," Kizim and Solovyev left Mir in Soyuz T-15 May 5, cruised through space to the four-year-old second-generation station Salyut 7, docked and entered. They mothballed Salyut 7, leaving it parked in orbit near Mir, then flew back to Mir June 26 in Soyuz T-15.
Longest ride in a Moon car: Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt in 1972 drove their lunar rover a total of 21 miles at speeds up to nine mph.
Rode the most spaceships: John Young flew to space six times: in Gemini 3 in 1965, Gemini 10 in 1966, Apollo 10 in 1969, Apollo 16 to land on the Moon in 1972, the maiden voyage of shuttle Columbia in 1981, and Columbia again in 1983.
First international meeting in space: Thomas Stafford, Vance Brand and Deke Slayton flew Apollo 18 to orbit July 15, 1975, to meet Alexei Leonov and Valeri Kubasov who blasted off the same day in Soyuz 19. The Americans docked Apollo 18 with Soyuz 19, then the five men did experiments, shared meals and held a news conference.
First musical chairs: Vladimir Dzhanibekov and Oleg Makarov flew in January 1978 to Salyut 6 station in Soyuz 27 for a six-day visit with the resident crew, Georgi Grechko and Yuri Romanenko, who had flown to the station in Soyuz 26 in December 1977. When it came time for Dzhanibekov and Makarov to leave for home, they switched their individually-contoured seats from Soyuz 27 to Soyuz 26 for the flight home, leaving Soyuz 27 behind for use by the resident crew.
Longest non-Soviet cosmonaut flight: Frenchman Jean-Loup Chretien's 25 days at Mir set a record in November-December 1988 for a non-USSR cosmonaut stay at a USSR space station.
First human satellites: Bruce McCandless II and Robert L. Stewart flew free as the first human satellites during U.S. shuttle Challenger flight STS-41B launched February 3, 1984. STS-41B was the first use of a Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) backpack for untethered spacewalking.
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