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Russian Astronaut Will Take Gospels with Him on 'Tabor' Crew to International Space Station

( [email protected] ) Sep 04, 2016 10:18 AM EDT
Sergey Ryzhikov, an upcoming Russian member of the new International Space Station crew, said he is going to take "the Gospels, icons, letters from his relatives and stones from Mount Tabor" with him in the Sept. 23 trek. At a press conference this week in the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Ryzhikov also said the crew is called "Tabor" after the holy mount in Israel where Christ was supposed to transfigure 40 days before the crucifix.
Expedition 49 Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryzhikov of Roscosmos dons his Russian Sokol suit ahead of the Soyuz qualification exams with NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, on Aug. 31, 2016, at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) in Star City, Russia. Ryzhikov said he is taking the Gospels with him into his first space mission.

NASA/Bill Ingalls

Sergey Ryzhikov, an upcoming Russian member of the new International Space Station crew, said he is going to take "the Gospels, icons, letters from his relatives and stones from Mount Tabor" with him in the Sept. 23 trek. At a press conference this week in the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Ryzhikov also said the crew is called "Tabor" after the holy mount in Israel where Christ was supposed to transfigure 40 days before the crucifix

The launch of the piloted spaceship "Soyuz MS-02" will deliver the new crew to the ISS, with Ryzhikov as commander of the flight crew. The planned duration of the Soyuz MS-02 flight is 155 days, reports Interfax.

MS-02 will be the 131st flight of a Soyuz spacecraft.

Ryzhikov  will be joined by Russian cosmonaut Andrey Borisenko and U.S. astronaut Robert Shane Kimbrough for Expeditions 49 and 50. Kimbrough previously flew on the STS-126 shuttle mission in 2008.

According to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) records, 42-year-old Ryzhikov graduated from the Kacha Air Force Pilot School as pilot-engineer in 1996. He was awarded medals for distinguished military service of class 2 and 3, medal for military valor of class 2. He was selected as a test-cosmonaut candidate of the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center Cosmonaut Office in October of 2006 (cosmonauts group 14). When he finished basic space training in June 2009, he qualified as test-cosmonaut.

From 1996 till 1997, Ryzhikov served as a pilot of the training air regiment in Saratov Region; in 1997 as a senior pilot of the fighter air regiment in Tver Region; from 1997 till 2007 as a pilot, senior pilot, chief of an air flight, chief executive officer of the fighter air regiment in Chita Region. He is a retired major of the Russian Air Force, Class 2 military pilot.

Kimbrough, 41, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1989. A year later he served in Operation Desert Storm with the 24th Infantry Division as an attack helicopter platoon leader. In 1994 he was assigned to the 229th Aviation Regiment at Fort Bragg, N.C., where he commanded an Apache helicopter company. He earned a master of science degree from Georgia Tech in 1998 and taught math at West Point. He joined NASA at the Johnson Space Center in September 2000, and was selected as an astronaut four years later.

 

 

Tags : Gospels, Tabor, International Space station, Sergey Ryzhikov, Soyuz MS-02, ISS, ISS, Current Events, Shane Kimbrough, Robert Kimbrough, NASA, Orthodox Christian, Religion and Science, Russian Federal Space Agency