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  Soyuz TMA-9: Spaceflight participant Anousheh Ansari's personal mission patch (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   Soyuz TMA-9: Spaceflight participant Anousheh Ansari's personal mission patch
Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-30-2006 01:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Soyuz TMA-9 spaceflight participant Anousheh Ansari's personal mission patch and choice of flags has caught the attention of the media:

  • Deutsche Presse Agentur
    Amid rising tensions between the United States and Iran, their flags will fly side by side to the International Space Station in mid-September, the world's first woman space tourist Anousheh Ansari said Wednesday. The 39-year-old businesswoman spent the first 16 years of her life in Tehran before emigrating to the US, and will carry a joint tribute to her origins on her flight suit during a ten-day trip to the ISS.

    "That's why both countries are on here," she said at the Gagarin cosmonaut training facility at Star City by Moscow.

  • CBS News
    "I was born in Iran, and I have sentimental attachment to that country," Ansari says. "But if it wasn't for all the opportunities and education I received in the United States, I wouldn't be here today." Ansari, who emigrated to America when she was 14, was educated at George Mason University in Virginia and George Washington University in Washington.

    She's acknowledging her roots by wearing two flag patches on the sleeves of her flight suit -- one American, one Iranian.

  • Associated Press
    Dressed in civilian clothes, Ansari said she had worn shoulder patches with the U.S. flag and a flag with Iranian colors at a recent appearance because "both countries had something to do with the person I am today." Ansari moved to the United States when she was 16 years old.

    "I feel very close to the Iranian people and the culture of the country," she said.

On her website, Ansari uses the title "First Space Ambassador", hinting at her stated desire to use her flight to inspire positive images of the Middle East among Westerners.

Though she will be the first space explorer of Iranian descent, her Iranian flags will not be the first to have flown to orbit... or beyond.

In 1969, and again in 1972, Iranian flags were carried aboard U.S. Apollo spacecraft to the Moon and were later presented to the nation with a small sample of lunar material as goodwill gifts.

Mike Z
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posted 08-30-2006 06:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike Z   Click Here to Email Mike Z     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Who made her patch?

Moonpaws
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posted 08-30-2006 08:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moonpaws   Click Here to Email Moonpaws     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Considering our country's current relationship with Iran, I believe it was a poor choice on her part to position the two flags as such.

John K. Rochester
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posted 08-31-2006 06:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for John K. Rochester   Click Here to Email John K. Rochester     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In which way should the flags have been positioned... Iranian flag first, on the bottom, not at all? It's her flight, she is proud to be of Iranian descent and for her to display both of the countries flags that patterned her life should be admired, not criticized. Let's leave politics off the flight, shall we?

spaceflori
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posted 08-31-2006 08:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceflori   Click Here to Email spaceflori     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Without getting into politics that much, you can't identify the political Iran with the people - many people there and all over the world are ashamed of what's going on there.

So, yes, I think it is absolutely great to have the Iranian flag along with the US on a spaceflight mission, which better way can there be to unite people all over the world - isn't that the idea of the ISS anyway?

My 2 cents
Florian

Moonpaws
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posted 08-31-2006 08:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moonpaws   Click Here to Email Moonpaws     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Certainly not merged together as it is now.

A.Pelago
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posted 08-31-2006 09:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for A.Pelago     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are thousands of Iranians (or Persians, as many identify themselves) living in the US, Canada and western Europe and whilst all are likely proud Iranians, very few of them support the current government there - if they did, they'd likely still be living in Iran! Don't forget that before the revolution, for better or for worse the US was a steadfast ally of Iran.

Please also note that the flag on the patch is not the current Iranian flag at all. The current flag contains Arabic script and a central emblem symoblising Allah. This patch contains neither (nor does it contain the pre-revolutionary symbol). Instead, the patch bears only the country's colours and as such can truly be taken to represent the people and not be a form of political statement.

I believe Ansari's decision to have both her homeland's flag and her adopted land's flags entwined is excellent. Please don't confuse the people with the government of any country.

Richard
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posted 08-31-2006 10:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard   Click Here to Email Richard     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Was the Iranian flag changed after the revolution?

A.Pelago
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posted 08-31-2006 10:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for A.Pelago     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The flag was changed after the revolution. The three bands and the colours remained the same. The pre-revolutionary flag had - as a central symbol - a lion carrying a sword. This is often referred to as the Imperial flag. After the Islamic revolution, the lion was removed and replaced with a symbol representing Allah. There is also an Arabic inscription along the bands which I believe is from the Koran.

You often see Iranians in the west waving the Imperial flag during soccer games or the like. They're proud to be Iranian...just not necessarily happy with the current government.

Many of the Iranians in Europe and North America today fled Iran because of the revolution. Anyone who had been involved in the pre-revolutionary government or who had strong connections with the west were ostracised at best or persecuted, imprisoned or killed at worst. The ones who fled often had first-rate educations and gave up excellent jobs and lifetsyles in Iran to come here and do menial jobs and start all over again from scratch.

And no, I'm not Iranian!

KAPTEC
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posted 08-31-2006 10:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KAPTEC   Click Here to Email KAPTEC     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Guys, do not forget that the flags represents countries, NOT governments...

I think it has been a great idea to put both flags in her patch (as always had made all non-American astronauts). They are her countries.

And yes, the flag was changed after the 1979 revolution. Look first here and after, here.

Dave Clow
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posted 08-31-2006 03:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dave Clow   Click Here to Email Dave Clow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Luckily for those of us on the surface, earth orbit has been a place for peacemaking and reconciliation. I find her patch design to be an inspiring and optimistic choice.

Moonpaws
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posted 08-31-2006 08:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moonpaws   Click Here to Email Moonpaws     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am very comfortable with the fact that I can disagree with others but respect their
opinions at the same time (without sarcasm).

But perhaps someone can answer this question: Where do we draw the line in regard to other flags? Here's a scenario:

Let's say there is a business person from the south who wants to pay for a mission. They would like to merge the US flag with a confederate flag. What would you tell them? Would you tell them that it was not ok because the south (in your opinion) represented an oppressive government, or would you tell them it was ok because the flag just represented the people of the south and not the government? If it was not ok in your opinion, then would it be fair that you have implied that they have no right to be proud of their southern heritage?

KSCartist
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posted 09-01-2006 06:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well made point. But let me mention that she left Iran about the time the Shah was deposed and the Ayatollah took over. The Iran of her childhood was a friend and ally of the US. She is obviously proud of her heritage and she has that right.

Now if your imagined southern astronaut is a descendant of the Confederacy he or she would have the right to put the "Stars and Bars" on their patch. They would also have to understand that those who are descendants of people who didn't enjoy life under the Confederate Flag would take offense as you have with Ansari.

Tim

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 09-01-2006 07:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why all this discussion over the Iran patch? How come no one made a similar discussion over Shuttleworth's South African flag patch? I mean, if you want to really play devil's advocate, if you want to forbid the wearing of patches because the country represents an "opressive government," then an argument can be made that NO flag patches would have been flown in space....

(And on first glance, I would have though that the other flag on the patch was either the Italian or Mexican flag, just strangely mounted sideways...)

A.Pelago
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posted 09-01-2006 08:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for A.Pelago     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ah, but Shuttleworth's South African flag patch was the 'new' Mandela-era South African flag - not the Apartheid-era one!

I understand what Moonpaws is saying, and there was indeed a controversy when Confederate flags were apparently flown into space as souvenirs. However, in my opinion the objection to Ansari's flag is misplaced as it is in no way representative of the current Teheran government.

KAPTEC
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posted 09-01-2006 07:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KAPTEC   Click Here to Email KAPTEC     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I want to insist: the flag of a country represent its people, NOT its government. Please, look the European flags (usually the oldest in the world) and they have not changed along the time, many exceptions, I know.

I know, also, that the Confederate Flag is very important to many people in the US but... anyone of you has been prosecuted anytime or anyway for using it?

Remember, please, that freedom is (or must be) the first option of mankind... but Muslims' world, many times, forget it. I would like that all of you understand me, Muslims included, but I know it's very, very difficult talking about this matter...

This is my opinion. Regards for all of you.

Moonpaws
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posted 09-01-2006 11:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moonpaws   Click Here to Email Moonpaws     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's been a long time since I took logic in college. There are different rules of logic. For example, here's one: the fallacy of deductive argument. Essentially it is that the truth of your argument is based on your premises. To say that the flag represents only the people and not the government is a faulty premise. To base one's argument on a faulty premise leads to a fallacious conclusion. Please note that I never said that I disliked Iranian people, in fact, I feel quite opposite. It amazes me that some would interpret my use of "poor choice" as either mean spirited, prejudice, or other. Sometimes people hear what they want to hear.

If you are ready to wave the flag, then you must be willing to accept some responsibility for what that flag represents. To say that the flag represents only "good Iranian people" just doesn't hold water. In fact, water rushes out of it like the Niagra. Do the Iranian people offend me, No! Does it offend me to hear a man who leads this nation publicly state that he wants Israel destroyed?

I believe this discussion has merit in regard to the topic and I would hope censoring would not come in to play.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-01-2006 11:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Moonpaws:
I believe this discussion has merit in regard to the topic and I would hope censoring would not come in to play.
I began this thread with the full knowledge that it would border on political issues. I've tried to stay out of the discussion so long as it remained focused on the question of the patches and not the politics between nations (or internal to a nation). So long as it continues as it has to date, I see no reason that I need to become involved however I ask that everyone to keep in mind that general political discussion is not appropriate for this forum.

John K. Rochester
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posted 09-02-2006 10:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for John K. Rochester   Click Here to Email John K. Rochester     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Moonpaws:
If you are ready to wave the flag, then you must be willing to accept some responsibility for what that flag represents.
Then by that logic the Stars and Stripes of the US has in the past (and some would say in the present as well) represented some extremely reprehensible actions, deeds and ideas. Yet we all continue to salute it, wave it and honor it every day. It's on all of OUR astronauts garb. Let's ask Guion Bluford or Winston Scott if their fathers, mothers, grandfathers, grandmothers all were welcomed with open arms everywhere that flag was flown.

I'm not saying that your opinion is wrong, because after all... it is an opinion. I just think it's an extremely benign item to be concerned about given the state of the world's affairs.

benguttery
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posted 09-04-2006 04:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for benguttery   Click Here to Email benguttery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Enough of the low-brow arguing... where can I get my patch? Ben

Jacques van Oene
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posted 09-05-2006 04:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jacques van Oene     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by benguttery:
Enough of the low-brow arguing... where can I get my patch? Ben

Sorry to say that NO original patches are available as of today...

Perhaps in a couple of days there will be some poor remakes, but a real collector does not what those, so we have to do it without a patch until one shows up on eBay in the near future...

----
Jacques
www.spacepatches.nl

FFrench
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posted 09-05-2006 01:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't normally read the patches forum, but this was an interesting thread...

...reminded me of some thoughts I had on July 4th. While it is a completely different set of circumstances (the spacefarer representing their country, not paying for their own flight), there was something a little ironic about Piers Sellers, British-born astronaut, joining in the flag-waving and commenting about July 4th being a great day to launch... considering why July 4th is celebrated! Something very nice about it too... we can rise above these things.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-14-2006 09:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It appears that Mrs. Ansari won't be allowed to wear the Iranian flag on her arm and her personal patch may be changing, her husband and brother-in-law tell WFAA-TV:
...both men said Anousheh is disappointed that both NASA and Russian officials not only forbid her to wear the Iranian patch, but also argued they want her to cover up the Iranian colors on her personal patch that displays the American colors as well.

...with tensions high in Iran over their nuclear program, Ansari won't be able to wear the Iran flag.

As for the Iranian colors on her personal patch, that's still up in the air.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-17-2006 10:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In addition to not wearing the flag on her sleeve, Mrs. Ansari's personal patch has been changed to omit Iran's colors:

During a press conference held earlier today, Ansari was quoted by the Associated Press as saying about the patch: "I wasn't trying to make a political statement, just a personal statement."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-17-2006 12:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Anousheh Ansari has been keeping a blog that she plans to continue updating once in orbit (in just a few short hours).

In an entry dated Sept. 16 @ 5:07 p.m., Mrs. Ansari wrote about her plans to attend the X Prize Cup in New Mexico next month:

I wanted to let you all know that I will be at the X Prize Cup event in Las Cruces New Mexico October 20-21. You will see me roaming around and spending a lot of time in the children's tent. That's where I spent a lot of time last year. They have cool simulators and I'm a kid at heart so I stood in line with the 12- and 13-year-olds to play with the simulators.
She goes on to describe her involvement in the X Prize and what the Cup has to offer this year. She closes her post with the following:
If you see me around, come and say "Hi" and tell me that you read this blog and I will give you my autographed personal patch.
So there you have it: go to New Mexico, meet Ansari and get her autographed personal patch...

Jacques van Oene
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posted 09-18-2006 05:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jacques van Oene     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well as it turns out, as you can see on my site (spacepatches.nl), Ansari only removed the green top colour of the Iranian flag on her personal patch, the red colour is still there...

Danno
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posted 09-18-2006 05:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Danno   Click Here to Email Danno     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If I were her I'd take a green sharpie with me and fix the patch when I got to orbit.

Pay $20M for a flight and I can't wear patch that shows the flag of the country I was born in? What a load of crap!

mjanovec
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posted 09-18-2006 05:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the end, it seems kind of silly to not allow her to wear the colors of the Iranian flag. By forbidding them on the flight, they are allowing politics to be taken into space. Granted, a good deal of the initial space race was politically based...but it would be nice to think we're beyond that now.

The way I see it, if she had been allowed to wear the Iranian colors, she would have given Iranians something more to have pride in. Also, it doesn't help win any Iranian hearts and minds if we ban their flag from an international mission to the ISS.

Besides, if we really wanted to give the middle finger to the government of Iran (not that I'm saying we should do so ), I can't think of anything better than to allow an Iranian-American woman to fly into space wearing the colors of the Iranian flag merged with an American flag. Can you think of anything the current Iranian government would like less?

Dave Clow
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posted 09-18-2006 11:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dave Clow   Click Here to Email Dave Clow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What a tragic missed opportunuty. Iran is a very young nation, demographically, and I suspect there was an opportunity here to inspire millions of kids with something that should have transcended nationalism.

John K. Rochester
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posted 09-19-2006 06:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for John K. Rochester   Click Here to Email John K. Rochester     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just one more case of PC bull... Who exactly was being hurt by the tiny flag upon her personal patch?

Scott
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posted 09-19-2006 08:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jacques van Oene:
Ansari only removed the green top colour of the Iranian flag on her personal patch, the red colour is still there...
It appears as though the green was painted over because you can still see some of it showing through.

Moonpaws
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posted 09-19-2006 09:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moonpaws   Click Here to Email Moonpaws     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I guess we'll just have to write Michael Griffin and demand that the agency get it right. They just seem incapable of accomplishing anything.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-19-2006 10:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree that the change to Ansari's patch shouldn't have been forced. Based on all reports, this wasn't NASA's decision alone but equally demanded of by Roscosmos.

Frank
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posted 09-19-2006 05:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Frank   Click Here to Email Frank     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To be unpolitical, she should have eliminated the U.S. flag from her patch as well.

farthestreaches
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posted 09-19-2006 08:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for farthestreaches   Click Here to Email farthestreaches     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I do believe that Al Worden flew an Iranian flag to the moon aboard Apollo 15. In fact, I also believe it's still available for sale should anyone be interested.

------------------
Steve Hankow
http://www.farthestreaches.com

mjanovec
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posted 09-20-2006 12:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by farthestreaches:
I also believe it's still available for sale should anyone be interested.
There's a woman I know of who might be interested in buying it. But she's not on Earth right now.

KSCartist
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posted 09-20-2006 07:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I hope she just covered the green with "white-out". That way she can scrape it off and you know there would be a picture of her original patch online sometime.

What are they going to do, not cash her check? They can't threaten to not fly her again.

This should have been a PR coup for both Iran and America. Instead they denied this woman a chance to celebrate her heritage.

Danno said it best... it's a load of crap.

Tim

Scott
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posted 09-20-2006 08:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tim, it sure does look like white-out, doesn't it? I'll bet that it accidentally gets scratched or flaked off - no telling all the switches and other items a newbie astronaut bumps into while floating around up there - heh heh. Will be interesting to see what the patch looks like after landing.

ejectr
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posted 09-20-2006 10:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What an incredibly backward demand from supposedly futuristic and forward thinking people.

johntosullivan
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posted 09-21-2006 04:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for johntosullivan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I see that the patch also highlights the country of Iran on the map of the earth. How come they didn't demand that be obscured as well?


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