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  Did Yuri Gagarin ever meet a US astronaut?

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Author Topic:   Did Yuri Gagarin ever meet a US astronaut?
mensax
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From: Virginia
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posted 06-06-2006 05:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mensax   Click Here to Email mensax     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did Yuri Gagarin ever meet a U.S. astronaut? I don't recall ever seeing a photo of Gagarin with a US astronaut... Gagarin and Shepard perhaps?

Steve Procter
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From: Leeds, Yorkshire, UK
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posted 06-06-2006 05:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Steve Procter   Click Here to Email Steve Procter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've done some brief reading and can't find any record. Did a US astronaut attend Komarov's funeral (Borman)? If so did Gagarin attend - I assume he would have.

KSCartist
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From: Titusville, FL USA
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posted 06-06-2006 07:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think Tom Stafford mentioned this in his book, "We Have Capture" (Komarov's funeral). Of course I don't have it handy while I'm typing this.

Michael Cassutt
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From: Studio City CA USA
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posted 06-06-2006 09:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Michael Cassutt   Click Here to Email Michael Cassutt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Stafford attended the funeral of the Soyuz 11 cosmonauts in 1971. No American astronauts were invited to the Komarov funeral four years earlier... the Soviets insisted it was an "internal" matter.

Titov met an American astronaut or two on his world tours, but I don't have any memory of Gagarin meeting one.

Steve Procter
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From: Leeds, Yorkshire, UK
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posted 06-06-2006 09:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Steve Procter   Click Here to Email Steve Procter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did Gagarin actually visit the USA? According to one piece I read there was a possibility of him coming to New York in March 1962 (to the UN). It appears in the end only Titov came, Gagarin instead visiting Austria and Japan.

In October 1963 along with Kamanin it seems he travelled to Cuba (to join Tereshkova who was already there)and then according to the list of countries - Mexico, USA, Canada,UK and East Germany.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-06-2006 10:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA photo 65-H-1123
Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin shakes hand with NASA's Gemini 4 astronauts, Edward H. White II and James A. McDivitt at the Paris International Air Show in June 1965. This first meeting between Gagarin and the Gemini 4 astronauts occurred shortly after the completion of the Gemini 4 mission, where White performed the first American EVA. Yuri Gagarin achieved fame as the first human to fly in space, as well as orbit Earth. Also shown in the picture (seated) are Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey and (standing) French Premier Georges Pompidou.

gliderpilotuk
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posted 06-06-2006 02:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've long wondered what this occasion was: Armstrong in Red Square with Beregovoy (Soyuz 3). No idea of the date, i.e. before or after Armstrong and Beregovoy flew, or whether this was just a courtesy visit some time after '69.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-06-2006 02:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
James Hansen's First Man provides the answer on pages 582-84:
In May 1970, Armstrong traveled to the Soviet Union, as only the second American astronaut to make an official visit...

Serving as his hosts were Georgy T. Beregovoy and Konstantin P. Feoktistov, the cosmonauts whose goodwill visit to America came two months after Apollo 11.

mensax
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From: Virginia
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posted 06-06-2006 04:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mensax   Click Here to Email mensax     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So, I guess we can assume that the first Russian into space never met the first American? It would seem that they would each have wanted such a meeting.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-06-2006 04:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No, Shepard, nor any of the Mercury astronauts (to my knowledge) ever met Gagarin. While the individual space explorers may have enjoyed the meeting, their nations were more reserved. From NASA SP-4209 The Partnership: A History of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project:
In the dozen years that had followed Yuri Gagarin's flight, the astronauts and cosmonauts had met a number of times. But these first meetings had been shadowed by the cold war. John Glenn and Gherman Titov had been the first rival spacemen to meet and exchange views, at the May 1962 COSPAR gathering in Washington. After the two men and their wives toured the capital and made a social call on President Kennedy at the White House, the space travelers held a news conference. Titov was circumspect in answering questions about his Vostok craft and would discuss space cooperation only in the context of disarmament.

Three years passed before the next meeting. In June 1965, a very cool handshake was exchanged by three Americans - Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, astronauts James A. McDivitt, and Edward H. White - and Yuri Gagarin. This encounter at a Paris Air Show luncheon took place after a formal meeting between these men had failed to materialize. In September of the same year, Gordon Cooper and Pete Conrad had a much warmer conversation with Leonov and Belyayev at an international meeting in Athens. As they exchanged lapel pins, the men agreed that they would have to meet again and compare notes about space flight.

As the years passed, the cosmonauts and astronauts began to socialize more freely...

Ken Havekotte
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From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
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posted 06-06-2006 05:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Most of the Gemini flyers, along with some Mercury guys, did meet with Russian cosmonauts throughout the the mid-1960s, as Grissom reported in 1966. Many of these astronauts did meet with their counterparts in space that included Gagarin, Belyayev, Leonov and a few others.

Grissom said those meetings were always friendly, and during a visit to the 16th International Astronautical Congress in Athens, Greece, Cooper and Belyayev traded the wrist-watches they'd worn on their first space trips (but from Cooper's second flight).

Duke Of URL
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posted 06-21-2006 03:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Duke Of URL   Click Here to Email Duke Of URL     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I read a story someplace about John Glenn nearly setting his garage on fire trying to start a barbeque for Titov. Titov found this enormously amusing, and he might have fit in with a few American astronauts quite well because he was something of a Wild Man.

It seems to me that some other astronauts would have been around. Maybe Scott Carpenter?

FFrench
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posted 06-21-2006 04:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was a very spur-of-the-moment event, as Titov asked Glenn off the cuff, meaning a huge protocol scramble to get it all together in time. Glenn and Paul Haney were there, and Al Shepard had a hand in bringing Titov over, Glenn has said, and stayed for the event, but I haven't heard of others mentioned that I can recall.

KC Stoever
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posted 06-27-2006 10:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KC Stoever   Click Here to Email KC Stoever     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Carpenter never had a chance to meet Gagarin. But he visited the Soviet Union, and later Russia, on a number of occasions, the first time in 1972 or 1973, with detente in first bloom, under President Nixon, traveling George Nissen's U.S. trampoline team as goodwill ambassador.

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