Cosmonauts Prepare Gifts For The Russian And US Presidents

The first crew to visit the International Space Station (ISS) has prepared gifts for Russian and US presidents Vladimir Putin and George Bush. Crew commander Talgat Musabayev told this a press-conference in Stellar Town devoted to the flight aboard the spaceship Soyuz TM-31. He refused to tell the press about these gifts, because "they should come as a surprise, if an opportunity to meet the heads of state offers itself". Touching on scientific experiments, Musabayev noted that the crew had managed to fulfil three programs: the Russian, the Kazakh and the joint (Russia and the FRG) ones. The last one referred to staging an experiment called "the plasma crystal". In his words, the crew managed to take photographs under the Kazakh program: there were practically no clouds over Kazakhstan and all the planned areas were photographed in full. As to the program of taking pictures of the ocean, it was 99% covered with clouds. Dennis Tito "did not prevent us from us working, on the contrary, he helped us", said Yuri Baturin. Among US astronauts, Dennis Titov (this is how he was called in Russian) was the first to land on a Russian spaceship in Kazakhstan, noted Baturin. In this way, he can be considered the first cosmonaut among US astronauts, said Baturin. (kul/kaf)

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