July 9, 1995 in Nation/World

‘Whining’ Shocks Mir Cosmonauts

Associated Press

Russian cosmonauts were shocked by U.S. astronaut Norman Thagard’s “whining” about life aboard the Mir space station, a newspaper said Saturday.

In interviews from space during his nearly four-month voyage aboard the Russian orbiter, Thagard said the food was dull and that it was bother-some to record every meal for doctors on the ground.

He also complained that he heard hardly any world news, was lonely without his family and, while fluent in Russian, was unable to talk to anyone in English.

“The cosmonauts regret Norman Thagard’s scandalous interviews,” said the influential daily newspaper Izvestia. “The common assessment was that he had been whining.”

The newspaper said Russian space officials saw that the 115-day flight had become difficult for Thagard during televised interviews with the crew, when the astronaut appeared passive and reluctant to speak.

“However, it was hardly reasonable for Mission Control to switch into English,” it said. “And, it was impossible to set a separate table for the American.”

Thagard blasted off into space on a Russian Soyuz rocket from Kazakhstan on March 14 with cosmonauts Vladimir Dezhurov and Gennady Strekalov.

The three returned to Earth on Friday aboard the Atlantis space shuttle.

© Copyright 1995 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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