Star City, Russia

I remember October 4, 1957 when Sputnik was launched. It was a profound shock to people in the United States and the space race was born. One of the consequences of Sputnik was an increased emphasis on math and science in American schools. In Dallas, the school day was permanently lengthened one hour to help American students catch up. It has also been my pleasure to met astronauts James Lovell of Apollo 13 fame, who autographed my membership certificate when I joined the Circumnavigators Club in 1989, and Senator John Glenn. So it was a special thrill to get to visit Star City with 14 fellow Circumnavigators. Star City was so secret during the Cold War that it did not appear on any maps. Scientists and cosmonauts lived and worked in a secluded environment.

We saw the working simulator of the Mir Space Station, the hydrolab for weightless training, space food, etc. One of the highlights of the visit was lunch with an American Astronaut Ken Cockrell and Russian Cosmonaut Valery Korzun. Ken is a fellow graduate of the University of Texas and I recognized him from the photos I had seen in the alumni magazine. He is very professional and thoughtful. Valery is a very charming man and an excellent representative for the cosmonauts. He has spent over a year in space. We also spoke with 3 other American astronauts and observed 3 Japanese astronauts training.

Star City Entrance Entrance to the one-time super secret Star City on the outside of Moscow. Mir Spac eStation Visitors and tourists view Mir Space Station Simulator.
German Group Group of German students visiting Mir. Note briefing room on second floor. Circum Group Fellow Circumnavigators with Russian Colonel and red-headed Sasha, our wonderful tour manager.
Food Products Russian Colonel explains space food and other details. Group Questions Circumnavigators asked him many questions. Shasha was an excellent interperter.
Japanese Training1 Japanese training in one of the Mir modules. Instrumentation seems old fashioned. Japanese Training In Japan, as in Mir modules, you take your shoes off before entering.
Astronauts We spoke to 3 American astronauts training in Star City. Nice guys! Parrish Cosmonaut Astronaut I'm photographed with Cosmonaut Valery Korzun and Astronaut Ken Cockrell.