Fifty two years ago today, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first artificial satellite.
Fifty two years later, the Soviet Union is no more, but an international crew including Canadian and European astronauts along with Russians and Americans serve on the International Space Station. Earlier in the week, Guy Laliberte, the first Canadian space tourist, founder of the Cirque du Soleil, arrived at the ISS on a Soyuz spacecraft launched from Baikonur. Canadian astronaut Robert Thirsk and the other members of Expedition 20 were on hand to greet Laliberte on his arrival.
I am waiting for the concert which Laliberte's One Drop Foundation plans later this week.
Above image: The current crew members of the ISS gathered in the Zvezda service module for a conference with family members and representatives on the ground. The crew encompass Expeditions 20, 21, and 22. From left to right, my best guess as to who's who based on their biography photos: Flight Engineer Roman Romenko, Flight Engineer Nicole Stott, Flight Engineer Frank de Winne (Expedition 21 Commander), Flight Engineer Michael Barratt, Spaceflight Participant Guy Laliberte in the foreground, Flight Engineer Robert Thirsk, Flight Engineer Maxim Suryaev, Expedition 20 Commander Gennady Padalka, Flight Engineer Jeff Williams (Expedition 22 Commander). Photo Credit: NASA TV