Press Release

Condolences: Space Shuttle Columbia Tragedy Moscow, Russia

By SpaceRef Editor
February 5, 2003
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On February 4, 2003, Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Anne Chermak, accompanied by the Embassy’s NASA representative, Phil Cleary, received two veteran cosmonauts at U.S. Embassy Moscow. Vitaliy Sevastyanov is Duma Deputy and member of the Duma International Affairs Committee, and Andrian Nikolayev was the third Soviet in space. Both recounted fondly their visits to the Johnson Space Center and touring 17 U.S. cities with Buzz Aldrin and Neal Armstrong. Mr. Sevastyanov knew Columbia shuttle astronaut Rick Husband personally. Both expressed their deepest condolences over the tragedy, and the hope that the space program will continue. The two cosmonauts were followed by the South African Ambassador, who told Ms. Chermak and Mr. Cleary that this was not just a loss for the United States and Israel, but for the whole world.

Standing left to right: Andrian Nikolayev, Phil Cleary, and Anne Chermak. Vitaliy Sevastyanov signs condolence book.

SpaceRef staff editor.