‘The Backup Boys’!  The dream is still alive!  So great to see my friend Anton on his way to the Space Station!  Watching the Soyuz launch with Anton in command of the spaceship and with Satoshi watching the launch from onboard the Space Station was a surreal moment.  The weather at the Baikonur Cosmodrome is always ‘sporty’, and it looks like this launch was no different.  I was so happy to witness a childhood dream become reality!

Anton Shkaplerov, Satoshi Furukawa and I composed the backup crew for the launch of Expedition 23 in December of 2009.  Just prior to that launch, we posed for this photo as ‘The Backup Boys’…

Ad Astra per Aspera!

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"Man must rise above the Earth—to the top of the atmosphere and beyond—for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives."    — Socrates