Space Cadet

by

Bob RedellLike every kid, it’s always been my dream to grow up to be Yuri Gagarin. But recently, that dream was crushed. When I heard that the Chabot Space and Science Center was moving its Russian Soyuz Space Capsule to the USS Hornet for display and restoration, I thought ‘Wow, this will be cool. I’ll get to hang out in a Russian space capsule.’

But it was so small, I was lucky I was not ‘hanging out’ of that thing.

Inside Russian Soyuz Space Capsule Bob Inside Capsule

It’s hard to imagine what it was like to be crammed in that steel ball with two other Cosmonauts for missions that sometimes lasted 4 days.

Russian Soyuz Space Capsule Soyuz Computer

The computers your life depended upon had less computing power than Pong.

And oh yeah, I’m told that during the first missions, Russia didn’t install…uh…What’s that thing called? Oh yeah – life support. So if you started hearing hssssss…. well, there was no putting on a space suit with its own oxygen supply. There were also explosives rigged behind each seat so when the capsule parachuted to Earth, the charges would shoot your seat forward to help absorb the impact. To me, that’s nuts. All I gotta say is: Cosmo…Not! On a side note: after we finished our live report, the capsule moving crew showed up…in bunny suits.

Capsule Moving Crew Arrives in Safety Suits

I was like ‘What’s with the bunny suits?’ ‘Uh – the lead paint and whatever else is in there.’ ‘Oh. Really?’ It’s not like I wanted to live ‘that’ long.

Bob Redell
NBC11 Reporter

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