Name: Yuri Pavlovich Gidzenko
Age: 38
Family: Married, two sons (Sergei, 14, and Sasha, 11)
Past life: Lieutenant colonel in the Russian air force
Extra credit: Moscow State University degrees in land surveying and cartography
Likes: Jumping out of airplanes—he has made 145 parachute jumps—and team sports
Previous spaceflights: Commander of one Mir mission lasting 179 days
Landed post: After 1996 squabble over who would command the Expedition 1 crew, Gidzenko replaced a Russian cosmonaut who refused to fly under American Commander William Shepherd.
Flexibility: “I didn’t see any difference [whether an American or a Russian was the commander]. When I was a Mir space station crew member, I was the commander. I can give or take orders. It is not difficult to be with Shep.”
Risky business: “I don’t consider my job dangerous. There are a lot more dangerous professions on the ground . . . like being a truck driver.”
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