Name: Sergei Konstantinovich Krikalev
Moniker: Special K
Age: 42
Family: Married, one daughter (Olga, 10)
Past life: Champion aerobatic pilot
Previous spaceflights: Two long-duration missions on Mir; two shuttle missions for a total of more than 15 months in orbit
Orbital oddity: Krikalev was aboard Mir when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. After an extended 10-month mission, he landed in the newly independent country of Kazakhstan, wearing an obsolete CCCP insignia on his flight suit.
Claim to fame: First Russian to fly on the U.S. space shuttle
Taking along: Pictures of family and friends, but plans to read and listen to whatever is aboard
Wish for space partnership: Better mutual understanding. “Sometimes people are pointing to each other and making simple mistakes. For me, being in the middle, I see that we have problems on both U.S. and Russian sides, but very frequently one side only wants to see only one point of view.”
Affiliation: Humanity. “The farther you travel, the more you feel kind of part of a big group of people, and traveling outside of Earth I remember this feeling, being part of mankind. We represent not only our hometown, or even our countries in space. It’s more like an international adventure.”
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