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Brazil’s First Astronaut Celebrates Brazilian Aviation’s Father

A new, two-man crew of the International Space Station (ISS) and a Brazilian astronaut were greeted by the current crew on the ISS on Saturday, April 1st, when they arrived at the space station after two days of hurtling in space.

The Soyuz TMA-8 ship carrying Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov, U.S. astronaut Jeffrey Williams and Brazilian astronaut Marcos Pontes docked with the ISS two days after it streaked into the sky over the Central Asian steppe. They brought a fresh load of supplies, equipment and experiments.

Pontes, Brazil’s first astronaut, entered the orbiting laboratory first, followed by Vinogradov and Williams, after the hatches between the spacecraft and station were opened more than one and a half hours after the docking.

At the Mission Control outside Moscow, families of the astronauts and space officials offered their congratulations as the astronauts from the spaceship and space station greeted one another.

Dozens of Brazilian, American and Russian officials fell into hushed silence at Russia’s Mission Control Center in Korolyov, outside Moscow, as the capsule neared the station, then broke into applause when contact was made.

"Well, gentlemen, I congratulate you," a Mission Control announcer said.

"This is the international space station. The train does not go any further, please leave the cars," he said, imitating the announcement made at the end of each line on the Moscow subway system.

Cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov and astronaut Jeffrey Williams, who will replace the current crew for six months on the orbiting station, were joined on the trip by Brazil’s first man in space, Marcos C. Pontes, who will return to Earth on April 9.

Marcos Pontes, Brazil’s first astronaut, has won the global attention that he feels his country deserved a century ago.

Pontes, who docked with Russian Cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov and U.S. astronaut Jeffrey Williams at the international space station on Saturday, dedicated his flight to the memory of Brazilian inventor and aviator Alberto Santos Dumont, who is called Aviation’s Father in Brazil.

Pontes planned to take with him a Panama hat used by Santos Dumont, the Brazilian who as all schoolchildren here learn was said to have invented the airplane but didn’t get credit for it.

"At the moment of takeoff, I want to recall that 100 years ago another Brazilian took off, also outside Brazil, in France, for another important mission," Pontes told local media in an interview before his Soyuz TMA-8 took off Thursday from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Pravda – www.pravda.ru

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  • Show Comments (3)

  • Guest

    GIVE SANTOS THE RESPECT HE DESERVES
    I commend you for teaching your students that Santos Dumont was the orginal father of powered flight. But we mustn’t forget that if Brazil had recongized Santos’s achivements at that time and didn’t neglect him for whatever reason, the Write Brothers would not have had the chance to claim this title from him. Shame on Brazil for neglecting its own. One would have thought this country would have been proud to have a man like Santos Dumont, obviously they were not?

    The question is: what can this country do to restore Santos’s honour and revive his legacy? Maybe it could implement the Institue of Machanical Engineering and name it after Santos Dumont? On the other hand that’s only if Brazil wants to?

  • Guest

    SANTOS DUMONT
    I TEACH MY STUDENTS IN THE USA THAT SANTO DUMONT IS THE TRUE FATHER OF POWERED FLIGHT. IT IS SAD THAT THE WRIGHT BROTHERS FAMILY HAVE PUT RESTRICTIONS ON THE SMITHSONIOAN IN ORDER TO DISPLAY THEIR GROUNDBREAKING WORK WHILE EXCLDING SANTOS DUMONT.

  • Guest

    Santos Offically Recognized At Last
    This is an honourable thing to do in memory of Santos Dumont who gets recognition from Brazil at last.

    Is the Brazilian society going to hear what Santos Dumont’s living family have to say on this matter or is this really about promoting Brazils image?

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