Cosmonauts follow some “bizarre” rituals like being slapped in the face with a cross before going to space. American and Russian cosmonauts, and even rockets, all go through an official blessing dished out by a Russian Orthodox priest. Photos from NASA’s official photographer showed that the same cleric has carried out the ritual with gusto for a few years now. As well as getting a visit from a priest, cosmonauts and astronauts contribute to an avenue of trees planted before each mission, and watch the same pre-flight movie before takeoff (a cult Russian “Western” from 1969). The Russian cosmonauts also reportedly urinate on the back right-hand tyre of the bus that takes them to the launch pad, a tradition started by Gagarin himself before his first flight.
2 April 2015
Note that American cosmonauts have to go into space on Russian rockets. It’s all due to Republican cuts to NASA to free funds for warmongering and tax breaks for the Affluent Effluent. There IS a cost for all the wars and the cossetting of the top Five Percent. Reflect on that as you avoid the ever-increasing potholes (there’s no money to fix those, either)…