[FPSPACE] Reuters: Cosmonauts to enjoy sun, sand and sangria

JamesOberg@aol.com JamesOberg@aol.com
Thu, 3 Aug 2000 13:22:46 EDT


Cosmonauts to enjoy sun, sand and sangria
12:06 08-03-00
  
MADRID, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Russian cosmonauts who endure marathon missions in 
space can now look forward to sun, sand and sangria when they get back to 
Earth. 

Under an agreement signed on Thursday, cosmonauts returning from the Spartan 
conditions of the Mir space station will be able to recover with a three-week 
all expenses paid trip to Spain's Canary Islands. 

Extended exposure to the weightlessness of space requires an adjustment 
period back on Earth that calls for a combination of rest, exercise and 
adaptation to terrestrial living. 

``Crews will rehabilitate in the sports, health and hotel facilities in the 
Canaries,'' Juan Carlos Becerra, tourist secretary for the islands, said by 
telephone from Moscow, where the deal was signed with the Russian Institute 
of Biological Medicine. 

Local authorities took the initiative last year, inviting cosmonaut Sergei 
Avdeyev to the popular holiday islands off Africa's northwestern coast after 
he spent 389 days aboard Mir, Becerra said. 

That led to further talks. The first Russian crew is expected in October. 
Russian authorities will pay the costs and the Canary Islands government will 
handle the logistics.