To boldly go…

ASTRONAUT Dr Leroy Chiao and cosmonaut Colonel Vladimir Titov were among a number of experienced space experts at the press launch of the Excalibur Almaz space project held at King William’s College on Saturday.

The two men, who are among the most experienced of all space travellers, talked to the media and to college students about the Excalibur Almaz space capsule that is on show at the college. Story.

Dr Leroy Chiao is a veteran of three Shuttle missions and one Soyuz mission to the International Space Station (ISS), most recently serving as commander and NASA science officer of expedition 10 aboard the ISS from October 2004 to April 2005. He has logged 229 days in space — more than 36 hours of which were spent doing spacewalks.

Dr Chiao left NASA in December 2005 to pursue his interests in the private space flight sector, following a 15-year career with the agency. His responsibilities at Excalibur Almaz include overseeing spacecraft development, crew training, spaceflight operations, and all other aspects of spaceflight management.

Colonel Titov is an adviser with Excalibur Almaz and one of the world’s most experienced astronauts. His career began in the Soviet Union in the 1970s and flew four missions as a cosmonaut including becoming the first man ever to spend a whole year in space.

That year was spent in earth orbit on board the Mir space station but after the Soviet bloc collapsed he went on to take part in NASA Space Shuttle missions and perform a spacewalk.
His list of honors includes two Orders of Lenin and he is also a Hero of the Soviet Union.