RENDEZVOUS FOR OLD RIVALS

AN AMERICAN RIDES A RUSSIAN ROCKET INTO ORBIT, LAUNCHING A NEW PARTNERSHIP ON THE LAST FRONTIER

DR. NORMAN THAGARD HAD GONE into space four times before, but this mission was like none of his past adventures. Instead of preparing for launch on the balmy shores of Cape Canaveral, the Florida native faced the 18[degrees]F chill of the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. When he chatted with crew mates, he spoke the language not of Neil Armstrong but of Yuri Gagarin. And when he tried to follow the American astronauts' ritual of eating a piece of cake before launch, the Russian flight doctors said nyet. Instead, Thagard and his fellow crew members, cosmonauts Vladimir Dezhurov and Gennady Strekalov, carried...

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