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To boldly go…

Posted by Tall Ships America on May 15, 2009

Greetings from aloft, a message to the tall ships from the final frontier…

It seems like a clash of technology. The most sophisticated piece of  equipment ever assembled, designed to sustain human life in the dark recesses of space and a simple, wind powered machine dependant upon weather and manpower. But when you think about it, the two ships are very similar-   teamwork is required to ensure the safety and health of the crew on board, both crews take pride in their vessels and strive to keep her shipshape, and these voyages are the adventure of a lifetime.

Astronauts on board the International Space Station* have sent a message of peace to the crews of the TALL SHIPS®ATLANTIC CHALLENGE. Expedition 19 Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Michael Barratt recorded a special message to the tall ships:

“We would like to send a special wish to all you young sailors. We know you will apply every effort to win but you should know that your participation in the regatta is already a victory. A victory of peace, friendship and understanding of nations,” said Commander Michael Barratt. “Our professions are very much alike and in an environment foreign and hostile, human being success always favours the most courageous and persistent people.”

During the race from Tenerife to Bermuda, starting on Sunday, May 17, the Space Station and some of the ships will be communication via satellite and the Moscow Control Center. The ships so far are Kruzenshtern (RUS), Etoile (FRA), La Belle Poule (FRA), Spirit of Bermuda (BER), and the plucky Jolie Brise (UK).  Young astronauts in Russia and the trainees on board the racing vessels will work together to find the optimal time to establish contact and will then be able to communicate directly with the Space Station. A total of five radio contacts will be engaged, each about ten minutes long.

The event is being set up at international level by space engineer Nathalie Pottier, a graduate of the Moscow Aviation Institute who has worked with the International Space Station and Launchers projects in Russia, United States, Netherlands, and France.

This project conveys the international spirit of the sail training experience-ships representing different countries working together to learn more about each other and the world around them… and even the world above.


Thank you to Sail Training International  for the information about this project. To learn more, go to www.tallshipsraces.org .

*The International Space Station is a joint project of the space agencies of the USA (NASA), Russia, Japan, Canada and ten European nations. It orbits the earth at a low altitude of approximately 190 nautical miles, completing around 15 orbits per day.

The Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge is organised by Sail Training International with the American Sail Training Association.


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