11Aug2019

The First Space Wedding, Woman Marries Cardboard Cutout

On August 10, 2003, Ekaterina Dmitriev married the love of her life as he floated 250 miles above her in space.  It was the first-ever space wedding, taking place through satellite link while she was at NASA’s in Texas.

Yuri Malenchenko space wedding

Ekaterina Dmitriev with the cutout of Yuri Malenchenko on their wedding day. REUTERS/Richard Carson

Her husband-to-be, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, dialed into a video link from the International Space Station. Dmitriev wore a white dress and jewels, the picture of a typical glowing bride as she posed beside a life-sized cardboard cutout of her new husband wearing his space suit -and a bow tie. “As Yuri was further away, he was closer to me because of the communication we have,” Dmitriev, an American, said, The New York Times reported at the time. At one point she blew him a kiss, and he blew one back.

The ceremony wasn’t actually planned in this groundbreaking way, according to the BBC. Their wedding date was decided before Malenchenko’s time in space was extended, and they decided to have a space wedding instead, without the 200 or so guests scheduled to attend the original wedding. And Edward Lu, another astronaut on the ISS, served as best man, playing the wedding march on a portable keyboard – something the wedding planner called “very sweet.”

Dmitriev said the couple had a “celestial, soulful connection.” The pair’s history was coloured by space: they met at a party celebrating the first-ever manned space flight by Yuri Gagarin, who Malenchenko was named after, according to NBC. Malenchenko, like his namesake, was an accomplished astronaut, making multiple trips into space and performing multiple spacewalks, as well as receiving awards like the Hero of the Russian Federation award, Russia’s highest honour.

The couple was used to having a long distance relationship as a result – they spoke by phone as Dmitriev lived in the US while Malenchenko trained for space flight in Russia. The moment that Dmitriev walked down the aisle to a David Bowie song was the moment that the ISS re-emerged into the sunlight, orbiting the earth just south of New Zealand,.  NBC reported.

Their achievement was also unusual as Russia gave them permission for the marriage, but said that other cosmonauts would not be able to do the same. Malenchenko returned to earth, to see his bride, that October.

 

Read previous post:
French Space Cat Memorial Beginning To Take Shape

Fifty-six years after a cat named Félicette became the first...

Perseids Meteor Shower This Week – Fireballs Possible!

Stargazers rejoice! The astronomical event of the year is just...

Nasa Joins Forces with SpaceX To Conquer Mars And Moon

Nasa has a plan to use Elon Musk’s Starship in...

Close