The World’s First-Ever Space Wedding
Imagine your wedding date has been fixed. You are all set for your wedding.
You are waiting eagerly for your husband-to-be. Your fiance, who happens to be an astronaut, is at the International Space Station.
Once he is back, a happy wedding is waiting! Except, there is a catch now! Your fiance’s stay at the ISS just got extended! He is not going to make it for the wedding! His wedding! What would you do?
While you imagine all the things that you would possibly do, read on to find out what Ekaterina Malenchenko did when she was stuck in the exact situation described above!
She went ahead with the wedding. It was certainly different from most weddings. The wedding had the bride on earth, while the bridegroom was in space. And there was the best man too!
It was the world’s first-ever space wedding. It took place on August 10, 2003. Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko floated 250 miles above his bride, in space.
The wedding took place through a satellite link. Ekaterina was at NASA’s headquarters in Houston, Texas. The groom, Yuri Malenchenko, dialed into a video link. He was at the International Space Station.
Ekaterina was dressed up like a typical bride at any ordinary wedding. She wore a classic white dress. She adorned a few jewels too. On earth, she had a life-size cardboard cut-out of her husband-to-be. The cut-out showed Yuri in his space costume with a bow-tie.
Through the video link, Yuri could be seen walking down the aisle to a David Bowie song. The couple also blew kisses to each other!
What’s more interesting about this is the fact that it wasn’t planned like this in the first place. The couple and their families had decided on the date of the wedding before the extension of Malenchenko’s stay at the International Space Station.
All the arrangements had been made and the guests invited. So, they did not want to change the date. And they came up with a fantastic idea so that the wedding could take place on the originally planned date. Thus, the first-ever space wedding happened.
The astronaut who was the best man was Edward Lu, Yuri’s friend, and colleague. He played the wedding march on a portable keyboard.
The bride said that despite the distance, they were closer to each other because they had excellent communication. She called their bond a ‘celestial and soulful connection,’ probably because they met for the first time at a celebration party of the first-ever crewed space flight.
Maybe Ekaterina can buy a great telescope at ExplanetScience.org as a wedding gift for when her husband returns to earth?
Yuri Malenchenko was named after the highly accomplished Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. And Malenchenko lived up to his name. Malenchenko made multiple visits to space, did several spacewalks. He received Russia’s highest honor – the Hero of the Russian Federation.
The couple was already in a long-distance relationship. Yuri trained in Russia for the space flight, while Ekaterina was in the US. They have proved that true love transcends all boundaries by choosing to marry uniquely.
Also, the Russian government permitted them to do so but specified that no other cosmonaut would be allowed to do that same. Yuri returned in October to finally be united in person, with his wife.