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Chertok’s Mustache

03-16-chertok-boris-evseevich

Hopefully you all got the chance to read the article linked in yesterday’s post, about the Soviet mission to resuscitate the Salyut 7 Space Station. In the comments of that article, the author, Nickolai Belakovski, mentioned this little story from Boris Chertok, a senior official at Energiya, a major Russian space company. (“Formed out of Korolev’s design bureau OKB-1, the same design bureau that launched Sputnik and Gagarin.” Read more about Chertok’s pretty impressive career at astronautix, and check out his books, ‘Rockets and People‘ available in pdf from NASA.) Chertok was discussing the decision by mission controllers to re-activate the [primary comm system that had auto-shutdown on the station. This decision caused the major short that shut the station off completely and necessitated the repair mission. In regards to those mission controllers, ‘He describes them using the Russian phrase “Мы сами с усами” which translates literally to “We too have mustaches,” (unfortunately the translation doesn’t rhyme like the original) and more practically to “We didn’t just fall off the turnip truck”‘.

I find the expression “We too have mustaches” to be completely awesome, and I hope to start using in conversation. As one whose spouse really isn’t a fan of the mustache, loathe is perhaps too gentle of a word, the meaning for me skews a little more towards, “Shit happens.”

Happy Friday everyone.

[Ed. We hope to have comments enabled soon. Right now our commenting system too has mustaches. Thank you for your patience and for continuing to visit Atomic Toasters.]

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