My first Space Shuttle launch was a little over a week ago. I felt the weight of the full-size Soyuz capsule as it rocketed away from the launcheship at speeds of more than seven miles per second. As I looked down at the smooth black matte finish of the Soyuz Tundra and wondered how it had taken so long, I thought to myself “Why don’t they make a video of that for the international space station?” Then, just for kicks, I started thinking about how to land a simulated Soyuz capsule on Mars, if we ever got that far. I came to the conclusion that they don’t need a video because they have all the good equipment already.
There are a number of different ways in which to celebrate your one of a kind Soyuz mission. There is the traditional Russian wedding ceremony, which includes a host of other ceremonies and activities. I believe that the first of these events would be the most memorable of them all. It would be the actual Soyuz Tundra ceremony. This would be hosted by a member of the cosmonaut training staff, or by a member of the Russian mission control center.
If you have never been to a Russian Cosmonaut training facility, you will be quite surprised to see the amount of preparation that goes into preparing an international space wedding ceremony. For example, before any of the activities can begin, there needs to be a ceremony at a Russia-based chapel. The wedding march must also be planned and attended by a representative of the bride’s family. Once this has been completed, the wedding planner will be able to provide a schedule for the various activities to take place.
Once the bride and groom-to-be are in the Soyuz capsule, it is time for them to enter the capsule and be welcomed by their guests. This is followed by a champagne toast given by a member of the wedding party. A video recording of the entire wedding ceremony is then played. A special dance is then played where the capsule’s door is opened and several members of the wedding party are lowered into the capsule. The wedding party then dances around the edges of the capsule as various music is played from the capsule’s onboard computer. This captures all of the excitement of the entire wedding ceremony.
The wedding planner will inform the families of the guests traveling to this space flight about how much money each guest will be expected to contribute. A video camera is also set up in the capsule so that those who wish to share the moment with family and friends can do so. It is important that the families who are not coming to the wedding ceremony are aware of this fact since their permission will be needed for the space wedding ceremony. The wedding planner may also provide some simple direction for those who wish to follow along on the wedding ceremony’s progress on television inside the capsule.
The planning of an outer space wedding is fun and exciting! You will have many little details to take care of, but overall, this will be a very memorable day for you and your partner. Your friends and family will have photographs to look back on for years to come. And don’t forget the big picture…your marriage will actually take place in outer space. What a great way to begin your new life together!