Yuri Malenchenko, a Russian cosmonaut, married his American bride, Ekaterina Dmitriev, in space on the International Space Station (ISS). The two had been married previously on Earth, but were planning a ceremony in space to mark the anniversary of Malenchenko’s first space mission. In the years between Malenchenko’s first mission and his wedding, he went on several spacewalks and made five trips to the ISS. He is now the second-longest space cosmonaut in history, with over eight hundred days and nine hours in orbit. During his wedding, Malenchenko wore a traditional flight uniform and a bow tie.
On the morning of the wedding, Malenchenko had a friend in Houston stand in for him, but he was never able to speak with his groom. According to Russian Aerospace Agency officials, Malenchenko had to obtain approval from the Russian Mission Control Center before he could marry. He also had to receive the permission of the Russian Air Force, which said that an active Russian officer could only marry a foreigner on Earth.
On July 17, Malenchenko and Dmitriev were issued a marriage license in Russia. Their ceremony will take place in Russia next June. They have chosen the church of Yaroslavl, which is located north of Moscow.
Yuri Malenchenko and Ekaterina Dmitriev met at a party celebrating the first manned space flight. He played the wedding march, and she marched in to a David Bowie song. Their wedding ring was gold, with precious stones set into shapes. The wedding ring was delivered to the ISS on a Progress cargo spacecraft.
The Russian space agency had previously disapproved the couple’s plans for a space wedding, and Malenchenko’s career was likely to end when he reached the space station. Russian President Dmitry Putin said that no state resources should be spent on the wedding. However, Malenchenko disagreed. He said he did not want to postpone the wedding. He also said that his career would not be over if he had to return to Earth to see his bride. Ultimately, Malenchenko was allowed to marry Ekaterina and the couple was given the blessing of their marriage.
After their wedding, Malenchenko and Dmitriev returned to earth for a two-month visit. They returned to Russia to train for a space mission. After his return, Malenchenko’s wife Ekaterina Dmitriev was issued a marriage license in Russia, and they have planned to have a religious wedding in Russia next June.
The wedding was performed through a satellite video link. A large fruit bowl with forms of the space shuttle was set up at the reception. The couple walked down the aisle to a David Bowie song. The couple also exchanged vows and blew kisses to each other.
The reception included Italian and Russian delicacies. Guests were impressed by the giant fruit bowl. The groom’s life-size cutout was also greeted at the reception. The bride and groom put on their wedding rings and blew kisses to each other. The bride then walked in to the “Absolute Beginners” song by David Bowie.