2012 Fliers’ and Explorers’ Globe Signing Ceremony, 10 April 2012, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation: Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova prepares to sign the Fliers’ and Explorers’ Globe as Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov looks on.

On April 10, 2012, two Russian Cosmonauts signed the globe in the very first globe-signing ceremony held out of the United States.  Cosmonauts Alexei Leonov and Valentina Tereshkova signed the globe in the presence of the Geography-elite of Russia.  AGS President, Dr. Jerome Dobson represented the Members and Council of AGS and presided over the signing following an address by Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation and Chairman of the Russian Geographical Society’s (RGS) Board of Trustees.

On March 18, 1965, Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov stepped out of his spacecraft, Voskhod 2, into history as the first human to walk in space.  He floated near his tiny spacecraft for more than 12 minutes with his safety tether allowing him to range more than 5 meters away.  This mission conclusively proved that a human being could survive in the hostile and technically challenging environment of extravehicular space.  Leonov is one of the original space pioneers, having been selected in 1959 to serve with the first 20 cosmonauts.  In 1975 he commanded the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, the first linking of Soviet and American spacecraft.

On June 16, 1963, Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space.  During her three-day mission on Vostok 6, Cosmonaut Tereshkova performed various tests on herself to study the female body’s reaction to spaceflight.  She orbited the earth 48 times and took photographs later used in studies of aerosol layers within the atmosphere.

The April 10th globe-signing was part of the Annual Meeting for the Russian Geographical Society’s Board of Trustees.  This meeting was held for the first time in the newly restored historic headquarters of the RGS in St. Petersburg.  Besides the members of the Board of Trustees, in attendance were many of Russia’s leading business executives as well as special guests from government and academia.

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