Linenger's Letters to his Son

March 1, 1997
Good people, good friends"

Dear John:

How have you been? Sorry I haven't written in a while, but I've been really, really busy doing experiments, preparing for the departure of my first set of Russian crewmates, and fighting fires in-between all that!

We go to bed at 3:30 p.m. and get up at midnight today so that all will be prepared for the undocking of the Soyuz at 0900 tomorrow morning. I'll bet the sleep experiment researchers are just loving the schedule I've been keeping. All-nighters, being in space, and now sleeping during the day. It will most certainly be interesting, and complicated, data to analyze.

Well, I spent a month and a half with Sasha Kaleri and Valeri Korzun, and I can honestly say that we never had a serious argument the whole time. Good people, good friends. I'm very happy for them that they will soon be home--six months in space is a long, long time. Sasha has a little boy about your age: what a great surprise he's in for. His baby boy was about six months when he left, and now just over a year. I saw how you changed during that time of your life (up to you eating your first chocolate cake on your first birthday), and I could hardly keep up on your progress observing you day-to-day. I would love to see Sasha's face when he first sets eyes on his little guy. Mommy said that you will be there when they arrive back at Star City. Be sure to give them the hero's welcome they deserve.

Just wanted to say hello, and tell you that I love and miss you and Mommy. There will be a hand written letter for both you and Kathryn arriving special delivery on the Soyuz. Yours is the one with the balloons, stars, and airplanes sketched colorfully on it. Mommy's the more serious one. We actually have a post office up here on space station Mir, and the envelope has been postmarked today. We'll see if spaceship delivery is quicker than airmail delivery!

Love you, Hurricane.

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