08. 03. 2019

At the invitation of the Czech Academy of Sciences, American astronaut Andrew Feustel and his wife Indira Feustel are going to visit the Czech Republic. From April 4 to April 15, 2019, Feustel will participate in several events organised especially for students and general public.

An opening press conference will take place the first day after his arrival, April 5, 2019 at 10 a.m. in the main building of the Czech Academy of Sciences (CAS) at Národní třída, Prague. Events will take place in Prague, Terezín, Olomouc, Ostrava, and Brno. All discussions with the public will be translated into Czech. The admission is free.

“The Czech Academy of Sciences participates in many projects in the area of space research. Therefore, we are honoured that Andrew Feustel accepted our invitation. This will be his third official visit of both the Academy of Sciences and the Czech Republic, and we are pleased that this time, majority of his programme will take place in various Czech regions. We are also very happy that we are able to popularise science through participation of world’s important personalities. Without doubt, Andrew Feustel is such a personality,” says the President of the CAS Eva Zažímalová about the tour.

The astronaut’s tale
Feustel first visited the Czech Republic in 2009 after his flight in the Space Shuttle Atlantis to the Hubble Space Telescope where his personal astronaut’s package included the book Písně kosmické (Cosmic Songs) by the Czech writer Jan Neruda. It was in the Czech Republic that he learned he would go to space for the second time – in 2011 aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour to the International Space Station.

That time, he took along a symbol of many Czech generations – a plush toy of Krtek (Mole), a fairy-tale character created by a Czech artist Zdeněk Miler. Krtek became a “Czech astronaut” and through him, the CAS was able to show especially children and young people what it means to live on Earth’s orbit. The education programme Do kosmu s Krtkem (Flying to Space with the Little Mole) also facilitated information from Andrew Feustel’s third flight in 2018 when the astronaut spent over half a year aboard the International Space Station and served as its commander during the second half of his stay.

He again carried a Mole astronaut with him on this journey, but a smaller one because in Soyuz there was less available space than in the space shuttle. He also took with him the drawing Měsíční krajina (Moon Landscape) made by a talented thirteen-year-old Jewish boy Petr Ginz in 1942 in Terezín ghetto.

To this day, Andrew Feustel has spent 226 days in space, including 61 hours and 48 minutes of spacewalks in vacuum. Therefore, Czech public has a unique opportunity to meet one of the most experienced astronauts in the world.

The Czech tour of Andrew Feustel and his wife Indira Feustel is prepared in cooperation of the Czech Academy of Sciences with the U.S. Embassy in Prague and the Astronomical Institute of the CAS.

The PROGRAMME of Andrew Feustel’s visit, including information for the press, can be found on the website of the Czech Academy of Sciences in the section Events for Public.

Original Czech text prepared by: Luděk Svoboda, Division of External Relations of the CAO of the CAS
Photo: NASA