Cosmonaut on How to End All Wars: ‘Gather Up Politicians & Send Them Into Space’

Saturday, February 4, 2017
By Paul Martin

Yuri Usachov is no stranger to space travel, with four spaceflights, seven spacewalks and 553 days in orbit under his belt. He’s also well-versed in person-to-person diplomacy, spending three of his missions interacting with foreign astronauts. Speaking to Radio Baltkom, Usachov revealed how the world’s conflicts might be brought to a peaceful end.

Usachov, a veteran cosmonaut and engineer who began his career aboard the Mir Space Station in 1994 and moved on to work aboard the International Space Station with astronauts from the United States and France, says that there’s nothing quite like living and working together with people aboard a spaceship that’s flying above the earth at 8.5 km per second.

Speaking to Latvia’s Radio Baltkom on Saturday, Usachov explained how life together in the confines of a spaceship really changes one’s perspective on things happening on Earth, and offered some advice on how the wars and conflicts which plague the world today could be brought to a peaceful end.

“From space, you notice that disputes and quarrels, much of what seems to be important on Earth, all of this isn’t really worth the effort, and this is a feeling that remains with you after you return,” the cosmonaut said. “You start to get a different attitude toward everything. My fellow cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov told me that after his first flight, he could not even lift his hand to kill a mosquito, blowing it away instead. I myself, riding in the subway, would look at strangers and think how much I loved them! This is what spaceflight does to you.”

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