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Russian Ship Arrives With Space Capsule
GEORGE TIBBITS , Associated Press
Nov. 24, 1992 11:03 PM ET
SEATTLE (AP) _ A Russian navy ship bearing a space capsule full of symbolic treasures steamed a final half-mile to a Seattle pier Tuesday for a greeting by officials and the start of a long weekend of festivities.
As a high school band played ''Louie, Louie,'' the state's unofficial rock anthem, the Marshal Krylov inched to its moorings. About 400 people, many of them Russians who arrived here Monday on charter flights, greeted the 692-foot radar ship.
Members of the Krylov's crew of 450 lined the railings, waving and snapping pictures. Some tossed commemorative pins to schoolchildren who had turned out for the event.
''If our two nations can learn to live together in harmony and respect, there's no barrier that we cannot surmount,'' Mayor Norm Rice said.
The gray and white ship, built to track missile tests and space flights, sported a new coat of paint, although the red star at the bow needed a touch- up.
Chained to the Krylov's deck was the scarred and scorched space capsule it plucked from the Pacific about 80 miles off the coast on Sunday.
The spherical, 5,152-pound Resurs 500 spacecraft circled the earth 111 times after it was launched Nov. 16 from the once-secret Plesetsk cosmodrome near Archangelsk.
Inside the capsule were religious icons, greetings from Russian President Boris Yeltsin, a cut-glass replica of the Statue of Liberty and a pair of wedding rings to be exchanged with marriage vows Saturday by a Russian couple who arrived in Seattle Tuesday night. It also contained pleas for Western investment in the former Soviet Union.
The spacecraft orbit and delivery, dubbed Space Flight Europe-America 500, commemorates the International Year of Space and the 500th anniversary of Columbus' arrival in the New World.
It's also a demonstration of Russian efforts to convert the country's defense technology to commercial uses.
Seattle residents are no strangers to visitors from what was once the Soviet Union. The 1990 Goodwill Games and a series of visits by Russian research vessels in 1991 brought many Russians seeking business ties with the West, though few ventures materialized.
This week, a conference on Russian-American business is scheduled, along with art, folk dance and photo exhibits, and a parade featuring the space capsule. Krylov crew members and other Russian visitors have been invited to residents' homes for Thanksgiving dinners, and the public will be allowed to tour the ship.
The space flight and port visit marked ''a new era of more economic cooperation between our peoples,'' said Vice Adm. Gennady Verich, who directed the satellite recovery effort.
Verich and ship Capt. Vladim Shadrin greeted Rice and Washington Secretary of State Ralph Munro, presenting them with a ship's flag and an inlaid enamel samovar urn. The Washington officials gave the Russians boxes of smoked salmon, apples, and other regional foodstuffs.