Bill Shepherd with Crew

Despite the display of flags, NASA was considered by other space agencies as ill-prepared for handling delicate international diplomacy. Here NASA astronaut Bill Shepherd is surrounded by his Russian crewmates (left) Sergei Krikalev and Yuri Gidzenko. Shepherd’s designation as the first crew commander for the International Space Station offended many in Russia and showed NASA’s tin ear for international relations.

Posted on Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 at 8:47 am