You’d think female astronauts would get more respect…
Why did the Soyuz have an off-nominal landing? The Chief of the Russian Space Agency explains:
“The most important thing is that the crew is healthy and well,” Federal Space Agency chief Anatoly Perminov told a post-landing news conference. “The landing occurred normally, but according to a back-up plan — the descent was a ballistic trajectory.”
Perminov said engineers would examine the capsule to determine what caused the glitch, though he blamed the Soyuz crew for not informing Mission Control about the unusual descent.
Later, Perminov was asked about the presence of two women on the Soyuz, and referred to a naval superstition that having women aboard a ship was bad luck.
“You know in Russia, there are certain bad omens about this sort of thing, but thank God that everything worked out successfully,” he said. “Of course in the future, we will work somehow to ensure that the number of women will not surpass” the number of men.
Challenged by a reporter, Perminov responded: “This isn’t discrimination. I’m just saying that when a majority (of the crew) is female, sometimes certain kinds of unsanctioned behaviour or something else occurs, that’s what I’m talking about.”
He did not elaborate.