hello and welcome! i'm jim tedder in washington with the program that helps you learn and improve your american english. today we have something special for you. we will meet with some friends not far from the voa studios and ...all together ...look up at the night sky in search of a wonderful machine, far above us.
listen carefully. there is some important information near the end that you can use. you are listening to voa.
americans often watch television or go to movies or parties on weekends. but on a recent saturday night, a few people met for an unusual activity at a public park in bethesda, maryland. a neighbor had invited them to watch the international space station pass overhead.
the park had few lights to compete with stars and other objects in the sky. that helped make it possible to find the international space station just by looking up. no special equipment was needed.
at the time, the space station was carrying six crew members. they represented the space programs in russia, japan and the united states. three of the men returned safely to earth not long after the sighting in maryland.
oleg kotov commanded the return trip to kazakhstan. he is a pilot, an officer in the russian air force and a medical doctor who was born in crimea. with him were russian cosmonaut sergei ryazanskiy and american astronaut mike hopkins.
three other men stayed on the iss. three others joined them after leaving the baikonur cosmodrome on march 25th.