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July 6, 2012

Astronaut in the Grass

This photo has been stuck in my head for days. The caption reads:

Russian space agency rescue team members carry U.S. astronaut Donald Pettit (C) shortly after the landing of the Russian Soyuz TMA-03M space capsule, about 150 km south-east of the Kazakh town of Dzhezkazgan on July 1, 2012. The Soyuz capsule, which carried U.S. astronaut Donald Pettit, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, and Netherlands’ astronaut Andre Kuipers safely returned to Earth on July 1 after a half-year stint on the international space station, with a landing on the Kazakh steppe. (Mikhail Metzel/AFP/Getty Images)

I’m not sure why it grabs me so much. Does it put the degree of trust between the U.S. and Russia to the test? And, does anyone else get a Francis Gary Powers vibe?  (What about Andrew Wyeth?) Is the scene that surreal or does it have something to do with the fact I just saw the new Wes Anderson movie? Finally, astronaut in the grass not weird enough, maybe what’s just as bizarre in these days of economic frustration and sleep debt is just to see anybody in public looking that blissed out.  Thoughts?

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