WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – July 20, 2021) The crew of the 65th expedition to the International Space Station (ISS) sent a video message to the cancer patients who were involved in the development of the so-called Dreamer spacesuit and will call them later, said Russia’s Unity Foundation, which helped develop the Spacesuit Art Project, told Sputnik.
Sputnik is the first news agency to receive the video message.
“Cancer is a difficult test for patients and their families. To support and inspire them to recover, the members of the 65th ISS expedition sent a video message to the creators of the Dreamer art space suit, ”said Alena Kuzmenko, President of the Unity Foundation. “And now the team from the non-profit foundation Unity is sending it to the children and their parents. And cosmonauts and astronauts will call young artists in their free time to greet them personally from orbit.”
The crew members – Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov, US astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Megan McArthur, and French astronaut Thomas Pesquet – recorded the message in Russian and English.
“Dear Earthlings and dreamers, greetings from the International Space Station. We have an unusual crew member with us today, that is Dreamer and that means that your dreams have reached the stars,” said Hei.
McArthur pointed out in the message that the young dreamers gathered all their strength and courage to pick up paint and brushes and wrap their innermost dreams of life and happiness in a spacesuit.
“We, cosmonauts and astronauts, as well as our fellow spacecraft on earth give each other a lot and have done everything we can to bring your cherished dreams into space,” she said.
Pesquet said in the message that the difficult road to health and happiness begins with a dream about life.
“Dream, paint, create and we will do everything we can to ensure that the stars hear your dreams and make them come true. Be healthy and happy, ”he said.
The Dreamer art space suit has been on board the ISS for three months since it was delivered by the manned Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft and treated as a real crew member.
“She is already actively fulfilling her mission – making dreams come true and giving hope for recovery,” said Kuzmenko.
Cancer patients from 20 cities in ten countries adorned the spacesuit as part of the Space Suit Art Project, a project supported by Russia’s state-owned space company Roskosmos, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and other space agencies.
The Unity team has been collecting drawings from cancer patients in Russia, Switzerland, Germany, France, Great Britain, Armenia, Zambia, Belgium, Serbia and the United States for more than two years. So far, cosmonauts and artists have visited ten cities from Kaliningrad to Blagoveshchensk.
Kuzmenko explained that the drawings involve subjects such as family reunions, delicious food, pets, and others.
“If these are desires easily attainable for ordinary people, their embodiment would be a miracle to a child undergoing long-term treatment in a hospital,” she said.
Kuzmenko said that Ksenia from Krasnoyarsk had realized her desire to celebrate the New Year at home two years ago when she was undergoing chemotherapy.
“The prognosis wasn’t good, but their dream came true anyway. So the artificial spacesuit started to ‘work’ even before it went into space,” she said.
Likewise, a boy from Lipetsk wanted to move into their own house with his family when the Dreamer spacesuit reached space, and his wish also came true, although it initially seemed impossible.
“We hope other boys’ dreams will come true,” said Kuzmenko. “We also hope that the boy who had to give up ice hockey due to illness will get up again and take the hockey stick in hand and that the girl on crutches will understand the art of dancing and a ballerina, as shown by her on the spacesuit.”
The Space Suit Art Project was started in the United States by artist Ian Cion and astronaut Nicole Stott, who is also an artist. The project is being developed worldwide by the US Space for Art Foundation and the Unity Foundation with support from NASA and the Russian space agency Roscosmos.