An International Space Station cosmonaut is going forward with plans to get married while in orbit.



Yuri Malenchenko says he is ignoring officials’ advice to wait until his return to Earth.



He will not be present at the wedding and will be represented at the ceremony by a lawyer.



Mr Malenchenko had promised officials to put off his marriage until his scheduled return in October but then changed his mind and said he would proceed with the wedding on August 10.


Russian Aerospace Agency spokesman Sergei Gorbunov said the agency’s chief, Yuri Koptev, had received an invitation to the wedding from the bride, Ekaterina Dmitriev, who lives in Texas. He said Mr Koptev was not planning to attend the reception, which is to be held at a Houston restaurant.



Mr Gorbunov had previously said the cosmonaut had promised to drop his plans for a space marriage after officials told him the plan presented several legal complexities. On Tuesday, Mr Gorbunov said the space agency was not going to argue with Mr Malenchenko any more.



Mr Malenchenko, a Russian air force colonel, informed Russian space officials of his marriage plans when he was already in orbit, angering the Russian air force chief, Col. Gen. Vladimir Mikhailov, who reportedly said that a “cosmonaut mustn’t behave like a movie star.”



As a military officer, Malenchenko is considered the holder of state secrets under Russian law and can marry a foreigner only after getting special permission from his superiors.

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