MOSCOW, April 17. /TASS/. Employees of the Russian Post helped Jean-Loup Jacques Marie Chrétien, first Frenchman in space, to return documents lost at the Paris airport, the Russian Post press service informed on Tuesday.
"The employees of the Russian post’s sorting center found personal documents and an old battered envelope with a French stamp in one of the boxes arriving to Russia from France", the press service stated. It turned out that among the documents there was a passport belonging to the first Frenchman in space, Jean-Loup Jacques Marie Chrétien, who had worked at the Salyut-7 space station under Vladimir Dzhanibekov. The employees have also discovered his Hero of the Soviet Union certificate, his pilot certificate and military identity card.
The Memorial Museum of Space Exploration helped to get in touch with the astronaut through France’s National Centre of Space Research. They discovered that the Frenchman’s luggage was stolen at the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. Chr·tien kept the documents in a postal envelope from 1982 in honor of French-Russian cooperation in space, signed by the crew of the Soyuz-T6 spacecraft. Seemingly, on finding out whose belongings they had stolen, the thieves decided to return the documents and placed the envelope in the mailbox. The French post employees noticed that the text was in Russian and mailed the envelope to Moscow.
"It seems that the documents ended up in Moscow because I am Russian at heart," Jean-Loup Jacques Marie Chrétien said while thanking the Russian post employees.
Jean-Loup Jacques Marie Chrétien is the first Frenchman in space. He explored space within the Soviet Interkosmos program, and worked on Salyut-7 (on the Soyuz-6 spacecraft, 1982) and Mir (on the Soyuz TM-7 spacecraft, 1988) orbital stations. He also worked on the Atlantis shuttle within the framework of the STS-86 program (1997). Chr·tien received the Hero of the Soviet Union award in 1982.