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First Kazakh Woman In Space -- April Fool's Day, 2001
Novoye Pokoleniye, a Kazakh newspaper, reported on Friday, March 30 that Dariga Nazarbayeva, the daughter of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, would become the first Kazakh woman to fly into space. Accompanying her would be her one-year-old daughter who was receiving special training to become the world's first child astronaut. Nazarbayeva was already something of a Kazakh celebrity because of her presidency of Khabar TV. Her mission in space would be to launch a new satellite TV channel, Khabar-3, which would transmit to "the most remote areas of the world where the Kazakh diaspora lives: in the USA, Mongolia, France, New Zealand and so on." The paper also reported that only Kazakh cuisine would be served on the flight. In addition, "The research programme also envisages making several feminine space experiments such as wet cleaning in zero-gravity conditions, cleaning of portholes in open space, nail-varnishing and hair-dyeing in a vacuum. The time of narrow specialist-orientated research is gone and the epoch of space exploration for everyday-life purposes is coming. So, who else, if not a woman and housewife, is to make laboratory experiments here?"

April Fool Categories: Space and Astronomy, Newspapers, Central Asia, 2001.
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.