US Veteran Astronauts to Visit Forefathers Homeland
US veteran astronauts Eugene A. Cernan, 66, and James A. Lovell, 72, are to visit their forefathers' Czech homeland later this week, the defense ministry said Monday.
Cernan, the last person to set foot on the moon, and Lovell, who led the stricken Apollo 13 mission back to earth in 1970, will meet Czech President Vaclav Havel during a four-day trip from Friday.
Cernan will visit his ancestors' home village of Bernartice, in southern Bohemia. His Slovak father and Czech mother left the then Czechoslovakia during the economic crisis of the 1930s.
Lovell, whose grandmother was Czech, will travel to Dolni Lukavice in western Bohemia to pay tribute to his family roots.
Cernan and Lovell will be accompanied by Vladimir Remek, a Czech cosmonaut from their era, who spent a week on board the Soviet Salyut-6 space station in March 1978.
Another US astronaut with Czech forefathers, John Elmer Blaha, visited the country in 1998 -- PRAGUE (AFP)
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