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11.05.2019 Europe

The All-Woman Spacewalk That Almost Was

By Susan Owensby - RFI
The All-Woman Spacewalk That Almost Was
LISTEN MAY 11, 2019

This week on The Sound Kitchen, you'll hear the answer to the question about the women astronauts. There's listener news, music by request from Samuel Francis, and of course, the new quiz question. Just click on the arrow in the photo above and enjoy!

Hello everyone! Welcome to The Sound Kitchen weekly podcast, published every Saturday. You'll hear the winner's names announced and the week's quiz question, along with all the other ingredients you've grown accustomed to: your letters and essays, “On This Day”, quirky facts and news, interviews, and great music … so be sure and listen every week.

I want to hear from you about your little moments of joy. Small, daily things: a beautiful sunset, a baby's laugh. Let's add that as a very nice ingredient to our communal cooking – let's share the joy! In these crazy times, we all need it … write to me at [email protected]

For our DX enthusiast and shortwave listener friends: I am sad to announce we no longer have a shortwave frequency; we have severe budget constraints which no longer permit us to broadcast via shortwave.

But you can still hear us on World Radio Network. As you know, we now broadcast only 1 hour per day, Monday – Friday, from 14:00 to 15:00 UTC/GMT.

For North America: WRN broadcasts the quotidian RFI English programme three times a day from Monday to Friday, from 06:00 to 06:59, from 10:00 to 10:59 and from 16:00 to 16h59 UTC/GMT.

For Africa and Asia: WRN broadcasts the quotidian RFI English programme three times a day from Monday to Friday, from 06:00 to 06:59, from 10:00 to 10:59 and from 16:00 to 16h59 UTC/GMT.

For Europe: WRN broadcasts the quotidian RFI English programme three times a day from Monday to Friday, from 07:00 to 07:50, from 12:00 to 12:59 and from 20:00 to 20:59 UTC/GMT.

In Paris, you can hear us on World Radio Paris on DAB+, Monday to Friday from 15:00 to 15:59 UTC/GMT as well as Tuesday through Saturday from 07:00 to 07:59 UTC/GMT.

To listen to our features, go to our website and click on “Features”. You'll see all of our features (now podcasts only). You can either listen directly, or subscribe and receive them directly on your mobile phone. Don't give up on us!

Teachers, take note! I save postcards and stamps from all over the world to send to you for your students. If you would like stamps and postcards for your students, just write and let me know. The address is [email protected]

Did you know there's an RFI English newsletter? If you subscribe, you'll receive our newsletter every day. Just click on Newsletters, fill out the form, and you'll stay up-to-date with RFI English.

Welcome to our new RFI Listeners Club member: Dilwar Hussain Dilu from Sylhet, Bangladesh.

So glad you have joined us!

You too can be a member of the RFI Listeners Club – just write me at [email protected] and tell me you want to join, and I'll send you a membership number. It's that easy. When you win a Sound Kitchen quiz as an RFI Listeners Club member, you receive a premium prize.

A hearty welcome to our new official RFI Listeners Club! It's called the RFI Sisia Youth Development Association Listening Club, and Eric Mbotiji is the president. The Club is based in Bamenda, Cameroon.

RFI Clubs: Be sure to always include Audrey Iattoni ([email protected]) from our Listener Relations department on all your RFI Club correspondence. Remember to copy me ([email protected]) when you write her so that I know what is going on, too. N.B. You do not need to send her your quiz answers!

We've made a Facebook page just for you, the RFI English Clubs. It is a closed group, so when you apply to join, be sure you include the name of your RFI Club and your membership number. Everyone can look at it, but only members of the group can post on it. If you haven't yet asked to join the group, go to the Facebook link above and fill out the questionnaire!!!!! (if you do not answer the questions, I click “decline”).

This week's quiz: On 6 April, Ollia Horton asked you a question about women astronauts … a few days earlier, NASA announced they were scrapping plans for an all-female space-walk at the International Space Station. There were two women who were to take the walk, but only one got to go. Ollia asked you to send in the name of the woman astronaut who missed out on the walk, and the reason NASA gave for cancelling it.

The answer is: Anne McClain. Anne McClain is the name of the astronaut who missed out on the spacewalk with her colleague Christina Koch, on 29 March. Both women needed a medium size spacesuit, and NASA only had one … all the other space suits are size extra-large – that is, for men. After all, whoever heard of women astronauts, right? Anyway, NASA said to make another medium size spacesuit would have taken too long, and decided it would be easier and safer to change the astronauts.

The winners this week are: Ruhul Amin, a member of the Shetu RFI Listeners Club in Naogaon, Bangladesh; RFI Listeners Club members Mohammad Akhsan from Dhaka, Bangladesh, Samir Mukhopadhyay from West Bengal, India and Jean-Maurice Devault from Montreal, Canada. Last but not least: Li Ming from Maanshan City, China.

Congratulations winners!

Here's the music you heard on this week's program: Leon McAuliffe: “Panhandle Rag” performed by Opa Tsupa; Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: “The Flight of the Bumblebee”; “Beautiful Love” by Egbert Van Alstyne, V. Young, W. King and H. Gillespie, performed by the Oridano Gypsy Jazz Band, and "New Day" by Amir Izadkhah, Bobby Womack, Harold Payne, Kesi Dryden, Leon Rolle, Piers Aggett and Richard Feldman, sung by George Benson.

Do you have a musical request? Send it to [email protected]

This week's question ... You'll have to listen to the show to participate. You have until 10 June to enter this week's quiz; the winners will be announced on the 15 June podcast. When you enter, be sure you send your postal address in with your answer, and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

Send your answers to:

[email protected]


Susan Owensby

RFI – The Sound Kitchen

80, rue Camille Desmoulins

92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux



By text … You can also send your quiz answers to The Sound Kitchen mobile phone. Dial your country's international access code, or “ + ”, then 33 6 31 12 96 82. Don't forget to include your mailing address in your text – and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

To find out how you can win a special Sound Kitchen prize, click here

To find out how you can become a member of the RFI Listeners Club, or to form your own official RFI Club, click here