GREATER PORTLAND, MAINE – ARCHANGEL, RUSSIA
Greater Portland, Maine and Archangel, Russia first started their sister city relationship in 1988. Over the years, more than 1,000 people have traveled between the two communities. Students, teachers, artists, performers, doctors, lawyers, judges, firefighters, rescue specialists, photographers, business leaders, World War II Arctic Convoy Veterans, and local and state government leaders all have gone to each other’s communities for cultural and practical exchanges.
The sister city relationship they hold has grown to encompass the entire State of Maine, and the entire Archangel Region.
For the first time, a cosmonaut from the Archangel region has gone into space!
Coincidentally, he is joined by an astronaut from Maine. The photo includes Chris Cassidy of Maine (left) and Ivan Vagner of Russia (right). After the two sister cities realized this, they thought that sending a Sister City greeting to them through the International Space Station would be a positive and uplifting gesture – especially during the times of COVID-19 which prevents in-person travel.
This is the first ever NASA/Roscosmos experience the two sister cities have had, but they plan to further research and facilitate future activities with those agencies regarding their sister city relationship.
(Story and Photos from Sister Cities International)