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Cosmonaut Replies to Love Letter

An embarrassed Alexander Skvortsov, commander of the current expedition at the international space station, wrote to a 17-year-old Moscow girl who sent him a love letter that she was probably just starstruck, RIA-Novosti reported Wednesday.

Skvortsov, who published his reply with the girl's consent, said he was embarrassed by the letter, which was delivered to the space station on a cargo ship.

He suggested that the girl, who wrote that she had witnessed a rocket launch at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, was merely dazzled by the space industry in general.

But the cosmonaut, who is 44 and is married with a teenage daughter, declined to give the girl, whose name was withheld, his e-mail address or ICQ number.

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