People Staff
November 17, 1997 12:00 PM

During 133 days in orbit aboard the space station Mir, Jerry Linenger, 42, took only sponge baths, rarely shaved and didn’t get a single haircut. “Jerry is that Sean Connery type of sexy,” says CNN’s Susan Rook, who followed the Mir mission, “and the scruffiness, in all honesty, didn’t hurt.” The fact that, weightless and unwashed, the 6′, 162-lb. Linenger still managed to be a celestial babe magnet doesn’t surprise those who know him best. Even back during the Michigan-born M.D.’s days at the Naval Academy, “there was definitely something about him—that strong jawline, maybe,” says his cousin and best friend, Tom Linenger. “Women came up to him without him even trying.” But the stars in Linenger’s eyes burn only for his wife of eight years, Kathryn, 32, with whom he has two young sons. On reentry in May, the hero prepped for their reunion by slicking back his hair with water. It was for love, not science, Linenger explains: “I had helmet hair from my space suit.”

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