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28 Aug 2018

Planetary congress to gather some 90 cosmonauts from 19 countries in Minsk

Photo courtesy of National Academy of Sciences of Belarus

MINSK, 28 August (BelTA) – About 90 cosmonauts from 19 countries will take part in the 31st planetary congress of the Association of Space Explorers in Minsk on 9-15 September, BelTA learned from Deputy Chairman of the Presidium of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus Sergei Kilin on 28 August.

The official said: “We expect the largest delegations from Russia and the USA. Minsk will also welcome guests from Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, China, and other countries.”

The famous cosmonauts Belarus will welcome in September will include Svetlana Savitskaya, the first woman to go for a spacewalk. Minsk will also welcome China’s first cosmonaut Yang Liwei and the former holder of the longest time in outer space record Sergei Krikalev. The legendary cosmonaut Viktor Savinykh, who revived the space station Salyut 7, will be in Minsk, too. Many cosmonauts pursued political and scientific careers later in their lives, this is why the guests will include a former French minister and a former rector of the university in Stuttgart. “We also look forward to the arrival of the American astronaut Scott Kelly, who spent nearly a year in orbit together with the Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Korniyenko to research how the human body responds to the lengthy lack of gravity,” said Sergei Kilin.

The opening ceremony of the 31st planetary congress will take place in the expo center BelExpo on Monday, 10 September. Technical sessions are scheduled to take place to review the international space program, discuss results of flights to the International Space Station (ISS) and space science. Cosmonauts and astronauts are expected to meet with Belarusian school and university students on Wednesday, 12 September. Apart from that, a parkway of cosmonauts will be opened in the botanical garden. A monument to Belarusian space flight participants will be unveiled in Kosmonavtov Street. Sightseeing tours to places of interest in Belarus will be arranged.

The Association of Space Explorers (ASE) is an international not-for-profit organization that unites cosmonauts and astronauts from many countries. It was established in 1985 to share the best practices in the area of manned space flights. Every year the ASE planetary congress gathers cosmonauts and representatives of research institutions and national space agencies.

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