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Belarus takes first steps to train its own cosmonaut

23.07.2020

Belarus is taking the first steps to train its own cosmonaut, BelTA learned from Chairman of the Presidium of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus Vladimir Gusakov in an interview.

The official said: “In my opinion, we should definitely expand the country's presence in outer space. The plan to train and send the first cosmonaut of sovereign Belarus into outer space may seem overly ambitious. However, the first steps towards this goal are already being made.”

Vladimir Gusakov met with Director General of the state corporation Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin in January 2020. The sides reached an agreement that Belarusian scientists will visit the Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center in order to get familiar with its operation. The Russian side received a list of the NASB employees the academy intends to send there. The organizations include the Radiobiology Institute, the Central Botanical Garden, the Applied Science Center for Bioresources, and the Physiology Institute. These NASB representatives can be later viewed as potential Belarusian candidates, who can be trained in the Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center and participate in space flights. The possibility of evaluating their fitness for space flights is being discussed.

The Belarusian scientists will visit the Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center once all the restrictions caused by the spread of the coronavirus infection are lifted. The possibility of participation of NASB representatives in Roscosmos' ground experiments using research products of Belarusian scientists will be discussed during the visit as well.

Vladimir Gusakov pointed out that sons of Belarus had already been to outer space. The cosmonauts Piotr Klimuk and Vladimir Kovalenok completed their space missions during the USSR times. Oleg Novitsky is a Russian pilot-cosmonaut. Other cosmonauts have Belarusian roots, too – Valentina Tereshkova, Oleg Artemyev, Anton Shkaplerov, and Georgy Grechko. “Belarusians, who work as design engineers, technical engineers, scientists and heads of organizations and enterprises, have contributed and keep contributing to the development of the space industry in the USSR and Russia,” the chairman of the Presidium of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus stressed.

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