A heroic welcome was accorded by Delhites to prominent Russian cosmonaut Nikolai Budarin on April 22, 2011 at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture (RCSC). The highly anxious school children, who formed part of the large gathering, listened with rapt attention the exciting account of the outstanding feat of space odyssey accomplished by Hero of the Russian Federation and Pilot-Cosmonaut of the Russian Federation, Nikolai Budarin.
The function, organized within the framework of the Festival of Russian Cosmonautics in India, was to mark the 50th Anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s Flight into Outer Space. Representatives from Science Popularization Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE), students from the Russian Embassy School and Balbharati School, Peetampura, attended the function.
The Russian cosmonaut Nikolai Budarin appropriately responded the curious queries from school children keeping them in high spirit, particularly when he referred to his thrilling impressions on space-walk on zero-gravity environment, psychological state of mind, rare experience on cosmic phenomena and findings, biological experiments, and innovative astronomical conclusions, etc., worthy enough for in-depth scientific analysis and research to the broader benefits of mankind. The lively interaction between the Russian cosmonaut and Russian and Indian school children went a long way in stilling the interest on the study of astronomy among the young generation.
In his introductory remarks, Mr. Fyodor A. Rozovskiy, Director of the RCSC, pointed out that Nikolai Budarin, a veteran of three extended space missions aboard the Mir Space Station and the international Space Station (1995—2003), had been credited with duration of space missions totaling 444 days, including eight career spacewalks with a total time of 44 hours. He described the unique achievements of the cosmonaut as “amazing and incredible”. Dwelling at length upon the historic first space flight undertaken by Yuri Gagarin, which blazed a new trail in space science to the larger benefit of world humanity, Mr. Rozovskiy gave a detailed account of the Russian-Indian cooperation in the field of space science right from launching of Indian rockets, satellites, joint space flight, Chandrayan-I, with special emphasis on the successful latest launching of the Russian-Indian Scientific-Educational Satellite “YouthSat” from Srihaikota on April 20, 2011. He underlined the significant achievement scored by an Indian student, Siddharth Kalra from Surat, out of hundreds of thousands competitors from across the world, at the “International Olympiad on Space Science”, jointly organized by ROSSOTRUDNICHESTVO, ROSCOSMOS & UNESCO.
Nikolai Budarin also narrated the detailed accounts of his flight aboard the Mir orbital station and the International Space Station.
The function was followed by the screening of the film “Gagarin Chose by Stars” produced by ROSCOSMOS.