Lectures of Russian Cosmonauts in Press

Cosmonauts at Merseyside SATRO, Liverpool-2001

Russian Cosmonauts in Cambridge (UK)
Russian Cosmonaut, space expert coming to Ada area (the USA)

Cosmonauts to Splash down in Kelowna (Canada)
Russian Cosmonauts in Aveiro (Portugal)
AMs and Children Delighted by Visitors from Outer Space (Glamorgan, UK)
Russian Cosmonauts in Denmark
Russian Cosmonauts Receive Key to the City (Idaho, the USA)
Rotary Club of Redding
City of Ada, Oklahoma. Procalmation.
Certificate of Appreciation. Boy Scouts of America


Russian Cosmonauts at Mackworth College Derby, UK
Sience Week in Canada
National Science Week 2000 at the University of Glamorgan

UK Press Coverage
The spaceman cometh
The Truth is out There, part 1
The Truth is out There, part 2
Travellers from 'Mir to here' talk space

USA Press Coverage
Cosmonaut tells of life in outer space
Cosmonauts visit Stennis Space Center
Russian space explorers sample Cajun hospitality
Russian official sees future business ventures in space



Another outstanding programme of public events.

The 'Space and Time' theme of Science on Saturday on 13th March proved to be very popular. Large audiences of exited children and fascinated adults packed into the Babbage Lecture Theatre to experience 'Adventures in Time and Space' with contributions from Spectrum Theatre Projects (from the Science Museum London), the experienced Russian cosmonaut. Colonel Alexander Volkov and his Mission Controller, Dr Alexander Martynov and also from Dr Jeffrey Hoffman one of the Team of NASA astronauts who repaired the Hubble Space Telescope on record breaking extra-vehicular activity in 1993.

National Science Week 1999 at the University of Cambridge

Lynne Harrison, University of Cambridge 
National Science Week Co-ordinator,
Board of Continuing Education, 
Madingley Hall, Madingley, Cambridge, CB3 8 AQ.


Dear Dr Martynov

I would now like to express our great appreciation of your contribution to our Saturday events.

There is no doubt that your participation was instrumental in attracting more visitors than ever before to our National Science Week program and, in particular, in reaching out to many people who had not participated in National Science Week in previously years. Our programme overall, attracted over 23,000 visits and 24% of our visitors were new to Science Week.

Your audience on Saturday very much enjoyed your presentation and you certainly enthused them all with the excitement of space travel. Linton Village College have also asked me to convey to you their grateful appreciation. The children were fascinated to meet you and your visit was described as 'absolutely brilliant'.

I enclose details of press coverage of the whole week's activities including your visit and some photographs. I am still trying to obtain copies of the photographs which appeared in the local newspaper and will forward them to you. Some digital photographs were taken outside Kings College and I have asked a colleague to forward them to you by e-mail.

Once again, thank you very much indeed for participating in our programme.

Yours sincerely,






Back in 1996, we received a letter from Russia, via the Mayor of Derby's office, inviting us to establish links with the City of Korolev, the famous Star City, just outside Moscow; we did not quite appreciate the exciting times ahead.

The author of the letter was Alexander Martynov, Head of External Relations in the City Of Korolev, who modestly did not reveal his past exploits and involvement with the Space Programme.

This became more apparent as our friendship developed and we explored collaborative projects.

This is no ordinary man; he is a distinguished scientist, academic and engineer. He was Head of Ballistics, involved with nothing less exciting than firing rockets into orbit.

He rubbed shoulders with distinguished cosmonauts and although he did not float with them in zero gravity, they depended upon his skills to deliver them safely to their destination.

Through Alexander Martynov, I have had the privilege and the pleasure of being introduced to prominent cosmonauts like Vladimir Soloviev and Alexander Volkov.

Cosmonaut Vladimir Soloviev is Director General of flight control for the MIR Station and for the international Space Station project. Cosmonaut Alexander Volkov has broken a few records and was decorated for his courage.

In January 1997, Alexander Martynov made his first UK lecture tour and he chose Mackworth College Derby as a launch pad for this event. Vladimir Soloviev accompanied him and they both entertained large and diverse audiences with insights and first hand accounts of life on board the MIR station. Their presence in the City of Derby and in Derbyshire was greeted with a lot of enthusiasm and interest from a public that was fascinated by space exploration.

Derby became a special place for Alexander Martynov and his friends from Star City. He paid us a second visit in 1998, this time with Alexander Volkov and once again they entertained large audiences with their experience in space.

Around 3000 people attended these lectures and groups of Derbyshire students have had opportunities to participate in the International Space Olympics in Korolev.

Alexander Martynov's lecture tours are now truly international, as he has entertained audiences in Tunisia, France, Belgium, USA, to name but a few.

We are proud that Alexander came to Mackworth College Derby for his first UK lecture tour. We learned a lot from him and we value his friendship.

Rafik Sfar-Gandoura 

Director-International Office

      TEL/MINICOM: (01332)  51 9951
      FAX (01332) 510548 

470 Queensway Avenue
Kelowna, B.C.
V1Y 6S7

Phone: {250) 763-2417
Fax: (250) 763-5722

May 15th, 2000
Department of Foreign Relations
Administration of Korolev
P.O. Box 25, Central Post Office
Korolev, Moscow Region 141070

Attention: Dr. Alexander Martynov
Commander Alexander Volkov

Dear Dr. Martynov and Commander Volkov,

As Director of the Kelowna Museum I would like to thank you on behalf of our museum staff and board of directors for your visit to our city in late March. When we made the decision to use your lecture series as our millennium project we had no idea that the end result would be so positive and have such an impact in our community.

The Kelowna Museum has become well known in our region for innovative programming and your presentations which were adaptable to a wide variety of audiences helped us to celebrate the new millennium by taking a look at the history of space exploration as well as a view into the future.

We were particularly pleased with our audience attendance at the eleven lecture sites and with the amount of media attention that you received. Lastly, from a personal perspective we truly appreciated meeting two very gifted gentlemen from Russia who shared their lives with us and who hopefully left Canada with the knowledge that they have made some strong Canadian friendships.

We would gratefully recommend your lecture series to any community that is inquiring about speaking arrangements and if we can be of any service in bringing you back to Canada again, we look forward to the opportunity.

Yours truly,

Wayne Wilson
Kelowna Museum

School of Applied Sciences
Direct Line: 01443 483407
Fax: 01443 482285

Foreign Relations Department,
Administration of Korolev,
Date: 17 May, 2000
Dear Dr Alexander Martynov,

National Science Week 2000 at the University of Glamorgan

Thank you once again for the lecture tour by yourself and Commander Colonel Alexander Volkov. The four day visit to Glamorgan during National Science Week resulted in over 2000 students, school pupils and members of the general public hearing two of Russia's leading space experts.

You were very welcome and special guests for us. We have had nothing but praise and good reports from those who came to your lectures. It was particularly exciting for our students to see what life is like in space and to learn much about the details of planning and maintaining a space programme.

Our sponsors, British Telecom, Mid Glamorgan Education Business Partnership, South East Wales TEC, Pontypridd Town Council and the British Association, were very pleased with the extensive media coverage which included BBC Radio Wales, BBC Wales Today, BBC Radio 4 and the World Service, as well as Web coverage on BBC Online (this report can be read at http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/wales/newsid_68 1000/68101 4.stm)

We thank you very much for including us in the tour, and would be very happy to accommodate you again on your next visit. We would also be interested in coming to see you in Russia some time in the future, perhaps to be involved in the Space Olympics.

Yours sincerely

Mark Brake
Principal Lecturer,
Earth and Space Science Field Leader,
School of Applied Sciences,
University of Glamorgan, CF37 1DL.

The spaceman cometh

Darlington and Stockton Times
Weekend TIMES

Last week, the first module of a new Russian-built international space station blasted off from Kazakhstan paving the way for journeys to Mars and beyond. FAY NAYMAN talks to Russian cosmonaut, Commander Alexandre Volkov, Hero of the Soviet Union, director of the Russian space programme and a former commander of the space laboratory, Mir, and space scientist Dr Alexandre Martynov to find out its impact on future exploration. 
On a cold Friday morning, a 41ft-long space module, built by Russia and owned by the United States, trailblazed into the sky sparking a row over its potential uses and whether the money would have been better spent on the ageing Mir space station.
As the first part of the 330ft orbiting space station - named Zarya - reaches its destination, the project is already being criticised for its rising costs, delays, lack of public interest and weak focus.
Involving 16 nations and more than 100 different elements, it will take 45 assembly flights to build with more than 100 rocket launches and 160 space walks - totalling more than 1,000 hours - to fit the station together.
At an estimated cost of ×60bn, it is a far cry from the ×2bn predicted by Nasa, 30 years ago. 
However, Commander Alexandre Volkov, now in charge of all Russian cosmonaut training, sees the project as the only way the earth will survive the devastation wreaked upon it by man.
Having spent a total of 365 days is space, directing hundreds of biological and physical experiments and seeing the earth from a different view, he is well qualified to comment.
"By the year 2006 this new station will be available to accommodate space crews acting as a half way house between Earth and Mars," he said.
"This means within our lifetime missions to Mars and beyond will no longer be a dream.
"The technology on board can monitor the atmosphere and warn of impending natural disasters like hurricanes and floods and avert massive suffering.
"Also, within the next 50 years we will have all our harmful industries that pollute the skies; floating around in space instead of down here.
Cmdr Volkov thinks it is ludicrous to believe we are alone in the universe and is sure there are other human-like life-forms way beyond our reach.
"We are not alone in this life. We are only one system and I am sure we will find DNA in other stellar systems," he said.
Although he does not believe aliens will look like us, he laughs at the idea of green, one-eyed warty monsters as portrayed in comic books and science fiction.
Accompanying Cmdr Volkov on a tour of northern colleges and universities, including the Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College in Darlington, was Dr Alexandre Martynov, a specialist in flight control systems. He was head of ballistics at space mission control from 1968 until 1992 and directly responsible for landing space vehicles on the surfaces of the Moon, Mars and Venus as well as for the safe return of cosmonauts to earth.
As chief of foreign relations for the city of Korolev, which houses the base for cosmonaut training and space projects, he has visited many countries to organise international projects.
He believes it is important to keep Mir in orbit as a precursor to problems that could occur as the new station ages.
"Mir has been in orbit for more than 12 years now and it will be a good idea to continue flights to and from there to monitor how long it can work outside of the atmosphere," he said.
But he disagrees with the criticisms that the money should have been spent on Mir and not on a new project.
"I think it is good to have two stations. Although there are new scientific devices on board Mir, I think there is much we can learn from the technology bound for use on the Zarya station."
On December 3, American space shuttle Endeavour launches the second piece - a 22ft-long connecting unit - to be attached to the module during three space walks, using Endeavour's robot arm.
Next July or August, the Russian - built service module, packed with life - support systems, will dock with the station, but the first crews are not expected on board until the end of next year. 
As the frontiers of space are pushed back further, the half-way house in space will allow future crews to reach Mars in a total of two-and-a-half years.
Although Cmdr Volkov is aged 50, he has not hung up his space boots and hopes to match the 77 - year - old former US senator Mr John Glenn, who made his record - breaking flight into space last month - 36 years after being the first American to orbit the earth.
Cmdr Volkov says age is not an issue for flying but a fit mind and body are very important.
"It is vital to keep fit before and during flights. During my last mission I lost 15pc of red cells in my blood and I have only just managed to regain them.
"We also used to lose bone calcium through long periods of weightlessness but now during flights we exercise for 30 minutes a day on treadmills and bikes held down by two rubber straps around our waists.' 
The effects space has on the mind, says Cmdr Volkov, is the way it changes your philosophy on life, making realise life on earth is so precious.
"When you see the earth from way up there you understand there is no difference between countries or people.
"Earth is all our homes and we should all be friends. It made me love my land more than I did before," he said.
With over 80 different menu choices available for cosmonauts in space, eating well and staying in peak mental and physical condition is no longer a problem.
Perhaps it is time to launch some of the world's leaders into space to show them the beauty of our planet and make them understand the consequences for everyone if decisions are made with only a few in mind. 


The Truth is out There

Saturday, October 10, 1998

Russian cosmonaut Alexander Volkov has never seen Star Trek but he had some fascinating information for Derby school children when he visited Derby this week. Sue Williams asked him about life in space.

Russian cosmonaut Alexander Volkov admits he now views the world in a totally different light after spending over a year in space looking down on our remarkable planet.
He said: "When I first saw the Earth from space I was amazed at how beautiful it was and the longer I was in space, the more I became a philosopher and my understanding of the world changed.
"I no longer saw any borders. I imagined the Earth not as separate countries and peoples but as a whole planet.
"Now, for me, it makes no difference if people are Russian, Jewish, German.
"They are all just people - the nation of the Earth and the Earth is our house and we should take care of it because it is the only one in our galaxy."
Commander Volkov, the most decorated cosmonaut in Russia, lived for six months without a break on space station MIR.
He is now director of the entire Russian space programme.
At 50, he looks incredibly fit and physically unaffected by his experiences, but as he explained to a group of Derby schoolchildren at Mackworth College this week, he had to remain fit or die.
"When you are weightless, your muscles become weak if you don't do physical exercise.
"If you allow your heart and all your other muscles to weaken, when you return to the gravity of Earth you will die on landing.
"So we had a special treadmill to run on so that we didn't fly while running and we would run 10km an hour every day and we wore special suits with rubber tension straps inside to force our muscles to work when we moved.
"Even then when you return to Earth it takes three days to get used to gravity.
"Everything feels very heavy. And it takes three months for the body to recover fully. It is a very big shock to the system.
"When you are weightless the distribution of the blood and everything is different.
"Nevertheless it is still possible to live in space for a long time.
"We already have plans for flying to Mars and beyond to Pluto and from there to the next galaxy."
Commander Volkov lived for most of the time on MIR with just one other astronaut, although others, including Britain's first woman astronaut Helen Sharman, visited from time to time.
Fascinating video footage from the space station shows Helen trying to drink floating water globules and tending to new-born chicks confused by their weightlessness.
Meals are informal affairs. When cutlery and plates float before you, tables become an irrelevance.
The camera shows astronauts trying to catch bread rolls, eating food from a floating fork and sipping tea enclosed in plastic bags to prevent it drifting away.
Everything from biscuits and fruit to soup and caviar come in plastic packages.
The space station is currently 400 kilometres from the Earth. It takes a space shuttle two days to reach it.
Currently it is travelling at 8 km a second, orbiting the Earth 16 times in a day.
The station has seven modules or rooms. Two are living quarters; the rest are work space.
Each living room has a bed attached to the wall with a canopy to stop astronauts floating in their sleep.
There are books, games and the all-important vacuum.
Commander Volkov said: "We use the vacuum to suck up anything we don't want floating around.
"When we cut our hair we vacuum it as we cut.
"Our space toilet is a vacuum cleaner.
"When it is full, we throw it out into space and eventually it burns up as it re-enters the Earth's atmosphere."
The cosmonaut's work involved making the occasional excursion outside the space station.
Commander Volkov: "I was scared every time I went on a space mission, but my most frightening experience was my first walk in space.
"It was a very strange feeling being alone in a vast universe."
He added: "The psychological discomfort of living in a confined space for six months with just one other person is the most difficult part.
"Imagine living with your best friend in one room for a year and within a week, I think you would have an argument."
Commander Volkov worked as a military pilot instructor and test pilot before joining the Russian cosmonaut team in 1976.
He said: "When Gagarin made his first flight into space in 1961, I was only 13.
"I didn't dream then of becoming an astronaut but I thought I could be a pilot like Gagarin.
"So I worked hard and I became a pilot and after I had tested planes for six years, I decided to become an astronaut.
"I come from a very ordinary, working family. My father was a truck driver.
"My mother was an accountant, so it is possible for anyone to do it. You just need to have a good education, good health and above all, a strong desire."
Volkov's first space flight was on board the research station Soyuz 14/Salut 7 for 65 days in 1985, followed by a 150-day stint on MIR.
He later returned as commander of MIR, spending six months in space.
He is currently involved in planning the return of the 150-tonne station to Earth next year. The aim is to burn up some sections of the station on re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere and plunge the rest safely into the Pacific Ocean.
It will be replaced by an international space station, operated jointly by the Americans and Russians.
Volkov is excited about the prospect and about the future.
"I do believe there could be other people on other galaxies.
"I have no idea what they might look like. But I don't think the people of Earth will have the capacity to go to other galaxies for at least another 50 years, so I hope somebody from another galaxy has the technical capability to visit us in my lifetime.
"I really want to meet them."


The Truth is out There, part 2

Thursday, January 23, 1997

STARDATE 1997: Mackworth College - The final frontier.

This is the story of two Russian cosmonauts who visited the city this week - and the pupils from Brackensdale Junior School and Reigate Junior School who boldly went to meet them.

If an astronaut told you that he believed in aliens you might start taking the X-Files a bit more seriously.

Veteran spaceman Vladimir Solovev has spent more than a year of his life in space and although he hasn't actually seen little green men he's sure they are out there somewhere.
Mr Solovev and fellow cosmonaut Alexander Martynov spoke at Mackworth College after staff arranged for the pair to visit Derby.
As part of a gruelling tree-day tour of the area, which ended yesterday, the cosmonauts visited the university, Rolls-Royce and spoke to local school children.
For the two men, talking to the children was one of the most enjoyable aspects of their visit - and one that prompted talk of space toilets and aliens.
"People always seem to be interested in how spacemen go to the toilet, they are fascinated, but it is understandable given the problems with weightlessness and such," said Mr Solovev.
"The other thing people always ask us is about space aliens - but that is not necessarily a bad thing."
If you believe the Washington Post Mr Solovev has already come face-to-face with beings from another planet and seven angels who surrounded his craft on a mission in 1984.
He added: "I could not believe they put that in such a serious paper.
"I've never seen any aliens but I am sure we are not alone in the universe."
During their lectures at Mackworth the cosmonauts gave a fascinating insight into life in space.
Even though they are thousands of miles from earth cosmonauts are not above playing practical jokes on those left behind - all in the name of science.
Alexander Martynov recalls the story of how the cosmonauts used a 30-metre mirror to reflect a sunrise onto a small French village.
Although it was midnight in France the whole village was lit up - and the cockerels promptly started crowing to herald a new day.
He said: "Lots of experiments are carried out - we can learn a lot in space." 

These are some questions asked by children: 

Robert Molloy (10)

Q. How do you sleep in space?
A. We sleep on the celling or the wall, it doesn't matter so long as we are secured so we don't float away.

Verity Wiles (11)
Q. Have you ever been to England before?
A. No, but we found England, particularly Derby, to be very beautiful and interesting.

Scott Clarke (11)
Q. How fast does a rocket go?
A. About five miles per second and within 10 minutes we can reach an altitude of 400km.

Lisa Miles (eight)
Q. How do you go to the toilet in space?
A. Very carefully. The toilet is like a big vacuum cleaner and when you want to go you switch that on.

Matthew Armstrong (10)
Q. How do you wash?
A. We go in a special cabin where we are wrapped in a ball of water containing warm air and liquid soap. We breathe through a pipe and get dry by vacuuming off the water ball.

Heather Gomez (10)
Q. How do you feel just before take-off?
A. Usually we are very nervous and just want to get it over with.

Jack Coulson (nine)
Q. What was the best thing you saw from space?
A. The most interesting sight was the view of the Earth.

Wayne Woodrow (nine)
Q. How do you become a cosmonaut?
A. You need to be a good student, go to university to study, be a good athlete and interested in space.

Heather Sims (11)
Q. How did you feel when you learnt you had been selected to go into space?
A. It was very exciting because everyone wants to fly above the earth like a bird.

Lyndsey Sherwin (10)
Q. Do you have to put weights on everything you take up with you?
A. All objects are weightless in space because there is no gravity so things do have to be held down.

Crew's cuddly addition

WHEN the Cosmonauts leave the city today they will not be alone.
Packed in their luggage will be a small and cuddly addition to the Russian space programme. 
Ramanaut, a miniature version of Derby County's Rammie mascot, is to be blasted into space on February 10 before spending time living aboard the Mir space station.
The cuddly cosmonaut, whose name was chosen by Reigate Junior School pupil Michelle Brown (10), will be seen around the world as pictures of the mission are beamed back by satellite.
The idea for the stunt came from Mackworth College lectures who were hosting the cosmonauts visit. 


Travellers from 'Mir to here' talk space

Evening Gazette
Tuesday, November 17 1998

Cosmonauts have landed

Two of Russia's leading cosmonauts have landed on Teesside with a ground-breaking mission to encourage students to take up science.
Mir space station stalwart Alexandre Volkov and space craft engineer Alexandre Martynov are spending several days talking about the wonders of space and their experiences to students and school children. 


The visit has been jointly arranged by Slockton Sixth Form College, Guisborough's Prior Pursglove College, Darlington's Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College, the Science and Technology Regional Organisation and Teesside University.
A probing question and answer session has already been held at Stockton SFC, involving A 'level science students.
Today, a "From Mir to here" public lecture will be held at Guisborough Priory Campus at 7:30pm, after an afternoon talk to students.
On Thursday, the cosmonauts will visit Normanby's South Park Campus to meet students, including American Astronaut namesake Neil Armstrong, a 15-year-old student from Beverley School, Middlesbrough.
Also on Thursday, and on Friday there will be a series of daytime presentations at Queen Elizabeth SFC, in Darlington. 
Additional lectures are organised at British Steel and Teesside University tomorrow.
Philip Malkin, business links manager at Queen Elizabeth SPC said: "It's a real coup having the cosmonauts come to the North-east as we haven't had any here before." 


"There are 21 events, illustrated by video clips from the space programme, scale models and artefacts." he said.
The visit costing around ×15,000, is being funded by local firms and grants. It could herald more innovative scientific events, according to the organisers.
* For details of venues and times of events, contact 01325-461315 or 01287- 280800.


Cosmonaut tells of life in outer space

Lake Charles American Press
Tuesday, March 24, 1998

McNeese engineering students Monday heard a firsthand account of life on the Russian MIR Space Station.
Russian cosmonaut Col. Alexandr Volkov, a veteran of three tours of duty on the space station, presented the program in the McNeese Alumni Center.
He was accompanied by Alexandr Martynov, chief of foreign relations department for the administration of the city of Korolev. He served as interpreter for Volkov and gave a brief history of space exploration.
The Russians are touring the United States to talk about the Russian space program and the 40th anniversary of the first Sputnik flight.
Volkov said he was born in 1948 and attended the Russian military aviation school. He then became an instructor at the school and also spent eight years as a test pilot, during which time he tested about 30 new airplanes. He was awarded his nation's highest honor, "Hero of the Soviet Union".
In 1976 he was invited to attend cosmonaut school, which takes two years. He then took part in the Russian space shuttle program until it was canceled, then joined the space station program.
Volkov used videos taken on MIR to show the engineering students what life is like on the space station.
He said it takes two days to reach MIR, which currently is manned by two cosmonauts and a U.S. astronaut.
Volkov said the routine includes performing various experiments and engaging in physical activities to keep muscles toned.
He said the cosmonauts spend 30 minutes a day on an exercise bicycle and run in place.
The cosmonaut showed a typical space meal, which included canned fish, cheese, tea and bread.
They also have learned to cut each other's hair. "I'm a good barber now," he said in Russian.
He also showed, on the video, the sleeping quarters and toilet facilities on the MIR.
Recreation included playing a guitar and singing. The tours of duty last for six months.
Volkov said in the 12-year history of the MIR, the space station has had two fires and two collisions.
He said MIR will operate for two more years before it will be replaced by a joint Russian-American space station, which is being built now in Russia.
The new space station will also have elements supplied by Japan, Europe and Canada. He said it will be able to accommodate six cosmonauts and astronauts.
Martynov is the former head of the Ballistics Department of Control Center, which was responsible for the process of landing space vehicles on the surface of the Earth and other planets.
He outlined the history of space exploration, beginning with the Russian satellite Sputnik in 1957, and the American Explorer in 1958.
Martynov said future space efforts will require international cooperation. He expects future ventures into outer space to include the new international space station and exploring other planets.
Another future project is the creation of a space launching facility on the equator, which he said would allow for a 20 percent increase in pay load.
He said the future will also see such developments as power stations orbiting the Earth. 


Cosmonauts visit Stennis Space Center

National Aeronautics and Space Administration,
Volume 21, Issue 4,
John C. Stennis Space Center
April 22, 1998

The most highly decorated cosmonaut with the Russian Space Agency visited SSC on March 30 to speak of his experiences in space aboard the Russian space station Mir.
Col. Alexander Volkov, commander of the cosmonauts team at the Cosmonauts Training Center in Russia, gave a lively presentation to SSC employees and students from local high schools in the Visitors Center auditorium. His comments were interpreted by Alexandr Martynov, chief of the Foreign Relations Department of the City of Korolev, Moscow Region, in Russia.
"The Russians are great space pioneers," SSC Director Roy Estess said. "One of the great things about the state of the world today is our ability to reach out and work with our Russian colleagues in the space program."
Volkov's visit was part of the Russian Space Exploration Program, during which he spent a week making presentations in Louisiana at schools, libraries, civic clubs and other organizations.
During his presentation, Volkov outlined the history and development of the Russians' work in space exploration. Videos and still photographs taken aboard Mir showed experiments that were conducted with water and fire in a zero-g environment. Volkov also showed pictures of the damage to Mir caused when the resupply spacecraft collided with the Spektr module on June 25, 1997.
About 60 students from Hancock High School, Bay High School, Picayune High School and Pearl River Central High School attended the presentation. Among the students was Yuliya Chernova, a Russian exchange student at Hancock.
Chernova had the chance to meet Volkov, something she had wanted to do for a long time. In fact, it was the first time she had ever met a cosmonaut.
Volkov was a cosmonaut researcher on board the orbital research complex Sojuz T-14, Salut 7 in 1985. He also served as chief of the Soviet-French program team on board Mir from Nov. 28, 1988 to April 27, 1989. His third flight aboard Mir was from Oct. 2, 1991 to March 25, 1992.
Volkov was conferred the rank of a Hero of the Soviet Union and Space Pilot of the USSR. He was also decorated by Order of Lenin, Order of October Revolution and received a Golden Star medal for courage and heroism shown during his flights. 


Russian space explorers sample Cajun hospitality

The Daily Advertiser

Three Russian cosmonauts chose Lafayette as the only American city to visit as part of the Russian Space Education Program.
The cosmonauts, Alexander Martynov, Vladimir Lobachev and Vladimir Soloviev held a press conference Monday at the Hotel Acadiana. 
"We are all quite old now and looking for new people to continue," Lobachev said with the help of an interpreter. "We love your city for educational purposes because it's located very well between two space centers: Houston and Florida".
Philippe Gustin, Le Centre International Director, said Lafayette was also selected because Martynov had been to Lafayette twice before and wanted to return.
Martynov, Lobachev and Soloviev are talking to local middle and high school students for the next two weeks about their space achievements.
Carencro High was visited Monday by the cosmonauts. There the cosmonauts showed a video they made while on the space station Mir. In the video, the cosmonauts explain physics and biology experiments. 
"We saw students very much interested and asked questions," Lobachev said. "When we meet with students we watched their eyes light up."
Lobachev helped design space vehicles and works for Russian Space Mission Control.
Soloviev was the first cosmonaut to fly to the space station Mir. He was also part of the Salyut-7 space station crew. Now he is flight control director for Mir.
Martynov planned the landing of unmanned probes to Mars, Venus and the Moon. He is now the Head of Foreign Relations for the City of Korolev in the Moscow Region of Russia.
Also in town for the press conference was NASA Astronaut Jim Halsell. Halsell was a pilot in the STS-74 mission between the space shuttle and Mir.
He returned an Acadian flag he brought last year into space. The flag was signed by the crew of the space shuttle and Mir.
The flag was one of 20 items Halsell, a Louisiana native, was allowed to bring into space.
Mayor Kenny Bowen, who was on hand to receive the flag, said he will hang it in a prominent spot in City Hall.
During the joint space mission between the Russians and NASA, the space shuttle brought cargo to the cosmonauts on Mir, according to Halsell.
Most of the people on the mission were former active duty military officers, who 10 years ago were waiting to go to war with one another, he added.
The mission signified how much the world has changed for the better, he continued.
Halsell and the other NASA astronauts were in space for eight days as compared to Soloviev and the cosmonauts who stayed in space for eight months.
"That should give you an idea of how developed the Russians are with space endurance," Halsell said.
Other presentations the cosmonauts are scheduled to make include Doing Business with Russia at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Le Centre International at 735 Rue Jefferson. 


Russian official sees future business ventures in space

The Daily Advertiser
Saturday, March 28, 1998

LAFAYETTE - Space isn't just the final frontier.
It's the newest marketplace.
From 1968 through 1992, Alexander Martynov was head of the Ballistics Department of the Russian space program. As the head of that department he was responsible for the process of landing of space vehicles on Mars and Venus.

This past week he and Col. Alexander Volkov have been touring Acadiana answering questions about the Russian space program and space exploration in general. 

Martynov is now the chief of foreign relations for the Korolev and Volkov, who has spent 391 days in space, is commander of cosmonauts at the Cosmonauts Training Center.

The two were visiting Acadiana as part of a program sponsored by several organizations and businesses. For Martynov, the next big step in the exploration and commercialization of space is the International Space Station.

"The first module will be launched from Russia later this year", Martynov said. Construction of the first international outpost in space will begin and by the end of the year, he said, the first crew of two cosmonauts and a U.S. astronaut will be onboard.

The first module of the space station has been built in Russia and will be launched from a Russian spaceport. The U.S. will send most of its modules for the station into orbit onboard space shuttles.

"It will take about two-and-a-half years to complete construction of the space station," Martynov said. Within 15 years, he said, new industries will be developing in space onboard the space station.

"The first things we will learn will be about new materials that we can manufacture in space," Martynov said. Among those new materials are medicines, building materials as well as medical knowledge about how humans react to long-term periods of weightlessness.

"That will help us get ready for missions to Mars," Martynov said. "A trip to Mars and back will take about three years. There are thousands of experiments waiting for us up in space.

"The more we learn about how humans react in space, the better for us. I don't know when, but I do know that we will soon have men on Mars and then an outpost."

He said that with the recent discovery of ice on the moon, that will help push the nations of the Earth to speeding up efforts to land men back on the lunar surface.

"The ice can be used for fuel and oxygen," he said. "It gives us the materials we need to survive and to go even further."

Martynov said the only way space can be opened for commercial possibilities is through "an international effort with the nations working together."

Before that, though, Martynov said Russian companies, working with a firm in the Ukraine and the U.S. Boeing Co. are collaborating on a project called the Sea Launch Program.

Martynov said the companies involved in this project will use offshore platforms that have been towed to a position near the equator. From there, they will be used to launch commercial satellites and spacecraft into orbit.

By launching from the equator, Martynov said, "we will be able to increase the payload by almost 20 percent." He explained that it is easier to reach a Near Earth Orbit from the equator because of the way the planet's gravitational field is affected by centrifugal force of the Earth's spinning on its axis.

"Space is the new marketplace," Martynov said. "There is a lot of interest in commercial launches and the exploration of space and that interest is growing and I do not see it stopping."