August horizons

The shine of Olympic medals is dazzlingly bright. The Olympiad in London has brought together the highest sporting professionalism, creating intense tension, strong emotions and hopes met and crushed. Our Belarusian athletes have proven their Olympic opulence. Golden Olympic marksman Sergey Martynov, tennis players Victoria Azarenko and Max Mirny are returning home in triumph.
The shine of Olympic medals is dazzlingly bright. The Olympiad in London has brought together the highest sporting professionalism, creating intense tension, strong emotions and hopes met and crushed. Our Belarusian athletes have proven their Olympic opulence.
Golden Olympic marksman Sergey Martynov, tennis players Victoria Azarenko and Max Mirny are returning home in triumph. However, the ‘double silver’ of swimmer Alexandra Gerasimenya is of no less importance. Our other athletes certainly deserve praise. The prestige of domestic sport has not been shaken in London, although not all expectations have been met. We must continue to work hard to achieve success in future. Meanwhile, our current achievements are described in our article dedicated to the Olympic theme — Olympic Tests.
Other landmark events in July and August will long resonate, like the Olympiad. I primarily refer to the launch of the Belarusian satellite on July 22nd. It successfully launched from Baikonur, being sent into orbit and making our country a confident member of the world club of space states.
The upper stage of the rocket took 2,764 seconds to cover 520km, taking the 400kg satellite into near Earth orbit. It is due to remain there for at least five years; its chief designer, the Director of Geoinformation Systems enterprise, Sergey Zolotoi, believes it could last longer. The satellite boasts high dynamic characteristics, being manoeuvrable and able to promptly readjust to shoot at the necessary angle with up to 2m resolution.
Who will benefit from such Earth monitoring? Primarily specialists in mapmaking and geodesy, as over half of survey works are conducted via space surveillance. Such information is also in demand in the forestry and agricultural industries and by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection and the Emergency Ministry.
Our country has now truly joined the ‘club of space powers’, although, of course, we made our first steps in contributing to the Soviet space programme and to numerous international projects. Belarus has designed its own instruments to monitor objects in space and on the Earth’s surface and has made many elements of the satellite independently: high accuracy positioning systems, laser devices, optics, space data processing and software systems, heat-reflecting materials and units to test such protection, in addition to computer navigation programmes and much more. Moreover, our outstanding cosmonauts, Piotr Klimuk and Vladimir Kovalenok, have been into space more than once. Read more in Membership of Space Club.
We should mention that the Belarusian satellite was launched into space in close liaison with our Russian partners. Style of Partnership notes that recent months of Belarusian-Russian relations have been marked with active top level dialogue, testifying to the strategic partnership between Belarus and Russia: bilaterally and within multilateral integration associations. Meanwhile, Russia remains Belarus’ major trade partner, accounting for half of the Republic’s trade turnover.
Figures show active collaboration between our two countries, with Mr. Medvedev calling our mutual level of trade turnover ‘unprecedented’ and the ‘highest in the history of our bilateral relations’. “This is the result of our joint activity and integration processes within the Union State and the Customs Union,” he asserted. Undoubtedly, the session of the Union State Council of Ministers in Minsk will give additional impetus to these positive trends. The session tackled issues of economic interaction for Belarus and Russia, as well as liaisons in the spheres of defence and humanitarian issues.
“Overall, we believe that our relations are solid; we have understanding regarding most current affairs although, of course, some issues remain,” added Mr. Medvedev.
Meanwhile, the current issue of the magazine also has its Soyuz (Union) thematic supplement. Of course, many other topics are covered. Rich Mineral Resources explores the development of the potash branch, which serves state interests. Business Interests Meet in Lida pays homage to all those making a name for themselves as entrepreneurs. Of course, August is harvest time and the heat has made the campaign difficult. However, the sun has kept crops dry, which makes harvesting easier, compared with rain. This July saw record speeds of harvesting, showing farmers’ skills and professionalism. Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of harvest have been counted. As they say, ‘an August day feeds a year’.

BY Viktor Kharkov,
magazine editor
Беларусь. Belarus
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