Between Earth and sky

Belarusian students interview crew members of International Space Station for the first time 
By Marina Samonchenko 

Recently the ISS crew chatted to students from the Belarusian State University, who were gathered in a room within the International Relations Faculty. ‘The crew members of the 36th expedition of the ISS are speaking: pilot-in-command Pavel Vinogradov, and flight engineers Fiodor Yurchikhin and Alexander Misurkin’ were the first words spoken in the 11 minute conversation, in which students asked eight questions. These ranged from finding out how the crew members were spending their time to a light-hearted check on whether the men were still shaving.

More seriously, Sergei Ablameiko, Rector of the BSU, asked whether the photo spectral system developed at the BSU is working well on the ISS. Fiodor Yurchikhin answered, “It’s excellent. Literally yesterday, Pavel Vinogradov was using this equipment.” Mr. Ablameiko noted afterwards that the BSU is keen to have its own satellite. He explained, “There is a projected plan and, in truth, we could build a satellite ourselves.

However, we need official help in launching from Roscosmos; the latter offers a free support programme for university satellites in Russia, so we’re negotiating. We could build a satellite together, combining efforts with other universities, or we can work alone.”
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