[b]We almost take space exploration for granted these days but it’s still impossible to remain completely indifferent to rocket and satellite launches. Belarus is very proud of its cosmonauts Piotr Klimuk and Vladimir Kovalenok, who began our tradition of space adventures. Cherven-born Oleg Novitsky is the latest to go into space, captaining an aircraft launched from Baikonur cosmodrome in late October.[/b]
Our article entitled Star Trek of Oleg Novitsky details the moment of launch, when his relatives, friends, classmates, teachers and acquaintances awaited the moment with bated breath. Alongside members of the international crew, they counted down to take-off, watching in awe as the rocket finally ascended into orbit. Breathing once more with relief, we’ve seen that nothing is impossible for our people. Pleasingly, Oleg is one in a long line of Belarusians in space. On October 25th, Oleg’s rocket docked with the International Space Station, marking the start of over five months of work with Russian Yevgeny Tarelkin and American Kevin Ford, conducting over 50 scientific experiments relating to medicine, industry and education. In their free time, the crew plans to photograph and film the Earth’s surface for relay via an Internet blog.
The Belarusians have a special attitude and long tradition regarding space exploration. Before Oleg Novitsky, Belarusians Piotr Klimuk and Vladimir Kovalenok visited the cosmos, as did the first female astronaut, Valentina Tereshkova (who had Belarusian origins). Our country aims to actively explore the universe, having recently launched its own satellite; in late August, the Information Processing Centre received its first pictures. Belarus now has an independent system of remote Earth sensing.
Since Soviet times, Belarus has focused on technical development, building up its legacy of science-intensive goods, which were always highly in demand. The recent meeting between Alexander Lukashenko and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin was significant in demonstrating that such potential remains high.
Mr. Rogozin stressed the importance of uniting the potential of Belarus and Russia in the military-technical sphere. Following the results of a working group meeting in Minsk which discussed co-operation between our military-industrial enterprises, Mr. Rogozin noted that the Russian military industry is eager to work closely with that of Belarus, as well as with Integral and MAZ. “Industrial interaction between the enterprises of our two countries is connected not only by the acquisition of assets, purchase of shares and other transactions. Co-operation may also exist between enterprises which preserve their independence and have different forms of property,” he said.
Such practice already exists in the space sphere and the military-political sphere is close behind. Belarus and Russia have signed a programme of measures to strengthen co-operation between their military-industrial enterprises from 2012-2015, as explored in Making Greater Use of Intelligence.
We welcome any progress which benefits citizens, raising standards of living, so the opening of new Metro lines is very welcome. The launch coincided with the eve of October Revolution Day — November 6th. A new section of Minsk’s first metro line has opened, with Belarus’ President, Alexander Lukashenko, in attendance. The stations of Grushevka, Mikhalovo and Petrovshchina are now operational along the new section, connecting the stations of Institut Kultury (Institute of Culture) and Petrovshchina. High-speed transportation between the residential districts of Minsk’s south-west and its centre will improve travel for many residents. These residential districts are also now joined to the south-eastern industrial area via the second line.
The new 5km+ line uses several advanced technical solutions in its design and construction. The President has praised the quality of work at the newly launched stations, which are not simply beautifully decorated but have been completed without excessive expenditure. “It’s great that the job has been done economically. There’s no need to build palaces, as functionality is key,” stresses Mr. Lukashenko. “Everything should be done simply and affordably. Primarily, clean orderliness should be achieved without excess, using durable materials.” Our Present in Time for Holiday is dedicated to this event.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Represen-tative of the Republic of Belarus to the UN and other international organisations in Geneva, Mikhail Khvostov, has given us an interview regarding Belarusian initiatives at the UN. Belarus is known as one of the founders of the United Nations, as you can read in our UN is Common Home for All.
Undoubtedly, hosts should be hospitable to their guests. It’s a tradition long honoured in our country, passed from generation to generation. To learn more about Belarusian hospitality, please read on!
[b]By Viktor Kharkov[b/]
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