Posted: 21.12.2021 11:25:00

Novitsky about Belarus from orbit

The Belarus Segodnya Publishing House hosted a direct telephone line with cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky and his wife, space journalist Yulia Novitskaya, with the guests of the editorial office answering readers’ questions

The broadcast began with a number of ‘earthly questions’, to which the reader asked the cosmonaut to answer from the ‘cosmic height’. An agronomist from the Slutsk District was keen to learn about the natural beauty of our country. He asked, “What do the Belarusian fields look like from a height of space and how do they differ from others?”

“Our Belarusian fields are the most well-groomed and beautiful,” Oleg Novitsky answered with a smile.

However, the fields are just one detail, from which the image of our country is being formed. By what signs can Belarus be designated from space?

“It is difficult to define the boundaries. You just, probably, need to navigate, as we were taught at the flying school: from large areal objects to smaller ones,” explained Oleg Novitsky, giving an example, “That is, we look at the outline of a forest, e.g., highways, motorways that are clearly visible, big cities. And from them we are already starting to move on to smaller details: quarries, rivers, small settlements.”

“Are rivers clearly visible?” clarified the agronomist.

"Large rivers are clearly seen."

The reader was also interested in how often the cosmonaut sees Belarus during the flight.

Night Minsk, view from space. Photo by Oleg Novitsky

“Not very often,” admitted Mr. Novitsky. “We make 16 full orbits around the Earth per day. The orbit projection passes along the southern border of Belarus on a maximum of two orbits. There are also orbits on which we do not go near at all... So, there is a great desire to take a photo when you know that the weather is good (clouds interfere with the shooting very much). Fortunately for me, I’ve taken some good pictures."

The cosmonaut said that he was able to capture all the regional centres of our country from space, as well as the Brest Fortress and his hometown: Cherven.