Colombia celebrates 40 years of the Cuban cosmonaut's flight
Bogotá, Sep 19 (Prensa Latina) Friends of Cuba in Colombia commemorated the 40th anniversary of the flight of Cuban cosmonaut Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez, the first Latin American to achieve this space feat.
In a meeting with professors from Colombia and Russia, they commented on the technical elements of the Cuban-Soviet space flight, the Intercosmos project and the personal history of Tamayo Méndez, the Cuban embassy in the South American nation highlighted today.
Colombian professor and engineer Rafael Camerano presented those present with technical and physical details of the mission and the docking of the Soyuz-38 spacecraft to the Soviet Saliut-6 orbital station.
Likewise, doctor in chemistry, teacher and researcher, Yuri Orlik, a native of Russia, explained the characteristics of the Soviet Intercosmos program, whose purpose was to involve other countries in space research.
The Russian professor, who has also been in Cuba, stressed this initiative of the USSR was an example of collaboration and peaceful use of outer space.
Also, Colombian professor and physicist Juan Manuel González talked about the life of Cuban Arnaldo Tamayo, his origin, his training as a military pilot and details of the preparation for this historic flight.
The first secretary of the Cuban embassy in Colombia, Omar Rafael García, thanked the celebration of this date and highlighted that such scientific feat was the result of the will of the Cuban Revolution to develop all fields of science and also the sincere friendship that existed between Cuba and then Soviet Union, based on mutual respect and fraternal collaboration.
The event concluded with an emotional greeting and gratitude message from today's Brigadier General, Arnaldo Tamayo, sent especially to friends of Cuba in Colombia and to the organizers and those present at the meeting.
The joint mission between Cuba and the then Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) took off from the Baikonur cosmodrome, in Kazakhstan, on September 18, 1980, with crew members Arnaldo Tamayo and Yuri Romanenko.
Of the eight hours planned for rest, Tamayo only slept four, because he did not want to miss the opportunity to observe the universe, take photos and videos of those moments.
'If this is the only opportunity to be in outer space, I did not come to sleep,' Tamayo said in an interview with Cuban media.
As a result of the images taken during the flight, he received an award from the TASS news agency, belonging to the USSR, for photographing the sun every 20 seconds, as it emerged on the earth's horizon.
On October 10, 1980, Tamayo and Romanenko were received at the Havana international airport by the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, and the leadership of the Antillean country, while thousands of Cubans cheered in their way to the city.
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