Constellations, Launch, New Space and more…

Russia and UK to Mark 50th Annivesary of Gagarin Flight

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
February 22, 2011
Filed under , ,

Russia and the United Kingdom are planning a series of events to mark the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s flight into space. The events include: a conference in London; lectures, exhibitions, cultural events; the unveiling of a Gagarin statue in London; and the implementation of a joint experiment on board the International Space Station.

Russian and British officials met in Moscow on Tuesday to formally open the UK-Russian Year of Space 2011 program. The group issued a joint statement in the names of Roscosmos Head Anatoly Perminov and UK Space Agency Acting Chief Executive David Williams.

The program comes amidst efforts to deepen cooperation between the UK and Russia in space. The UKSA was recently formed to raise the country’s profile in space and better coordinate its space activities.

A list of UK and Russian events is shown after the break.

UK Russia Year of Space 2011
List of Space Science Activities

  • UK Russia Space Science Cafe’s: The Science & Innovation Section of the British Embassy Moscow will hold a series of evening lectures for UK and Russian expert professors to highlight UK and Russia’s world class excellence in fundamental space science research.  Senior space scientists from UK and Russia will be invited to deliver keynote lectures in Russia throughout 2011. The first science cafe will be held on the 1st February 2011 at British Consulate General St Petersburg entitled  “Life on mars: surviving harsh environments”. The second and third lectures will be on the 22nd February 2011 on “Psychology in space – Mars 500” and “Innovations in Space Weather”. Lead is Dr Julia Knights, First Secretary S&I Moscow.
  • The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee will hold a space science activity related to the “YuriGargarin50” campaign in the House of Commons on the 17th March 2011 during the UK’s National Science and Engineering Week (11-20 March 2011).
  • The Royal Aeronautical Society’s Yuri Gagarin conference, 16 March 2011, London. HRH Prince Michael of Kent and Roscosmos has been invited to deliver a keynote speech. Academician Vadim Gushin from the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems and Dr Vitely Chmyrev from the Schmidt Institute of Physics of the Earth are due to attend from Russia and deliver speeches. Lead: Conference Chairman, Pat Norris, Chairman of RAS Space Group Committee.
  • “First orbit” a film about what Gagarin would have seen on his famous journey 50 years ago by British Film maker Chris Riley will be screened at the British Embassy in Moscow to an invited audience of Russian space scientists around the 12th April 2011. Lead: Dr Julia Knights, Science & Innovation section, British Embassy, Moscow.
  • “YuriGagarin50” Campaign to celebrate the anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s heroic space flight. The Campaign was launched last year in June 2010 at the House of Commons by Dr. Helen Sharman (the first British astronaut in space who spent 7 days on the Mir Space Station in 1991 with Sergei Krikalev, now he is the Chief of the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre). Lead: Chairman of “YuriGagarin50”, Dr. Chris Welch.
  • “Space for All” programme is UK Space Agency’s contribution to “YuriGagarin50” – a new community sponsorship award scheme which allows organisations and individuals to apply for funding for innovative projects that promote the UK space programme, and inspire the use of space as a focus for learning in schools and colleges.
  • “Rockets for Yuri” is a YuriGagarin50 initiative which will encourage the public to take part in a mass launching of air and water-powered rockets at locations across the UK at 12pm on 12th April 2011, to celebrate Gagarin’s flight.
  • The British Council is working in partnership with YuriGagarin5O to produce the cultural content of the programme.  Many UK institutions are organising Gagarin-related activities, among them the Royal Shakespeare Company, which will produce a newly commissioned play called “Little Eagles” in April 2011, based on the achievements of Sergey Korolev, the Soviet rocket engineer and designer who first proposed the use of the R-7 design for launching a satellite into orbit in 1953 and led the assembly of Sputnik which was successfully launched on the 4th October 1957.   The British Council will launch the Cultural Programme, together with the announcement of the Yuri Gagarin statue for London, on April 12, at its London headquarters, where they will also be exhibiting a new exhibition on the theme of design and architecture in space.
  • The London Book Fair (April 2011): Russia will be the Market Focus at this year’s London Book Fair, and the British Council as strategic partner for the cultural programme will host a delegation of over 40 of the most exciting contemporary Russian writers over the course of the Fair, from 11-13 April, 2011. A Russian invitee will speak at the Chairman’s breakfast on 11 April, and the British Council will co-host a major reception for authors, publishers and invited guests on the evening of 12 April.  The Russia Market Focus programme is organised by the British Council with the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communications, and their official partner, Academia Rossica who will organise a live link up with the International Space Station on 12 April. Gagarin’s most recent biographer, Lev Danilkin, will be one of the Russian authors that the British Council will host in London.
  • Formal commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s first ever human spaceflight, Grand Kremlin Palace, Moscow April 11-12, 2011. Lead: Roscosmos. British Ambassador to Moscow, Anne Pringle will attend.
  • “Adventures in Space” Keynote Evening Lecture, Science Museum, London (between 11-15 July 2011):  Sergey Krikalev, the director of the Gagarin Training Centre and the world record holder for the cosmonaut who has spent the longest time in space has been invited to speak. Dr Helen Sharman of NPL will also be invited and Mr. Krikalev will also be invited to exhibit his space photograph archive.
  • Sculpture of Gagarin to be presented to London by Roscosmos (14th July 2011). A sculpture of Yuri Gagarin, generously presented by Roscosmos, will be installed in central London on 14 July 2011, 50 years to the day that Major Gagarin was officially welcomed to London by the Prime Minister, Harold McMillan.  Sited in the shadow of Admiralty Arch, the sculpture will be opposite the statue of Capt Cook, so that the first explorer into space will stand opposite the UK’s greatest explorer of the oceans.
  • Yuri Gagarin exhibition at the British Council headquarters in London, July 2011 (to coincide with the unveiling of the sculpture). The British Council will organise an exhibition on Gagarin’s life and the work of the pioneering Soviet space programme to be shown in its headquarters during July 2011. Roscosmos has kindly offered to make available original material for the exhibition, including film photography, some space items, and some of Tsiolkovsky’s books. Tsiolkovsky (1857-1935) is considered one of the founding fathers of rocketry and astronautics and is famous for his rocket equation.  Lead: Andrea Rose, Director Visual Arts, British Council, London.
  • An educational experiment concerning fluids in microgravity for operation on the International Space Station is under discussion between Kingston University and Roscosmos). A protocol has been signed between the UK Space Agency and Roscosmos to support the fluids experiment (“muDEX”). Lead: Dr Barnaby Osborne of the Faculty of Engineering, Kingston University aims to organise a “UK Russia Roundtable on Fluids in Microgravity products” in 2011.  Roscosmos & UK institutions (Kingston University, Brunel Institute of Bioengineering, University of Greenwich, UCL) will be invited.
  • A psychological study concerning crew behaviour in space will be carried out jointly by UCL and the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems (IMBP) – under the MOU signed between UCL and its Russian partners in June 2010 (the Institute of Biomedical Problems, Moscow, the Central Research & Development Institute for Robotics and Cybernetics, the St Petersburg State Polytechnical University, and the Institute of Physics of the Earth, Russian Academy of Sciences).
  • A collaborative activity to share operational experience of controlling satellites is proposed potentially involving the TsNIImash Mission Control Centre and the Harwell ISIC (including the Security and Resilience Unit). A project to share experience in implementation of space debris mitigation measures may also take place between Roscosmos and the UK Space Agency.
  • The Science Museum, London, UK is keen to showcase a space object of significance in 2011 to highlight Yuri Gagarin’s achievements in space.  The Science Museum also plans to have an actor playing Yuri Gagarin in the Space Gallery (to complement over 20 other historical characters throughout the museum) and a new film splicing archive footage of Yuri Gagarin’s flight with new footage from space to create a “real time” film to celebrate the flight of Gagarin to be shown over the Easter holiday. Lead: Doug Millard.