Cosmonaut Yuri Baturin, the first Russian politician to fly in space, honored Space Camp Turkey on July 5, 2007. During his visit, a scaled model of the Soyuz Proton rocket was dedicated to him. Two campers from America and Bulgaria accompanied him in the photo session. Following the dedication ceremony, he gave a seminar to the attendees. Campers participating in this special E-Pal Week were excited to have the opportunity to meet a real cosmonaut. Children learned about the Gagarin Space Training Center and watched video about cosmonaut training.
Children ask interesting questions
One of the most interesting questions was from Rebecca Ashley from the Earth team. She asked what Cosmonaut Baturin missed the most about earth while he was in space. The answer was as interesting. Cosmonaut Baturin said during his mission he missed the scent of flowers the most and when he landed it was the grass scents which he sensed first.
At the end of the presentation, Mr. Kaya Tuncer, the CEO of ESBAS and Space Camp Turkey presented Yuri Baturin a plaque in honor of his visit to Space Camp Turkey.
There will be another astronaut to visit in July. American Astronaut Roger Crouch who worked as a Senior Scientist for the International Space Station between the years of 2000-2004, will meet with the campers on the session of July 15-21.
Who is Yuri Michailovich Baturin?
Russian cosmonaut Yuri M. Baturin is the first Russian politician to have flown in space. On August 13, 1998, Baturin launched aboard a Soyuz TM 28 and conducted research for 11 days on the Space Station MIR as part of Expedition 26. His last space flight was aboard a Soyuz TM 32, which launched on April 28, 2001. Expedition 29 was a seven-day mission to the International Space Station which included the first commercial space tourist, American businessman Dennis Tito.
Baturin was a national security aide to former President Boris Yeltsin and in 1996 he became National Defense Council Secretary. The same year he also joined the general cosmonaut training program.
Baturin graduated from the Moscow Physical and Technical Institute (MFTI) in 1973 as a specialist in flight dynamics and spacecraft control, qualifying him as an engineer-physicist. He also has degrees in law and journalism and has been recognized for his special contributions to the development of media law in Russia.
Why is this week special?
This week is one of two "E-pal" weeks during the summer of 2007. The other one is scheduled July 15-21. Schools representing different countries sign up for the "Partner School Science Program," part of the Global Friendship Through Space Education Foundation program and work on various space-related projects over the course of a year. The projects are chosen from NASA distant learning materials. Participating schools are paired from different countries and students communicate by e-mail and videoconferencing.
Another objective of the PSSP program is to promote friendship between nations. The E-Pal program culminates with E-Pal Weeks at Space Camp Turkey during the summer. During the 6- Day International Summer Camp children learn about space technologies by using the simulators and share their projects and cultures with each other. Also, special guest visitors and scientists are invited to these special 6-day sessions. In the recent years, Astronaut Drew Gaffney, Astronaut Shannon Lucid, Cosmonaut Dumitru-Dorin Prunariu, and Astronaut Steven Lindsey were guests.