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'Festival of Russian Cosmonautics' celebrated in India


Russian cosmonaut Nikolai Mikhailovich Budarin. A file photo

NEW DELHI (BNS): In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s first manned space flight, Russia has marked the ‘Festival of Russian Cosmonautics’ in India.

As part of the event, noted Russian cosmonaut Nikolai Mikhailovich Budarin, who was on his first ever visit to India, shared his experiences of travelling into space.

Budarin, who embarked on his first space mission on June 27 1995, said that conducting the first spacewalk was the most exciting day of all his space missions.

The cosmonaut, who travelled to space thrice on board the Russian Soyuz spacecraft and the US Space Shuttles Atlantis and Endeavour, has spent a total of 444 days in space and conducted three spacewalks lasting for 44 days.

“Thus, four is my lucky number,” exclaimed the board engineer of the 19th and 25th long-term expeditions aboard the Soviet-era Mir orbital station in space.

The cosmonaut flew as a flight engineer to the International Space Station on board US space shuttle Endeavour as part of the Expedition 6 crew on November 23, 2002. This was Budarin's last spaceflight.

Sharing his views on the long-standing India, Russia space cooperation, he said that since conducting space missions is an expensive affair, both the nations should work together for all future space missions, including the mission to Mars.

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