Tuesday, February 22, 2011

School kid in French Guyana designs patch for Soyuz flight to mark 50th anniv of Gagarin's mission.

Roscosmos Head Anatoly Perminov Approves the Patch of the Soyuz TMA-21 Crew

      As the 50th anniv of Yuri Gagarin's flight is steadily taking of, the head of the Russian Federal Space Agency, Anatoly Perminov, approved the patch of the next crew to fly to the International Space Station ISS) in Russian vehicle Soyuz TMA-21. The lift off is slated for March 20 2011, next year.

   According to Roscosmos, the patch uses a drawing by French boy, Marciel Santos Kayle, 12, who lives in French Guiana, not far away from the new launch pad for Russian Soyuz rockets.

     The winner of traditional Roscosmos’ patch contest has been invited to visit Baikonur to witness the upcoming launch.
     As Roscosmos head had noted earlier, Soyuz TMA-21 will have GAGARIN sign on it. The launch is to be devoted to the 50th anniversary of the first space mission by Yuri Gagarin.

    Marciel’s sketch was chosen for the crew emblem, as it depicts Gagarin and his crew vehicle Vostok. The patch is to be worn by the Soyuz prime crew – Alexander Samokutiaev, Andrey Borisenko and Ronald Garan.

       According to Roscosmos, Marciel has five brothers and four sisters. Since his mother’s death three years ago, Marciel lives in the family of his uncle. He goes in for drawing and dreams about becoming a cosmonaut.

      So, Marciel and other three young winners will be awarded trips to Baikonur in 2011.
Roscosmos has been running the Soyuz patch contest for two years. Eight Russian crew vehicles have been flown into space with the patches made by young artists. Among the winners, there were children from the USA and China.
      Perhaps Isro could emulate the example of both Roscosmos and Nasa and encourage children of India to participate in space missions by allowing them to name the rover which will land on the moon during the Chandrayaan-2 flight slated for lift off in 2013.



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