The International Aerospace School (MAKSH 2004) is opening its 16th season at the Academy of Sciences in Uzbekistan on Monday. The current season is devoted to the 70th birth anniversary of the world's first cosmonaut Yury Gagarin, according to MAKSH 2004 press secretary Shakhabutdin Zainutdinov.
Mr. Zainutdinov said MAKSH 2004 would enroll dozens of gifted secondary school and grammar school students from across Uzbekistan and France. This will be the third time French students will be admitted to MAKSH.
Bakhzod Yuldashev, President of Uzbekistan's Academy of Sciences, is expected to read a lecture on the universe's evolution as usual. Some 50 students who will make up improvised crews will go to the Kizil Soi (Red River) health center located in a mountainous area in the Tashkent region. They will spend 2 weeks there and acquire skills necessary in the professions they've chosen and take part in practical exercises.
The international school offers several programs: the scientific-technological, informative, cultural, and general physical training ones. Famous scholars, cosmonauts, pilots, and aerospace experts are expected to deliver lectures to the cadets. Classes will be taught in Uzbek, Russian, English, and French. Russian and French cosmonauts, Air France pilots, prominent Uzbek scholars, and diplomats accredited in Tashkent will visit the center or work there as counselors.
Face-to-face and in absentia meetings with cosmonauts are going to be the most significant events for the cadets.
Andrei Malikov and Igor Sukhorukov, cosmonauts and instructors at Russia's Gagarin cosmonauts training center, will tell the guests about the criteria for selecting and making up space crews.
The students will also conduct a session via the Internet with the current International Space Station (ISS) crew - Gennady Padalka and Michael Fincke - and Uzbek cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov who is preparing for a flight to the ISS as the commander of the tenth crew.
Roszarubezhtsentr (Russian Foreign Center) in Uzbekistan, has prepared a photo exposition and a documentary about Gagarin and his followers for the students.
The 16th MAKSH season will end on August when rocket and aircraft models, and kites made by the participants in a contest for the best science fiction story and picture will be launched. Winners will be selected in the nominations of aircraft designers, glider pilots, kite and spacecraft designers, young artists, and science fiction writers. The winners' pieces will be included in the MAKSH exposition.
The aerospace school comprises a temporary team of senior school students, scholars, teachers and experts from the Space Research Center of Uzbekistan's Academy of Sciences and other organizations. MAKSH holds training and educational events designed to nurture initial knowledge, skills and abilities in school students, which make the basis of the professions of aerospace engineers and researchers, and computer specialists.
The school is currently comprising experts from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the United States, Britain, Germany, Bulgaria, and Pakistan.
Several hundred boys and girls have taken courses at the school, over 50 of who devoted their lives to aviation and space research, and aerospace technology.
Near the United Nations Glass Palace in New York, there is a metallic sculpture entitled "Evil Defeated by Good", representing Saint George transfixing a dragon with his lance. It was donated by the USSR in 1990 to celebrate the INF Treaty concluded with the USA in 1987