Tag Archives: Soyuz

There’s a Memorial to Fallen Astronauts on the Moon

On August 2, 1971, during the third EVA (Extravehicular activity) of Apollo 15 Notes 1 mission, commander David Scott drove the rover away from Lunar Module, where the television camera could be used to observe the lunar liftoff. Then he left a small aluminum statuette called “Fallen Astronaut” next to the rover, which commemorates those astronauts and cosmonauts who lost their lives in the pursuit of space exploration. Scott also left a plaque bearing the names of 14 known American astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts deceased by that time, along with the statuette. The names of Astronauts and cosmonauts were inscribed in alphabetical order on the plaque.

The “fallen astronaut” statuette was created by the Belgian sculptor, painter, and printmaker Paul Van Hoeydonck. It is an 8.5-centimeter (3.3 in) aluminum sculpture, a small stylized figure, meant to depict an astronaut in a spacesuit. Before the mission, commander David Scott met Van Hoeydonck at a dinner party. It was there agreed that Van Hoeydonck would create a small statuette for Scott to place on the Moon. Scott’s purpose was to commemorate those astronauts and cosmonauts who had lost their lives in the furtherance of space exploration. He also designed and separately made a plaque listing fourteen American astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts’ names who lost their lives in the pursuit of space exploration. Van Hoeydonck was given a set of design specifications: the sculpture was to be lightweight but sturdy, capable of withstanding the temperature extremes of the Moon; it could not be identifiably male or female, nor of any identifiable ethnic group. According to Scott, it was agreed Van Hoeydonck’s name would not be made public, to avoid the commercial exploitation of the US government’s space program. Scott kept the agreement secret from NASA management prior to the mission, smuggling the statue aboard his spacecraft.Notes 2

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Watch: Journey to the ISS with Soyuz Spacecraft

The Soyuz (saw-yooz) is a Russian spacecraft. It was designed by USSR’s Korolev Design Bureau (now RKK Energia) in the 1960s, originally built as part of the Soviet manned lunar programs. The spacecraft remains in service today, and as of November 2017, all expeditions to the International Space Station use Soyuz vehicles Notes 1. One Soyuz is always remains attached to the station to allow a quick return in an emergency.

The European Space Agency (ESA) published a series of videos titled “Journey to the International Space Station” explaining how astronauts and cosmonauts go to the ISS and return back to Earth. Here are the amazing three parts videos below.

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