Kaliningrad

Compatriot Cosmonaut monument

  Pr. Mira 43     22 May 2018
Probably our favourite memorial in the whole city due to its design, scale and for what it commemorates. This monument, which is often referred to as the Leonov Monument, recognises the achievements of three Kaliningrad raised (though not born for obvious reasons) men who went onto become cosmonauts. The three cosmonauts are remembered on plaques on the base of the monument and are (from left to right) Alexey Arkhipovich Leonov (May 30, 1934 - ) who on March 18, 1965 became the first man to complete a spacewalk when he exited the Voskhod 2 capsule; Yury Viktorovich Romanenko (August 1, 1944 - ) who in 1987 set a new record for the longest length of time in space when he spent 326 days aboard the Mir space station and Viktor Ivanovich Patsayev (June 19, 1933 – June 30, 1971) who travelled on the Soyuz 11 mission and was discovered dead inside of the capsule, along with the rest of the crew, when it returned to Earth.

With the manned space race now a thing of the past, it is difficult to imagine the excitement each new conquest generated and how, despite being in the midst of the Cold War, these space pioneers would be recognised as heroes and celebrities in all parts of the world. The inscription around the large circle, the words of Soviet space scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, is especially poignant.

'Mankind will not remain on the earth forever, but, in search of light and space, will at first timidly penetrate beyond the limits of the atmosphere and then finally conquer the spaces of the solar system’

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