First cosmonaut of sovereign Kazakhstan Talgat Mussabayev turns 70

The first cosmonaut of sovereign Kazakhstan to go into outer space, People’s Hero of Kazakhstan, Hero of Russia, the legend of the national cosmonautics – Talgat Mussabayev turned 70 today! On July 1, 1994, the Soyuz TM-19 spacecraft was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, carrying two on board – commander Yuri Malenchenko and flight engineer Talgat Mussabayev. This was the first spaceflight for each of them.

Talgat Mussabayev had been on three spaceflights. Overall, he spent almost one Earth year in zero gravity. To be more precise – 341 days, 9 hours and 46 minutes. All three times after returning from orbit to Earth, he was personally greeted by the First President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Thanks to Talgat Mussabayev, de-energized orbital station “Mir” was saved. His friends and fellows noted that it was him who initiated the development of applied space research and experiments in Kazakhstan, making a huge and invaluable contribution to the formation of the space industry.

“Thanks to this man, we achieved success in space activities in Kazakhstan, thanks to his knowledge, his experience in space activities, we managed to clearly identify our strategic directions and tactical approaches in solving problems. Let me congratulate Talgat Mussabayev on his anniversary!” noted Yergazy Nurgaliyev, Advisor to Chairperson of the ‘Kazakhstan Gharysh Sapary’ National Company.

The country must know its heroes, Yergazy Nurgaliyev’s wife Sara said. She knows first-hand the merits of Mussabayev to his homeland. Nurgaliyeva devoted most of her life to the rare genre of space journalism, having written more than 1,000 thematic materials and dozens of best-selling books.

“I consider as one of the results of my work a book called “Equals Sign”. This book is not only about Talgat Mussabayev, but about the history of Baikonur, and about the role of the First President of Kazakhstan in the creation of the country’s space industry. This year, another book of mine was published, a rather big one, which is called ‘The Outer Space of Talgat Mussabayev’. The book is still in printing, this is the first copy, but soon the book will be presented and handed over to the hero of the day,” said Sara Nurgaliyeva, spokesperson of the National Space Communications Center.

It was from the Kazakh land that mankind took the first step towards celestial objects more than half a century ago. Experts believe that to this day the country continues to make its invaluable contribution to the development of global cosmonautics and of all sectors of the economy.

“The use of space systems and their services is a trend in the modern development of industry and economy. These are the most state-of-the-art tools of a global nature for solving modern challenges of economic development in the digital age,” added Meirbek Moldabekov, member of the National Academy of Sciences of Kazakhstan.