Opening ceremony of 31st International Space Congress

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The space industry is vigorously developing in Belarus, President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at the opening ceremony of the 31stInternational Space Congress on 10 September.

“The space industry is vigorously developing in our country. We make high resolution optical systems for satellites, space mirrors, instruments for remote sensing of the Earth,” Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked.

Jointly with Russian colleagues Belarusian specialists develop cutting-edge technologies, take part in the project to build a new space apparatus. They also plan cooperation on the international program Syrius.

“Belarus is a full-fledged member of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). Without our space pilots nothing like that would have happened. But after the disintegration of the Soviet Union we could not but continue the development of the space industry. And we do not regret today. There were many contradictions, discussions, this was a new area for Belarus. Nevertheless, I made the decisions, first of all, because these are brand-new technologies which have propelled the entire sector of the economy. It helps Belarus position itself alongside advanced civilized states. Nuclear energy and space industry are new avenues of Belarus’ development in the period of its independence and sovereignty,” the President said.

In his words, the country did not make a mistake when decided to develop the industry as different countries now join efforts in space exploration. “This is a driving force of the scientific and technical progress. Of course, joint work of scientists and engineers promotes the development of other industries, the growth of national economies,” the head of state is convinced.

Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that people wanted to reach the stars for ages and overcame the force of gravity 57 years ago. It happened so recently in terms of civilizations’ development. “But the achievements of specialists in this industry are very impressive,” the President added. “At present there are about 90 space countries, and our Belarus is one of them. 565 people took part in space flights. There are more than 1,000 satellites on the orbit. We are proud that the names of Belarusian scientists and space pilots are inscribed in history.”

Veterans of orbital flights Piotr Klimuk and Vladimir Kovalyonok, participant of the recent International Space Station expedition Oleg Novitsky were born in Belarus. Cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev who is now staying at the orbital station also has Belarusian roots.

The head of state noted that foreign participants of the congress will be able to learn more about Belarus and its people simply by talking to the country’s famous cosmonauts. “Then you will understand the entire palette and depth of soul of the Belarusian nation. They are an example, if you want, a personification of our nation,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

“I am confident that together, in close cooperation, we will get closer to the new significant milestones in exploring the universe. Only in the interests of the entire world, trusting each other, that we must build our space future. Belarus is ready for dialogue and active participation in the peaceful space exploration programs and projects,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The President stressed the importance of using all achievements and knowledge accumulated in space for the benefit of people: to solve the problems of environment, prevent natural and man-caused emergencies, ensure food security and sustainable land management, conserve natural resources and biodiversity, study extraterrestrial space exclusively for peaceful purposes.

According to the head of state, countries have many tasks to address for further space exploration. The agenda includes new missions to the Moon, piloting ships to Mars, searching for other planets suitable for life.

“You, the participants of space expeditions, know better than anyone that only from the orbit that we can see how a small and fragile our planet is. Only after glancing from an illuminator, one can realize that it is our common home, the care of which is on the shoulders of all modern civilization, every person. Up there, at an altitude of hundreds of kilometers, it becomes especially clear that we are all children of the Earth, one family. We are all responsible for the future of this part of the Universe,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.