On Friday, September 2, DTU Space
was presented with a bust of Yuri Gagarin—the first man in space. The event took place at a ceremony marking the first anniversary of the launch of the first Danish astronaut into space, Andreas Mogensen, and his Russian captain and pilot, Sergey Volkov.
The two had not seen each other since they said farewell in space a year ago. Andreas Mogensen only participated in a brief mission, while Sergey Volkov continued working at the space station for a couple of months.
“It’s wonderful to see Sergey and his family here in Denmark. We began training together three years ago prior to our mission. The hardships we endured in the form of January nights in the Siberian cold forged a close bond between us that goes beyond mere professionalism,” said Andreas Mogensen in his speech, adding that like Sergey, he too would like to experience space again.
Borders mean nothing
“When you gaze down at Earth from outer space, it is clear that borders mean nothing. That is why international cooperation on missions is the way forward. We have the same goals which we can help each other achieve,” said Andreas Mogensen before he and Sergey Volkov unveiled the bust of Yuri Gagarin.
"When you gaze down at Earth from outer space, it is clear that borders mean nothing."
The bust, which is a token of Russian appreciation for the many years of Danish and Russian collaboration in the field of space, was donated by the Russian fund ‘Dialog of Cultures — United World’ via the Russian Embassy.
In addition to collaborating with Russia, DTU Space also enjoys extensive cooperation with, among others, the European Space Agency and its US sister organization, NASA.
The first space collaboration with Russia began in 1986 with an instrument called WATCH, which was developed at the then Danish Space Research Center (DRI), which later became part of DTU Space. Collaboration has continued over the years, culminating in the launch of Andreas Mogensen to ISS last year. The mission was flown by a Russian pilot, while the space capsule and launcher were from Kazakhstan—the site of Gagarin’s launch in 1961.