Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 3
The official opening of the world premiere of "Cradle to Cosmos" exhibition of the United States Space and Rocket Center was held at the Heydar Aliyev Center on Dec. 3.
"Today, the centre's visitors participated in a very important event - the opening of the Cradle to Cosmos exhibition, director of the Heydar Aliyev Center," Anar Alakbarov said in his speech.
"For us it is important to be holding this exhibition in 2013, and the event is being held in December. As you know, 2013 was declared the Year of ICT in line with the order of the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev. Alongside with this, Azerbaijan launched its first artificial satellite into orbit on February 8 this year. This is a great and significant event for every Azerbaijani. I heartily congratulate each of you on this occasion," Alakbarov said.
He went on to add that the Center has become the venue for a series of events, exhibitions, international exhibitions, concerts and festivals.
The centre's director expressed his gratitude to all the organizations, which helped in holding of the exhibition.
"In particular, I would like to express my deep gratitude to the First Lady of Azerbaijan, president of Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva for support in holding this exhibition. This event was possible thanks to the joint efforts and activities of a number of organizations," he said.
Executive Director of the United States Space and Rocket Center, Deborah Barnhart thanked the leadership of Heydar Aliyev Center for their support in organizing the exhibition. She noted the launch of Azerbaijan's first satellite into the space and expressed hoped that in the future the country will become a partner of the United States in organizing such exhibitions.
In turn, the director of space and science exhibition, Roosevelt Lewis said at the opening that the exhibition showcases not only exhibits that reflect the astronautics' past successes.
"It also demonstrates the exhibits, which I believe, will inspire our peoples for new successes in the astronautics," Lewis said.
The Hero of the Soviet Union, Musa Manarov noted that he always wondered how Azerbaijan is developing.
"Until recently, the attention of Azerbaijani youth was focused on the bowels of the earth. Azerbaijani oilmen have been known for their work for over many decades. But now the situation has changed a bit, Azerbaijan's first satellite was launched into the space and I think that many young people will look up to the skies, which will be facilitated by this exhibition too," he said.
"Many young people will visit the exhibition. And it is possible that many Azerbaijani astronauts and cosmonauts are likely to stand near us soon," Manarov noted.
The exhibition has been organized jointly with the Azerbaijani Communication and IT Ministry within the science and education oriented projects launched by the Heydar Aliyev Center.
The objectives of the event, supporting the achievements in ICT and contributing in this area, are to raise awareness in the field of space studies and spread the strategy for further development and application of ICT in Azerbaijan.
Up to 100 exhibits will be presented at the area of 3,500 square meters.
Among them are the spatial stations, original particles delivered from cosmic space and other planets, pieces and models of satellites, space suits and accessories, particles of meteorites, etc. A noteworthy detail of the exhibition held in the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku is that many exhibits are demonstrated here for the first time.
One of the exhibits of special interest is sample brought from moon. The sample, found by astronaut David Scott during the American space mission Apollo 15, was brought from the U.S. to Baku for the opening of the exhibition. It will be demonstrated here for two weeks.
Two exhibited meteorites, a Soviet era space suit, a small-scale replica of "Mir" space station, and Apollo-Soyuz spaceship, as well as ten different simulators and other exhibits provide an opportunity to familiarize with the activities in the field of astronautics.
Azerbaijan's space achievements were also presented within the exhibition. The video materials on launching the Azerbaijani first telecommunications satellite Azerspace-1 into orbit on February 2013, Azerbaijan's accession to the club with a limited number of countries owned by the aerospace industry were demonstrated.
A special photo room, where everyone can be photographed in a space suit, has been set up for visitors.
The previous shows by the U.S. Space and Rocket Center all over Europe were attended by more than 1.5 million visitors. Meanwhile, the event at the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku will last till February 23, 2014 and then move to Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Milan and other venues.