30 years ago, in December 1978 the Soviet Union was formed Federation of Cosmonautics. Now it is a Federation of Cosmonautics of Russia, which directs the pilot-cosmonaut, twice Hero of the Soviet Union Vladimir Kovalenok.
1978 was rich in cosmic events. The successful launch of the first cargo ship "Progress". Home of the "Intercosmos" — joint flights of Soviet and foreign astronauts from friendly countries. Vladimir Remek of Czechoslovakia, Sigmund Jahn of the GDR and the Pole Miroslav Germashevsky first to see what it looks like a planet with a height of 300 kilometers. And, finally, the creation of the Space Federation, which in those days was 30 years old.
"Her birth was difficult, was the first president Anatoly Filipchenko, and when he met with the leadership of the Air Force, there was a question of what it is, why you need it? First, the veterans were not separated from their roots, and — secondly, today more than ever we need to attract young people, "- said Vladimir Kovalenok, pilot-cosmonaut, twice Hero of the Soviet Union.
Here, they say — the real scale of social organization is defined not by the interior, and the number of members. They are almost three hundred thousand: factories, institutions, businesses — all those involved in the cosmos.
"We have a statute, its structure, hierarchy. Supreme body is the Congress," — says Vladimir Kovalenok.
Part of the Federation — the so-called record of the case. And — not only national, but also the world record, set in different years by our astronauts fixed the FAI — International Aeronautical Federation. Of green, blue, red folders are more than a hundred, from the first satellite and the first manned flight. More achievements recorded, of course, in Soviet times. Whatever flight — that record.
"Gagarin had three records, Titov — three records, Tereshkova — four records, Bykovskii — four", — said Vasily Kuznetsov, vice-president of the Federation of Cosmonautics of Russia.
President of the Federation — a pilot-cosmonaut Vladimir Kovalenok himself among champions. On his second flight in 1978, the station "Salyut 6", and began a long space missions. In orbit, along with cosmonaut Alexander Ivanchenkov, they spent 140 days. Thirty years ago, it has become a worldwide sensation. So long in space yet no one is.
All in all, the astronaut biography number 40 on the world ranking — three flights. The latter — in 1981. It is in its third flight, he and Viktor Savinykh through the window of the station saw an unidentified flying object. What was it — cosmonaut still wondering.
"It's like a body of revolution, and I watched for 2-3 minutes," — says Kovalenok.
Today, however, President of the Federation of Cosmonautics main task is not to understand the mystery of UFOs, and get approval for the construction of the Children's Space Center. As recognized by Vladimir Kovalenok, for him it will be worse than the aliens from outer space.