Moscow has prepared a real surprise for Singapore: a photography exhibition entitled “Russian Space”, the opening of which was attended by cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, Hero of Russia, as well as official representatives of both cities.
“Our exhibition ties in with the 55th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s flight. But we also want it to celebrate those who are in outer space at the moment,” said Moscow City Government Minister Sergey Cheryomin, head of the delegation from the Russian capital, speaking at the opening of the exhibition. “We are very happy that our visitors include many children and teenagers, given that the school holidays have started in Singapore.”
Visitors to the city’s Science Centre have seen many photographs on the space exploration history of the country home to the first man to go into space and circle the Earth. Singaporeans certainly know the name of Yuri Gagarin: crowds gathered around a bust of him throughout the exhibition.
Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov answered numerous questions from local residents. “I’ve been to space twice, and once spent 200 days there,” he said. “I’ve flown around the Earth a thousand times. But I’ll never forget the sight of Singapore at night – it can’t be confused with any other city in the world.”
Addressing visitors to the exhibition, the cosmonaut expressed the hope that a Singaporean citizen would soon be able to go to space alongside Russian cosmonauts. He noted that while Singapore did not have a space training programme, there was nothing to stop it sending someone into space with Russia’s help, even if just as a tourist at first. In recent years, eight countries have sent people to space on board Russian spacecraft, including Singapore’s neighbour Malaysia. “Only Russia can be relied on for this – no one else has taken on such a responsibility yet,” Mr Shkaplerov emphasised.
On 24 November, the Science Centre Singapore hosts a lecture by the Russian cosmonaut, the announcement of which has already made a real splash on social media. Mr Shkaplerov will talk about space flight training and international cooperation in space exploration.