Making news

Special publication marks 40th anniversary of Vietnam-Soviet Union spaceflight

A special publication marking the 40th anniversary of the spaceflight by the Soviet Union’s cosmonaut Viktor Gorbatko and Vietnamese pilot Pham Tuan made debut at an online event on October 21.

This book was compiled as part of the plan on joint activities for 2019-2022 between the Federal Archival Agency of Russia and the State Records and Archives Department of Vietnam.

Recalling the historic flight 40 years ago, Deputy Director of the Federal Archival Agency of Russia Andrei Viktorovich Yurasov said the Soyuz-37 spacecraft carried the two into space from the Baikonur cosmodrome on July 23, 1980, and they made an eight-day journey in outer space before returning to the earth.

Yurasov affirmed the special significance of the flight, describing this as a milestone in the friendship between Vietnam and the Soviet Union in the past and Russia at present.

With the release of this special publication, Russian and Vietnamese readers will be provided with much interesting information about this flight, including many details unveiled for the first time.

Also speaking at the event in Moscow, Vietnamese Minister Counsellor Nguyen Quynh Mai said the success of the historic flight is a symbol of the friendship and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and the Soviet Union, and now Russia.

The mutual assistance in the trip organisation formed the foundation for the research and application of space technology in Vietnam, she said, voicing her belief that bilateral space cooperation for peaceful purposes will continue developing to contribute to the Vietnam-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership.

Speaking online from Hanoi, Director of the State Records and Archives Department of Vietnam Dang Thanh Tung expressed his delight at the publication amid the 70th founding anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties, adding that his side will popularise this book so that Vietnamese readers can access important information about this historic flight.

Vietnam took part in the Interkosmos programme in 1979. The same year, after an astronaut candidate selection programme, Vietnamese pilots Tuan and Bui Thanh Liem were chosen and sent to the Yuri Gagarin cosmonaut training centre.

After finishing the training course, Tuan was selected for the main crew while Liem served as a backup. Tuan and Viktor Gorbatko flew into space and stayed at the International Space Station to do some research./