Saturday, January 16, 2010

Gagarin Medal

from Ralf Heckel
The highlight of today was the story of the medals. It starts 16 years earlier. One of our teacher was in Kaluga in 1994. He recieved a medal of the "Association of the museums of cosmonautics of Russia" (AMCOS). The delegation had no much time and so the teacher dont recieved the certificate for this medal.
He told me this story last year and was a little bit unhappy. Since this time in Germany a lot of things has changed. He loosed the contact to Kaluga. I said: "No matter. I will be there and want to ask".
Now I am in the office of the Space & Rocket Museums general director of Kanuga. I show him the letter from ouer teacher, telled the story and ask for the certificate. Mr. Kusin asked me for the name and the year. Then he went to his archiv. After 4 minutes he came back and said: "Gerber is under G. There is really his certificate." Then he presented me a small paper and showed me the sign. "This director of the association was a cosmonaut and died a long time ago. He made his work correct." My first idea was: "This is unpossible!"
This is a super-long-term experiment! This certificate needed 16 years to be at his owner. And it is also a good evidence for the correct work of the russian space museums. I put it in my case and are happy to bring it to home.
Then I presented our international work to the general director. Two woman made the table fine. They made tea and cakes. After 10 minutes the director said: "Ralf, there is another thing to do. Please stand up." I stand up. Then he opens a little box, taked a medal and put it on my revers. "This is the Gagarin Medal for your excellent work in international space education and to solve the space history." Then he had a small paper in his hands and gave it to me. "For this certificate you will not wait 16 years."
Wow! This is the 2nd special honor in my life for space flight. The first Yvonne and I recieved 5 years ago from the Astronaut Memorial Foundation in Cape Canaveral. I am a little bit proud and be very thankful.

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