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Russia

Russia

Russia


The Russian Federation is the largest country in the world. It occupies about one seventh of the earth’s surface. Russia covers the eastern part of Europe and the northern part of Asia. Its total area is about 17 million square kilometers. The country is washed by 12 seas of 3 oceans: the Pacific, the Arctic and the Atlantic. In the south Russia borders on China, Mongolia, Korea, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Azerbaijan. In the west it borders on Norway, Finland, the Baltic States, Belorussia, the Ukraine. It also has a sea border with the USA.

The population of Russia is 145,5 million people. 83 per cent are Russians. There are 1030 towns and cities in Russia. Moscow is the capital and the biggest city with a population of about 9 million people. There is hardly a country in the world where such a variety of scenery and vegetation can be found. We have steppes in the south, plains and forests in the central region, tundra and taiga in the north, highlands and deserts in the east.
Russia is located on two plains. They are the Great Russian Plain and the West Siberian Lowland. There are several mountain chains on the territory of the country: the Urals, the Caucasus, the Altai and others. The largest mountain chain, the Urals, separates Europe from Asia.
Russia is a land of long rivers and deep lakes. There are over two million rivers in our country. The broad Volga River system is of great historic, economic and cultural importance to the country. It became the cradle of such ancient towns as Vladimir, Tver, Yaroslavl, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod. Volga is Europe’s biggest river. It runs into the Caspian Sea which is in fact the largest lake in the world. The main Siberian rivers — the Ob, the Yenisei and the Lena — flow from south to north. The Amur in the Far East flows into the Pacific Ocean.
Russia is rich in beautiful lakes. The world’s deepest lake (1600 metres) is Lake Baikal. It is much smaller than the Baltic Sea, but there is much more water in it than in the Baltic Sea. The water in the lake is so clear that if you look down you can count the stones on the bottom.
Russia has one sixth of the world’s forests. They are concentrated in the European north of the country, in Siberia and in the Far East.
Over the vast territory of the country there arc various types of climate, from arctic in the north to subtropical in the south. But the temperate zone with four seasons prevails. Winters are cold and windy with a lot of snow. Summers arc rather hot and dry. In Siberia the temperature in winter falls to 50 degrees below zero. The coldest registered temperature was 70 degrees.
The animal world in the north includes the walrus, the seal, the polar bear and the polar fox. In the central zone there are a lot of wolves and foxes, hares and squirrels. The famous Russian furs come from the sable, mink and ermine. The brown bear of the Russian forests is a kind of symbol of Russia.
Russia is very rich in oil, coal, iron ore, natural gas, copper, nickel and other mineral resources. Three quarters of the country’s minerals, oil and natural gas, coal, gold and diamonds come from Siberia.
Russian Federation is a Presidential Republic. The federal government consists of three branches: legislative, executive and judicial. The legislative powers are exercised by the Federal Assembly. It consists of two chambers: the Council of Federation and the State Duma, The executive power belongs to the government which is headed by the Prime Minister. The judicial branch is represented by the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court and regional courts. All three branches are controlled by the President.
Today the state symbol of Russia is a three-coloured banner. The hymn of Russia is «The Patriotic Song» by Glinka. A new national emblem is the two
headed eagle, the most ancient symbol of Russia.
At present, the political and economic situation in the country is rather complicated. There are a lot of problems in the national economy of the Russian Federation. Industrial production is decreasing. Prices are constantly rising, the rate of inflation is very high. People are losing their jobs because many factories and plants are going bankrupt.
But in spite of the problems Russia is facing at present, there are a lot of opportunities for this country to become one of the leading countries in the world. I’m sure that we, the younger generation, can do a lot to make Russia as strong and powerful as she used to be.

Российская Федерация — самая большая страна в мире. Она занимает примерно одну седьмую часть поверхности Земли. Россия покрывает территорию восточной Европы и северной Азии. Ее общая площадь — примерно 17 миллионов квадратных километров. Страну омывают 12 морей трех океанов: Тихого, Северного Ледовитого и Атлантического. На юге Россия граничит с Китаем, Монголией, Кореей, Казахстаном, Грузией и Азербайджаном. На западе — с Норвегией, Финляндией, странами Балтии, Белоруссией и Украиной. У нее также есть морская граница с США.
Население России составляет 145,5 миллиона человек. 83 процента из них русские. В России 1030 городов. Москва — столица и самый крупный город с населением почти 9 миллионов человек. В мире едва ли найдется другая страна, в которой можно найти такое разнообразие пейзажа и растительности. На юге у нас степи, в центре — равнины и леса, на севере — тундра и тайга, на востоке — горы и пустыни.
Россия расположена на двух равнинах. Это Русская (Восточно — Европейская) равнина и Западно-Сибирская низменность. По территории страны проходит несколько горных цепей: Урал, Кавказ, Алтай и другие. Самая большая горная цепь, Урал, отделяет Европу от Азии.
Россия — земля длинных рек и глубоких озер. В нашей стране больше двух миллионов рек. Сильно развитая речная система Волги имеет большую историческую, экономическую и культурную важность для страны. Она явилась колыбелью таких древних городов, как Владимир, Тверь, Ярославль, Казань, Нижний Новгород. Волга — крупнейшая река Европы. Она впадает в Каспийское море, которое в действительности является крупнейшим в мире озером. Главные реки Сибири — Обь, Енисей и Лена — текут с юга на север. Амур — река, протекающая на Дальнем Востоке, впадает в Тихий океан.
Россия богата прекрасными озерами. Глубочайшее озеро в мире (1600 метров) — Байкал. Байкал намного меньше Балтийского моря, но воды в нем куда больше. Вода в озере такая чистая, что если вы посмотрите вниз, то сможете сосчитать камни на дне.
В России находится одна шестая всех лесов мира. Они сконцентрированы на Европейском Севере страны, в Сибири и на Дальнем Востоке.
На обширной территории страны есть разные типы климата, от арктического на севере до субтропического на юге. Но преобладает зона умеренного климата с четырьмя временами года. Зимы холодные и ветреные, с большим количеством снега. Лето довольно жаркое и сухое. В Сибири температура зимой падает до 50 градусов ниже нуля. Самая низкая зарегистрированная температура — 70 градусов.
Животный мир Севера включает моржей, тюленей, полярных медведей и полярных лис. В центральных районах много волков, лис, зайцев и белок. Знаменитые русские меха — соболь, норка и горностай. Бурый медведь российских лесов — что-то вроде символа России.
Россия очень богата нефтью, углем, железной рудой, природным газом, медью, никелем и другими полезными ископаемыми. Три четверти всех полезных ископаемых, нефти, природного газа, угля, золота и бриллиантов добывают и производят в Сибири.
Российская Федерация — президентская республика. Федеральное правительство состоит из трех ветвей: законодательной, исполнительной и судебной. Законодательная власть осуществляется Федеральным Собранием. Оно состоит из двух палат: Совета Федерации и Государственной Думы. Исполнительная власть принадлежит правительству, возглавляемому премьер-министром. Судебную власть представляют Конституционный суд, Верховный суд и суды на местах. Все три ветви контролируются и уравновешиваются президентом.
Ныне государственный символ России — трехцветное знамя. Гимн Россия — «Патриотическая песня» Глинки. Новый национальный герб — двуглавый орел, самый древний символ России.
В настоящее время политическая и экономическая ситуация в стране довольно сложная. В национальной экономике Российской Федерации много проблем. Уровень промышленного производства падает. Цены постоянно растут, уровень инфляции очень высок. Люди теряют работу, потому что многие фабрики и заводы становятся банкротами.
Но несмотря на проблемы, с которыми в настоящем сталкивается Россия, у страны много возможностей стать одним из мировых лидеров. Я уверен, что мы, молодое поколение, можем сделать очень многое для того, чтобы Россия стала такой же сильной и могущественной, как раньше.
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Tourism in Russia
Tourism provides one of the possibilities to know more about other countries. Now people travel much more than they ever used to. Many people travel in their own country and millions of them travel abroad.
Russia, the largest country in the world, has always attracted visitors from neighbouring and distant countries. Russia is proud of its architecture, painting, and music. A lot of tourists come to our country to see its beauty and to admire its cultural achievements. As a rule they want to visit Moscow, St. Petersburg and the towns of the «Golden Ring».
Russia is located in the eastern part of Europe and in the northern part of Asia. It boarders on thirteen countries. Russia is washed by twelve seas and three oceans. Russia is connected with the Atlantic Ocean through the Baltic Sea in the west and the Black Sea in the south. The Arctic Ocean and its seas including the White, Barents, Kara, Laptev, East-Siberian Seas wash Russia in the north. The Pacific Ocean and its seas the Bering, Okhotsk, and Japanese Seas are in the east of Russia.
The Russian Plain, the Ural Mountains, the West Siberian Plain, the Central Siberian Plateau, and the Far East are the main areas of Russia The Russian Plain occupies the European part of Russia. The Ural Mountains separate Europe from Asia. The West Siberian Plain links with the Central Siberian Plateau. The Far East of Russia comprises the Kamchatka and Chukchi peninsulas and the Kuril and Sakhalin islands.
Russia’s greatest rivers are the Don and Volga in its European part, and the Ob and Yenisey in West Siberia. The Ob is the longest river in Russia, but the Volga is the most important one. Many Russian towns are located along the Volga river.
Russia is densely populated, but its population is unequally distributed. People prefer to live in the European part of the country. Siberia is thinly inhabited. There are more than sixty nationalities and ethnic groups in Russia. Russia is an urban country — the majority of the Russian citizens live in cities. As Russia occupies vast territories there are various climatic zones in the country. Continental climate, with cold winters and warm summers prevails on the territory of Russia.
Russia is rich in mineral deposits such as coal, oil, and natural gas, as well as of iron ore, copper, zinc, lead, nickel, aluminium, and tin. Natural resources determine the development of the Russian economy. Russia’s heavy industries produce much of the nation’s steel and most of its heavy machinery.
The Russian Federation was founded in 1991. The Constitution was adopted in 1993. Russia is a Presidential Republic. It is headed by the President. The President is commander-in-chief of the armed forces, he makes treaties, enforces laws, appoints the Prime Minister, cabinet members, and key judges.
The Russian government consists of three branches: the legislative, the executive and the judicial. The power is distributed in such a way that each branch checks and balances the others. The legislative power is vested in the Federal Assembly. It consists of the Federation Council (upper house) and the State Duma (lower house). The members of the State Duma are elected by popular vote for a four-year period. The Federation Council is not elected. It is formed of the heads of the regions. Each Chamber is headed by the Chairman. Legislature is initiated in the State Duma. But to become a law a bill must be approved by the Lower and Upper Houses and signed by the President. The executive power belongs to the Government. The judicial branch is represented by the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, and regional courts.
The national flag of the Russian Federation is three coloured: white, blue and red. The symbol of the country is a two-headed eagle. Russia’s hymn was created by Alexandrov and Mikhalkov.
According to the Chronicle the history of Early Russia began in the year 862. That year Rurik became the first Russian prince having merged Novgorod and Kiev. Rurik’s successor Prince Oleg did his best to strengthen and expand the nascent state. In 988 Prince Vladimir, the Red Sun, baptised Russia. After the adoption of Christianity churches and monasteries sprang up in the country. The beautiful cathedrals and churches of Early Russia still stand in their glory. From the 10-th to the 12-th centuries Russia was a progressive Christian state. With the development of feudalism the Russian state disintegrated into separate principalities. The princes quarrelled among themselves and waged feudal wars. The hordes of armed nomads conquered the Russian land. The yoke lasted till 1380. Russia’s strength was diminishing. Lands on the Black sea coast and along the Volga river were lost. The campaign to liberate Russia was headed by Moscow. For the first time Moscow was mentioned by the chroniclers in 1147. At that time Russian lands began to unite round Moscow, which led to the establishment of a strong centralised state.
During its long history Moscow was exposed to several invasions. In 1237 it fell under the power of the Golden Horde. Moscow began to rise in the 14-th century. Under Ivan III the Great, in the mid-fifteenth century, Moscow became the principal city of the state of Muscovy. During the Time of Troubles Moscow was occupied by the Polish invaders but they were defeated by the popular levy headed by Minin and Pozharsky. The army of Napoleon entered Moscow on September 15, 1812. The emperor was disappointed that no Russian bowed forward, offering him the city keys. Napoleon settled in the Kremlin. The city was set ablaze. Fires spread to the edge of the Kremlin. Napoleon tried to open peace talks. But Alexander I, who was in St. Petersburg, did not wish to discuss peace. Napoleon left Moscow. His warriors were routed by the Russian troops. In 1941 the German armies were defeated not far from Moscow.
Nowadays Moscow is the capital of Russia. It is the largest city of the country. Moscow lies in the valley of the Moskva river. Moscow is a political, administrative, economic, industrial, educational and cultural centre of the Russian Federation. A lot of educational institutions are located here.
There are many places of interest in Moscow. There are a lot of historical monuments, museums, art galleries and theatres in the city. The Historical Museum, the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, the State Tretyakov Gallery are known all over the world. The Bolshoy, Mali and Art theatres are famous too.
The Kremlin — the oldest historical and architectural centre — is the heart of Moscow. At first the Kremlin was a wooden fort. Under Dmitry Donskoy the Kremlin was built of white stone. Redbrick walls and towers replaced the walls of white stone at the end of the 15th century. The most ancient tower is the Secret one. It was built in 1485. The Saviour Tower with its Kremlin chimes is the symbol of Russia. The chiming clock was established in 1625. Ivan III invited Italian architects to construct the Kremlin cathedrals. In 1547 Ivan the Terrible was the first Russian tsar to be crowned in the five-domed Assumption Cathedral. From 1721 the coronations of all Russian Emperors were held there. The Archangel Cathedral was the burial place of the Russian Princes and Tsars. Grand Prince Ivan Kalita was the first to be buried here. Altogether there are 53 royal tombs there. The Annunciation Cathedral is the main Russian Cathedral. It is famous for the icons created by Andrew Rublev and his apprentices. Not far from the Assumption Cathedral we can see the Faceted Palace. It is the oldest secular building in Moscow. All coronation feasts were held here. Ivan the Great Bell Tower, the construction of the 16th century, rises in the centre of the Kremlin. On the stone pedestal at the foot of the Bell Tower stands the Tsar-Bell, the largest bell in the world. The bell was cast for the Assumption Belfry. It was damaged during the great fire of Moscow in 1737. In 1836 it was put on the pedestal. Not far from it is the Tsar-Cannon. Senate Square is located between the Senate and the Arsenal. The Grand Kremlin Palace is situated not far from Senate Square. The Russian Emperors usually stayed in the palace when they came to Moscow. It was designed by the architect K. A. Ton in 1840. The Armoury Chamber is the famous museum where military trophies, Tsar’s regalia and church ceremonial items are displayed. The Kremlin workshop was made a museum of military glory after the battle of Poltava in 1709 by Peter Гs order.
All the ceremonies are held in Red Square. At its one end we can see St. Basil’s Cathedral the Blessed. It was built in the mid-16 century for Tsar Ivan IV to commemorate the victory over the Golden Horde. Lobnoye Mesto, a lifted railed platform of white stone, is situated to the left of St. Basil’s Cathedral. Built in the 16-th century it was the place from which all Tsar’s edicts were announced. Lenin’s Mausoleum, designed by A. Shchusev in 1924, is located in Red Square. Until recently it was a monument of great significance. The Historical Museum locks the other end of Red Square. Next to it one can see the reconstructed Iverskay Chapel and the Resurrection gates. Alexander Gardens, laid out at the beginning of the 19-th century, are located beneath the Kremlin walls. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is near the entrance to the Gardens. It is the major memorial to the warriors of the Great Patriotic War.
St. Petersburg is the second Russia’s largest city. St. Petersburg, one of the most beautiful cities of Europe, has played an important role in Russian history. It was founded by Peter I in 1703. St. Petersburg is situated on the Neva river. The city once spread across nearly 100 islands. Canals and natural channels make St. Petersburg a city of waterways and bridges. For two centuries St. Petersburg was the capital of the Russian Empire. After the revolutions of 1917, which took place in St. Petersburg it was renamed into Leningrad. During World War II the city was besieged and fiercely defended. Today the city is an important industrial centre and the nation’s largest seaport. In 1991 St. Petersburg got its original name back.
Central St. Petersburg is divided by the Neva River into four parts: the Admiralty Side, Vasilyevsky Island, the Petrograd Side, and the Vyborg Side. The Admiralty Side is rich in museums, monuments, historical buildings and squares. From the Admiralty, the heart of Peter’s city, an avenue known as Nevsky Prospect runs eastward. There are a lot of palaces, churches, stores, cafes, and theatres there.
St. Petersburg is proud of its rich architecture that includes the cathedral of the Peter-Paul Fortress, the Summer Palace, the Winter Palace, the Smolny Convent, the Kazan and St. Isaac’s cathedrals, the Smolny Institute, the new Admiralty, and the Senate. There are many important educational and scientific research centres in St. Petersburg. Among these are: the University of Saint Petersburg, the Academy of Fine Arts, the Institute of Mines, and the Military Medical Academy.
St. Petersburg is a city of culture. There are a lot of theatres and concert halls there. The Mariinsky Theatre has long enjoyed an international reputation. Famous museums include the State Russian Museum, which specialises in Russian painting, and the Hermitage with a rich collection of western European painting. In 1764 the Hermitage was established by Catherine II. It was opened to the public in 1852. In St. Petersburg there are many stadiums and other outdoor recreation facilities provided by the Kirov Park, the Zoo, the botanical gardens, and numerous other parks and gardens.
The «Golden Ring» is a very popular tourist route. It includes towns and villages in the north-eastern part of the former State of Muscovy. It is rich in historical and architectural monuments. Among the most notable towns of the «Golden Ring» route are Pereslavl-Zalessky, the birthplace of the Russian Prince Alexander Nevsky; Rostov Veliky, the finest and largest town of Prince Andrew Bogolyubsky’s principality; Borisoglebsky, the Fortress-Monastery, founded for the protection of the travellers; Uglich, the tragic stage of Tsarevich Dmitry death; Kostroma, known for its elaborate churches and cathedrals; Yaroslavl, Vladimir, Suzdal, and others. All these towns played a very important role in the making of the state of Russia.
The history of Vladimir dates back to the year 1108 when it was founded by Vladimir Monomakh. Prince Andrew Bogolyubsky moved his capital from Kiev to Vladimir in 1157. In 1160 he invited craftsmen to build the Assumption Cathedral. By the 15-th century the city declined. Now Vladimir is famous for its architecture of early Russia.
Suzdal was the capital city of Yury Dolgoruky’s Rostov-Suzdal Principality. After the fall of Kiev Suzdal became a religious, political and economic centre of medieval Russia. Many of its monasteries and convents are associated with the banished princes and nobility. Numerous churches and monasteries were built in Suzdal during the reign of Andrew Bogolyubsky. In the 13-th and 14-th centuries Suzdal-Vladimir principality disintegrated.
I am sure that everything that our foreign guests will see in Russia they will never be able to forget.

How long are the Urals?
– The Urals stretch for about 2,100 km from north to south.

What is the highest peak of the Ural Mountains?
– The highest peak, Mount Narodnaya, reaches 1,895 m, and other maintain tops range from 900 to 1,500 m.

Have you recently visited any museums or theatres?
– Recently I have been to the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts to enjoy the Impressionists’ works of art and the Picasso. As for the theatre, the performance that impressed me greatly was «Tsar Fyodor Ioanovich» at the Mali Theatre. This classical play was wonderfully performed.

What monuments would you recommend your foreign guests to see?
– First of all they should visit Red Square. There they will see the monuments connected with the history of Russia. In Red Square they will see a monument to Minin and Pozharsky. It was erected in 1818 to commemorate their victory over the Polish invaders in 1612. In front of the Historical museum they will see a monument to Marshal Zhukov. Under his leadership the Soviet Union won World War II. The monument was erected in May 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of the victory over Fascist Germany. Then walking up Tverskaya Street their attention can be attracted by the monument to Yury Dolgoruky, the founder of Moscow. In Pushkin Square they will see the monument to Alexander Pushkin, the great Russian poet. In Mayakovskaya Square there is a monument to Vladimir Mayakovsky, the Russian poet of the 20-th century. If our guests want to see the dismantled monuments to the political leaders of the previous epoch I shall take them to the square attached to the Central House of Painters.

Russia’s achievements

Russia is proud of its achievements in satellite technology and investigation of outerspace. On October 4, 1957, the world’s first artificial satellite was launched in our country. With «Sputnik-1» a great deal of programmes of space exploration were implemented. Over the next few years a number of unmanned spaceships of various kinds, ranging from meteorological and communications satellites to lunar probes were launched.
On April 12, 1961, the Soviet Union launched «Vostok-1». For the first time in the history of mankind a manned spacecraft was launched into outerspace. It carried Yury Gagarin in a single orbit around the Earth. German Titov piloted «Vostok-2» spacecraft. It was launched on August 6, 1961, on the first manned spaceflight of more than a single orbit. Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to travel into space, was launched on June 16, 1963 in «Vostok-6», which completed 48 orbits in 71 hours. In space at the same time was Valery Bykovsky, who had been launched two days earlier in «Vostok-5»; both of them landed on June 19.
«Vostok» flights had demonstrated that man could function while weightless in space. The «Vostok» spacecraft enabled the preparation of new, more complicated flights. Taking over the traditions of the single-sitter «Vostok», multi-sitter «Voskhod» and «Soyuz» spacecraft began to circle around the orbits of the Earth. «Voskhod-2», a two-piloted spacecraft was constructed in such a way that the cosmonaut could leave the ship during flight. On March 18, 1965, Aleksey Leonov left the spacecraft through an airlock to become the first man to float free in space.
Developed for the Earth-orbital space station programme «Soyuz» aircraft were equipped for extended missions of scientific experimentation while in the Earth orbit of up to 30 days duration. There were 40 manned and unmanned «Soyuz» spaceships which were launched between 1967 and 1981. It should be stressed that 30 «Soyuz» flights involved its docking with an orbiting «Salyut» space station. The first record for the longest manned mission in spaceflight history was set in 1981 by the crew of «Soyuz-35». It remained on board «Salyut-6» for 185 days. Other notable «Soyuz» flights include «Apollo-Soyuz» Test Project, the first joint space venture undertaken by the United States and the Soviet Union. During this mission, conducted in July 1975, a three-man U.S. «Apollo» spacecraft met and docked with the two-man «Soyuz-19» craft. The crews performed joint experiments for two days. The joint «Apollo-Soyuz» mission achieved all its major objectives.
«Salyut-1», launched April 19, 1971, was the world’s first space station. In 1986 the Soviet Union launched a more advanced type of space station «Mir». This station — a large, permanent, multimanned orbiting complex — was designed to accommodate various modules for crew living quarters and research facilities. On March 13, 1986, cosmonauts Leonid Kizim and Vladimir Solovyev were sent aboard a «Soyuz» spacecraft to dock with «Mir» and become its first occupants. They spent 53 days adjusting equipment and bringing the complex into workable order. Other cosmonauts later visited the station. In 1987 Yury Romanenko set a new endurance record of 326 days in space. The previous record 237 days, was set in 1984 by a Soviet crew in «Salyut-7» space station. In the 1970s and 1980s our scientists concentrated their efforts on numerous experiments into outerspace which involved the cosmonauts’ repeated docking. Various «Salyut» orbiting laboratories were equipped for extended missions of scientific experimentation. On board «Salyut» stations our cosmonauts conducted scientific research and made valuable observations of the solar system.

How long did it take Yury Alekseyevich Gagarin to orbit the Earth?
– It took Yury Alekseyevich Gagarin 1 hour 29 minutes to orbit the Earth.

How was the first cosmonaut awarded?
– Yury Gagarin’s spaceflight brought him world-wide fame. The first cosmonaut was awarded the Order of Lenin and given the titles of Hero of the Soviet Union and Pilot Cosmonaut of the Soviet Union. Monuments were raised to him and streets were renamed in his honour across the Soviet Union.

What do you know about the first cosmonaut?
– In 1951 Yury Gagarin, the son of a carpenter, finished as a moulder a trade school near Moscow. He continued his studies at the industrial college at Saratov. At the same time he took a course in flying. When Gagarin finished this course he entered the Soviet Air Force cadet school at Orenburg. He finished it in 1957. Yury Gagarin never went into space again. He participated in training other cosmonauts. Yury Gagarin visited several countries following his historic flight. From 1962 he served as a deputy to the Supreme Soviet.

What do you know about the second Soviet cosmonaut?
– German Titov, the second Soviet cosmonaut, was accepted in 1953 for aviation cadet training. In 1957 he graduated from the Stalingrad Flying Academy as a jet fighter pilot. In 1960 Titov entered cosmonaut training. During this course he received the Order of Lenin for an engineering proposal. The «Vostok-2» flight lasted 25 hours 18 minutes. Titov was given a code name «Eagle.» His radio signal, «I am Eagle!» was spoken with excitement and impressed people all over the world. After his flight Titov became a Hero of the Soviet Union. In 1962 he became a deputy of the Supreme Soviet. He held the position until 1970. In 1968 Titov graduated from the Zhukovsky Air Force Engineering Academy. He became a major general in 1975. In subsequent years Titov was an assistant to the chief editor of the Journal «Aviation and Cosmonautics».

When did the USA launch the first satellite?
– The first U.S. satellite «Explorer-1» was launched on January 31, 1958, about four months after «Sputnik-1».

How many satellites were launched by our country and the United States?
– For forty years both nations successfully launched more than 5,000 satellites and space probes of all varieties for conducting scientific research, communications, meteorological, photographic reconnaissance, and navigation satellites, lunar and planetary probes, and manned space flights.

When did the USA launch its first manned spacecraft?
– On May 5, 1961, the United States launched its first manned spacecraft, a «Mercury» capsule in which astronaut Alan Shepard, Jr., made a 15 minute suborbital flight.

When were men landed on the surface of the Moon?
– On July 20, 1969, the United States landed men on the surface of the Moon.

Who was the first to step on the Moon?
– On July 16, 1969, Armstrong, with Edwin Aldrin and Michael Collins, blasted off in the «Apollo-11» vehicle toward the Moon. Four days later, the «Eagle» lunar landing module, guided manually by Armstrong, touched down on a plain near the southwestern edge of the Sea of Tranquillity. On July 20, 1969, Armstrong stepped from the «Eagle» onto the Moon’s dusty surface with the words, «That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.» Armstrong and Aldrin left the module for more than two hours and deployed scientific instruments, collected surface samples, and took numerous photographs. On July 21, after 21 hours and 36 minutes on the Moon, they lifted off to rendezvous with Collins and begin the voyage back to the Earth. The astronauts splashed down in the Pacific on July 24. They visited 21 nations.

How many lunar landings were made by the USA?
– The USA made five more lunar landings on subsequent «Apollo» flights. During the lunar landings astronauts explored the surface of the Moon, collected rock and soil samples, and performed a variety of scientific experiments. The last lunar landing was made in December 1972.

What has the USA devoted its attention to since the mid- 1970s?
– Since the mid-1970s, the United States has devoted its attention to developing the space shuttle, a reusable space vehicle that lifts off like a rocket and lands like an ordinary aeroplane. The shuttle craft have been used to deploy and repair satellites in the Earth orbit.

When did the United States launch the first reusable manned vehicle?
– On April 12, 1981 the United States launched the first reusable manned vehicle. It was the 20th anniversary of manned space flight.

What can you say about planetary studies carried out by the U.S. and Soviet scientists?
– Although the United States and the Soviet Union made manned flight a major goal in their space programmes, during the 1960s and ’70s, the scientists of both countries undertook ambitious planetary studies with unmanned deep-space probes. The most significant missions were the «Viking» landings on the Mars; the «Voyager» flybys of the Jupiter, the Saturn, and the Uranus. The Soviet Union did not land men on the Moon. It launched a series of robot lunar probes («Luna» and «Zond») that returned important data and soil samples. «Luna-16», for example, made a soft-landing on the Moon in September 1970, obtained a core sample of soil, and returned it to the Earth in a sealed capsule.

What do people want to gain by exploring outer space?
– The flight into outerspace allows man to penetrate into new spheres of unpredictable discoveries. Scientists are interested in space exploration because today physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy need new data, which can not be found on the Earth. Moreover, Space Age has given mankind a chance to find thinking creatures in other Galaxies. It is believed that there are more than 100 million civilisations throughout the world. It is known far and wide that since early times the human beings have been interested in the study of the Universe. Their hopes have been connected with the discovery of intellectual creatures on the planets of other galaxies. The idea of other worlds existing in the Universe cost Giordano Bruno his life. Now all the beliefs may become true, and living beings may be found in the distant worlds of other solar systems.