Press Release: Three Moonwalkers to join Astrofest !


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PRESS RELEASE: A Group of Legendary Russian Cosmonauts led by Alexei Leonov join the Starmus Festival

The Starmus International Festival dedicated to astronomy, space science, art and music returns to the Abama Golf & Spa resort in Tenerife from 22 to 27 September to address “Beginnings: the making of the modern cosmos.” It is a festival that is open to everyone, whether you are a beginner, amateur or professional.   We are very pleased to announce that our three Apollo “Moonwalkers” will now be joined by five legendary Cosmonauts including the first man to walk in space Alexei Leonov, together with Vladimir Dzhanibekov, Sergei Krikalev, Viktor Savinykh and Yuri Baturin.

Alexei Leonov who would have been the first man to walk on the moon had the Soviet Union gone ahead with their planned moon mission before the USA, will be giving a talk at Starmus entitled: Why did the Soviet Union not send a man to the moon? Arthur C. Clarke’s book 2010: Odyssey Two was dedicated to Leonov and Andrei Sakharov; the fictional spaceship Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov was named after him. He was also put in command of the Soyuz 19 mission, the first joint Soviet-U.S. space project Soyuz-Apollo in 1975.

Alexei Leonov, Russian Cosmonaut, on 18 March, 1965, became the first human to conduct a space walk. This historic event occurred on the Voskhod 2 flight. He was outside the spacecraft for 12 minutes and nine seconds connected to the craft by a 5.35 meter tether. At the end of the spacewalk, his spacesuit had inflated in the vacuum of space to the point where he could not re-enter the airlock. He opened a valve to allow some of the suit’s pressure to bleed off and was barely able to get back inside the capsule. From 1976 to 1982, Leonov was the commander of the cosmonaut team (“Chief Cosmonaut”) and deputy director of the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center. Leonov is an accomplished artist whose published books include albums of his artistic works.

Vladimir Dzhanibekov, Russian Cosmonaut, has spent over 146 days in space aboard five spaceflights. He is one of the most experienced cosmonauts in history. His first was aboard Soyuz 27 in 1978. The spacecraft docked with the Salyut 6 space station for 8 days. He spent another week aboard Salyut 6 in 1981. In 1982, he commanded Soyuz T-6. He made his fourth flight in 1984 aboard Salyut 7. He took a spacewalk during this mission to repair a power system. In 1985, he took part in a dangerous mission to revive the dead Salyut 7 space station. The crew made a five-hour spacewalk to restore solar panels and repair power systems to the station.

Sergei Krikalev, Russian Cosmonaut, became a cosmonaut in 1987 and has spent over 461 days in space. In 1988, he flew aboard the Mir space station. In 1991, he flew a second time on Mir and made an unprecedented 6 spacewalks where he did space construction. Space Missions include: Mir EO-4 (Soyuz TM-7), Mir LD-3 (Soyuz TM-12, Soyuz TM-13), STS-60, STS-88, Expedition 1 (Soyuz TM-031, STS-102, Expedition 11 (Soyuz TMA-6

Viktor Savinykh, Russian Cosmonaut, became a cosmonaut in 1978 and has spent over 253 days in space on three spaceflights. In 1981, he spent 74 days aboard the Salyut 6 space station. Space Missions include: Soyuz T-4, Soyuz T13, Mir EP-2 (Soyuz TM-5/ Soyuz TM-4). In 2005, minor planet 6890 was named after Savinykh.

Yuri Baturin, Russian Cosmonaut, in 1973 he graduated at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. In 1980 he also graduated at the Law Institute of Moscow State University, where he also obtained a doctorate in laws. A former politician, he has been Head of National Security and has served on the National Defence Council. In 1997 he was selected as a cosmonaut. In 1998 he flew on Soyuz TM-28/Soyuz TM-27 as a research cosmonaut and in 2001 on Soyuz TM-32/Soyuz TM-31 as flight engineer.

The founders of the Starmus Festival have worked hard to create another unique event for everyone, at an affordable price of 300 Euros. Please note we have also introduced a special discounted rate of 200 Euros for Canarian Residents and Students. For more information on the festival please go to our website at

Starmus 2014 includes an opening cocktail reception, a three-day conference, an astrophotography and space art exhibition, a live broadcast of a roundtable discussion from the GTC Telescope in La Palma, a “Space legends” event and the “Sonic Universe” music concert. There are also optional extras such as a “Star Party” in the Teide National Park, a dinner banquet, and excursions to visit the observatories of Tenerife and La Palma.

The event is driven by its developer Garik Israelian, an astrophysicist researcher at IAC (Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands) and a scientific advisory board including Dr Brian May, astrophysicist and guitarist for the legendary rock band “Queen” and Alexei Leonov, the legendary Russian cosmonaut who made the first space walk in 1965.

The Festival is supported by the Canary Islands Government through PROMOTUR Turismo de Canarias, the Cabildo of Tenerife, the Cabildo of La Palma, International Astronomical Union and Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC). The official media partner is Astronomy magazine.