The 102nd pilot-cosmonaut of Russia and the 473rd in the world Oleg Kononenko always remembers that he is a native of Turkmenistan. This month, Oleg Dmitrievich will celebrate his 55th anniversary, at a very high – cosmic level. More precisely – in Earth orbit.
Once he said that, flying over Turkmenistan, he always takes pictures of it from space.
He is currently leading a space expedition as commander of the Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft, which docked to the International Space Station. This is the fourth flight in his space epic. And the other day, he came out into space for the fifth time, where he worked for over six hours.
Oleg Kononenko, a hero of Russia, among a number of deservedly high state awards – orders and medals – especially honors the “Star of the President”, which he personally was presented by President of Turkmenistan Berdimuhamedov. And then Oleg Dmitrievich said that wherever he was, he carried in his heart a love for his native Turkmen land.
Oleg is a frequent guest in his historic homeland, during his last visit to Ashgabat and his native Turkmenabat (formerly called Chardzhou), he said that he would soon begin a long and tense period of preparation for the next flight, after which he promised to come for a visit to native Turkmenistan.
But even now, being aboard the ISS, Oleg (most people in Turkmenistan are turning to him – by name, perceiving him as a close friend or a very familiar person), as far as possible, keeps in touch with the Motherland.
Even now, an experienced pilot-cosmonaut sent a letter of congratulations to the head of state and the Turkmen people on World Bicycle Day addressed to President Berdimuhamedov. He wrote that as a native of Turkmenistan, he was very proud that his homeland’s initiative to establish World Bicycle Day found unanimous support in the world.
All this, as noted by the Hero of Russia O. Kononenko, is evidence of the growing authority of Turkmenistan, the loyalty of the course conducted by the Turkmen leader to promote healthy lifestyle, sports and physical education.
“For cosmonauts,” writes Oleg Dmitrievich, addressing the head of Turkmenistan, “physical health is one of the key components of successful professional activity and, of course, I deeply support Your efforts to promote sports and health not only within Turkmenistan, but also in the international arena”.
Oleg did not forget to mention the sports successes of his countrymen and the great educational effect of the sports hobbies of the president of the country:
“In recent years, the achievements of Turkmenistan in the Olympic movement are indisputable, as evidenced by the 5th Asian Games, successfully held in Ashgabat in 2017. Your personal passion and success in sports and physical culture is also widely known, which is an excellent example to follow, especially among the younger generation.”
… Here is a letter sent by cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, while on board the International Space Station.
And I want to say to Oleg on behalf of all ORIENT visitors, thanks for the kind words. We are proud of you, love and wait, when you return to Earth, and come to your native and close Turkmenistan.