American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first person who stepped onto the Moon. It happened on July 21, 1969. Since then 50 have passed years, and a legendary flight of the spaceship “Apollo-11” is still an unprecedented step towards development of the Moon in the history of mankind.
Resident of Ashgabat Gaji Rajabov is ready to tell for hours about the space and about everything that is connected with it. He is a collector with experience and collects everything that concerns exploration of the interplanetary space. All it began with an album with stamps and now the collection of Gaji totals a large quantity of surprising exhibits – from autographs of cosmonauts to a space diving suit “Trout”.
– My hobby began in my childhood which fell on the 1960-ties, when after the flight if Yury Gagarin to the space, each boy dreamt to become a cosmonaut. I read about the space much, remembered by heart all names and dates of launches of rockets. The hobby began with philately, and soon the topics of collection began to extend. Stamps I added to envelopes, to envelopes – badges, medals, fur-tree toys, attributes, issues of newspapers and magazines of those years writing about the first steps onto the outer space exploration. In 2019 I attended the event devoted to the 50th anniversary of the landing of human on the Moon where I had the luck to display a part of my collection, – Gaji tells.
Astronautics museums, the Russian cosmodrome Kapustin Yar in the Astrakhan region, the native city of first German cosmonaut Sigmund Jähn – the Ashgabat collector has been to virtually every place thanks to his hobby which has turned into the author’s project for all his life.
In 2015 during the International Aerospace Salon “MAX” Gaji Rajabov got acquainted with Marina Popovich – a famous pilot and the widow of the fourth Soviet cosmonaut Pavel Popovich where from Marina’s hands received a book with her autograph.
– I fill up my collection, basically, looking through space auctions. So, for example, at auctions I got some photos with autographs of cosmonauts. Recently in Ashgabat Russian space pilot Yury Baturin arrived https://orient.tm/rossijskij-letchik-kosmonavt-jurij-baturin-vstretilsya-s-ashhabadskimi-shkolnikami/ , and it was very pleasant to me to talk to the hero of Russia and receive his personal autograph.
However, the main dream of the collector is to fly to the suborbital flight and to master the «near space». It is not a cheap pleasure, but today it is quite real.
– In my collection there are a lot of books about the space in different languages. An issue of the Soviet newspaper “Pravda” of 1968 in which the obituary about Yury Gagarin’s death was published, became one of my recent acquisitions. In my opinion, the space theme now finds its second youth, in many countries there are cosmonauts and space agencies, – the collector says.
– In 2015 into the space the first Turkmen communication satellite was launched. And our compatriot – cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko – pleases with his successes. Now he heads a group of cosmonauts, and for duration of stay on the board of the International Space Station Oleg became a champion. And all it causes pride in us, his fellow compatriots – Turkmen nationals, – Gaji said in conclusion.