Exploring the Final Frontier - Fifty Years On - Mikhail Kornienko

"Exploring the Final Frontier: Fifty Years On"

with Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko

The event is streamed below from this page and also from the HEAnet website.

Russian cosmonaut, Mikhail Kornienko, told an audience of over 1,000 that it takes hard work and dedication to become a cosmonaut but the end results can be unique.

They were attending a talk in the Helix given by the cosmonaut as part of the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's first manned flight into space, which took place on 12 April 1961.

He described his early interest in flying and space, and how, as a young teenager, he attended cosmonaut school and worked as a ground launch specialist before going on to train as a cosmonaut.

Kornienko himself spent six months as a flight engineer on the International Space Station which has been inhabited continuously since November 2000 when Expedition 1 first boarded.

The station covers an area equivalent to the pitch at Croke Park, weighs 400 metric tons and circles the Earth every 91 minutes at an altitude of just over 350 kilometres and a speed of almost 28,000 km/h.  It is bright enough to be seen from earth with the unaided eye as a brilliant point of light crossing the sky.  Construction work on the space station has been taking place continuously, with each group of space visitors carrying out research and maintenance on board the giant orbiting complex.

Kornienko was a member of Expedition 23, along with US astronaut Tracy Caldwell-Dysen, and spent six months on the station from April to September 2010. The crews are rotated every six months.

A total of 198 people from 15 countries have visited the International Space Station to date, which includes seven space tourists, each of who has paid twenty million dollars for the flight.

The event organised by Dublin City University, the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies and the Russian Embassy aimed to excite and engage the general public with space, to nurture the next generation of scientists and to generate greater awareness about space exploration.

President of Dublin City University, Professor Brian MacCraith said that it was through collaboration with the DIAS that they achieved this unique opportunity to meet and talk to such a prestigious guest.  "Today's visit by Kornienko has given young students a wonderful opportunity to understand the excitement of science and technology.  It can lead to a greater understanding of the world and the whole galaxy.  We are very honoured to have Kornienko here at DCU to mark the 50th anniversary of the first manned space flight", he said.