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  Tuesday, December 1, 2020
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The 19th congress of the International Association of Space Explorers will be held here in August
The 19th congress of the International Association of Space Explorers will be held here in August, Aleksey Leonov announced today at a Cosmonauts' Day celebration attended by Saratov Region Gov. Dmitry Ayatskov. Leonov, twice Hero of the Soviet Union, is co-chairman of the Association. Leonov said the congress would be the crowning event on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the birth of Yury Gagarin, the world's first man in space. 'He called us all into space. Today that is 27 countries that have responded. And in August, the best of the best, representatives of all 27 countries will gather here in Saratov,' Leonov said. His co-chairman, John Fabian, of the United States, said this would be the first time that a regular congress would be held for a second time in a country. He said the exception was made because the congress will be dedicated to the Gagarin birthday. 'I consider it important that all the astronauts of all nations come to this very place,' Fabian said. Saratov Region has declared 2004 the Year of Gagarin. He learned to fly here and landed here on April 12, 1961, at a site near the city of Engels, after his space flight. The International Association of Space Explorers, with a membership of some 250 cosmonauts from 27 nations, was founded in 1985 on the initiative of Leonov, US astronaut Russell Schweikart and French cosmonaut Jean-Loup Chretien. According to the Association, more than 400 persons have now flown in space, most of them from Russia and the US.
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