Belarus has been officially recognized a spacefaring nation when launching the first Belarusian satellite.
That is why Cosmonautics Day celebrated on April 12 is not only a holiday for all the people of the world, but also a reason for thinking about new vistas for Belarus. Moreover, Belarusians are obliged by their membership in the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).
Numerous figures on the monitors, constantly changing orbit data as well as the satellite itself require constant attention from the one on the duty shift.
Evgeny Menko, duty shift head of the Space Communications Center of Belintersat 1:
We are banned from having meals here. There should always be two persons on duty.
These people do have something to monitor there. The Belarusian satellite Belintersat-1, which is the first one in terms of scale and the second one launched, has been in orbit for 454 days.
It was launched from the Chinese Xichang Satellite Launch Center.
The Belarusian satellite operates in outer space quite successfully. In addition, it is commercially successful as its TV and Internet signals have already been detected in China, Europe and even Africa. Belarusian specialists intend to increase the satellite power by 10%, which will ensure communication to the world and ‘space’ profit to Minsk.
Andrey Abramov, ‘Belintersat’ Project head:
95% of the satellite resource is aimed at export, at currency inflow to Belarus. We are to be given permission for broadcasting in India. We hope Belarus will enter the market in India as soon as summer 2017.
By the way, the satellite covers almost all the eastern hemisphere. As many as 40 people are monitoring its work from Stankovo (Minsk Region). The mean age of the staff is 26.
Dmitry Melnichenko, engineer of the monitoring department of the Space Communications Center of Belintersat 1:
The flowers here are thanks to a girl, one of our engineers, who maintains the atmosphere of an orchard here.
These numerous screens are a television department, sort of a client support center. It has already become traditional to watch news from at least eight countries of the world, so the staff can also benefit from it. However, as many as 6 satellite dishes are necessary for the satellite to operate at full capacity.
Aleksey Volkov, reporter:
The time to transmit a signal of high quality from orbit to these antennas is one tenth of a second. Such technologies will enable live broadcast from Belarus to half of the world.
Sergey Yanovich, head of the department of Communication and Broadcast and Belintersat 1 Space Communications Center:
The Belarusian satellite is at a height of geostationary orbit, which is about 36,000 km, i.e. the signal transmission distance is much longer. So this signal can be detected on any other planet.
As many as three Belarusians have seen the Earth from outer space in the history of space exploration, which is longer than half a century.
I am just an earthling, a signaler by profession. May cosmonauts explore space, while we will provide communication from Stankovo.
Who knows what will happen in 50 years? Perhaps, it will be common practice to fly to the ISS for a weekend. Why not? I would like to go to the ISS and to see the Earth from outer space.
If I was offered to fly I would agree. Why not see the Earth from outer space? What a spectacle!