Svetlana Smirnova: “Georgy Grechko was a Man of Cosmic Kindness”

09/04/2020 13:02

April 8 is the day when we remember the pilot and cosmonaut, twice Hero of the Soviet Union Georgy Grechko. In the hearts of many people he remains as brave, courageous, open, kind, friendly person. Many people living on our planet were fond of him. The man, who went into outer space, knew and understood, like no one else, how important it is to value peace, home and people.

In 2011, in the year of Space, at the International Festival of Children and Youth Media “Sunflower” he met with children from different countries. Svetlana Smirnova, First Deputy Secretary General - Head of the General Secretariat of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, recalls this meeting:

“I remember this meeting for the rest of my life. We visited an open-air ethnographic Museum of Ludorvai and listened to folk songs. He was very interested to find out how the Udmurt people's life is organized. The smoke Banya and the fact that a kindling was used for lighting it drew his particular interest. He even dreamed of writing a book about how humanity has come from splint wood to electricity.

Georgy Mikhailovich was incredibly sociable and was sincerely glad that he visited this place. He liked to communicate with children and talked a lot about his flights into space. He talked about seeing a lot of unidentified things, talked about “black” and “white” holes. Many children interviewed at the festival, wrote notes, reports for the first time in their lives. He treated each of us like a family member and a child. He was an open person and affectionately called me Svetochka. It's wonderful that fate has given me such a gift. And at the festival, he met with the constructer of small arms Mikhail Kalashnikov. It was an unforgettable meeting. Both great men knew that they were meeting for the last time”.

Georgy Grechko was born on May 25, 1931 in Leningrad. In 1955, after graduating with honors from the Leningrad Red Banner Military-Mechanical Institute, he received a degree in mechanical engineering. On 27 May 1968, he was enlisted in the Cosmonaut Detachment and prepared for flights of the Soviet Lunar program. George Grechko’s first space flight took place in January-February 1975, when he was a flight engineer. His second flight was in December 1977, during which he succeeded in going into outer space to check the functionality of the docking unit. Georgy Grechko made his third flight in September 1985 as a flight engineer to check the functionality of the “Salyut-7” Station.

Georgy Grechko was twice awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union with the award of the “Gold Star” Medals. He was awarded three Orders of Lenin and Medals “For Valiant Labor”. Georgy Grechko was Deputy Chairman of the Soviet Peace Committee, and Chairman of the International Federation for Peace and Accord, and President of the North-West Interregional public organization of Cosmonautics Federation, and was the host of the program "This Fantastic World" on TV.

He died on April 8, 2017. A bronze bust of the cosmonaut is installed in St. Petersburg and on the Alley of Heroes of the Moscow Victory Park. A minor planet that he discovered during his first space flight is named after Geogry Grechko. And the most important thing is that we will all remember him for his kindness and responsiveness.

Prepared by Katya Tokareva

Source: EURASIA KIDS website