YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The Garni Institute of Space Astronomy has initiated the opening of a space museum in Armenia. The ceremonial opening was held on Tuesday and coincided with the 1700th anniversary of the Armenian Church. Among the many exhibitions–is a display of devices developed for space exploration by Armenian scientists and engineers of the Garni Institute and other special design offices.
Astronaut Valentin Lebedev was the opening ceremony’s guest of honor. Lebedev has been named "Hero of the Soviet Union" twice–has been a "Soyuz-13" crew member–and worked with the "ORION-2" Observatory. He shared his memories about work at the observatory–and pointed out that the Armenian National Academy of Sciences (ANAS) was one of the few academies that was put in charge of such a significant project.
Director of the Garni Institute of Space Astronomy–ANAS Academician Grigor Gurzadian emphasized the importance of the space museum for the young generation.
In related news–the Garni Institute of Armenia and NASA (USA) signed a memorandum on participation in a joint project. Garni Institute representative Vahagn Gurzadian announced plans on launching into space a module with a special scientific mission. The module will have a telescope of special efficiency installed in it. The scientist believes that the results obtained through the telescope will be unique and will have an impact on various spheres of astrophysical research.