Cosmonaut Valentin Lebedev was a Norilsk guest twice
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Cosmonaut Valentin Lebedev was a Norilsk guest twice

July 10, 2020

By 1977, when cosmonaut Valentin Lebedev added to the list of honorary citizens of Norilsk, he had made his first flight as a flight engineer of the Soyuz-13 spacecraft.

In Norilsk the Hero of the Soviet Union presented state awards at the 40th Komsomol anniversary celebration. In 1985, the honorary citizen of Norilsk took part in the so called friendship smelting at the Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant.

For the second time, twice Hero of the Soviet Union, an honorary citizen of several cities and even the whole state in the United States came for the plant jubilee in 1985, when the Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant had been working at full capacity for the fourth year. He took part in the so called friendship smelting there. By that time, Valentin Lebedev had not only flown to, but even went into outer space. That flight lasting 211 days 09 hours 04 minutes 31 seconds was listed in the Guinness Book of Records.

Valentin Lebedev with Nadezhda metallurgical plant’s workers

Friendship smelting, for which the astronaut came to Norilsk in 1985, was an event rather political than production, and the presence of Valentin Lebedev raised it to the space level in the eyes of the participants.

In the same year, the holder of many awards and titles received the medal For the Construction of the Baikal-Amur Railway. The astronaut’s biographers say that he deserved it by the fact that since 1975, during his vacation, he worked on the BAM construction as a leader of the Moscow Aviation Institute student team. Norilsk, as well as american Texas, Fort Worth and several russian and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) cities, was very lucky to have such an honorary citizen.

Read in the History spot: about the monument, dedicated to the pioneers of the Talnah construction, about where the Urvantsevs were buried and other articles on the Norilsk history.

Text: Varvara Sosnovskaya, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive

July 10, 2020

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