#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The Norilsk people followed the Soyuz-26 spaceship, on which Yury Romanenko and Georgy Grechko flew on December 10, 1977, and the Salyut-6 orbital station until the return of the cosmonauts from the near-earth orbit on March 16, 1978.
For 46-year-old flight engineer Georgy Grechko, this was the second space flight, but not the last. The cosmonauts, who took the call sign ‘Taimyr’, set a world record for being in space, and Georgy Grechko was the oldest in the cosmonaut corps for a long time. According to the reviews of all who knew him, he was also the most sociable, charming and benevolent person. This can be seen from the photographs taken during the visit of the twice Hero of the Soviet Union to Norilsk and the capital of Taimyr.
There are memories that Grechko, who saw the Taimyr peninsula from space, noticed that if the flying saucers actually existed, they would probably be made here: “Because you seem to be able to do everything that a person can”.
On his first visit to Norilsk and Dudinka, the cosmonaut visited the Valek dispensary, a Norilsk school and Talnah. He examined the nickel electrolysis shop with particular attention, emphasizing in his interviews that the spaceships he visited space by were made of Norilsk metal.
From Norilsk, Georgy Grechko went to Dudinka, where he took part in the celebrations of the Komsomol anniversary and symbolically hammered the first pile in the house on Shchorsa street, which has remained in history as the ‘cosmonaut’s house’.
Georgy Grechko made the third space flight in the year of the 50th anniversary of the Norilsk Mining and Metallurgical Combine, two decades later, in 2005, he became a guest of Taimyr again.
Read other materials of our photo project in the History spot section.
Text: Varvara Sosnovskaya, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive