Russian cosmonaut Kud-Sverchkov sees the Pyramids ‘on the ground’ for the first time

Reham El-Adawi , Saturday 13 May 2023

Russian cosmonaut Sergey Kud-Sverchkov visited Egypt this week to mark the 80th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Egypt and Russia and to promote Russian-African cooperation.

Egyptian media with Russian astronaut Kud-Sverchkov Sergei, Russian journalists Andrey Sitov and Iri
Egyptian media with Russian astronaut Kud-Sverchkov Sergei, Russian journalists Andrey Sitov and Irina Mandrykina


During a press conference at Russian Cultural Centre in Cairo, the 39-year old cosmonaut said he was ecstatic to realize his dream of seeing the Great Pyramids of Giza. 

“I used to see the Pyramids - and the High Dam - during my space flights from above, but I have finally visited them in person,” Kud-Sverchkov.

“Egypt is full of history, monuments and ancient civilization," he added.

“Russia is looking forward to cooperation with Africa in the field of space. Egypt, with its size and international standing, is able to play a strong role in supporting and developing Russian-Egyptian-African cooperation.”

Kud-Sverchkov also described during the press conference some of his experiences in space.

“I trained for 10 years before he I was assigned to my first major venture into space,” explained Kud-Sverchkov, who graduated with honours in 2006 from Moscow State Technical University with a degree specializing in rocket engineering.

“The Soyuz MS-17 mission in 2020, which lasted for 186 days, was an experience that changed the course of my life,” he added.

In May 2020, Kud-Sverchkov was assigned to ISS Expedition 63/64 as a flight engineer, launching aboard Soyuz MS-17 on 14 October 2020 alongside Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryzhikov, commander of the Soyuz MS spacecraft, and NASA astronaut Kathleen Rubins.[6]

The Soyuz MS-17 followed a 2-orbit rendezvous and docking procedure to dock with the Rassvet module of the ISS 3 hours and 3 minutes after launch.

It was the first time a crew reached the ISS in less than 4 orbits and approximately 6 hours.[7]

After the Soyuz MS-17 mission, Kud-Sverchkov compiled a pioneering children’s book on the history of space travel.

'A Future Together'

The delegation of the Russian journalists that accompanied Kud-Sverchkov included veteran TASS news agency journalists Andrey Sitov and Irina Mandrykina.

Sitov pointed that he is promoting a project during his visit to the country, which is titled, "Egypt-Africa - We Start a Future Together".

"We wanted to attract attention to the project through accompanying the famous Russian cosmonaut on his trip to Egypt,” he said.

"Africa has many natural resources and treasures; the project aims to reinforce the opportunities of cooperation between Africa and Russia in economic, trade exchange and business,” Sitov said.

“I visited many African countries such as Tanzania, Ethiopia and South Africa. I wanted to understand how to help Africans achieve food security as well as explore ways to cooperate with African countries in the field of space" he explained.  

Sitov said he would be part of a Russian delegation that is participating in the Russia-Africa Summit, which will be held in July 2023 in St. Petersburg, Russia.   

On Wednesday, the Russian journalists took part in a round-table discussion that was organized by the Association of Graduates of Russian and Soviet Universities, led by Sherif Gad.

The round table explored Russian accomplishments in the field of space and the prospects of Egyptian-Russian cooperation in the field.

During the event, Mandrykina explained that the printed press in Russia faces the same problems faced by the printed press in the world since there is growing interest in the electronic press.”

“The electronic press is more lucrative but any prestigious newspaper must keep a printed copy," she asserted.


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