Science Festival-2013: SINP MSU

Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov with the students at SINP mount (click an image with a mouse in order to enlarge )

This year teleconference with the cosmonauts onboard the International Space Station (ISS) undoubtedly became the brightest event of the Science Festival. SINP scientists cherished this idea from the previous festival. And when this event happened for the first time during the history of Science festivals in Russia they could not expect such rush. Auditorium in Shuvalov building of MSU was too small to accomodate anybody who wanted to enter. There were crowds of people in the doorway with a hope to look at the cosmonauts out with the tail of eye, but even is they could not look at them, they could at least hear.

The guests of the Festival asked the cosmonauts Sergey Ryazansky (the first MSU graduate who went to space), Oleg Kotov and Fedor Yurchikhin, how old they were when they felt interested in science for the first time; how their worldview had changed after space flights; what they are waiting for when returning home; what are their impressions from the ascent to orbit; what dream they see; and many others.

Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov started to the orbit in 2011 was also among the guests of the Festival during the teleconference. Most of all heliked the question concerning favorite film about space. Yurchikhin answered that his favorite films are "A Space Odissey" by Stanley Kubrick and old "Star Wars" with Harrison Ford.

After the teleconference Anton Shkaplerov visited the mount of SINP MSU called "MSU - Space", where he had a look at the exhibition and told about his impressions from the event.

"I liked how good everything was organized. I offered Ilya (a student, worked at SINP mount - Ed.) to organize it for the next time on St.Tatiana Day. I could not expect that so many people would come to teleconference, that it would be so interesting for them. So I suppose, that such events should be continued. Our colleagues from the USA are actively participate in outreach for schoolmates, students, they interact with children a lot. We only start this activity. And I'm very glad that took part in it, especially during one of the main scientific events", - Anton Shkaplerov told us.

At SINP MSU mount the students interrupted each other trying to tell the cosmonaut about the achievements of the Institute in the field of space research. They told him about the studies onboard University satellites "Tatiana" and "Tatiana-2" and about the studies by means of spacecraft "NUCLEON" which is planned to be launched at the end of 2013. Then the scientists told him about the project of school satellites CANSAT. Anton Shkaplerov was filled of admiration for it and offered to go with this initiative to Roscosmos.

Scientists and their assistants students and schoolchildren told the guests of the Festival about the satellites, why far space is dangerous for the people without magnetic field of the Earth; what happened with materials of spacecrafts after 12 years of exploitation in outer space; how nanomaterials for aerospace equipment and nuclear power engineering are grown; how complex "Tunka-133" is operated and what for the scientists observe star sky in different points on the Earth's surface by means of robotic telescopes "MASTER". Many of these projects were described in informational bulletins, which were taken away by the guests very quickly.

Technical team of SINP MSU organized a teleconferences with Nobel Prizers Laureates Frank Wilczek and John Mather. George F. Smoot, also Nobel Laureate and Leading Scientists of the Extreme Universe Laboratory of SINP was an anhor at these teleconferences.

The participants of the Festival were also interested in lectures given by the scientists of SINP in form of talks. In particular, lecture by Sergey Krasotkin about inability of flights to Mars in the nearest future was so interesting for the guests of the Festival, that discussion continued long after the finish of the talk.

During the excursion where the scientists have shown accelerators of SINP MSU the situation was similar - the parents of schoolchildren and babies did not want to miss a golden opportunity of looking at accelerators and learning everything about them directly from first hand. The children could make little of the excursion, but they were interested in sitting at the control board of the accelerator, to touch it and to make photo with a huge experimental plant.

But during master-class "Repeat experiments of Nobel Laureates" everything was clear even for bright first-grade pupil. Basing of the experiments of E.Rutherford, A.A.Becquerel, P.Curie and M.Curie, D.Chedwick, V.Hess, K.Andersen the visitors of the Festival solved different problems. For good work they got certificate with the stamp of the Laboratory and sign of SINP scientist. For schoolchildren such a document is a reminiscence of the Science Festival and, probaby, "five" in Physics.