Thursday, July 27, 2006

Lukashenko No Rocket Scientist

Yesterday, a Russian space rocket carrying 18 satellites crashed shortly after takeoff from Baikonur spacebase in Kazakhstan, as reported by international media. The accident presents a serious setback for Belarus new and proud space-programme. The rocket was carrying Belka - Belarus' first to be human-made object in space. As it now appears, this dream was never realised.

Since Kazakhstan became independent in 1991, Russia has kept on to its spacebase in Baikonur by a bilateral lease agreement, which runs until 2050. Baikonur has since been used as a launching-pad for numerous satellites, mainly for commercial purposes. One pleasant twist to activities at the spacebase is that Russia uses converted intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) for these peaceful purposes, thus literally turning swords into ploughshares. Working on a commercial basis, Baikonur has also allowed other countries to enter the space age, as should have become the case also for Belarus on Wednesday.

Thus, it was with great pride that Belarus president Alyaksandr Lukashenka yesterday stood watching how the country's first satellite took off from Baikonur space-centre in Kazakhstan. As the rocket rose to the skies, it was to become a short-lived joy for Lukashenka. But 86 seconds after take-off, the rocket started twirling to the ground to eventually explode in a burst of fire. Regretfully, no media reported Lukashenka's reaction to the crash. Let us however assume that it would not have been his one and a half minute of glory.

Of course, had Lukashenka himself been a rocket-scientist, the accident would never have happened. One cannot but pause to wonder, why this very gifted man does not master also rocket science, but perhaps not even Lukashenka can be omnipotent. Therefore, someone else has to take the blame for failure. Yesterday, Belarus opposition leader Milinkevich was arrested by police. It will be interesting to see whether he will be charged for sabotaging Belarus glorious space programme. After all, the motto of the regime is: "Together towards a strong and prosperous Belarus!" Then some insignificant little opposition leader should not be allowed to sabotage Belarus' glorious and bright future under the wise leadership of president Lukashenka. Or should he?


Pan Zavalnia said...

Hi Vilhelm!

Here is a photo set of 'Belka' launching:


An-Lu said...

Well a "charismatic" leader like Lukashenka cannot do eveything! Many professionals would be unemployed if he did!

Vilhelm Konnander said...

Pan zavalnia: Thanks for the link to the pictures of the Belka launching. Great fun!

An-Lu: Wise as ever! I cannot understand why Lukashenko still has not employed your services as advisor. ;-)