Oleg Kotov: Kerim Kerimov is a legend of space industry
Today the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (ANAS) hosted an international conference in honor of one of the founders of Soviet space program, long-term leader of Soviet cosmonautics, Hero of Socialist Labor, laureate of Lenin and State Prizes, Honorary Member of the ANAS, Lieutenant-General Kerim Kerimov.
Russia's 100th cosmonaut Oleg Kotov spoke about Kerim Kerimov and prospects of space exploration on the sidelines of this event in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza.
"Kerim Kerimov was one of the founders of Soviet and Russian space industy, he made a great contribution to the development of rocket science, he's a legend of space industry," Oleg Kotov noted.
"I know that those who worked in this industry during the time when he was a chairman of the State Commission on Piloted Flights treated him with respect both as a person, as a specialist and as a leader," he added.
Speaking about the prospects of space industry, Oleg Kotov said that mankind now needs to explore the Moon. "The tasks of flights to the Moon were formed just recently. If the "Apollo" program was more politically motivated due to the space race, now such things are meaningless," he stressed.
"The next step is Mars. We must learn how to build space bases, maintain them, manage them, and the Moon will serve as a testing ground. This is one of the tasks that we have set - preparing the flight to Mars, and then landing and living on Mars," he concluded.