An outstanding German philosopher Immanuel Kant was right saying that people are getting attracted by two things: ethical canons for people and sky of stars above us. Two spaces, two micro and macro worlds. You become convinced of the rightness of these words when come across the works of a Soviet painter Andrey Sokolov. He devoted himself to the study and observance of the space in an art manner, making popular the Soviet achievements in the space program.
One of your works depicts the moment of raising the Soviet flag above the «Mir» orbital station. Is it a real event or you have invented it?
- It is real. Remember in the March 1991 the referendum of the future of the Soviet Union was held? Majority of people voted for preservation of the Soviet Union. In the beginning of June comonauts Artsybarsky and Krikalev were dispatched to the station. They decided to celebrate the results of the referendum. They bought an ordinary Soviet flag which was usually placed on the local authority buildings on the holidays and took it onboard. During the space walking they had set this flag on the top of the 14 meters high truss, priory sealing it in the special frame (that's because there is no air in space so the flag can't wave).
Around one year, the flag of already non-existing country was soaring above the orbital station. With the lapse of time the flag started to get ruined due to the temperature fluctuations, radiation, space dust etc. I've asked the new crew to take the flag off and deliver it on the Earth. However cosmonaut is forbidden to make reasonless space walks, it's an extermly complicated and dangerous operation. Finally Anatoly Soloviev conducted a space walk and during that moment I was in the flight control center, I asked him ''Tolya how is the flag?'', ''only two threads left'' he replied. Flag has vanished in eternity, together with the great country that has paved the road to the stars.
But maybe it's all for the best? It wasn't hauled down like in Kremlin, but remained in the space for good.