Cuba celebrated the 40th anniversary of Arnaldo Tamayo's space flight last Friday. He then became the first cosmonaut from Latin America to achieve that feat thanks to the collaboration what was the Soviet Union.
Now the Brigadier General of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba, Tamayo went into outer space aboard the Soyuz-38 spacecraft from the Baikonur cosmodrome, on 18 Sept. 1980, together with Soviet cosmonaut Yuri V. Romanenko, head of the mission.
From Cuba, people followed the extraordinary event through television screens. Almost a day later, the spacecraft docked at the Saliut 6 orbital station where cosmonauts Leonid Popov and Valeri Riumin were already there.
The crew carried out 27 projects in a week, prepared by scientists from Cuba and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and others started by experts from Bulgaria and Hungary continued.
After 128 orbits, Tamayo and Romanenko returned to Earth. Days later, Tamayo received the distinction of Hero of the Soviet Union and Hero of the Republic of Cuba.
Cuban scientist José Altschuler acknowledged that almost all of the medical-biological, physical and technical work carried out during the flight left significant results, including studying the island's natural resources.
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