Students of India’s Atomic Energy Central School at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu were surprised to be greeted by Russian cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Anton Shkaplerov on Thursday, according to a statement from Russian state-run nuclear energy corporation Rosatom.
Rosatom is the equipment supplier and technical consultant for the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project being operated by the Nuclear Power Corp.
The company has posted a video on Youtube that shows Artemyev saying that they received more than 12000 letters on the International Cosmonauts Day. Among the letters, there was one letter which was sent by students from Tamil Nadu’s Atomic Energy Central School.
The astronauts could not resist themselves from replying to the letter that was full of warmth and love. They also displayed a picture taken by the children with Russian space pilot, Mikhail Kornienko, when he visited the school last year. The cosmonauts said they also received letters from Brazil, Bulgaria, Cuba, the Czech Republic Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Spain, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
Oleg Artemyev along with astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday, March 23 onboard a Russian Soyuz rocket. There are currently six astronauts on the orbiting lab including Anton Shkaplerov, who is Expedition 55’s commander, Scott Tingle, Norishige Kanai, Oleg Artemyev, Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel.
Shkaplerov, Tingle, and Kanai will remain aboard the orbiting lab until June 2018, while Feustel, Arnold, and Artemyev will return to Earth in August this year to close out their 159 days voyage. The astronauts will conduct around 250 science investigations in the space.
They will also study Earth atmospherics, the effects of microgravity on bone marrow, and biological samples’ responses to simulated gravity. It is expected that the research work conducted on the ISS will help astronomers better understand how different things behave in the space.