The Cosmonaut Alley layout ceremony took place on the landside of the new Gagarin Airport (member of the Airports of Regions Holding) in Saratov. The first tree on the future alley was planted by pilot cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the Hero of the Soviet Union, currently serving as the member of parliament. The world’s first spacewoman opened a specially installed memorial sign in commemoration of this event, symbolically taken place on the Space Exploration Day. The Cosmonaut Alley will be an element of landside improvement of the Gagarin Airport, with the concept thereof comprising creation of several areas and topical sites dedicated to space. Speaker of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin, Aide to the Russian President Igor Levitin, Head of the Federal Air Transport Agency Alexander Neradko and Governor of the Saratov Region Valeri Radaev accompanied Valentina Tereshkova on the site of the new Saratov airport.
Participants in the event toured the passenger terminal of the airport prior to the beginning of the ceremony. General Director of the Management Company Airports of Regions Evgenii Chudnovskii informed about specific features of passenger servicing in the terminal and showed the overall construction readiness of the building during the visit to the air terminal. Construction and finishing work has been completed thus far. Installation of process equipment and startup is underway. Check-in counters, security control sector, domestic and international departures waiting areas and boarding gates were demonstrated to guests during the terminal inspection.
Evgenii Chudnovskii made participants familiar with details of the improvement concept on the landside, with a thematic park (plaza) setup to be an element of the same.
“The Cosmonaut Alley will be complemented on a going basis with nameplates of pilot cosmonauts that will visit the Gagarin Airport after its commissioning,” noted Evgenii Chudnovskii. “The first such plate will be cast in metal with the name of Valentina Tereshkova and her autograph she left with us today,” he said.
The remarkable thing is that a separate area is allocated on the territory for the installation in the form of a steel globe located amidst the grain field. It symbolizes the capsule of the Vostok spacecraft at the time of landing of Yuri Gagarin and is the starting point of the permanent topical space presentation, with the key segment of the same to be situated in the airport terminal.
Furthermore, a striking high art installation is provided in the park territory, an eighteen-meter glowing stele. It will be coated with polished metal plates from the outside, driven by air flows and changing the facade into the kinetic sculpture. The facade surface glitters, looking like movement of clouds or small ripples on water. The central path connecting the terminal entry with the railway wayside stop is the transit axis, with two adjoining zones: the square with the Cosmonaut Alley, amphitheater and trees on the one side and the water basin on the other side. The water basin surface covered by a thin water layer turns into a mirror reflecting the skies.Mind that land improvement of the Gagarin Airport landside will be complemented by more than 250 large-sized trees and shrubs: pines, oaks, willows, lindens, poplars and other plants will be set on the park territory, on car parking lots and along access roads.