Ocean in motion

Cruises: an affordable travel format

Reading time 4 minutes

A sea cruise may seem old-fashioned and not too comfortable, you may associate it with sailors of the past. Indeed, this way of exploring different parts of the world has a long history. One of the most important events connected with it was a shipbuilding revolution. I happened in the 30s of the 19th century, when sailing ships were replaced by steamboats. It was then that the transatlantic voyages became widespread, although the price of such trips was high and accessible to few people. Today, cruises have become a separate type of travel industry, and the price range and the number of destinations have expanded significantly. But are there any other benefits of this travel format?

Cruises as a luxury of a bygone era

Diversity. You can visit three, four, or even five countries at once. Every morning you arrive at a new port and plunge into the color of an unknown place – you go by shuttle to the nearest major city and get acquainted with its sights. If you don’t want to spend time and money on excursions, you can just go for a walk yourself, go to a local restaurant or (in summer) stay near the coast and swim in the sea.

«Посмотри на мир. Он куда удивительнее cнов» — Рэй Брэдберри.
“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list,” – Susan Sontag

Profit. A cruise, for example, through the Mediterranean, allows you to visit Italy, France, and Spain in a week. At the same time, the need to pay for several hotels and meals disappear. You will save the most when choosing the most expensive destinations, such as the Norwegian Fjords or the islands of the Indian Ocean. Well, if you decide to explore countries such as Denmark, Finland and Estonia, you can completely forget about air tickets – cruise ships leave directly from St. Petersburg, this is one of the most inexpensive options.

Fun. Modern cruise ships offer plenty of entertainment right on board. During the trip, the guest has an opportunity to swim in the pool and sunbathe on the deck, play games with animators, attend a circus show in the evening, sing karaoke and enjoy the seascape.

Atmosphere. During the cruise, a gala dinner is held for guests at least once – is this not a reason to show off your spectacular look in front of the photographer? In addition, every evening you can see off the sunset overlooking the water surface – that is a real beauty. Who knows, maybe it is the seascape that brings you closer to harmony within yourself?

Create your own sunset collection

“Journalistic is not a profession to come into, it is a profession to be seduced”

Cheese maker, journalist, and optimist Halina Spasskaya speaks about the ability of living how you want

Reading time 6 minutes

When Moscow began to grow beyond Sadovoe ring, I was working as a cheese making technologist. I was able to distinguish 100 kinds of cheese. But one day I accidentally turned up at the radio-station and fell in love with it. Journalistic is not a profession to come into, it is a profession to be seduced.

Love and session

I entered Moscow state university but was dropped out of it at the end of the first year. Thus, I understood once and for all my life that love and session are incompatible. My choice was never in favour of session… It is a family feature: my grandfather was expelled from a seminary because of his love affairs. By the way, he married a beautiful woman and became an engineer. He worked at Kurskiy railway station, so lobbied landowner L’vova’s interests when she decided to divide her estate into sites and sell them for dachas. Exactly that dachas are said to be described in “Vishneviy sad” by Chekhov. As for the faculty of journalism, I finished it in Moscow State University of Printing Arts.

“Tyoshcha”, convicts and full bears

This painting was drawn by Halina Romanovna's pupil. By common consent of her old friends, it depicts her character most of all.
This painting was drawn by Halina Romanovna’s pupil. By common consent of her old friends, it depicts her character most of all

One day I was promptly sent to the event in Onega at White sea. When I rushed to the ticket office, it turned out that Onega can be reached just by the only trailer car which went once a week. That trailer car had already gone. That is why I developed the tactic and went with changes to Plesetsk then by Murmansk train to the station from which train for workers, “tyoshcha”, went twice a day. However, I did not count that Murmansk railway was a single-track one and after driving through one section, the train waited for the oncoming one to do the same. Due to this fact, I missed the “tyoshcha”. So, I went to the station masters-on-duty and said that I had to be in Onega till 7 p.m when the event started. They replied, “Easy as pie! Once you have gone right through the taiga about 2 or 3 km, you will see the road along which convicts are carrying the forest. They will give you a lift. People as people. Don’t be frightened, bears are full in Autumn”. Well, I am a sensible woman I asked for another way. It was pretty suitable. Girls stopped the passing locomotive, “You’ ll be transferred to the track crossover. We’ve called the duty. She’ll stop the oncoming car to Onega”. How unique northern people are! I was afraid that convicts might pass by but the duty reassured, “Don’t worry, I closed the crossover, nobody can pass by without stopping”. Yeah, they gave me a lift, so I was in time for the event.

PhD’s envy

Nowadays Halina Romanovna takes any possibility to travel, though, by more comfortable transport. She prefers rucksacks to suitcases which never takes with her
Nowadays Halina Romanovna takes any possibility to travel, though, by more comfortable transport. She prefers rucksacks to suitcases which never takes with her

My progress in journalistic was quick I became an editor at “Podolsk-radio” but still felt that I have lack of knowledge in social science. That is why I started searching for places where I could study. At that very time Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences was opened. It was the only place where sociologists were taught and I was lucky to get after-graduate programme as academic Igor Bestuzhev-Lada tutee. I was attracted by the programme of social psychology. Studying was splendiferous: lectures were held once a week and we got wages for it. Moreover, a month time off was given to us to prepare a dissertation and we could take another one without salary to finish it. Of course, I used them all! My husband envied he said, “I am a scientist of the Russian Academy of Sciences and I have only 45 days off while you have 54”.

Don’t wait – live now

In childhood my health was poor. I had congenital heart disease and diabetes but father always told me, “You can always lie as an ill person but you ought to live energetically. Now”. He taught me to ride a horse, drive a car, swim. There is a 300 metres long pond in our town and father said that I should swim it across to learn how to swim. I was stunned. It was scary… However, I succeeded at the second try. When I was floundering, he held me up. My father skied with me, let me drive a motorbike, even sent me to a shooting club. By the way, I had the first ranking because I could shoot 96 targets from 100. In my opinion, active social lifestyle starts when you stop frightening of working.

Halina Romanovna's Instagram page
Halina Romanovna’s Instagram page

Nowadays, Galina Romanovna is Podolsk star. Over 17 hundred of people are subscribed to her Instagram blog. “Orel i reshka. Babushka” casting must have added fame indeed.

Geometry that is convenient

What use Moscow citizens and dwellers of The Moscow region can get from Ds?

Reading time 5 minutes

Ds are two Moscow Central Diameters which look like the mixture of underground and electric train system. There are, consequently, two routes of Ds: D1 Odintsovo-Lobnya that connects Belarusskoye direction with Savelovskoe one and D2 Nakhabino-Podolsk which connects Kurskoye direction with Rizhskoye one. They were launched at the 21st of November. Mr Putin took part in the opening ceremony of the new kind of transport on going from Belorusskaya train stop to Fili station. Ms Sobyanin who escorted the president considered that day to remain in history as a birthday of new vehicle.

Vladimir Putin was amongst the first passenders of D1
Vladimir Putin was amongst the first passenders of D1

Governors travelled by “Ivolga” train. It is a new special train running on Ds. “Ivolga” has wi-fi spots bicycle mounts and sockets. The government believe that such facilities will make commuting more comfortable and convenient. To pursue the same purpose, trains follow the Metro schedule and run from 5:30 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.

It is supposed that passengers of Ds would save money on the travel cards. They used to get from Dolgoprudnaya to Skolkovo for 161 rubles while now they can do it for 45. Or from Stolbovaya to Nakhabino for 91 instead of 253. The cost of the trip can be calculated on your own: in Moscow the fare is 38 rubles from the borders of Moscow within the Ds 45 and for each zone outside the Ds, you need to pay an additional 23 rubles changing to a suburban train.

The old "Ivolga" version 1.0
The old “Ivolga” version 1.0

The designers assume that the new routes will allow passengers to get around the city twice as fast. In order to get to the center, residents of the Nizhegorodsky district, for example, need to sit at the station “Kalitniki”. Lublino dwellers should use “Kubanskaya” station.

However, Odintsovo dwellers did not appreciate D1 at the first day of opening. Because of the Mr president’s train, several suburban trains stood still for an hour or more, therefore the passengers had to out the trains and go to the nearest station along the railways. The gap between trains constituted about 30 minutes. It was not possible to validate Troika at all stations, because the new software was not installed at all of them. In order not to create difficulties with payment, the first two weeks of travel along the Ds will be free of charge.

Within 5 years Diamentes connect all parts of the Moscow regeon and Moscow
Within 5 years Diamentes connect all parts of the Moscow region and Moscow

After launching the rest of Ds: D3, D4 and D5, the passengers would be able to travel through Moscow from Leningradskoye direction to Kazanskoye one, from Kievskoye direction to Gorkovskoye one and from Yaroslavskoye direction to Paveletskoye one. The government plan to open these directions till 2024. Then, for example, passengers of the Gorkovskoye direction will be able to transfer to Paveletskone one at the “Chukhlinka” station, and they will not have to use the metro. Also, transfers within Moscow will connect Yaroslavskoye direction with Gorkovskoye one, Gorkovskoye itself with Rizhskoye one, and it, consequently, with Kievskoye one.

Tourism as a State of mind

Report on the trekking marathon in november forest

Reading time 7 minutes

— Hey, guys, it’s time to go. The halt is over. Is everybody here? Hmm… Sasha… Where is he? Has anybody seen him recently? Well, the participant has gone let’s find him!

That was the beginning of “Medicine” part of “Noyabr’skiy marathon” , the contest organized by Hiking club of NRU HSE. Somewhere in Moscow region forests four girls and three boys searched for the fourth boy in the twilight. He hadn’t been seen since the beginning of the halt until 15 minutes later he was found at a spruce windfall. Sasha pretended that he was a sufferer with broken leg. We were to perform the first aid and carry him to the ambulance. Not in a serious way but as training. It was the challenge of “Medicine” part.

Firstly, we examined the “injured” person in the dusk, secondly, immobilized “broken bone” with trekking mats, ropes and sticks after dark. At the same time we were binding a stretcher. If a group is small and lights of lanterns are not pretty bright, the forest seems to be infinite and pitch-dark while people seem to be just small glow-worms that have to carry “injured”, into the civilisation. Where the civilisation was, everyone might have already forgotten because all trails couldn’t be seen.

You need a 30 metres long rope and at least 5 friends to make a good stretcher.
You need a 30 metres long rope and at least 5 friends to make a good stretcher

The darkness was close to making Sahsa actually injured. Having put mats and jackets on the stretcher, we laid Sahsa on it and fastened him. When we lifted the construction, one log cracked, therefore, we had to fix it and hold the load on the rope. Walking through spruce windfall, we saw that two trees are too close to one another to walk between. Despite that fact, we had to go there as it was impossible to walk around. That’s why a couple of metres Saha was carried sideways perpendicularly to the Earth with his left side what made him scream with protest.

“Medicine” was not the only part of the contest. In each of three days participants faced up to three or four challenges. There they practiced skills essential for hiking and trekking. As the organisers had found themselves in different situations within their experience, challenges varied a lot. The next one, “Byt”:

— Are you going to take the backpack till the morning?

— Of course.

— This backpack for the whole night?

— Yeah, for the whole night.

— Will you, indeed?

— Actually, don’t postpone, give it now.

In this challenge we had to imagine that our group made the camp on the rock ledge of a sheer mountain side and one of backpacks fell into abyss. No sooner had we unbound the stretcher from “Medicine”, we started the discussion who would be that one without gear at night. The discussion looked like this: we pulled matches. Well, at that moment my heart was in my mouth. I thought that I just couldn’t bear sleep without warm sleeping bag and a sweater as it was freezing… and pulled a short match. In the group report my emotions were described in this way, “Lisa was deprived of her possessions. Luckily, she didn’t carry any joint gear”.

Tourists are unaware of bed weather, they are aware of good gear
Tourists are unaware of bed weather, they are aware of good gear

Yeah, it was a luck because we didn’t lose the dinner consisted of bulgar and chicken fillet with sour cream or tents and axes. Night stay without them would have been much more tricky than without first aid and two bars of chocolate. Nevertheless, I still had to sleep without gear. In a windy and cold night it was scary. To solve this problem, we organized a brainstorm. As a result, all of us came to the conclusion that I should sleep with my friend in her large sleeping bag. Trekking unites, doesn’t it? Guys gave me warm clothes too. By the way, at the evening gathering at the fire I looked like a disco mirror ball as the special blanket in which I was wrapped reflected the light.

Hardships were waiting for the participants both at the challenge-parts and on the road. The next day when groups had to walk 30 km, according to the plan, all of them faced a life-long green fence. It was so long that “Petushki” team decided to go through the swamp in the darkness just not to walk around the fence. “Oi” team walked around the fence and figured out that three sides of it were approximately 3,5 km long. That way took them two hours… Our team “Schastlivyy sluchay [Happy occasion]” affirmed the name and found the hole in the fence. Behind tall metal sections was hidden a field. An ordinary field. Later we saw a road and lights of houses, though we were unable to understand what their habitants fenced. That is why the fence was named irrational in the reports.

"Petushki" repeatedly went across swamps. Difficult in daylight, such route is much more tricky at night
“Petushki” repeatedly went across swamps. Difficult in daylight, such route is much more tricky at night

“Noyabr’skiy marathon” was 60 km of roads and trails, fields and windfalls, heels and swamps. Three teams of beginners and advanced tourists. Three days of jokes and adventures, two nights of songs. One unforgettable competition.

Borderless education

How Russian students take part in international mobility

Reading time 5 minutes

According to RBC data, in 2015 more than 50 thousand Russians studied abroad. This is about 1.5% of all international students. Statistics have shown that students prefer to travel to the United States and European countries although China is becoming more and more popular.

The cost of education in Europe universities according to the data of state agencies
The cost of education in Europe universities according to the data of state agencies

Any student can build an independent educational trajectory of education abroad or participate in international academic mobility programs with the help of home-university. RNU HSE is among those universities that offer such exchange programs. It has more than 74 arrangements with institutes in 27 countries.

HSE stusents on the international mobility program
HSE stusents on the international mobility program

HSE advises to divide the participation into the international academic mobility program into several stages:

  1. Make sure that you meet all the criteria that apply to exchange candidates.
  2. Calculate your budget: you will not have to pay for the education but both visa and transport, insurance and accommodation, food and unexpected expenses are covered by the student. In case of difficulties with calculations, you can use the site.
  3. Submit an online application form to participate in the competition: for autumn mobility it is held in February-April and for spring one in August-October.
  4. Check your email address to find out the selection results. They are announced one month after the end of the application process.
  5. If the application is approved, get ready to go: check the list of things and study the recommendations for traveling abroad on the website of the Russian foreign Ministry.

To make sure that the student is ready to study, the host country may ask to confirm the level of English fluency. The tip: programs that require international certificates have lower competition. Therefore, if you confirm your knowledge of the language with an international exam certificate in advance, it will significantly increase your chances of learning abroad. To do this, you should pass IELTS or TOEFL but not lower than the level B2 according to the CEFR classification.

The stages of fluency in foreign languages according to classifications of CEFR and British Council
The stages of fluency in foreign languages according to classifications of CEFR and British Council

According to the experience of students who have studied abroad, you should learn ahead as much as possible about the country you are going to and study the course program. Also, you should know in advance how you will be evaluated and whether you will be able to recalculate the received grades on the return. The clearer and more extensive your understanding of life in the host country, the less likely you are to suffer from culture shock or homesickness. To do this, you can monitor the media platforms of the host country, correspond with locals or analyze the experience of your predecessors. No one can guarantee that you will be 100% comfortable in your new place but careful preparation will help make the experience more enjoyable.

How to become an international volunteer

You can go abroad and get a language practice almost for free

Reading time 5 minutes

Many people dream to visit another country and join its culture, especially those who study a foreign language. But what if there is no money for a trip abroad? You can use an international volunteer program and in return receive practice of live communication with native speakers – such opportunities are provided by work of the volunteer. There are two ways to become a volunteer abroad.

The first way. Travel to a foreign country as a volunteer will help intermediary agencies.

International volunteer camp

Volunteers do not only physical work. They can teach children a foreign language or help the homeless

Each camp has its own theme. Some invite volunteers to clean the forest, others – to help the homeless, and others – to participate in the filming of the host country. Often it is spelled out possible work for volunteers in the description of the camp. The main task is to read everything carefully and choose the place where, in your opinion, you can fully reveal yourself. Organizers from one camp invite 10-20 people, they work together about 4-6 hours a day, and the rest of the time can be spent as they prefer. Usually the volunteer program lasts from one to three weeks, but you can find longer projects (for several months or more).

There are almost no age restrictions. Someone requires only adult volunteers, someone needs teenagers – in this case, the project will be marked Teen camp. There are also family camps where volunteers with children are invited. In order to take part in the volunteer program, you must apply on the website of the Russian sending organization (Sphere, Chipmunk, World4you), do not have outstanding criminal records and bad habits such as drug addiction and alcoholism.

The volunteer will live and eat in the camp free of charge, yet the tickets and visa will have to be paid for themselves. In addition, you must pay a fee for participation (about 5-7 thousand rubles for short programs). Many people claim it is embarrassed. But, as it is explained by the organizators, the money goes to the maintenance of the sending company (office rent, payment for the Internet, phones, electricity, etc.), and is a guarantee that the volunteer will get a place in the camp.  A month before the trip the participant receives a route, information about what to take with them, and contacts of the camp leader.

European Solidarity Corps (ESC)

The logo of the European corps of solidarity

Another program that allows young people aged from 18 to 30 years to go abroad as a volunteer. The European Union has been implementing it for 20 years. Conditions of participation are similar to the requirements of the International volunteer camp: a volunteer can participate in the project from two weeks to a year, must work from 30 to 38 hours a week and have a basic knowledge of English.

The company compensates all expenses: tickets, accommodation, food and transport. In addition, it provides the opportunity to attend language courses and go to two volunteer training. So, constant communication in a foreign language is exactly provided!

The second way. You can search for a volunteer program on your own, without intermediaries.  This is the most difficult and often unsafe way. But with the self-selection of the program, the participant will not have to pay the fee required by the Agency. However, in this case, no one will guarantee that the conditions of staying abroad as a volunteer will meet your expectations.

Holidays in Europe!

Czech Republic, Hungary or Finland - what is better?

Reading time 5 minutes

Winter holidays is the best time for travelling around Europe. It is better to order a tour in October or November. Just at this time travel agencies give their clients suggestions on January, yet lessors haven’t increased Christmas prices on apartments in Airbnb service.

In order to travel on one’s own It is necessary to find the company, choose the direction, buy tickets, engage the place for living and apply for a visa. Online services is a comfortable way to organize travelling (Aviasales, OneTwoTrip, etc). They will find you the most optimal flight in terms of time and prices. Be careful with buying the cheapest vouchers – avia companies frequently impose restrictions on baggage allowance. In order to avoid troubles with the ticket seeking and processing you can appeal to travel agencies where you will be selected the country, hotel, plane. However, that would have great costs. For the decisive and economic travellers we collected three inexpensive and atmospheric European countries.

Czech Republic

Czech Republic is included in top 10 the cheapest countries of the European union. On Christmas Prague opens numerous fairs with hand-crafted products, unique souvenirs and all possible treats. This place is a paradise for lovers to eat budgetly and yummy. In January, besides traditional knuckle of pork and goulash, trdelnics are being sold on every street corner. This is a pastry in the form of roll with sugar and different toppings, the sweet smell of which is spread over the whole historic center.

If you choose cozy and gotic Czech Republic, the flight will be approximately 10000-15000 rubles. The price for living will directly depend on your demands to comfort – every person decides whether to live in hostel or separated apartment. On average, 25000 rubles will be enough for the flight, hotel and visa fee.

Historical Prague center on New Year’s Eve
Hungary

In Budapest Christmas decorations are taken off in early January, that’s why you hardly will be able to feel the holiday atmosphere deeply. However, you will be able to research both sides of the capital – Budu and Pest, warm up in the legendary bathing areas and look at all sightseeings from the hilltop where the statue «Motherland» is situated. Free excursions on English called «Free Walking Tours» are widely spread in Budapest – if you know a little bit more than «London is the capital of Great Britain» you will be able to both attend city tour and learn street-art hidden in the narrow city’s alleyways.

The travelling price to Hungary will be approximately the same as to Czech Republic, yet you will have a possibility to gorge in Hungarian restaurants wasting little money.

Christmas market in Budapest
Finland

The third direction is not so budget as previous ones, but it is, probably, the most atmospheric. If you want to attend Scandinavia, but you have a little money, you can plan a moderate trip to Helsinki.

Hardly anyone believes in stories about Santa Claus living in Lapland. However, it is worth to visit this place in winter at least once in life. Astonishing north sceneries with the aurora borealis, wild deers running along the roads, forests blanketed with snow, and the yummiest fish are anticipating tourists in Finland. You can reach this country not only by plane but also by ground transportation. As an option you can go to Saint-Petersburg by train, and to catch the bus there to Helsinki.

North affluent countries pamper travellers with convenient renovated hostels which give you an excellent possibility to economize on accomodation fee. If you crave to be found yourself in the winter fairytale and ready to accept several inconveniences, definitely visit this European Father Christmas and be ready to spend 30000-35000 rubles on your dream.

Grand final of space journey

Cassini приступил к завершающей стадии 20-летней миссии по изучению Сатурна

Reading time 10 minutes

Sorry, this text was translated with Google machine. Mistakes and misunderstandings are possible!

What happened?

The spacecraft Cassini, designed to explore Saturn and its moons, has entered the last phase of its journey – the Grand Finale. The probe will “dive” into the previously unexplored space between the planet and its rings, allowing scientists to obtain unique data, and then will be burned in the upper atmosphere of Saturn. So ends his journey, which lasted almost 20 years.

What is Cassini?
кассини1
Cassini during a test

The robot spacecraft Cassini was developed in a joint project of NASA, the European space agency and the Italian space agency in 1997. It was given a unique task – to reach Saturn, the sixth planet of the Solar system, and explore the planet itself, its moons and famous rings. The unit is equipped with all the necessary equipment from the sensors of cosmic dust to the radio antennas.

Here you can get acquainted with Cassini for a closer look.

кассини2
Huygens in the cut

An important part of the spacecraft was the Huygens module, which was supposed to land on the surface of Titan – one of Saturn’s moons, in order to examine the detailed.

Thus, the mission Cassini-Huygens was to become one of the most important achievements of mankind in space exploration. Automatic spacecraft would reach Saturn, becoming its first artificial satellite, and a lander module for the first time would land on the surface of Titan.

The Story of Cassini. Take-off

кассини3

Cassini went in flight on 15 October 1997 from Cape Canaveral in Florida. To start it took a special booster “Titan-4B” with an additional upper stage “Centaurus”. Saturn, as you know, is at a great distance from the Earth – that is what forced scientists to resort to such measures. However, not even this was enough: Cassini went not to the point of its destination but… Venus.

The maneuver, which can cause confusion for an untrained person, however, was part of a well-planned operation. Cassini had to overcome the distance to Saturn with minimal expenditure of energy in order to successfully complete the task. For this, the researchers used the gravitational fields of the three planets: Venus, Earth and Jupiter.

кассини4
the Presumed trajectory of Cassini

26 April 1998 Cassini skirted Venus, having received the required acceleration, then corrected its course and again passed the “evening star”. After that, the spacecraft flew between the Earth and the Moon and went to the purpose of his journey. About the middle of the road Cassini flybied Jupiter and July 1, 2004, after 7 years of flying, entered the orbit of Saturn.

The Story of Cassini. The study of Saturn
кассини5
“Eyes of Saturn”

However, a space odyssey of Cassini-Huygens has not ended – here began the most interesting part – the study of Saturn and its moons. The spacecraft spent in orbit of the planet nearly 13 years and took lots of pictures of the object of study and its satellites. The Cassini’s camera allowed scientists to see Saturn from a very close distance, visually examine its atmosphere and eddies in it.

кассини6
the Surface of Rhea

Cassini also made the most important pictures of Saturn’s moons, through which scientists have learned, for example, the existence of liquids on Titan. Being an artificial satellite of the planet, the spacecraft could not move away from it at a considerable distance, but even this did not prevent him to capture some stunning photos of Titan, Enceladus, Tethys, Mimas and other moons of “the planet with rings”.

кассини7
Clouds on Titan

Module Huygens, in turn, was preoccupied with more problems – he managed to land on the surface of Titan and take samples from soil and atmosphere of Saturn’s moon. Because of this, scientists have learned that the surface of this moon has lakes, and also recorded several chemical anomalies, which may indicate the presence of life on Titan.

To learn more about the most important results of the Cassini-Huygens mission see this timeline:

Cassini

The Story of Cassini. Grand Finale

April 26, 2017, Cassini launched the final phase of it’s journey, which is called the Grand Finale. The spacecraft first entered the space between Saturn and its rings, allowing scientists to obtain photographs of the planet taken as close to.

22 rendezvous with Saturn are planned, and Cassini will not only take pictures of the planet, but also will gather important scientific data. The spacecraft must map the gravitational and magnetic fields of Saturn, analyze the composition of its rings and atmosphere.

Cassini will end it’s mission September 15, 2017, when the unit will go into the upper atmosphere of Saturn to study its composition. It will transmit to the Earth the most important data to the moment until it is destroyed. This method to complete the work Cassini was not chosen by chance – the device has been in space for 13 years already and has almost exhausted it’s resources. Leaving it in orbit of Saturn is dangerous because the probe can fall into one of the satellites of the planet and stop their study in the future. So NASA believe that burning Cassini in the atmosphere will be the best solution:

– Always sad to see the end of the mission, but the last flight, Cassini will be the greatest end of the most rich scientific space project. Now Cassini has virtually exhausted the reserves of fuel used to adjust course. If you leave things as they are, operators will no longer be able to control it. The burning of Cassini in the atmosphere ensures that it will not affect further research

Comments of participants of the  Cassini-huygens project

British Professor Carl Murray participated in the project for 27 years. In the interview he told the BBC why the Cassini mission is the most interesting expedition ever conducted:

CarlMurray3_06-2015_crop– It was an amazingly successful mission. For 13 years we have been studying the planet from its orbit. It turned out that Saturn and its satellites there are times of the year, and rings to alter their structure over time. One of the most amazing discoveries made by Cassini is an ocean of liquid water under ice on one of Saturn’s moons, Enceladus. Through cracks in the ice cover of the ejected substance, and it contains molecular hydrogen, which on Earth is associated with water vapor and ocean depths and in General with life. People are always trying to figure out whether there was water on Mars and where it went. But now, I think the search will be concentrated on the periphery of the Solar system

Andrew Coates, British Professor of physics and Deputy Director of Muranowski laboratory for space research, worked on the project Cassini-Huygens for the past 28 years. Despite the success of the study, the scientist is sure that in the future mankind could expect more amazing discoveries:

11novPlanetCoat200– Now I am involved in the continuous search for life on Mars with the ExoMars Rover 2020 and the icy moons of Jupiter mission JUICE. In addition, in the mid-2020s, NASA plans to launch a mission of the Europa Clipper. It all sounds very tempting!

Gallery of the best photos by Cassini:

Additional information:

 

10 facts about China from ayseker

Очереди всегда и везде, много острой еды, странные фото и один часовой пояс на всех. А что вы знаете о Китае?

Reading time 9 minutes

Sorry, this text was translated with Google machine. Mistakes and misunderstandings are possible!


My first experience of international internships began in 2014, when I decided to go for six weeks in China. I slightly knew where I was going, what food, how can survive. But that did not stop me!

The project called «Dare to Dream». Interns from twelve countries (Malaysia, USA, Morocco, Poland, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Australia, Taiwan, Egypt, Turkey, France, Canada) worked with me in the summer school. We teach the children English, and talked about the culture of our country. During the trip we lived in several cities: Beijing, Tianjin, Xi’an, Zhangye. The greater amount of time spent in Tianjin (two weeks living with host families and prepared for the project) and Zhangye (summer school, where we were working, it was there). My observations about China, you will find in this article.

1. Geography

China – the third country in the world in the occupied territory (after Russia and Canada). Shanghai and Beijing – the two most densely populated city in the world. China is very diverse topography. On its territory there are high mountains and plateaus, and valleys, and deserts and vast plains. In general, the nature of beauty just incredible! Recall, or Rainbow Mountain Natural Park Zhangjiajie, which became the prototype of the natural environment in the “Avatar” movie.

Zhangjiajie Park and Rainbow Mountain
Zhangjiajie Park and Rainbow Mountain Photo: http://cheaptrip.livejournal.com/25536901.html

As for the temperature in summer it is very hot (up to 35 degrees), so that all Chinese women are hiding under umbrellas. But winter is quite chilly (average 4 degrees, but in Harbin because of Icy air penetrating from Siberia, the temperature can drop to -18 degrees). However, half of China’s lives without central heating. Just to save energy we have decided that the city south of the Yangtze River will manage without a central heating system. For example, in Beijing or Harbin apartments have the battery, but the people of Shanghai to wear winter garments at home. My friends, the Chinese go in jackets, always spattered with toothpaste, because it is necessary to wash the winter fully dressed.

In China, such a large, only one time zone. Therefore, in China’s western provinces it begins to dawn at 10 am, and in the east – the darkness can occur almost immediately after dinner.

2. Population

Overcrowding – it is true and not a joke. How many people in China! Many – a weak word to describe their number. Everywhere endless queues, whether it is a shop, café, bus stop or the Great Wall of China. Every fifth person in the world – Chinese. Be especially wary in China during the Chinese New Year (February), otherwise you just crush the Chinese crowd that hurry home to celebrate the festival.

The main features of the Chinese:

1) it is impossible to determine their age, they look very young;
2) all firmly believe in the uniqueness of their nation. Firstly, they are one of the most ancient civilizations, and secondly, they are sure that everything has been invented in their country: paper, the compass, gunpowder, printing, watches, silk ice cream. Yes, and just Chinese – a real mystery: for the letter they use the characters for food – sticks, for protection – the Great Wall.

3. Trains

The Chinese love to move around the country en masse, so train them unusual. About speed and comfortable, I will not speak, this is clear. But ordinary trains – is another matter. They are located in a compartment than four shelves as we have, and six! Before we went to Xi’an seventeen hours, but none of the Chinese did not change clothes, besides all lay on their beds under a blanket in a shoe! The light turns off the train at 22:00, at the same time and the toilet stops working. And even if our trains is disabled ambient light, the small still always there, but here everything is turned off!

On the train. Photo: Alain Radina
On the train. Photo: Alain Radina

Also, travelers have the opportunity to buy a sedentary ticket or a ticket without a seat. Some trainees have “lucky” to get to Shanghai with a ticket without a seat. This means that where you “fall”, there is your place. Therefore, these “lucky” to huddle under the shells of fire extinguishers in the aisles on the floor, on other people’s suitcases.

Tip: buy tickets to any destination in advance.

4. Food

The Chinese have a cult food, they never miss a meal – it is holy! Chinese traditional greeting – may sound like – instead of the usual us “how are you doing»: «你 吃饭 了 吗?» ( “No chshifan le ma?”), Which is translated into Russian as “Have you eaten?”. Chinese cuisine is very sharp in most provinces. Be ready!

5. Language

Mandarin Chinese is the official language in the country. In it more than eighty thousand characters. On average, the Chinese, who graduated from university, knows five thousand characters. However, China is inhabited by 55 people, communicating to 206 languages, so the country’s overall writing and pronunciation is different. In this connection, on TV on every channel at the bottom of the screen there is always a running line with the characters.

6. Children

Chinese children are very shy. At the lesson they are difficult to stir up and cause to express their point of view. Even when asked, they will rise from their seats, without raising his head, cast a glance classmates as if asking permission to answer, and then quietly utter what they wanted to say. These are children from thirteen to seventeen. In restless, active kids and students is no longer distributed.

Chinese children. Photo: Alain Radina
Chinese children. Photo: Alain Radina

My fellow Chinese are saying that the reason for closure of Chinese adolescents is focus on their studies, because the competition in the universities is incredibly high. By the way, this is why we have been working in summer school: parents send their children to school even during the holidays.

7. The poses in the photo

Yes, the Chinese do love cute pictures: take the same posture on the incredible group shots and put fingers.

Two finger peace symbol Photo: http://www.withhusbandintow.com/you-know-youre-in-southeast-asia-when/
Two finger peace symbol Photo: http://www.withhusbandintow.com/you-know-youre-in-southeast-asia-when/

8. The Fortune Cookie

Contrary to popular belief it is not a Chinese tradition. These cookies invented in 1920 in San Francisco, one of the working factories for the production of noodles.

9. Ping Pong

Perhaps the most popular Chinese game.

10. Panda

All pandas living in the world, live in China. The only pandas that are beyond the boundaries of China, leased by the Chinese authorities. If in a foreign country they are born cubs, they are also considered to be the property of Beijing.

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Global Citizen AIESEC – internship program volunteer. Member lives with an international team and work in a social project, which lasts 6-8 weeks. Would you also dive into the Chinese culture or the culture of any other country? Then join the international team aysekerov.

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