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Mongolian astronaut J. Guuragchaa awarded with the order of Alexander Nevsky

By the decree of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mongolian astronaut Jugderdemid Gurragcha was awarded the highest state award. The decree stated that "President of the Mongolian-Russian Friendship ASociety J. Gurragcha will be awarded the Order of Alexander Nevsky award for his contribution to the development of a comprehensive partnership between Russia and Mongolia." St. Alexander Nevsky award was first issued in 1725 by order of Queen Catherine I to reward military personnel and civilians. The Order of Alexander Nevsky is a 40 mm wide gold plated ruby enameled cross pattée. Between each cross arm, a gold double-headed eagle, the State Emblem of the Russian Federation. In the center of the observation, a circular convex medallion bearing the enameled figure of Prince Alexander Nevsky riding a white steed facing left. The order is manufactured at GOZNAK paper mill in Saint Petersburg.

J. Gurragchaa, the second astronaut in Asia and the 101st in the world, became the first Mongolian citizen to be awarded the Alexander Nevsky Order, Russia's highest state award.

The 40th anniversary of the first space flight by a Mongolian and the joint space mission will be marked in March 2021. J. Gurragchaa took off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on March 22, 1981, along with the Soviet cosmonaut V.A.Janibekov. In eight days of space travel, the two cosmonauts circled the Earth 124 times and landed back on their home planet on March 30. This was the first-ever space flight in the history of Mongolia. Gurragchaa is the first and only Mongolian to fly to space and the second Asian cosmonaut. Thus, Mongolia became the 10th country in the world to send off its cosmonaut to space, 5th country to test its technology in space, and 20th to create space equipment, which was tested in space.

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