Near Saratov, they remember how the first cosmonauts of the Earth were taught to jump with a parachute in Letka

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In the days when the whole of Russia and especially the Saratov region is preparing to solemnly celebrate the 60th anniversary of Gagarin’s flight around the Earth, 86-year-old inhabitant of Engels, a teacher with 53-year experience, Taisiya Muratova presented our publication with photographs, in turn, she received as a gift from Mikhail Maksimov, instructor of the first group of cosmonauts in parachute jumping, back in 1981. The correspondent of MK in Saratov was looking into the history of these pictures.

Mikhail Maksimov, a veteran of the Great Patriotic War, a holder of the Order of the Red Banner and 14 medals, a participant in the famous parachute landing in the Smolensk region at the beginning of 1942 as part of the 4th Airborne Corps, in 1960 he was transferred to the Engels airbase – as they say local residents, in Letka – as a parachute jumping instructor. It was then, exactly one year before the launch of the first spacecraft with Yuri Gagarin on board, that the members of the first cosmonaut corps arrived in Engels. Their parachute training was entrusted to Captain Maksimov. Time will pass and the names of these people will become legendary. In the photographs from the archive of Mikhail Maksimov, saved by a resident of Engels, they can be seen young, energetic, cheerful, preparing for the first space launches in the history of our planet.