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20 Oct, 2007 20:42

Space rocketeers reach for the stars

Spurred on by famous space feats, amateurs from 17 countries have competed in space modeling games in Baikonur city in Kazakhstan. The Open Asian Space Modelling Championship was held for the first time last month.

Now the centre of Russia's space programme, Baikonur Cosmodrome is where the first Sputnik satellite was launched 50 years ago.

The site hosted the Modeling Championship event, which was closely monitored by an international jury. Participants fired model rockets and competed in the length and duration of each flight.

The chairman of the event, Srdjan Pelagic, has been practicing space modeling for 50 years and he believes the youngsters who were competing in the championship 'will select a proper way in life and become very good professionals'.

Russia is keen to develop its position as a world leader in space technology and has opened an International Space School to teach young students rocket science.

The country is also hosting the International Space Olympics for school children.

The two week event takes place in October and this year will be held at the city Korolev – home to Russia's mission control centre – outside Moscow.