Bertalan Farkas and the Wonders of Space


The exploration of humanity has always encouraged us to venture further and discover the unknown boundaries. In this exploration, Hungary also participated through two exceptional individuals whose stories are not only about space exploration but also about the pride of the Hungarian nation.

It was on May 26, 1980, when Bertalan Farkas, a Hungarian flight surgeon and military pilot, entered history. He spent eight days in space, during which he did much to ensure that the Hungarian people also shared in the wonders of space. One evening, he read a bedtime story to Hungarian children, took a TV set into space, and even brought along his daughter’s doll dressed in the colors of the Hungarian flag.

Bertalan Farkas was the first Hungarian in space, and along with him, Hungarians became the seventh nation represented there. Charles Simonyi later visited space twice as a space tourist, also representing Hungary. During the space journey, they consumed Hungarian-style canned food, and there was even a bit of humor: Kubasov, Farkas’s partner, smuggled a raw cucumber into his spacesuit’s pants to see what it would be like in space.

Safety measures were, of course, included in the space journey. There was a gun on board in case of emergencies, as well as a shark repellent in case they needed it after landing in the ocean.

Bertalan Farkas’s spacesuit was initially exhibited in the conference room of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, then moved to the Hungarian Military History Museum’s space exploration exhibition. After the closure of the exhibitions, the spacesuit was transferred to the Transport Museum’s Aviation and Space Exhibition, then to the Hall of Celebrities before finally returning to the Military History Museum in 2010.

Space exploration and space travel have always been at the forefront of humanity’s dreams and desires. The example of Bertalan Farkas and Charles Simonyi shows that even the smallest countries can contribute to humanity’s common goals. Perhaps in the future, more Hungarians will step into space, and further stories will be written about the wonders of space. Perhaps the bedtime story will be heard again for Hungarians, but this time amidst the infinite landscapes of space.

Dukai Edit

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