In this post, we will see the book The Sun’s Wind by Alexei Leonov.
About the book
Story of Soyuz-Apollo Project as told by USSR Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov
My young friend,
This story and the drawings are specially for you. I don’t know your name or age. But do know that you are a friend. And what can be better than friendship?
I trust I’ll hear a lot of good things about you. You represent the future, and the future is always magnificent. That’s why I’d like to know more about you now, and to tell you about my friends — the Soviet cosmonauts and US astronauts. You are probably dreaming of space flights. In that case, you’ll want to know how the Soyuz-Apollo flight was prepared, and how it came off. But let’s get acquainted before I begin my story. I am a Soviet cosmonaut and my name is Alexei Leonov.
Now that we know each other, I want to tell you that I saw you from outer space. No, I’m not joking. From space we can see all the oceans and continents, rivers, seas, deserts, mountains, forests, and fields. We can even distinguish the big cities, cities like Moscow, the Soviet capital. You should see how beautiful it is after dark. Especially from up high. The pearly strings of light, the many-coloured neon advertisements which look like the embers of a large fire, glowing red in an astonishing variety of shades. And all of this alive, breathing, winking, smiling, and then dissolving in darkness.
Those of my friends who have been in outer space never tire of saying:
“How beautiful is our planet, the Earth! ”
Do you know why we say so? Because kids like you live on this planet. And we see you from our spaceships. Your smile helps us in those unfathomable voids of no beginning, no end, no top, and no bottom. We know that you follow our flights. In fact, we have the feeling you are beside us in the spaceship. That is why we try so hard for our flights to come off successfully.
The book tells us amazing tales from astronaut of Soyuz and Apollo of the journey to space and the experiences in space.
The book was translated from Russian by Vie Schneierson. The fantastic drawings by Alexei Leonov himself and some drawings they are! I think it is rare when an author illustrates their own writing and brings out exactly what they have visualised. The book was designed by Vladimir Alexeyev. The book was published by Progress Publishers in 1977.
There is a Marathi version of the book titled सुर्यावरचे वारे (Suryavarche Vare) which was translated by Anil Havaldar and was published in 1978 by Progress Publishers (Pragati Prakashan प्रगती प्रकाशन).
There is also a Bengali version for sure, but we don’t have an electronic copy as yet. The book might have been translated in other languages as well, if you have any information please post in the comments.
Credits to Guptaji for the original English and Marathi scans.
I have scanned the English version again at a higher resolution. I also have the Marathi version, will scan it and update sometime later.
PS: This was the second Soviet book I had read, the first being All About Telescope. This book certainly set my imagination running by reading the description of space travel by Leonov. It was as if someone is telling you a story personally. I hope this does inspire others as well…
Marathi Version (slightly lower resolution)
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