reconstructed a universe as it was 300,000
years after the "Big Bang".
A $276,000 investment from the United States
Trade and Development Agency agreed upon last
week in Yerevan is hoped to revive Armenia's place
in space exploration.
Armenian Space Research Center director Vahe
Gurzadyan says the contribution is an exceptional
agreement in the field of Armenian science.
"During the last 10 years Armenian science
has been existing thanks to grants," he says,
"and grants are mainly of charitable nature
for scientists' existence. This project is exceptional
as Armenia will be cooperating equally with the
US, without financial participation.
The USTDA finances projects which contribute
to the development of modern infrastructure and
show promise for trade and development of the
economy. It is hoped that the agreement with the
Center will stimulate economic growth as well
as scientific research.
During Soviet times the Garni Space Astronomy
Institute (home of the research center) was regarded
throughout the USSR as one of the Union's leading
space exploration stations. Gurzadyan's father,
Grigor, founded the institute in the 1970s.
"Some experiments conducted in that Institute
had earlier history than those ones conducted
by US NASA," says younger Gurzadyan, "about
that is also written in American books telling
about history of space."
The institute was a pre-launch center for Soviet
spacecraft, where dozens of those who later became
famous astronauts came for training, including
the first man to do a "space walk" Alexey
Vahe Gurzadyan, who inherited space knowledge
from his father, started "piercing outer
space" since his youth. As a staff member
of the Yerevan Physics Institute, he is also a
professor of Rome Institute, member of the UK
Royal Astronomical Society and editor of the monthly
"International Journal of Modern Physics".
Two years ago Gurzadyan was working with"Boomerang"
(Italian-US NASA) experimental team, which was
considered as one of the most successful world
experiments of recent years.
Center of Space Exploration (ACSE) director
Scientists working on "Boomerang" created
an image of how the universe looked 14 billion
years ago, when there were no galaxies and no
"We think that the universe was formed as
a result of the 'Big Bang' after which it evolved
into galaxies," Gurzadyan says.
The scientist says the image recreates the universe
300,000 years after the "Big Bang".
"We know that the sun rays reach us in eight
minutes and the rays of the nearest star reach
us in four years, so what we observe now had already
taken place eight minutes ago on the sun,"
Gurzadyan explains. "Consequently, the deeper
we look into the space the further we look back
In addition to experiments by ASRC, it is hoped
that eventually the center will be used for commercial
purposes, including renting the facilities for
Part of the center's plans calls for installation
of an ultraviolet telescope for research of cosmic
bodies for studies in astrophysics.
Sixty year old Russian Alexander Kashin, who
have been working in the field of cosmic astronomy
for about 30 years in Armenia, has great hopes
with the project.
"I welcome the realization of such a project
very much as for the present moment neither Armenia
nor Russia can finance projects like that,"
he says. "Armenia had its achievements in
the field of space exploration and these days
with the help of our knowledge we can continue
to reach new achievements."