Есенжан Абубакиров

Страна: Кыргызстан

Есенжан Абубакиров – победитель международного литературного конкурса Ч.Т. Айтматова и переводчик Азиатского Банка Развития. Есенжан перевёл книги ряда кыргызских авторов на английский язык. Творческую и переводческую деятельность успешно совмещает с академической работой. В 2013 году Есенжан успешно защитил диссертацию на соискание ученой степени кандидата культурологии в Национальной академии наук Кыргызской Республики. Проводил исследования и читал лекции в Калифорнийском университете в Санта-Барбаре и в Академии государственного управления при Президенте Кыргызской Республики.

Country: Kyrgyzstan

Esenjan Abubakirov is the winner of the international literary competition of Ch.T. Aitmatov and the translator of the Asian Development Bank. Esenjan translated the books of a number of Kyrgyz authors into English language. He successfully combines creative activities and translations with academic work. In 2013 Esenjan successfully defended a dissertation for the degree of Candidate of Cultural Studies at the National Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic. Esenjan conducted a research and lectured at the University of California Santa Barbara and at the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Отрывок из перевод книги Асель Аяповой “Звёздные инженеры. Алия и космическая программа”

 

Space Engineers

Aliya and Space Program

          Hello, my name is Aliya. What I love most of all is coding – writing the commands for equipment. I wrote a whole set of such commands in a special language for my robot named Botiс. The result was a real program that “revived” Botic. My uncle was shocked.

My Uncle Damir is a Software Engineer. He writes commands for spacecraft: rockets, lunar rovers, and, of course, artificial satellites. We live in the space age. I dream of writing a program for an apparatus that will rise above the sky!

In the evenings I watch the sky. One day I saw how a bright star flashed, slid down and went out. Mysterious stranger appeared the next day, and a week later. What was this? I was obliged to find it out!

I shared my experience with my uncle. He listened to me attentively and advised to surf the web about the brightest objects in the sky. He also promised to send me a gift. I was looking forward to the package feeling that something very interesting was about to happen in my life.

 

***

 

I got a fabulous silver telescope as a gift from my uncle. I sat with it at the window and began to wait for a mysterious star. You will not believe it, but it was produced by a spacecraft! The thing is that thousands of satellites revolve around the Earth. They are large and complex devices. Each of them has its own path – orbit – and its purpose.

Navigation satellites help us find our way in unfamiliar places, weather satellites help us monitor the weather, communication satellites help us communicate and surf the Internet. A group of “Iridium” communication satellites entertains people from all over the world. The antennas of these devices send sunbeams to the Earth, similar to shooting stars. Today I could admire such a star for the last time. It was time for the flashing satellites to rest, and they were leaving the orbit. So pity! It was beautiful!

 

***

 

Uncle Damir called me via video call.

“Don’t be upset,” he consoled me. “New devices will go to replace the flashing satellites – perhaps, with more beautiful effects. And we will write new programs for them.”

“Wow! It’s good to be an adult!”

“You know, Aliya,” Uncle Damir smiled slyly suddenly, “There are satellites that were built by children, and young engineers are already testing them in the Earth’s orbit.”

“Really?! What are these satellites?”

I raised my voice in surprise. Footsteps sounded immediately outside the door. Mom entered the room.

“Aliya, go to bed!” she commanded. “And you, Damir, would better give her an embroidery kit instead of this pipe,” mom pointed to the telescope, “Isn’t it a wonderful thing for a girl to do?”

Should I cross stitch!? Crazy! Worst Nightmare! I hope my mother will understand that my love is programming.

Uncle Damir winked at us and disappeared from the screen, but before that I heard:

“They are called CubeSats.”

 

***

 

The first thing I did in the morning was to go online. CubeSats were small cube satellites. Their sides were only ten centimeters, and their weight was slightly more than a kilogram. The cubes could be connected to each other, like tinker toys. You could install solar panels, antennas and the necessary equipment on them.

 Some CubeSats that have already flown into space were indeed built by children. I learned that if there is free space and fuel in the rockets of large space missions, they can deliver small satellites selected by competition into orbit for free.

“These little ones solve many problems faster and cheaper than big satellites,” Uncle Damir explained. “They will help us in exploration of space: they will outline the orbit of the future lunar station and will provide communication with the mission on the Mars. And there will be work for them on the Earth, too. These little ones can distribute the Internet, control the movement of ships and perform other tasks. It all depends on what programs you, young engineers, write for them.”

“Program the satellite? I can do it even now!”

“Excellent! But first, think about this: you will take care of the “brain” of the satellite, write programs for it, create software, but who will take up the hardware? Who will assemble the device?”

Botic caught my eye.

 

***

 

Botic was collected by my best friend Sonya. Our dads are also friends and work together. Sonya goes to the school of modeling and robotics. She shoots vlogs about her creations. I am subscribed to her on YouTube.

I found Sonya at her school, but she turned out to be busy, preparing a super-duper mega-project for the competition.

“Like without watching,” I sighed.

“You’d better see it!”

The project was called “My Planet”. There was a huge blue-green globe – the Earth, right on the floor, and next to it was a yellow lantern – the Sun. Sonya was running around muttering:

“If only the globe could show the Issyk-Kul lake.”

Here an idea came to my mind.

“Hey, why don’t you add a satellite to the Earth’s orbit, and it will…” I whispered something in Sonya’s ear.

Sonya got excited:

“Bombastic idea! Shall we start?”

 

***

 

We started our dream project. Sonya drew the future device in a special program, placed tiny devices inside and assembled the model. And I programmed a mission – a task for a satellite. We read a lot about CubeSats, watched videos, laughed and argued, we called my uncle via video call, and he explained us the incomprehensible issues.

We learned from Uncle Damir that first all real spacecraft are tested on the Earth. This was called “bench testing”. Models of devices – prototypes – were used for these tests. So, we had to test the prototype of our satellite.

 

***

 

On the eve of the competition, our Earth with a satellite was moved to a large hall. Sonya worked with all her heart, and the model turned out perfect. Very beautiful, but motionless, as if it was frozen. And all because I could not complete a program that would breathe life into plastic and metal. I have been struggling to finish it until the very evening when the watchman escorted us out of the school. This was just an epic fail – a complete failure!

I came home and went to my room. Phone beeped. A notification from YouTube appeared on the screen: the other day Sonya posted a video about the construction of a satellite. The last comment was striking: “Engineering is not for girls! They won’t build anything! They will all end up arguing over dresses or earrings and scatter before the contest.”

My mood deteriorated completely. I thought: “What if the commentator was right about engineering? After all, the model never worked.

 

***

 

A video call distracted me from sad thoughts.

“Hello, Space Engineer!” Uncle Damir was watching at me from the monitor cheerfully.

I sighed bitterly.

“I’m not a Space Engineer,” Uncle Damir. “I failed. Maybe engineering isn’t for girls? Maybe I really should get an embroidery kit as a gift?”

His gaze became serious.

“You know, Aliya, I would love to send this kit to your mother. As a child, she sewed magnificent outfits for dolls. And I was not surprised when this hobby became her life’s work. But you have completely different interests. Tell me, do you dream of preparing collections for fashion shows or programming the devices for the space?”

“Programming.” I admitted quietly.

Uncle Damir smiled warmly.

“You see now. And you have great examples along the way. Would we now have photographs of galaxies and other images of space, if not thanks to Nancy Roman, the “mother” of the Hubble Space Telescope? And the first landing of people on the moon could have turned into a disaster if not thanks to smart program written by Margaret Hamilton, the programmer of the Apollo mission. And you probably know this lady,” Uncle Damir shared a photo of a smiling woman in a spacesuit.

“This is Valentina Tereshkova, the first female cosmonaut. And this…” now I shared a photo with my uncle, “Mae Carol Jemison – the first black woman astronaut.”

Uncle Damir nodded and continued:

“Do you think it was easy for these beautiful women who paved the way into space? Do you think no one told them – it’s none of your business? Or did everything work out for them, as if by a wave of a magic wand? Not at all! But they didn’t give up. And maybe one day my niece will join their ranks.”

“Thank you, Uncle Damir!” I breathed a sigh of relief.

Saying good-bye, Uncle Damir advised “Check the program code.”

 

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