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28.01.2007

Ukrainian-American Astronaut Heidemarie Stefanishin-Piper Participates in Victor Pinchuk Foundation Events; Visits the Birthplace of Her Father

The first woman astronaut of Ukrainian origin, Heidemarie Stefanishin-Piper, arrived in Ukraine on the invitation of businessman and philanthropist Victor Pinchuk to participate in the awards ceremony of competition winners of the Zavtra.UA scholarship program funded by The Victor Pinchuk Foundtion. It is her first visit to Ukraine.  

Stefanishin-Piper arrived in Ukraine on 28 January. The U.S. Ambassador William Taylor and the first cosmonaut of independent Ukraine Leonid Kadeniuk met her at Boryspil international airport, where she gave her first briefing, answering journalists' questions in English and Ukrainian. She said that Victor Pinchuk invited her to Ukraine because she is a person who is an  example for the youth of Ukraine. "The formula of success" means to study much and to work much," she said.

On 29 January, Stefanishin-Piper visited Lviv. She was met at the Lviv airport by Peter Olyinik, head of the regional public administration and by the representatives of municipal authorities and the youth organization "Plast". After the briefing in airport, Heidemarie took a sightseeing tour around Lviv, and next morning she attended a church service in St.Yura's cathedral.

On January 30, Stefanishin-Piper traveled to the village Yakimov, where her father was born. Mykhailo Stefanishin emigrated to the USA at the end of the 1930's. She also visited the village Novyi Yarychev, where her grandfather and grandmother were buried and where her cousins are living now. The astronaut met her relatives and village residents, and attended a church service.

On January 31, Stefanishin-Piper took part in an event conducted by the Kiev School of Economics, the public lecture "Economic Perspectives of Ukraine and the World for Space Exploration". Among the speakers were: ex-President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma, Yuri Alekseev, chief designer of the National Space Agency, Henry Hertzfeld, professor of the Space Policy Institute at the George Washington University, and Mr. Kadeniuk. Stefanishin-Piper delivered a report entitled "Experience in Space Area Exploration and NASA Future Programs".

On January 31, at 6 pm., Stefanishin-Piper and Brazilian writer Paolo Coelho will participate in the awards ceremony for the winners of the Zavtra.UA, a scholarship program funded by the  Victor Pinchuk Foundation.

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