A European Union navigation system satellite being launched into space today is named after a girl from Kohtla-Järve.
The namesake of the Milena is Milena Kaznatšejeva, 14, who several years ago won a drawing competition held by the European Space Agency.
The Milena satellite and another one, Doresa, will be launched from French Guyana, ETV said, and will eventually be part of the Galileo navigation system, which is a European alternative to the American-led GPS program.
Kaznatšejeva says space lends itself well to art: although it is a vacuum, it is far from empty and yet to be fully mapped by science. "It's a very interesting theme in art. "Something unexpected and interesting always comes out."
Her drawing, done using a monotype technique, is interpreted by her art teacher Olga Žarkova as possibly depicting a distant supernova or a planet falling into a black hole.
Milena who graduated from art school this spring, devoted her final project to an outer space theme as well. Milena's mother, Larissa Kaznatšejeva, says she prefers to see her daughter go into science with art as a sideline. She has aptitude for science, and Larissa said Milena has a standing invitation from University of Tartu to apply for the physics and astronomy program in two or three years.