As a non-academic enthusiast, I have been actively interested in astronomy and space exploration for nearly five decades.
My journey into the world of space began in the circle of pilots and aviation specialists among whom I grew up. This coincided with active space exploration. My childhood heroes were Yuri Gagarin and Alexei Leonov, and I was even named after Valery Bykovsky, who went into space the day before I was born.
My undergraduate aviation school education and work experience in aviation deepened my interest in space. Today I am in my sixties, but my passion for astrophysics, astronomy, cosmology, and space exploration remains unchanged.