Tuesday, April 12, 2011

12th April 2011 - 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s journey into space

It was 50 years ago that the Russians bewildered the West and specially the American by sending a manned space mission. Onboard Vosotk-1, was cosmonaut Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin, whose space mission made him the first man ever to have gone in to the outer space and completed an orbit around the earth.

Vostok 1 circled Earth at a speed of 27,400 kilometers per hour and the flight lasted 108 minutes. At the highest point, Gagarin was about 327 kilometers above Earth. During the flight, Yuri had no control over the spacecraft as all actions were controlled from a ground station. During the flight all controls were locked and only a sealed envelope containing a key to override central control to manual was given to Yuri, just in case.

And the amazing thing of the flight was that Gagarin ejected after the space capsule re-entered the earth’s atmosphere and landed on ground somewhere in Siberia by parachute.

Yuri Gagarin became an instant celebrity both within and without the Soviet Union and was showered with honours and medals. However, that was the first and the last time Yuri ever went in to the space for fear of losing a hero in any probable accident. When Vladimir Komarov, to whom Yuri was a backup, died in the fatal crash of Soyuz 1, Gagarin was ultimately banned from training for and participating in further spaceflights.

However, his fate was to be sealed in an air crash when on 7th March 1968, Yuri along with flight instructor Vladimir Seryogin died while piloting a MiG-15 aircraft. As a tribute to his contribution to the advancement of space mission and exploration, his body, along with that of his fellow pilot, was cremated and the ashes were buried in the walls of the Kremlin on Red Square.

It may be added here for the interests of the readers that Laika, a Russian female dog became the first animal launched into orbit in 1957, paving the way for human spaceflight. Unfortunately she died somewhere in the space as the spacecraft never returned to earth.

To celebrate the 59th anniversary of the man’s maiden space mission ever in the space, a real time recreation of Yuri Gagarin's pioneering first orbit, shot entirely in space from on board the International Space Station. The film “First Orbit” combines this new footage with Gagarin's original mission audio and a new musical score by composer Philip Sheppard. 

Related Links:
Postage stamps commemorating Yuri Gagarin's space mission
Yuri Gagarin commemorative coins


Carol Yates Wilkerson said...

It truly was a surprise to all Americans when he went into space. I have to say, he was regarded with honor and awe here in the USA too. Being the firs to go into space knows no nationality when it comes to respect. What he did was courageous beyond words. I enjoyed your article, and wanted to visit here today to thank you for your kind comments on my blog too.

Jalal HB said...

Thank you Carol for visiting and leaving your encouraging comments.

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