Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Yuri's Night 50th

That picture (left) is ostensibly a fuzzy black and white TV image of Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in Vostok 1 (mission patch above) during his one orbit space flight around the planet on this day 50 years ago, and I remember it too. Pretty exciting day, but it must have been terrifying for Gagarin, he was the first person to orbit the earth and thus the first to spend an extended period in space - one orbit. Much of the time in orbit Gagarin was not in contact with controllers in Moscow and his capsule automatically fired retros about one hour into the flight. Gagarin parachuted from his capsule 7 km above the earth when the capsule door blew off and he landed in South Western Russia. While dragging his chute along the ground in a field, Gagarin met a farmer and his daughter and asked for a phone to call Moscow.
Ironically Gagarin died during a routine training flight in March 1968.
The video below is an interesting tribute. 

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