(Mar 09, 1934 - Mar 27, 1968)
Cosmonaut of the USSR 1
|1st||Apr 12, 1961||Vostok-1||1 h 48 m|
|Cumulative time:||1 h 48 m|
Yuri Gagarin Yuri Gagarin was the first person to make a space flight on April 12, 1961. For 108 minutes on the spacecraft Vostok flew round the globe. Gagarin died in a plane crash.
April 12, 1961, at 9 hours 07 minutes Moscow time (6 hours 07 minutes GMT) from
the Baikonur cosmodrome the spaceship Vostok started with an astronaut on board. This
cosmonaut was a citizen of the Soviet Union, a pilot, Major Yuri Gagarin. It was the first in the world
space flight of a man.
Before the start Gagarin read the following statement:
"Am I happy when I go on a space flight? Of course, I'm happy. After all, at all times and an epoch for people it was the supreme happiness to participate in new discoveries. I want to dedicate this first space flight to the people of communism - a society in which our Soviet people are already entering and into which, I am sure that all people on Earth will join. Now before the start there are just a few minutes. I'm telling you, dear friends, goodbye, as people always say to each other, going on a long journey. How I would like to hug you all, friends and acquaintances, far and near!"
Gagarin's flight was the next, after the launch of the first Sputnik, a sensitive blow on the prestige of America, in the race that was unfolding at the time in the space. Now you can talk a lot about how, that with propaganda purposes the Soviets risked human life. This was, of course, the risk and propaganda. But this was propaganda in its best manifestation, if one can talk about propaganda with at least some kind of positive side. It was not slogan propaganda like: "Glory to the CPSU!" Or "The people and the party are one!". It was propaganda of real achievements! In the end, the Americans also joined in this propaganda race: who will be the first on the moon! To what extent can we speak about the propaganda significance of Gagarin's flight, exactly the same propaganda is the first landing of the Americans Armstrong and Aldrin on the Moon. Did not the Americans risk, at the same time? Risked! And this risk manifested itself in full during expedition Apollo-13. So, Gagarin's flight is both a risk and propaganda, and in the main it is the achievement of the Soviet scientists, designers, engineers! The flight of Gagarin is the achievement of all mankind and one of the outstanding achievements of science and technology of the XXth century!
Perhaps without Gagarin's flight, the American blitz spurt would not have come to the moon. Anyway, it was Gagarin's flight that woke in Americans something like national pride, prompted them to take challenge the Russians and join the race, the goal of which was the Moon. It is known that Americans won this race. But in this race there were no losers! The whole of humanity has won! Including Russian! Similarly, you can talk about the victories of the Russians who launched the first Sputnik and the first man into space, while there were no losers, even the Americans were winning.
On May 25, 1961, American President John Kennedy delivered a historic speech before the Congress, in which he called on the Americans to unite and before the end of this decade to send a man to the moon. Here is a short fragment of this speech:
"Space is open to us now; and our eagerness to share its meaning is not governed by the efforts of others. We go into space because whatever mankind must undertake, free men must fully share. I therefore ask the Congress, above and beyond the increases I have earlier requested for space activities, to provide the funds which are needed to meet the following national goals: First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish".