First Man in Space Yury Gagarin

Today we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's journey into outer space!

Yury Gagarin

50th Anniversary of the First Man in Space

Fifty years ago, on April 12, 1961, former Soviet fighter pilot Yury Alekseyevich Gagarin (March 9, 1934 – March 27, 1968) became the first man in outer space when his five ton radio controlled Vostok 1 spaceship blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the desert steppes of Kazakhstan and orbited the Earth once for 108 minutes at 18,000 miles per hour at an altitude of 302 kilometers.

Gagarin is best remembered by a generation of Russian for pronouncing “Poyekhali”, or “Let’s go”, as his Vostok spacecraft lifted off the ground.

Yury Gagarin

After completing an orbit of the Earth the Vostok 1 spacecraft plummeted back to Earth and at 20,000 feet he ejected, deployed his parachute and landed in the Saratov region in Russia. The descent module also deployed a parachute, but hit the ground hard enough to create an impact crater, bouncing several times before coming to rest covered in soil.

The Soviet human spaceflight project, the Vostok Programme, was an ambitious effort to confirm Soviet leadership in space. Although several launches had successfully carried animals into space, it wasn’t known how a man would react to the weightlessness and isolation of a space flight. When his ship’s rockets were switched off Gagarin became weightless and all control of the ship was managed by radio signals sent by a computer back on Earth.

Vostok 1 marked his only spaceflight, but he served as backup to the Soyuz 1 mission (which ended in a fatal crash). Gagarin and his famous charming smile became the symbol of the Soviet Union. But seven years later on March 27, 1968, Gagarin died with Soviet test pilot Vladimir Seryogin when a Mig 15 training jet they were flying crashed. He was only thirty-four years of age. He left behind a legacy of the pioneering spirit, discovery and friendship that has shaped human spaceflight ever since.

Yuri Gagarin Flight Video

Google celebrated Gagarin’s feat with a Google Doodle

For a dozen years, Google has been occasionally swapping its everyday logo for a doodle, a sketch celebrating holidays, inventions, artists and sporting events, and showcasing designs from contest-winning students.

Google marked 50 years of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s space flight on Tuesday with a cool doodle that celebrated the first sojourn of humans into outer space.

The doodle depicts spacecraft Vostok-1’s take off from a graphic of the Earth against a sketch of Gagarin in spacesuit and as ever, the graphic spells out the Google logo.

Google Doodle

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    • Thanks for the link! If they translate into English, let us know. Children always love to read in graphic, illustrated or cartoon format.

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