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Gagarin ready for his flight  (Source: CNET)
Gagarin died in a jet crash in 1968

It is hard to believe that with all humans have accomplished in space, that the entire history of manned spaceflight is still less than the lifespan of the average American. This week marks 50 years of manned space flight with the anniversary of Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's first ever orbit of the Earth by a human.

To celebrate the 50-year anniversary YouTube has an hour and a half long movie that has footage shot from the ISS as it orbits over the approximate path that Gagarin took in 1961. The movie is called First Orbit reports the Huffington Post and the footage shows what Gagarin should have seen on his first manned space flight in history. The footage is overlaid with the audio from Gagarin's mission.

The Attic Room says of the video, "Weaving these new views together with historic voice recordings from Yuri's flight and an original score by composer Philip Sheppard, we have created a spellbinding film to share with people around the World on this historic anniversary."

The video kicks off with Gagarin stating on the launch pad, "All I have done and lived for has been lived for this moment."

Gagarin's orbit lasted 108 minutes and was aboard the spacecraft Vostok 1. Gagarin's orbit of the Earth was a major catalyst for the space race that eventually led America to shoot for the moon. Gagarin's first flight and the first satellite in space - sputnik 1 - were the highlights of the Russian space program.

CNET News reports that one major reason Russia was able to beat America into space was the way NASA had its program for manned flight laid out. NASA wanted ground stations all around the world so astronauts could be in constant communication. Russia sent Gagarin into orbit using ground stations only in Russia so the capsule was out of communication for a long period of time.

Gagarin's life was cut short on March 27, 1968 when he a flight instructor Vladimir Seryogin were killed when a MiG-15UTI crashed during a routine flight near Kirzhach. Gagarin was at the time training for his second space flight. Ironically, Gagarin's superiors had tried to keep him from flying out of fear that the national hero would be killed in a crash.



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By JediJeb on 4/12/2011 3:52:59 PM , Rating: 4
There are two anniversaries today actually. 50 years since Russia first put a man into orbit, and 30 years since the launch of the first Space Shuttle.

If only we could do now, what was done in that 20 year period of space exploration. I was only two years old when we first walked on the moon, and yet I still remember seeing that on TV. My parents even told me when we watched it that it was something very important and I should be remembered. I think from that moment on I have been hooked on everything space related. I wish today we could be doing things in space that would make kids dream like we did back then. Now kids are more interested in sitting in front of a TV and playing a video game than exploring the universe, never realizing how much they owe to that bygone era for making their games possible.

I would like to say Thank You to every person who has ever been a part of helping us reach for the stars, and especially to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for that great endeavor. May your efforts always be remembered and become an inspiration to those who will carry us farther in the future.




By JediJeb on 4/12/2011 3:56:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
and I should be remembered


should be "and it should be remembered" got ahead of myself in hitting post.


...
By Joz on 4/12/11, Rating: -1
RE: ...
By MrBlastman on 4/12/2011 11:57:37 AM , Rating: 5
Like it or not, he was the first published to ever survive the complete trip. This is a major accomplishment and those who died before him I'm sure are more than honored personally to be a part of the program.

This is the mantra of the test pilot. They go where no man has gone before and the voices of the few are seldom heard by the many. They do it because it is in their blood and accept the fact they may or may never be known.

They do it because this is who they are. They were born for it.

I raise a glass in honor of Yuri. May he rest in peace and may mankind in space flourish in the future!


RE: ...
By FITCamaro on 4/12/2011 3:23:38 PM , Rating: 3
Sorry. Welfare programs are far more important than space travel. To the US anyway.


RE: ...
By maven81 on 4/12/2011 12:21:15 PM , Rating: 4
"the other Xx efforts all failed and the cosmo(nots) erased from history."

That seems to be nothing more then a longstanding myth, like a russian twist on the so called "moon hoax" I guess. There was indeed a casualty during training on the ground, but it doesn't look like anyone perished in space prior to that flight (aside from some dogs that is). While a lot of people love to repeat this idea, there is precisely zero evidence to support it.


RE: ...
By shaw on 4/12/2011 1:32:08 PM , Rating: 2
Stalin routinely had people erased from history when needed. I know every country covers up its mistakes to look good but I would put nothing past the communist ruled Soviet Union of erasing such people.


RE: ...
By shaw on 4/12/2011 1:34:43 PM , Rating: 2
Also I'm not saying Stalin directly erased the cosmonauts, I'm just saying during this period in the Soviet Union it did happen so I wouldn't say it's far fetched.


RE: ...
By Iaiken on 4/12/2011 2:08:24 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
during this period in the Soviet Union it did happen so I wouldn't say it's far fetched.


Which is what makes it such a good myth... it's believable despite being untrue... kinda like WMDS and Iraq... it just has a certain truthiness to it.


RE: ...
By maven81 on 4/12/2011 2:12:34 PM , Rating: 2
Except that the leader of the soviet union at the time was not Stalin, it was Khrushev. His son is very much alive and had himself worked in the space program. He could have exposed any such coverup since he teaches in the US now, but he has said the opposite. Khrushev's replacement Brezhnev didn't bother with such things either (and in fact the first failures occured under his watch and were not denied).
But if you don't trust the people involved to be honest you can check with the US government which was monitoring all the early flights very closely. Not to mention amateur ham radio operators around the world, some of which have even made recordings of the transmissions they were able to intercept.

The silly part about all this is that Gagarin's flight had plenty of drama to it, without having to invent all these deaths. Afterall out of the 7 previous unmanned test flights only 3 were completely successful.
His capsule was placed in an orbit that was higher then planned, and I believe he wasn't briefed on that until after he landed. In the transmissions he keeps asking the flight director for data about the flight, and they refuse to give it to him. The separation of the descent module also didn't quite happen as planned, and as a result of this he did not land in the planned landing zone.
Then there are the amusing quirky things that no one talks about, like the fact that those CCCP (USSR) letters on the helmet were apparently painted on right before the flight, when someone joked that with his fancy helmet and "high tech" flight suit he could be mistaken for say a downed U2 pilot (which happened just the year before with gary powers) and someone hastily painted those on.


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