Feeds

World pays tribute to Yuri Gagarin

Let's go!

High performance access to file storage

The world is today paying tribute to Yuri Gagarin, who 50 years ago became the first man in space.

Gagarin in his Vostok capsule. Pic: RIA Novosti

Gagarin departed Kazakhstan's Tyuratam missile range (later renamed Baikonur Cosmodrome) at 07:08 GMT on 12 April, 1961. The 27-year-old famously shouted "Poyekhali! (Let's go!)" before the launch, although his apparent enthusiasm masked personal doubts that he'd survive the mission.

During the historic 108-minute flight of his Vostok 1 spacecraft, Gagarin passed east over the Soviet Union and the Pacific, skimmed over the Straits of Magellan before crossing the Atlantic, Africa and the Middle East.

He parachuted down in Russia's central Saratov region, to be met by an amazed farmworker who offered the cosmonaut bread and milk.

The Vostok I capsule displayed at the RKK Energiya Museum outside of Moscow. Pic: Wikipedia/SiefkinDRThe mission nearly ended in disaster when the Vostok 1's descent capsule (pictured) and service module failed to separate cleanly. The heat of re-entry finally burned through a bundle of connecting cables holding the two together, after what were undoubtedly a nerve-racking few minutes for Gagarin.

Vostok engineer Georgy Grechko, 79, told Reuters: "When I dream now, it is mostly nightmares about the descent. When the craft re-enters the thick levels of the Earth's atmosphere, it burns. The flames tear at the craft. It rolls and the coating melts. It's scary."

Veteran space journalist Vladimir Gubarev, who knew Gagarin when he was a young fighter pilot, said: "For 10 whole minutes of his flight, he thought he was dead. The flight was absolutely heroic. It was unimaginably difficult. People thought a man might go crazy in space."

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Saturn spotted spawning new FEMTO-MOON
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.