Feeds

World pays tribute to Yuri Gagarin

Let's go!

Boost IT visibility and business value

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."

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.