Thursday, March 31, 2011

Yuri Gagarin’s 1961 flight into Outer Space

Soviet pilot and cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel into space on 12 April 1961, handing a propaganda coup to the Soviet Union. Here are some facts about his historic mission.

* The flight lasted 108 minutes from launch to landing and orbited the Earth once.

* The mission was called Vostok 1 after the type of Soviet spacecraft it was carried out in.

* Some sources claimed afterwards that Gagarin had remarked during the flight “I don’t see any God up here.” But no such words were recorded in the official transcript of the flight and his friends later said the phrase had originated from an anti-religion speech given by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.

* Gagarin was made a Hero of the Soviet Union for the flight and quickly became a global celebrity touring the world.

* Gagarin claimed to have whistled a patriotic song called “The Motherlands Hears, The Motherland Knows” during re-entry.


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