International Day of Human Space Flight
On this day, 12th April, in 1961, a Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin, who was 27-year-old. The Soviet pilot was sent into space on the top of a huge Soviet rocket. He had flown once all around Earth in his small spacecraft, Vostok I only for one hour and 48 minutes. He had landed safely back in Russia as the first person to travel in space. Yuri Gagarin’s journey had started a new era of space investigation and that made him the world’s first astronaut. After that, many other astronauts had followed in his footsteps, traveling into orbit, to space stations and even to the Moon. Do we know who and where humans will set foot next!
As a resolution of 7 April 2011, the General Assembly had declared 12 April as the International Day of Human Space Flight for celebrating each year at the international level. Each year, its anniversary is being celebrated as the International Day of Human Space Flight, or astronaut Day in Russia and other USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) countries.
This was a victory in the account of USSR in the context of the cold war and the space race. We have marked this day as International Day of Human Space Flight – celebrating past, present, and future human exploration in space. Yuri Gagarin was the actual test of this – he was placed through the extremes of physical tests and coaching within the hopes that he would be ready to survive the g-forces on launch and therefore the impact of landing.
He was sent with toothpaste tubes made of meat paste for eating (it was unclear whether or not he’d be ready to swallow even this), and given a high-frequency radio to speak back to mission control. Yuri had no control of his flight when he was in orbit – there was the worry that he would pass out or be unable to use the spacecraft in microgravity. He orbited the world one time, dashing at 27,000 kilometers per hour.
On this day we usually celebrate the hundreds of men and women who have followed in Yuri’s exploratory footfall and pushing back the boundaries of space. We also remember on this day about Valentina Tereshkova (first woman who had gone into space), Alexei Leonov (who had performed the first spacewalk), and the crew of Apollo 11 who had landed first on the Moon.