First manned space flight turns 50 on April 12!

On Tuesday, the 12th April is the 50th anniversary of the first manned space flight. Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin blasted off on that day to embark on a 100-minute voyage to space in a Vostok 3KA spacecraft. He completed a full orbit of the planet before safely landing near Engels, Russia.

At the time, the Soviet Union was ahead of the United States in the space race which kicked off when the Soviets successfully launched the first artificial satellite Sputnik 1 in 1957. Following Gagarin’s successful flight two years later was Valentina Tereshkova who became the first woman in space in 1963 in the last flight of the Vostok spacecraft.

Even back then, the world’s superpowers were achieving things that many societies today could not imagine pulling off even with 21st Century technology.

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7 Replies to “First manned space flight turns 50 on April 12!”

  1. The Space Era was ushered by Soviet Union…the Landing on the moon was won by the Americans. The American NASA Space Program, was succesful; because of the leadership of the German Rocket Scientist: Dr. Werner Von Braun…Dr. Von Braun , built the German Nazi V2 Rocket program in Hitler’s Nazi Germany, during World War II. They have an underground Peneemundee V2 Rocket Plant; using slave labors, to build these V2 Rockets. During the end of World War II…Dr. Von Braun, and his group of German scientists, surrendered to the Americans. They all came to America; and worked with NASA…
    V2 Rockets devastated Lonon, England during the Blitz..

  2. I’m glad I’m old enough to have experienced some of the sheer awe space exploration used to inspire. I remember the last Moon mission, and was glued to the TV for Skylab, and then the Apollo-Soyuz flight. These days, space exploration doesn’t even make the news half the time. Which in a sense is a comforting sign of progress, but the little kid in me still thinks all that stuff is just cool as hell.

    1. Yes indeed. Further signs of our jaded times: the general public has lost track of all the satellites blasted to the far reaches to study Pluto or the moons of Saturn or mercury or comets or other solar systems. Complex hunks of US junk are spinning everywhichway, the accumulation of years of launches still moving away and years from their destination. Still awesome in my book.

      I also follow the privatization of rocketry with great interest, being one part corporate man and one part dreamer myself. Good stuff happening . . .

  3. The problem of Rocketry is the Fuel; that is using gaseous/luiquified elements, as fuels. Scientists are experimenting on:Anti Matter. Anti Matter can only be produced by equipment like the Haldron Collider…it is expensive.
    Also, it is higly explosive; the problem here is to contain the release of energy, when anti matter, comes in contact with matter…

    1. You watch a lot of Star Trek, don’t you?

      If you follow space science or physics news at all (maybe you do), you’d realize the reality — which isn’t publicized like it used to be, which was my point before — is pretty exciting. The Japanese have deployed a craft with a working solar sail. The US built and launched one which is right now steaming hell-bent-for-leather into the outer Solar System using an ion drive. Life imitates art.

  4. We are talking about a StarShip; that can travel near or more than the speed of light…Solar Sail cannot do the job,…however, anti matter can…if anti matter comes in contact with matter; it releases a lot of energy, that can be used for propulsion…the containment problem is the issue here…
    Hope I’m clear …who knows you may be able to solve it…

  5. Soviets performed far admirably in the course of the Race for Space
    than Americans who made it to the lunar surface.

    during the closing stages of the European WW2 conflict
    Yanquis grabbed every bit of abandoned advanced Nazi technology they could lay their hands on,
    blew up the tunnel entrance where they were being built,
    and carted off with a treasure trove of rocket scientists
    who agreed to be “officially kidnapped” to the USofA
    in exchange for the hangman’s noose in Nuremberg.

    Soviets ingeniously “pieced together” whatever leftover rocket scraps they got
    worked diligently despite facing challenging handicaps
    and successfully launched Sputnik in 1957
    with engineered extra-terrestrial flight orbiting above the USofA.

    all the while the Brothers Kennedy were busy probing the confines of MarilynMonroe’s orifices
    as their “smuggled” rocket science wiz’ languished Stateside
    prompting JFK to hastily pull out of Marilyn, declaring “we will put a man on the moon”
    after repeatedly putting himself between Marilyn’s enticing twin posterior half-moons
    exploring the mysteries of the dark far side of her blonde backside.

    as an aside, JFK uttered the words ” ICH BIN EIN BERLINER!” ( I am a Berliner! )
    during his high-profile visit to that city in 1963 as a provocation to Soviets
    COMPLETELY IGNORANT of the fact that Hitler and Von Braun
    had NewYork/Chicago firmly on their targetting crosshairs
    intended to be reduced to smoldering radioactive waste
    by way of U-boat towed V2s and atomic bomb-capable spaceplanes.

    clearly, American space victory was achieved
    to a large degree employing stolen Nazi technology
    the way Yanquis accuse China of doing exactly what they had pioneered at
    from the not-so-distant past.

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