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Models of Success

Yuri Gagarin: The First Human in Space, Part 1 of 2

2021-09-17
Language:English

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On April 12, 2021, an unforgettable aerial tribute took place in Russia to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the incredible day that cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to leave the Earth’s atmosphere. Designated Cosmonautics Day by the United Nations, this spectacular event was celebrated around the world.

In Russia, a display of modern drone technology in tandem with computer heightened artistry wowed the crowds, honoring the moment when Yuri Gagarin entered what was then an almost completely unknown domain, launching into space in the Soviet built spacecraft Vostok 1, and then returning safely to Earth.

Yuri Gagarin was born on March 9, 1934, in the Russian village of Klushino, in the Smolensk region. In 1959, the Soviet Union began selecting its first group of cosmonauts. Yuri was one of The 154 applicants, of whom only 20 would be selected for training. In training, they were shut in a sensory deprivation chamber for as long as 10 days, and subjected to extreme heat and cold. Some candidates were injured during the process, and at least one trainee lost his life, yet they were all fully aware that they were risking their lives for this honorable duty for which they had all prepared.

Just prior to the flight, Yuri wrote a letter to his wife and two young daughters: “I trust the hardware completely. It will not fail. I personally don’t believe it would happen. But if it does, I ask you all and you, Valyusha, in the first place not to waste yourself with grief. Life is life, and there is no guarantee for anybody that tomorrow a car might not end one’s life. Take care of our girls; love them like I do.”

On the morning of the 12th of April, 1961. When Yuri finally made it into the rocket, there was a delay while some final adjustments were made; and finally, as the rockets were ignited and Vostok 1 left the launchpad, Yuri exclaimed the immortal line, “Poyekhali!” – “Let’s go!” in Russian. He left the Earth, thundering toward the sky!

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