50 years ago we went to space

On April, 12th of the year 1969, men went to space for the first time, the last frontier was finally crossed.

The Launch

On that date a Vostok-K rocket carrying Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin was launch  at 06h07 GMT , from Baikonur Cosmodrome. Born 9 March 1934, Gagarine, begin flight school at an AeroClub, and learned to fly a light aircraft, a hobby that would take up an increasing portion of his time. In 1955, after completing his technical schooling, he entered military flight training at the Orenburg Pilot’s School. While there he met Valentina Goryacheva, whom he married in 1957, after gaining his pilot’s wings in a Mig 15 . In 1960 was chosen with 19 other pilots for the Soviet Space program. Gagarin was further selected for an elite training group known as the Sochi Six from which the first cosmonauts of the Vostok program would be chosen
The rocket design by Korolev
Sending Gagarin to space made USSR won the gold medal for placing a human on orbit. Space conquest was a race between the two super powers (US and USSR).
Looking back we know understand that was a victory for all mankind as it was 8 years later when Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon.
As usual on those days Soviet Union prepares three press releases, one for success, two for failures. It was only known ten minutes after burnout, 25 minutes after launch, if a stable orbit had been achieved.

The Flight

The flight lasted 108 min and was automated; Gagarin’s controls were locked to prevent him from taking control of the ship. The combination to unlock the controls was available in a sealed envelope in case it became necessary to take control in an emergency. All went well, and, for the first time one man saw its planet as an all.

Vostok 1

The landing

After retrofire, the service module remained attached to the Sharik reentry sphere by a wire bundle. The joined craft went through wild gyrations at the beginning of re-entry, before the wires burned through. The Sharik, as it was designed to do, then naturally reached aerodynamic equilibrium with the heat shield positioned correctly.
Yuri Gagarine on the way to the launch pad
When Vostok 1 was still 7 km from the ground, the hatch of the spacecraft was released, and two seconds later Gagarin was ejected. At 2.5 km (8,200 ft) altitude. However for many years the Soviet Union denied this, because the flight would not have been recognized for various FAI world records unless the pilot had accompanied his craft to a landing. Gagarin’s parachute opened almost right away, and about ten minutes later, at 08:05 GMT, Gagarin landed. Both he and the spacecraft landed via parachute 26 km (16 mi) south west of Engels, in the Saratov region at  A farmer and her daughter observed the strange scene of a figure in a bright orange suit with a large white helmet landing near them by parachute. Gagarin later recalled, “When they saw me in my space suit and the parachute dragging alongside as I walked, they started to back away in fear. I told them, don’t be afraid, I am a Soviet like you, who has descended from space and I must find a telephone to call Moscow!”.

On 27 March 1968, while on a routine training flight , he and flight instructor  died in a Mig 15 crash near the town of Kirzhach. The bodie of Gagarin  was cremated and the ashes were buried in the the wall of Kremlin at Red Square.

The mission

Call Sign: Kedr (Cedar ).
Crew: Gagarin
BackupCrew: Titov; Nelyubov.

Payload: Vostok 3KA s/n 3. Mass: 4,725 kg (10,416 lb).

Agency: RVSN.
Program: Vostok.
Type: Manned spacecraft.

Flight: Vostok 1.

Period: 89.30 min

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