12th April 1961 – First human in space

Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin ( 1934- 1968 ) was the first human in space and the first to orbit the Earth.

This is one of the pivotal events in human history.

Yuri Gagarin

Gagarin orbited the Earth once. The entire mission from launch to landing took 108 minutes. During reentry the Vostok command section was supposed separate from the rentry module. A bundle of wires failed to release and the two sections were connected to each other until the wires burn out. As planned Gagarin ejected from the capsule before it landed because landing in the capsule was considered too risky.

  • Space craft: Vostok 1
  • Mass: 4725 kg (10416 ib).
  • Launch vehicle: Vostok 8K72K.
  • Launch site: Baikonur
  • Perigee: 169 km (105 mi).
  • Apogee: 315 km (195 mi).
  • Inclination: 65.00 deg.
  • Period: 89.30 min.

I am sorry to say I do not remember this historic event at all. I was 11 years old when it happened. I suspect this event was one of the reasons my interest in space flight finally awoke. I do remember reading about Project Vanguard and Project Mercury in The Eagle so my interest must have fully awoken by late 1961/1962. Of course Dan Dare helped.

Links of interest:

Wikipedias entry on Yuri Gagarin.
Wikipedias entry on Vostok 1.

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