12 квітня 2012 р.

Today is Cosmonautics Day This holiday celebrates the first manned space flight made on April 12, 1961 by the 27-year-old Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. Gagarin circled the Earth for 1 hour and 48 minutes aboard the Vostok 1 spacecraft. Vostok 1 spacecraft was launched by the Soviet space program and designed by the rocket scientist Sergey Korolyov. The spaceflight consisted of a single orbit of the Earth (to this date the shortest orbital manned spaceflight). According to official records, the spaceflight took 108 minutes from launch to landing. Gagarin's flight was an instant and surprising success for the Soviet space program. Gagarin became a national hero of the Soviet Union and eastern block and a famous figure around the world. Major newspapers around the globe published his biography and details of his flight. Moscow and other cities in the USSR held parades, the scale of which were second only to WWII Victory Parades. Gagarin was escorted in a long motorcade of high-ranking officials through the streets of Moscow to the Kremlin where, in a lavish ceremony, he was awarded the highest Soviet honour, the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, by the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. On April 7, 2011 United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring April 12 as the International Day of Human Space Flight. It’s necessary to add that several weeks later on May 5 1961 Freedom 7, the first piloted Mercury spacecraft (No. 7) carrying Astronaut Alan B. Shepard, Jr., was launched from Cape Canaveral by MercuryRedstone (MR3) launch vehicle, to an altitude of 115 nautical miles and a range of 302 miles. It was the first American space flight involving human beings. Shepard demonstrated that individuals can control a vehicle during weightlessness and high G stresses, and significant scientific biomedical data were acquired. He reached a speed of 5,100 miles per hour and his flight lasted 14.8 minutes.

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