The big news today is that it is the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s historic flight into space. Gagarin was the first human to ever be shot into orbit. Also, as a side note, he landed back on Earth safely.
It was April 12th, 1961 aboard the Russian flight Vostok 1 that Gagarin made his epic journey. The trip lasted 108 minutes; in order to land Gagarin had to eject from his capsule while still 23,000 feet above the Earth’s surface.
Upon reaching orbit, Gagarin had this to say:
“I feel splendid, very well, very well, very well. Give me some results on the flight!”
Shortly after saying this, Gagarin went out of radio range from mission control, and was on his own for a short while.
How freakin’ scary is that!?
The site on which Gagarin eventually landed is now a monument park. The Vostok 1 capsule is on display in the museum, and a new documentary showing exactly what Gagarin would have seen from his window, shot from the International Space Station, has been released.
And now, Gagarin has received the most magnificent of all accolades: his very own Google Doodle!
So hurray for manned spaceflight, and for the incredible courage of those who were the first to go into space inside a metal tube full of flammable material!