Saturday, April 12, 2008

Yuri Gagarin

Yuri - First Human Orbiting the Earth


Credit: ISS Expedition 7 Crew, EOL, NASA

12. April 1961 Yuri Gagarin, Russia, became the first human in space.

What an amazing view - and what a feeling he must have experienced!

In this part of the world most people know that Laika was the first dog in space and in fact we know that Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space. It is, as far as I can judge, as common knowledge as knowing Armstrong was the first man on the moon. After Toy Story more people also know that Buzz Aldrin was part of the first team on the moon.

Yuri Gagarin - our first space celebrity

I've seen that Yuri is celebrated around the world with an arrangement called Yuri's Night. I somehow doubt they will be playing Peggy Sue on any of the many space parties tonight. I think they should though, since Peggy happens to be the name of the first woman commander of the International Space Station (ISS). Peggy Whitson is currently the commander on ISS mission undertaking numerous exciting submissions all covered here on PlanetBye earlier. (Colombus, Dextre, Kibo). Peggy says that one of the human qualities required to become an astronaut/cosmonaut is stubbornness. I am not shocked! :-)

Peggy Whitson, commander of ISS

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