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Let's Go, Yury! Celebrating Cosmonautics Day In Russia
April 12, 2018 09:01 GMT
Cosmonautics Day is celebrated on April 12 each year in Russia. It is a holiday dedicated to the first manned space flight in 1961, when Yury Gagarin orbited the Earth on board the Vostok-1 spaceship.
Gagarin smiles before his historic flight.
The Vostok-1 rocket that would carry Gagarin into space
Gagarin waves before the launch of the Vostok-1 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Soviet republic of Kazakhstan.
Gagarin in the Vostok-1 command capsule
Vostok-1 with Gagarin on board blasts off on April 12, 1961.
The charred descent capsule of Vostok-1 is seen at the landing site, 700 kilometers southeast of Moscow, on April 12, 1961. The capsule landed empty as Gagarin made a parachute jump at an altitude of 7,000 meters.
Gagarin's feat made international headlines, even all the way in Huntsville, Alabama.
Gagarin is congratulated after the successful flight.
Soviet cosmonauts (left to right): Vladimir Komarov, Aleksei Leonov, Yury Gagarin, German Titov, Valentina Tereshkova, Valery Bykovsky, Andrian Nikolayev, Boris Yegorov, Konstantin Feoktistov, Pavel Popovich, and Pavel Belyayev
Upon returning to Earth, Gagarin was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union and became an essential part of global history.
In 2016, an installation featuring Gagarin's famous quote of “Let’s go!” during liftoff was constructed in Gorky Park in Moscow.
To commemorate the 55th anniversary of the first manned space flight, Russian activists Aleksei Busarov and Oleg Butsky drew a huge portrait of Gagarin on the ice of a frozen lake. To do that, they used satellite navigation equipment and spades.
In 2015, Cosmonautics Day coincided with the Orthodox Easter. A Perm-based artist, Aleksandr Zhunev, depicted Gagarin crucified to mark the coincidence. He explained this gesture by saying that science and religion had been in opposition to each other, but now science had started to lose out in public opinion.
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