Yuri Gagarin’s 12 April 1961: ‘I see the world, it’s so beautiful’

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Yuri Gagarin's 12 April 1961: 'I see the world, it's so beautiful'

On 12 April 1961, at 09.07 Moscow time, the Vostok spacecraft with pilot-cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin aboard took off from the Baikonur spaceport, marking the beginning of the space age in human history.

On April 2, Russia celebrates Cosmonauts’ Day, established by the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on April 9, 1962, in honour of the world’s first manned space flight by Soviet citizen Yuri Gagarin aboard the Vostok spacecraft on April 12, 1961.
The launch of the world’s first manned spacecraft was supervised by Rocket and Space Systems Designer Sergey Korolyev, Baikonur Spaceport Chief Anatoliy Kirillov and Rocket Test Scientist Leonid Voskresenskiy.

The ‘Vostok’ spacecraft with Yuri Gagarin aboard spent 108 minutes in space, orbiting the planet. A few kilometres above the ground, Gagarin jumped from the cosmonaut parachute landing module and landed on a field on the banks of the Volga River near the village of Smelovka in the USSR.

While in orbit, Gagarin maintained radio contact with Earth, made observations from the window of the spacecraft, checked the operation of the ship’s systems and carried out simple experiments.

The news about Gagarin’s flight into space was published only 55 minutes after the launch of the Vostok rocket and became the most quoted news in the world. Overnight, Gagarin became the most famous person in the world.

Two days later, thousands of people took to the streets of Moscow with flowers and welcome posters to honour Gagarin as he arrived in the capital. Gagarin then embarked on an overseas tour, travelling to more than 30 countries in two years. Gagarin was welcomed as a hero in the countries he visited.

This historical event is one of the most important events that paved the way for all mankind to explore space.

Cosmonauts Day

The initiative for Cosmonauts’ Day in the USSR was first put forward in 1962 by pilot-cosmonaut German Titov, Yuri Gagarin’s assistant. The USSR government also supported this initiative and signed a decree on 9 April 1962 to recognise 12 April as Cosmonauts’ Day.
In the Russian Federation, Cosmonauts’ Day is celebrated in accordance with the federal law “On Days of Military Glory and Memorable Dates of Russia” dated 13 March 1995.

Cosmonauts’ Day is a day to honour designers, scientists, engineers, workers, cosmonauts and all those who, in addition to all of them, work in the space industry, test space equipment, perform desk duties in the Flight Control Centre and command and measurement complex, receive, process and store scientific space documents from spacecraft and orbital stations.

World Aeronautics and Astronautics Day was first celebrated all over the world on 12 April in accordance with the protocol of the 61st General Conference of the International Aviation Federation held in November 1968 and the resolution of the Council of the International Aviation Federation adopted on 30 April 1969 on the proposal of the USSR Aviation Sports Federation.

On 7 April 2011, on the initiative of Russia, at a special plenary session of the UN General Assembly, 12 April was declared International Manned Space Flight Day on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the first step taken by Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in the exploration of space. This resolution was supported by more than 60 UN member states.

‘Yuri’s Night’

In the resolution, the UN General Assembly expressed its deep conviction that it is in the common interest of humankind to promote the peaceful exploration and use of outer space, the heritage of all mankind, to expand the scope of these activities and to continue efforts to ensure that all nations can enjoy the benefits derived therefrom.

On 12 April, ‘Yuri’s Night’, named after Yuri Gagarin, has been held in many countries since 2001. This initiative, initiated by the Advisory Council on Space Generation, is dedicated to the first manned space flight on 12 April 1961 and the first manned space shuttle flight on 12 April 1981.
The aim of this initiative, called “Yuri’s Night”, is to “increase public interest in space exploration and inspire new generations to explore space”.
Hundreds of events are organised in Russia every year to celebrate Cosmonautics Day. These take place both online and offline in planetariums and space museums across the country. The streets are also decorated with space symbols and space-themed exhibitions, festivals and shows are organised.

Over the years, space science and technology have also helped humanity to overcome challenges related to climate change, food security, global health and humanitarian aid, among others. The celebration of International Human Spaceflight Day is a reminder of shared humanity and the need to work together to successfully address common challenges.

Gagarin’s journey is a triumph of Soviet science and technology and is of great importance for the further development of space exploration and humanity.

‘It heralded a new era’

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also celebrated Cosmonauts Day. Lavrov, who published a special video message, stated that the world is celebrating a really important date and said, “The importance of this breakthrough into near space cannot be underestimated. The launch of the Vostok spacecraft heralded a new era in the centuries-old history of civilisation. This achievement of our great compatriot made a tremendous contribution to the progressive development of mankind, confirmed the ability of our people to effectively solve the most complex and responsible tasks.”

For billions of people around the world, Yuri Gagarin continues to serve as an example of heroism and selflessness, Lavrov stressed, adding that Gagarin inspired them to overcome any obstacles in achieving the most ambitious and noble goals.

‘You can’t live forever in a cradle’

Roscosmos President Yuri Borisov congratulated the company’s engineers and employees on the Day of Cosmonauts and said that humanity will soon jointly explore the depths of space.

Borisov included the following statements in his message:

Dear friends, I sincerely congratulate you on the Day of Cosmonauts. 63 years ago, our compatriot Yuri Alexeyevich Gagarin became the first person to go into the then unexplored space and opened a path for humanity beyond the earth’s atmosphere. This 108-minute space flight immortalised both the cosmonaut and the designers, engineers and workers who made it possible. Thousands of people worked for a great goal and achieved it.

Stating that after all these years, although technology has advanced a lot, the first steps beyond the earth are still being taken because space is ‘extremely difficult, dangerous and expensive’, Borisov said: “We celebrate success together and overcome difficulties together. We learn from mistakes and move forward. Today we are actively exploring near space, but soon we will have to go further, beyond the earth. After all, as the great theorist Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky wrote, ‘You cannot live forever in a cradle’.”

“Today I congratulate all my compatriots and all employees of the rocket and space industry. I wish you health, well-being, new creative and professional successes, peace and prosperity,” Borisov concluded his message.

‘It was a real breakthrough that consolidated the country’s leading position’

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin congratulated Russians on Cosmonautics Day and emphasised that Yuri Gagarin’s flight was a real breakthrough that showed the world the country’s scientific and technological achievements and consolidated its leading position.
In his message, Mishustin said the following:

Dear friends, I congratulate you on your professional holiday – Cosmonautics Day. With the victorious flight of Yuri Gagarin, a new era in the history of all mankind began. This was a real breakthrough that showed the world the scientific and technical achievements of our country and consolidated its leading position. We are proud of the brave cosmonauts, talented designers, engineers, employees of research institutes, all those who continue to strengthen and develop the achievements of their predecessors, implement the most daring projects to study and explore the universe.

Mishustin added that the Russian rocket and space industry plays an important role in ensuring national security and contributes to the growth of the country’s socio-economic and defence potential.

source: https://anlatilaninotesi.com.tr


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