12 Apr 12 April – World Cosmonautics Day
“Orbiting the Earth in the spaceship, I saw how beautiful our planet is. People, let us preserve and increase this beauty, not destroy it!”
These are the words of Yuri Gagarin, a legendary man, the pride of Russia, the hero of the Soviet Union, the man who first conquered the cosmos. His smile and the phrase “Poyekhali!” / “Let’s go!” is known to the whole world!
The flight into space of test pilot Yuri Gagarin took place on April 12, 1961. Gagarin went to Earth’s orbit from the Baikonur cosmodrome on the Vostok spacecraft. Gagarin circled the Earth for 108 minutes and landed in the Saratov region. At an altitude of several kilometers from the Earth Gagarin catapulted and landed with a parachute near the descent vehicle. Just imagine, he was only 27 years old! The day 12 April was declared the Cosmonautics Day and later in 2011 12 April was declared as the International Day of Human Space Flight in the dedication of the first manned space flight.
While reading his biography from various sources we try to find that secret, why it was he who was the first in space, what special was in his life. And despite of all his qualities and skills, and according to those specialists who carried out the selection of the first cosmonaut he was self-confident, worked efficiently, developed harmoniously, he was sincere, pure in soul and body, polite, tactful, punctual, had a great memory and quick reaction, we realize that the secret is his wonderful and unique smile. It seems to us that only a person with such a kind, the most beautiful and childlike smile could be sent to stars!
Gagarin’s legacy as the man who made the first space trip is remembered around the world through a number of tributes and events. Plenty of monuments have been being build, schools, parks have been being constructed, songs are being written, coins have been being stricken in honor of Yuri Gagarin!
If you are in Moscow you definitely should see the Monument to Yuri Gagarin (in the photo). When you get out of the Leninsky Prospekt metro station head towards Vorobyovy Gory and you will see a 42.5-meter high pedestal and statue of Yuri Gagarin. The pedestal is designed to be reminiscent of a rocket exhaust and for some people, it looks a bit like a “Superman”. The statue is made of titanium, a metal often used in spacecraft, and weighs 12 tons, it was built for the 1980 Olympics Games.
Thank you, Yura! The cosmos is ours!