Today marks the 50th anniversary of the first man in space. The Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was propelled into orbit inside Vostok 1 on a 108 minute flight around the Earth on April 12th, 1961. He reached a height of 203 miles and set a new speed record of 17,025 miles per hour, proving that a human could endure the test of lift-off, re-entry, and weightlessness. His journey also propelled America to play catch up in the space race throughout the 1960s, culminating in the first man on the moon in 1969.
I've always wondered what it must be like to view the Earth from space. To be the pioneer must have been both extremely brave and utterly mind-blowing! Let's hope those Virgin Galactic flights come down a bit!
[pullquote author="Yuri Gagarin"]"What beauty. I saw clouds and their light shadows on the distant dear earth . . .. The water looked like darkish, slightly gleaming spots . . .. When I watched the horizon, I saw the abrupt, contrasting transition from the earth's light-colored surface to the absolutely black sky. I enjoyed the rich color spectrum of the earth. It is surrounded by a light blue aureole that gradually darkens, becoming turquoise, dark blue, violet, and finally coal black."
[pullquote author="Yuri Gagarin"]"I could have gone on flying through space forever"