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Thread: 50th Anniversary of first human spaceflight

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    Default 50th Anniversary of first human spaceflight

    Continuing Mousey's series of Nerd Memories...

    Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's launch into space aboard Vostok 1, which was humanity's first flight into space. I bet you didn't know that, and why would you. For years, NASA glossed over the Russian contribution to humanity's reach into space, and there was no mention of this historic milestone on the news yesterday.

    Vostok 1's flight was hopefully planned to be one single orbit of the Earth, after which Gagarin would hopefully direct down somewhere on the Soviet landmass, bale out, and then hopefully make a safe landing by parachute. Lots of hopefullys - although the Russians had sent up animals and were confident they could at least blast Vostok into orbit, there was no guarantee that the pilot would be able to land safely. So when Yuri Gagarin (one of three shortlisted cosmonauts) was finally chosen, he really was going into the unknown.



    Gagarin was incredibly calm - his heart rate was measured at only 64 bpm before launch. It only takes 10 minutes (going straight up) to reach outer space, but it was half an hour after that before the ground controllers were able to measure if a good orbit was achieved. As a comparison, you have more technology in your mobile phone than there was in the entire spacecraft.

    After one orbit of the Earth, which took about an hour-and-a-half, during which Gagarin passed over the United States, he engaged retrofire and brought Vostok down towards Russia. At 8,000 feet he safely ejected, and parachuted down to land in a farmer's field - the farmer and his family were there to see him.



    The capsule itself was tiny. As you can see, Gagarin spent the whole flight cooped up in a very tight space, tied down to a jumpseat with his hands on the controls.

    There must have been one hell of a view through that window, though

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    Apollo1 (13-04-11), Dirty Harry (13-04-11), TheH (13-04-11), westcorklad (14-04-11)

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    Thats all very well Mousey, but what happened to the hovver boots that were promised when I was a kid?
    Come in she said "I'll give you shelter from the storm "

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    there's a movie about it on you tube


    http://www.youtube.com/firstorbit?fe.../3/RKs6ikmrLgg

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    Quote Originally Posted by mellors View Post
    Thats all very well Mousey, but what happened to the hovver boots that were promised when I was a kid?
    I told you yesterday, only 1,652 days to wait till........................................

    Last edited by monster_monster; 13-04-11 at 15:36.

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    50 yrs since first man in space my arse , there was this Irish gas oven service engineer back in the thirties ----- !!!!!

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