Saturday, September 15, 2007

Space... the final frontier.

While I was flying round the Earth on sputnik spaceship, I saw how beautiful our planet is. People of the world, let us preserve and never do harm to its magnificence! Yuri Gagarin.
A. Lozenko, 1987

First words upon returning to earth, to a woman and a girl near where his capsule landed. (12 April 1961) The woman asked: "Can it be that you have come from outer space?" to which Gagarin replied: "As a matter of fact, I have!"

On 12 of April 1961 spaceship Vostok 3KA-2 (Vostok 1) was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Its pilot was Yuri Gagarin. After a circuit around the Earth the ship landed on the Soviet Union territory in Saratov region. While in atmosphere Gagarin left the ship and performed a parachute jump to avoid touch down, which could be risky. The first manned space flight took 108 minutes.

Gagarin was born on March 9 1934 in a small village in Smolensk region. His father was a carpenter and his mother a milkmaid. During WW2 the region was under Nazi occupation for two years. After the war the family moved to the city of Gshatsk (later renamed "Gagarin" in his honor), where young Gagarin received professional education and became a qualified moulder-caster. In 1954 he entered an aeroclub in Saratov. Next year he was drafted and sent to the First Chkalov’s air-force school. Two years later he graduated cum laude, and was transferred to the North Navy, where he continued flying until 1959, when he applied for the cosmonauts’ program. Four months later, after numerous checks and medical inspections he was enlisted into the cosmonauts’ training group. There were 20 candidates of them there, 6 best selected for the flight. That was a year of endless trainings in pressure chambers, centrifuges and altitude flights. Finally, the two candidates were chosen – Yuri Gagarin and German Titov. Four days before the flight the Government Commission defined the order – Gagarin flies and Titov dubs him in case of emergency. Later Titov became the second person to orbit the Earth.

So at 9:07 a.m. on 12 of April 1961 the chief soviet rocket designer Sergey Korolev ignited the engines and the first spaceship pilot Yuri Gagarin said his historical word “Poehaly” – “Let’s go!” marking the start of space era in the history of humanity.

Here is an mp3 dialog (450 kb) between Gagarin and Korolev during the flight.

Gagarin: Poehaly! (cut)
Korolev: “Cedar”, this is “Dawn”, how are you? This
is Dawn”. Ten-two, roger.
Gagarin: “Dawn”, this is “Cedar”. Feeling
well. Keep on flying. Acceleration grows. Vibrations. Handle everything fine. Feeling well. The mood is cheerful. I see the Earth through the illuminator Vzor”. There are creases of terrain, a forest. Feeling well. How are you doing? Roger.


Anonymous said...

I visit this site every day and it rocks balls.

I found it through a list of 10 great sites this week in Humo, one of the best and most read magazines in Belgium.

Keep up the good work

Anonymous said...

Found your site through boingboing... definitely worthy of a bookmark!

The posters are amazing, but your comments are what will keep me returning to the site.

Enric Llagostera said...

I'm really happy I found your blog. It is touching and strong. Please keep this great work going. Thanks.

Unknown said...

It's beatiful

Anonymous said...

I'm very glad to visit your site everyday and see a new poster with its precious comments.

Congratulations for your great work. Thanks to keep posting.

deckhand said...

I've never seen these before. I've seen archival sites...nothing this educational. The historical notes make your site enjoyable to more people than just artists.

Anonymous said...

Great site! For someone who was born and raised behind the Iron Curtain, these posters certainly bring back some memories... :-)

One question: could you please provide a source or a reference to the fact that Gagarin jumped with parachute after entering the atmosphere? This is the first time I've ever heard this, and curious... We had always been told that he landed in the capsule. Thanks!

Alexander Zakharov said...

2 Anonymous

Well, i've searched the Internet but no trusty english sources i have found.
I was citing Encyclopedia "Cosmonautics" by Sheleznyakov – here is a time-schedule of the day of the flight (in Russian).

But there is certainly a point. One of the Gagarin’s former trainers Mark Gallay told in an interview that during the very first press-conference there was a question about the landing. In fact at the 7 km level Gagarin’s seat was automatically ejected and he landed by parachute. But one of the top army officers ordered Gagarin to say that he had landed in the module. They wanted to register as many records as possible, and some of them required human presence in the craft from launch to landing. So Gagarin said what he had been ordered, but the whole thing did not turn out well, as the information could be easily checked. The result was that Soviet Union was deprived of a couple of records and at every other interview Gagarin was captiously asked about the landing.

Anonymous said...

I love this stuff... I do some modelling for (science fiction) wargaming and the guy I play with runs a communist platoon, we're gonna use some of these for billboard posters on the sides of buildings etc... weird I know, but fun to us.

thanks for your work.


Anonymous said...

One wonders if Gagarin ever really said that, of course. The Soviets felt a need to give lip service to the environment in '87, but they certainly didn't in '61.

Anonymous said...

I have this poster! It's my all-time favorite! It was on our office wall for years. I wish I'd gotten a Yuri watch when you'd still see them at all the flea markets.

chad said...

hey you might be interested in these Soviet space stamps:

Anonymous said...

This is such a beautilful poster! Does anyone happen to know if it is possible to get a reproduction anywhere? It's not on AllPoster.

Anonymous said...

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