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.