Yuri Gagarin
Юрий Гагарин


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Yuri Gagarin - Юрий Гагарин

During the times of the Soviet Union, space exploration was one of the main priorities. And a rocket undertaking the first flight into space departed from the USSR. That happened on the 12th of April, 1961. This day became an important part of history. The cosmonaut on board was pilot Yuri Alekseevich Gagarin. Let’s find out something about the life of this truly heroic person.

Yuri Gagarin was born on the 9th of March in 1934 in Clushino village, Smolensk area. He was a native from simple country family. Later he finished Lubertsy School in Moscow, then Saratov Technikum School. By the way, in Saratov he studied in the aero club.

He married Valentina Goriacheva. Soon he had two wonderful daughters, Lena and Galia. So what kind of person was Gagarin? It’s really hard to find the answer to this question. This is in some ways connected with attempts of the Soviet authorities to keep the typical image of a hero which must be an example for young generation. And he rally became it. Practically every schoolboy when asked the question about the job of dreams, answered that he’d like to be a cosmonaut.

No doubt that the main event in the life of Yuri Gagarin became his flight into space (cosmos) which he made on the craft “West”. This flight lasted 108 minutes. The rocket flew around the Earth and then came back to the orbit.

108 minutes now seems not a long time spent in space. But just think what that meant for a person who knew that he was the first one to do it. No doubt the flight was connected with tremendous risk. And Yuri Gagarin understood that clearly.

The testimony on it is his farewell letter which he has written to his wife. Gagarin asks her not to experience much if he perishes during the flight. Also the cosmonaut speaks there about his children, that he loves them very much and hopes that they will get good education. But Gagarin hadn’t given the letter to the wife. Instead of that, the cosmonaut hid it at home. Valentina Goriacheva found it after the death of her husband. So why hadn’t he given her a letter at once? Maybe he didn’t want to scare her.

Before the flight Yuri Gagarin was given an envelope where the secret cipher was – the figure “25”, as it was found out later. This cipher allowed going from planned automatic to manual operation of the spacecraft in case of malfunctions. Why wasn't the message cipher given to the cosmonaut in advance? The reason is that psychologists proved that a person having seen his planet from the space is more likely to go mad. That is why the cipher wasn’t messaged at once so that the cosmonaut wouldn’t start running the craft in madness.

Before the flight informational agency had prepared 3 variants of messages reporting how it goes. In the first one it was told that all went successfully. The second one reported that the craft couldn’t leave the orbit and its wreck took place on the Earth. This variant also addressed to governments of other countries and asked for help in searching of the cosmonaut. And the third one declared that the first cosmonaut tragically perished.

Fortunately the flight went successfully. Yury Gagarin became the first person in space. Right after landing the cosmonaut was driven to the meeting with Nikita Khrushchev. And the next day Yuri Gagarin was standing in front of the Red Square with the most high-ranking capital inhabitants. Here he was greeting a crowd of people who came with posters and pictures of the cosmonaut. Still not understanding that he had already become a national hero. When the cosmonaut met his wife he said that he hadn’t expected it to be that way. He had thought that he would do the task, come back and his usual life would continue.

But all appeared absolutely different. After the flight into space, Yuri Gagarin became a person representing the USSR. He was given the rank of Soviet Union hero. Also from a lieutenant he was at once raised to a major. Soon they found out about his glory abroad. The awards just fell down on the cosmonaut. He had become a Work Hero of Bulgaria, Czechia, Vietnam. Many cities recognized him their honorable citizen. Smolensk, Saratov, Sevastopol, Sophia, Plovdiv, Athens, Limasol, Saint-Denis are among them. And it’s hard to remember all the orders, signs and medals.

Everyone dreamed to shake his hand, to speak with a hero. His smile had become one of the symbols of Soviet Union. He wasn’t allowed to go on space flights anymore. They said that he had already carried out his duty to the Native land. Though Yuri Gagarin was directed to solemn meetings all over the world.

Unfortunately in 1968 Yuri Gagarin tragically during a training mission. An accident with the engine took place. Though lots circumstances of the accident look quiet mysterious. There are even versions that when a plane started falling the pilots weren’t alive already. Or that the official place of the crash is situated on 30 kilometers from the real one. But we’ll hardly ever know how truthful these versions are. Yuri Gagarin was buried near the Kremlin wall on the Red Square.

Today the Gjatsk city where the first cosmonaut spent many years has been renamed to Gagarin. Also the crater on a backward side of the Moon and the asteroid №1772 carries his name. Lots of streets, squares and prospects were named after him. And the 12th of April – the day when the first man flew to space - is a holiday. This is the day of Cosmonautics.

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