This happened today in 1961, making it the 53rd anniversary of that launch and the 33rd anniversary of the first flight of the Space Shuttle with STS-1.
This event is named after the Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin and his flight into orbit and into the history books.
There are other celebrations that remember Gagarin, and the men and women that followed him into space.
- Cosmonautics Day. A Russian celebration. First held on the 1st anniversary of Gagarin’s flight
- International Day of Human Space Flight.The UN passed a resolution in 2011 that declared that April 12 will be the day for the world to celebrate man in space.
The British Pathe website has some great, unused, footage of Gagarin before his flight. Just click play on the video below.
Jumping forwards 20 years to 1981. This saw the first launch of the Space Transportation System, STS-1. This is better know as the first launch of the Space Shuttle. This was actually a fluke as it was due to take off on April 10 but due to a computer glitch the launch was delayed.
Jumping forwards another 20 years to 2001 and Yuri’s Night was started to celebrate the anniversary of manned spaceflight.
This was, and still is, a night to celebrate the flight of Vostok 1 and the men and women who have followed him into space.
Even the International Space Station has got involved in celebrating the 50th anniversary’s celebration with a message.