This picture of our beautiful planet just might be similar to what Yuri Gagarin saw on his historic flight 50 years ago today. Gagarin ushered in the age of space flight by being the first human being to orbit our planet. Here in the United States it would be almost a month before Alan Shepard would lift off for the ethereal plane of space. Gagarin’s flight would take him 200 miles above the earth and would briefly make him the highest flying and fastest man on the planet. His 108 minutes in space would be surpassed by others, but no one else would ever be able to have the distinction of being the first human into space.
Gagarin’s legacy is still strong even to this day. It is interesting to note that with the imminent retirement of the American shuttle fleet, Russian spacecraft will take over the duties of ferrying materials and people to the international space station. Those vehicles still use technology that was derived from what was used on Gagarin’s craft 50 years ago.
It makes me wonder how space flight will evolve in the next 50 years. Who will be the next trailblazer to put their name beside the likes of Gagarin, and Neil Armstrong?
- 50th Anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s flight into space (yurigagarin50.org)
- Yuri Gagarin’s historic space flight (photos) (news.cnet.com)
- Follow Yuri Gagarin on the first human space flight (guardian.co.uk)