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ISS Space Science

Celebrating Yuri Gagarin's 1961 Flight Into Space 124

Posted by Soulskill
from the to-go-boldly dept.
DeviceGuru writes "The 50th anniversary of the first-ever manned space flight, by Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin, is being celebrated on April 12 with a two-day early activation of the ARISSat-1 ham radio satellite aboard the International Space Station. If you can get your hands on a scanner or ham handy-talkie you can join in the celebration by listening to prerecorded messages from the satellite as it orbits the globe tonight and tomorrow."
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Celebrating Yuri Gagarin's 1961 Flight Into Space

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  • by tehcyder (746570) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @04:05AM (#35790736) Journal

    Yuri did an amazing thing

    Not to be pedantic, but Yuri didn't actually do anything. Vostok 1 was fully automatic from lift-off to bail out.

    Yeah, and Neil Armstrong was just a glorified pilot. I've been on holidays several times on planes, what's so special about the Moon?
    Talk about sour grapes.

  • by bkmoore (1910118) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @04:05AM (#35790738)
    His balloon was not a hot air balloon. It was filled with a lifting gas, either helium or hydrogen. Operating a hot air balloon at that altitude would require bringing along oxygen for the burner, which would increase overall weight and decrease altitude. Also, Gagarin orbited the planet in space. Kitinger explored the upper atmosphere in a high-altitude balloon. Both achievements were equally dangerous and impressive, but they are not the same.
  • by GooberToo (74388) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @09:21AM (#35793124)

    Imagine if engineers and scientists on each side had been allowed to say to the other, "Dude, let's work together on this one."

    They wouldn't have received any funding. Let's recap. Goddard basically created modern rocketry. No one would fund him. He created the then definitive works on the subject. WWII started and his work was basically ignored by the allies despite his efforts. Germany took his efforts and created the stepping stones for modern missiles, rockets, and manned flight. It was funded by war. Post WWII, Germans taken in by both the US and Russia created the manned flight programs, which in turn were funded by war or the fear of war. Remember, manned flight was an excuse to justify massive spending to create ICMBs.

    So basically, "working together" almost never receives funding unless there is yet another underlying cause allowing the first to be used as a public excuse.

    Hell, the US-German program was so successful and the US program was so unsuccessful, the US-German program was literally mothballed and prevented from launching so as to allow the pure-US effort a chance as well as to allow the Russian's time to actually launch Sputnik to as to create an internal overflight precedence. Once Sputnik was launched, which created much ire and fear of the US public, much to the surprise of the US Cabinet, and after repeated US failures, the German program was removed from mothballs. The US-German program was taken directly from mothballs to the launch pad, and successfully launched. The US-German program was mothballed roughly a year before Sputnik was launched into space.

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