Thursday, April 12, 2007

Do You Remember Yuri Gagarin?

Every now and then, when I turn to Google to search for who knows what, I know something special is up by the change in the logo. Lo and behold, today, April 12th, is the anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's launch into 1961! This was when the 'space race' between the U.S. and The Soviet Union was in full force. He became the first human to orbit the earth. A thorn in the side to the U.S. government, because Nikita Khrushchev took great delight in promoting the U.S.S.R's superiority due to this accomplishment. Politics aside, it feels good to be able to celebrate such a pioneering event and fellow human's success on the anniversary of his orbit.
According to Wikepedia, Gagarin is called the 'Columbus of the Cosmos' in Russia. Cool name yes? He enjoyed quite a bit of celebrity, as you can imagine, until his untimely death in a plane crash in 1968. NASA does a good job on their website called Starchild (geared appropriately for young people) explaining Gagarin's accomplishments.
Here is a Time Magazine article from May 1961 when Alan Shepard was launched into space; it talks about both Shepard and Gagarin's flights. They say Shepard was fired into space and it all sounds so primitive now compared to the Space Shuttle.
Okay, so it's not Cleveland news. I couldn't help myself, it fascinates me... people were/are willing to be 'the first' at something like this. I mean, no one knows if it's really going to work or not! So Happy Anniversary Yuri.
And a shout out to Google for doing this. The next time you see the Google logo looking a bit different...they just might have other historical events to learn about and celebrate. Who says the Internet is evil :-) Peace Out - 3C