Apr 12, 2011

vostok space craft
April 12th,1961 exact 50 years back a man called yuri gagrin became the 1st man ever in the history of man kind to travel to outer space.Which eventually triggered the space race between two major powers USA and then USSR. Here are few interesting facts about the first human space flight mission.

What was the duration of the mission?
The entire mission was for 108 minutes. The time taken to orbit earth at 17,500 mph was about one and a half hour.

About the thing carrying yuri.
Yuri was in a space craft called vostok, means "east" in Russia. The design of the craft helped to eliminate the changes in center of gravity. Unlike the modern soyuz capsules, vostok did not have the thruster to slow down on reach the ground. So, yuri had to self eject before capsule hits the ground.( at altitude of 4miles)

Why this was THE first? Why not before?
Well, SPEED is the thing that made human space flight a distant possibility. In order to escape the earths gravitation pull the object has to travel around 17,500 mph or 5 miles a second. The vostok's capsule design helped to reach the necessary escape velocity, making yuri the first man to enter into space.

Was the capsule tested before actual launch?

A few weeks prior, a prototype of Gagarin's craft, the Vostok 3KA-2, completed one low-Earth orbit carrying a life-size dummy named Ivan Ivanovich and a dog called Zvezdochk. Ivan was sold in a Sotheby's auction in 1993.
See how the first human spaceflight actually occurred when the Soviet Union launched cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on Vostok 1 on April 12, 1961 in this SPACE.com infographic.
Source[info graphic] SPACE.com