Monday, April 12, 2021

Space Math: Gagarin+60+Columbia+40

Still sci-fi
Merritt Island, FL
December 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram


April 12th is a big day in space history, so thanks for indulging my little attempt to mark the date.

60 years ago today, Yuri Gagarin became the first-ever human in space when he rocketed into orbit aboard Vostok 1 and flew once around the planet.

40 years ago today, Space Shuttle Columbia kicked off a new era in space exploration as it carried John Young and Robert Crippen on the program's inaugural STS-1 mission.

While it may be difficult to imagine the kind of personality it takes to fly into the unknown, on an unproven vehicle, it's easy to see why the rest of us back here on Earth would be inspired by Gagarin, Young, Crippen, and everyone else who strapped themselves into one of these machines and blasted into the sky. (And since I used the word "into", that doesn't completely apply to Gagarin, as he deliberately bailed out of the capsule at 23,000 feet and parachuted the rest of the way down. Just amazing.)

However they got there, and back, I'd like to think we're all better people because of them.

Ad Astra. And thank you.

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