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Cosmonauts’ Day, World Space Party Celebrated Today

12. April 2010 by Michelle 0 Comments

World Space Party, Yuri's Night, April 12

27 year old Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin became a global hero when he made one complete orbit around the Earth aboard the Soviet Spacecraft Vostok 1 on April 12, 1961. This same date each year is celebrated as Cosmonauts’ Day or Cosmonautics Day in Russia.

 

The commemoration ceremony begins in the city of Korolyov, the location of the Mission Control Center as well as Gagarin’s statue. Police escorts accompany celebrants towards Red Square for a visit to Gagarin’s grave in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis, then on to Cosmonauts’ Alley, near the Monument to the Conquerors of Space. The procession concludes at the Novodevichy Cemetery. Parades are also held throughout Russia.

 

Additional celebrations also occur all over the world, known as the World Space Party or Yuri’s Night. Hundreds of events are held in over 60 different countries to signify another important April 12th. It was on this day in 1981 that the U.S. launched the first orbital flight of Space Shuttle Columbia. Yuri’s Night began in 2001 with hopes to increase public interest in space exploration and to inspire a new generation of explorers.

 

The International Space Station remains among the biggest priorities in the Russian space program. The cosmonaut crew will be solely responsible for maintaining the station, with plans on adding eight new recruits, including a Russian woman. She will become the second active female cosmonaut in the squad.

 

Gagarin's bust in Korolyov

Cosmonautic's Day Stamp