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Happy Cosmonauts’ Day!

12. April 2012 by Dasha 0 Comments

Fifty-one years ago today, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human being to orbit the Earth. The amazing achievement earned the 27-year-old pilot dozens of honors, and the world continues to honor the brave man who helped launch the space era.

Each year on Cosmonauts’ Day the Russian city of Korolyov holds a commemoration ceremony and procession. City police escort celebrants to Red Square for a visit to Gagarin’s grave, then on to Cosmonauts’ Alley, near the Monument to the Conquerors of Space. The procession concludes at the Novodevichy Cemetery. Korolyov is home to the Mission Control Center as well as a statute erected in Yuri Gagarin’s honor. Parades are also held throughout Russia.

However, Russians aren’t the only ones who celebrate Yuri Gagarin on Cosmonauts’ Day. Many space enthusiasts honor the Russian hero with “Yuri’s Night” celebrations, themed parties commemorating the anniversary of Gagarin’s flight as well as the anniversary of NASA’s first shuttle launch, which took place on April 12, 1981. To find a Yuri’s Night event in your area, check out these listings.

After Yuri Gagarin’s historic flight on April 12, 1961, the young man became an international celebrity, traveling around the world to celebrate the Soviet Union’s amazing accomplishment. Despite Soviet officials’ best efforts to keep Gagarin safe, the hero died with flight instructor Vladimir Seryogin during a routine training mission in 1968. Gagarin was just 34 years old.

Source: Huffington Post

Photo: Wikimedia