Come On, Let's Go.

First in Flight

Statue of Yuri Gagarin in Moscow, Russia
Via Adventures in Moscow

It has been fifty years since the day Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin (Ю́рий Алексе́евич Гага́рин) made a 108-minute orbit of the earth in his Soviet-made Vostok (Восток, "East") spacecraft. Growing up, Gagarin was one of my heroes; I didn't know anything about the space race, or the Cold War, but I knew that I had a connection to the first man in space. To my five-year-old self, the fact that he came from Russia -- where I was from, too! -- may as well have meant that he lived down the block. He was even the man gracing Come On Let's Go's banner back before I changed it. Here's a montage of April 12th, 1961. I warn you, as it was created and uploaded by a Russian person, it is set to some pretty mediocre techno. So feel free to mute it and put something more appropriate on in the background, like this perhaps (or this.)

...and here's something everyone involved in the space race either never dreamed could happen, or always looked forward to: a fiftieth anniversary greeting from the American and Russian men and women aboard the International Space Station:


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