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108 minutes that shook the world.

50 years ago, on April 12, traveled around the world TASS, beginning with the words: «April 12, 1961 in the Soviet Union put into orbit around the Earth the world’s first spaceship-satellite» East "with a man aboard. Pilot-astronaut spacecraft-satellite «East» is a citizen of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the pilot, Major Yuri Gagarin.

While in the Soviet Union announced the upcoming space launches, the world waited for the grand event: it is known that Western scientists have previously warned that the Russian are ready to send man into space. «When the Soviets make the world gasp with amazement and delight, they win a colossal, with nothing comparable to the victory …» — the newspaper wrote, «Denver Post». In all the newspapers and radio stations was introduced clock availability, and on April 12 broadcast literally exploded: «Man in Space!». Earned a teletype news agencies, Western radio stations interrupted their broadcasts, newspaper editorial began an urgent reimposition of the first pages and the preparation of special issues.

According to the testimony of British correspondents in London, in a moment stopped traffic, and people rushed to buy special editions of the news. Many looked to the sky as if hoping to see where the ship «Vostok» with Yuri Gagarin aboard. In radiovypuskah success of Soviet science and technology called the greatest achievement in human history. The newspaper «Evening News» has come out with a huge headline across the front page: «Russia wins the competition: a spaceship called the» East "is Major Gagarin’s history. Man in Space! ". The Daily Express called the Yuri Gagarin «Georg great, and the U.S. The Times wrote that all future space explorers» will always remember these words: «East» and «Major Yuri Gagarin.» Newsweek marked April 12, 1961 years as «the beginning of the chronological calculus conquest of space» and stated that «this is a landmark achievement can never be forgotten.» The French Agence France Presse aired: "The Soviet Union, first launched in 1957 an artificial Earth satellite, the first reached the moon in 1959 Finally, the first in the last year who returned to Earth from space animals, just gave the world its Columbus space … Like mankind did not know. "

Throughout the world, this event is implicitly recognized the indisputable triumph of the Soviet Union. To the chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, Nikita Khrushchev had sent congratulatory telegrams from President John F. Kennedy, the French president Charles de Gaulle and British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. According to de Gaulle, «the success of Soviet scientists and astronauts does honor to Europe and the humanity», and McMillan called Gagarin’s flight «a historic event.» At a press conference on April 13, U.S. President Kennedy said: «This is the most impressive scientific achievement, and I think all of us as members of the human race are experiencing the greatest admiration for the Russian.» "We are lagging behind the Soviet Union, and I think we have to admit it — he added. — It will take some time before we equal the Russian. " Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru said Corr. TASS: "I think that the successful launch of the Soviet Union spaceship and its return to Earth — is an amazing achievement of science and above all the Soviet scientists. This is a triumph of humanity. "

The famous writer Gianni Rodari so responded to this event: "I am so glad as if he was in his pocket Gagarin. I was overwhelmed with joy the great triumph of the Soviet Union. I think the appreciation of past generations who worked and suffered in order to make possible the flight … How beautiful is spring for all peoples, which hopes flourish for us! «In turn, the famous Charlie Chaplin wrote:» This is an excellent and inspiring achievement should lead to a renewal of relations between nations, to the progress of the human mind … Let the science moves forward in the interest of progress. And let it never serves the purposes of destruction. "

The name of the Russian cosmonaut traveled around the Earth. But why exactly is Yuri Gagarin became the first conqueror of space? His wife, Valentina Gagarin told me that one day her daughter asked her that question, but answer it because she could not. "The issue remains a question. However, the issue not only for them but for me, "- Valentina wrote in his memoirs.
On one of the first press conference of the American news agency correspondent said: "I can admit that you have calculated your spaceship and space orbit. But how do you calculate a person? How to calculate your Columbus universe? Beautiful. Smart. Mil. Charming. Formed. Athlete. Pilot. Brave. The prince’s name and … a classic «red» biography! How did you get such a unique, like Gagarin? "

Cosmonaut Gherman Titov wrote: "There is something symbolic in the path of life and biography of Gagarin. This is — a piece of biography of our country. Son of a peasant, who survived the terrible days of Nazi occupation. Apprentice trade school. Work. Student. Cadet flying club. Pilot. This road were thousands and thousands of peers Jury. This road is our generation … "According to the cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, Gagarin himself noted chief designer of rocket and space technology Sergei Korolev in the first personal acquaintance. In his opinion, Korolev "spotted something special in this smart, sincere guy, watched his progress, noted diligence and responsibility. I think that a role was played by the Russian name and Russian last name, and open-minded Russian person. " From the memoirs of Victor Gorbatko: "When I realized that the first space of Gagarin’s flight? Perhaps, when we gathered at the Institute of Aviation and Space Medicine, and we first met with Sergei Pavlovich Korolev. Korolev entered, just smiled and began to get acquainted. And the first one he picked was Yuri Gagarin … And Sergey Pavlovich most asked questions: about the composition of the family, the years of experience …. " Following this meeting, Korolev said about Gagarin: "I saw a guy who, in my opinion, what we need. He looked at me made an extraordinary impression. " As history has shown, Sergei Pavlovich was not mistaken.
Subsequently, all members of the first cosmonaut to declare that none of them doubted that the choice would fall exactly on Yuri Gagarin. On this testimony and interviews that they spent within the group. According to Pavel Popovich, in a secret ballot, "only three notes were other names, all the rest — Gagarin. Squad member Boris Volynov spoke about Gagarin: «I do not know the man who would be so loved by another, very different people.» «He has never and no one caught the eye, but do not notice it was impossible,» — says Alexei Leonov. Another member of the cosmonaut, Andrian Nikolayev recalled: «I can only say one thing: this man was so much superior in knowledge and hardening, that we, the astronauts themselves did not yet know the decision of the State Commission unanimously figured:» Fly, Yuri. "More specifically the fate of all Yuri Gagarin described one of the first Soviet cosmonaut Konstantin Feoktistov: «Gagarin was an ordinary man in extraordinary circumstances.»
Sam Sergei Korolev said: "In the Jura combine natural courage, analytical mind and exceptional diligence. I think that if it receives reliable education, then we will hear his name among the big names of our scientists. "

That’s what Yuri Gagarin wrote about the commission on Aug. 23, 1960, to certify future astronauts: "Entitled boundless self-control. Coaching moves easily, is working efficiently. Developed a very harmonious. Candor … Intellectual development is high. Excellent memory. Stands out among his comrades broad measure of active attention, intelligence, quick reactions. Usidchiv. Carefully preparing for lessons and training. Confidently manipulates formulas of celestial mechanics and higher mathematics. Do not hesitate to defend a point of view, which he considers proper. It seems that he knows life is more than some of his friends. " Of the characteristics of the famous psychologist Konstantin Ioseliani: "Emotionally stable. In the contact enters willingly … seasoned, polite, benevolent … She is not afraid of danger, resolute, enterprising. "

The materials Tass on preparations for the flight said that "the first space flight could make only a man who, conscious of the great responsibility entrusted to him the problem, knowingly and voluntarily agreed to give up all their strength and knowledge, and perhaps even life for the commission of this an outstanding feat. "

After the triumphant return of Yuri Gagarin on Earth he was given a greeting message from the chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR Nikita Khrushchev. It read: "Dear Yuri! It gives me great pleasure to warmly congratulate you on your outstanding heroic feat — the first space flight on board the satellite East. The entire Soviet people admire your glorious feat that will be remembered for centuries as an example of courage, bravery and heroism in the service of humanity. Perfect your flight opens a new page in the history of mankind in space exploration and fills the hearts of Soviet people’s joy and pride in their socialist motherland …. " Incidentally, this telegram is subsequently entered in the Guinness Book of Records as the most expensive cable in the world / was sold for 68.5 thousand dollars at Sotheby’s in 1993.

At one meeting with journalists Sergei Pavlovich Korolev said: "Gagarin showed that capable people — the biggest. He opened the way for the people of Earth into an unknown world. But is it? It seems that Gagarin did more — he gave people confidence in their own forces, their capabilities, and gave impetus to move more confidently, boldly … It — Promethean act. "He was the first, followed by others. According to the American astronaut Neil Armstrong, Gagarin «called us all into space.»

After a landmark breakthrough in space, Yuri Gagarin traveled more than 30 countries. He was welcomed heads of governments and parliaments, royalty, financiers and politicians, artists and writers. When he was in England, the Queen arranged a luncheon in honor of the first cosmonaut. Some expressed dissatisfaction with such high honors, rendered by a communist. They say the Queen on this answer: «Do you have something that made this Russian communist, and you won the same honor.»

Gagarin were called settlements, roads, ships, mountains, and then re-open the heavenly bodies, and others around the world thousands of children born in April 1961, were named Yuri. Human spaceflight devoted their works to the best Soviet poets, including Robert Rozhdestvensky, Alexander Twardowski, Konstantin Simonov, Vladimir Vysotsky, Olga Bergholz, Eugene Dolmatovsky, Stepan Shchipachev, Anatoliy Scherbakov … "Dawn. Still do not know anything. Conventional «Latest news» … And he flies through the constellation. The earth wakes up with the name of it … «The words of a famous song by Alexandra and Nicholas Pahmutova Dobronravova:» You know how the guy he was! No, «was»! After death he won! "Proved prophetic. The name of Yuri Gagarin, the first cosmonaut of the Earth, left in the memory of mankind forever. As written by Antoine de Saint-Exupery: "No man is eternal. But his memory may be eternal, if he lived for the people. Memory — thanks to the living. "

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