Monday, 12 April 2021

off we go!

On this day in 1961, a Vostok I spacecraft was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome under the call sign Кедр (Siberian Cedar, see also) piloted by Yuri Gagarin (Гагарин, Юрий *1934 - †1968), the first human to journey into outer space (previously), holding a short dialogue with flight operations during take-off. Mission control over the radio announced: “Preliminary stage… intermediate… main… Lift-Off! We wish you a good flight. Everything’s all right.” To which Gagarin replied, “Поехали! Goodbye, until soon, dear friends.” The enthusiastic interjection becoming a popular expression for Soviet progress and the start of the Space Age. Once the final stage of the rocket finished firing, the craft and cosmonaut orbited the Earth for one hundred-eight minutes, ejecting from the vessel during re-entry over Kazakhstan and descending to the ground safely harnessed to a parachute.