April 12 is the day that turned the story over
The man always looked to the sky. He imagined distant worlds, he talked about the existence of higher beings living somewhere far away, inventing hypotheses-legends about creatures from heaven. And only a few decades ago, for the first time people could look beyond the horizon.
April 12, 1961 is the day that changed the history of all mankind. It was on this day that the inhabitants of the Earth challenged the cosmos.
How it all began?
People dreamed about the stars for a long time, but the first attempts to reach them began to be made only in 1957, when the first artificial satellite was launched into Earth's orbit. In November of the same year, Laika went to space, and it was with her that the study of the influence of weightlessness on living organisms began. True, she was no longer destined to return to her native planet. Experiments with the overcoming of weightlessness continued with the launches of artificial satellites of the Earth and the Sun, the famous flight of Squirrel and Arrow, the launching of the rocket to Venus, and the establishment of communication with objects remote from the Earth. The work was colossal, huge money was invested in the development of a new science - cosmonautics, and the result for all mankind, who was not particularly interested in subjugation of extraterrestrial space, was April 12, 1961 - that day the first man went into space.
Once Yuri Gagarin could not imagine that he would become the first cosmonaut in the world from a simple caster (he mastered this specialty after the school and institute). His fate was changed by the army, where he served in aviation. After the demobilization, Gagarin decided to test the new flying equipment - that's how the space ships were called in the Soviet Union (unofficially, of course). And in a year the preparation for the first flight of man into space began. Future cosmonauts underwent serious medical examinations, practiced on the most advanced devices at the time, allowing them to adapt to the conditions of zero gravity as much as possible. Four days before the fateful event, the pilot of the "East" was appointed precisely Yuri Gagarin. On April 12, the first ship with a man on board was launched from Baikonur.
But the flight itself did not end exactly as planned. In space, Gagarin was just over an hour, everything was going well, the cosmonaut was constantly giving an account of his condition and the ship, but then the braking system for some reason failed. As a result, the "East" landed not in a certain place in preparation for the flight, but for a small village in the Saratov region - for April 12 it was clearly a very memorable date. Today, by the way, there is the museum of Yuri Gagarin, where you can learn more about the astronaut himself, and about the fateful for the whole Earth flight.
Establishment of a holiday
On the same day, the whole world heard about a breakthrough in the field of space exploration. Naturally, America immediately tried to repeat Gagarin's feat. But still the first word in the study of outer space is left for the USSR. April 12, 1962 was the day of memory of the heroic deed of Yuri Gagarin. And in some six years, since 1968, began to celebrate World Cosmonautics Day. More than a single man's flight beyond the earth's atmosphere was not honored with such honors, even the famous landing on the moon of Neil Armstrong.
No one dared to raise the question of the abolition of the triumph of the Soviet Union. In 1995, the Russian government officially approved the holiday on April 12. Since 2001, on the world stage, it has become known as the International Day of Human Spaceflight.
How do celebrate Cosmonautics Day?
It is difficult to talk about some specific traditions of the celebration on April 12. Of course, various events are held in schools dedicated not only to the first flight of man into space, but also to the development of astronautics in general. Various public organizations organize "round tables", debates and many other variants of discussions for the youth, where you can not only learn more about the history of the holiday, but also discuss the trends in the development of science in this direction. April 12, Cosmonautics Day, is an excellent opportunity to communicate with those who are really interested in space exploration and can tell a lot of new and sometimes completely unexpected.
One of the good ideas for the celebration of the Cosmonautics Day at the school is an open event, which tells not only about Yuri Gagarin's flight and preparations for it, but also about the long way to creating the first rocket, hypotheses related to cosmos, the evolution of human knowledge about the surrounding world and many other things. Some teachers undeservedly forget that the result is not always important, the path to it is sometimes much more fascinating than the dry facts. Moreover, in no case should we diminish the merits of scientists, without which the development of cosmonautics in principle would not have been possible.
It is difficult to compare April 12 with such large-scale holidays as New Year, Children's Day, AIDS Day celebrated by the whole world. Many will not even remember right away when the first person went into space. But the mastering of extraterrestrial space has given, gives and will give humanity a lot more. While we simply do not represent all the opportunities that will open up to us in further research. Perhaps today the dreams of colonization of Mars sound utopian, but after all, a hundred years ago no one could have foreseen that people would be able to leave the Earth. Everything is ahead. And in no case should we forget that April 12 is Cosmonautics Day, the day when man challenged the Universe.