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April 11, 2011

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the First Man in Space

Russia is celebrating the 50th anniversary of man's first journey into space. Fifty years ago, 27 year-old Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin lifted off in a rocket to experience space for 108 minutes. And through this nearly 2 hours of zero gravity, full of glitches that included a break in communications, Mr. Gagarin became a national hero and an icon in space travel.

In his honour, people from across Russia are remembering both him and the Soviet Space Program. Students in Krasnoyarsk even launched self-made rockets.

I believe that this article shows how much mankind has improved their abilities to go to space. We have an International Space Station, where numerous astronauts are staying as I am writing this, many countries have their own space programs, and America looks forward to seeing a manned space trip to Mars in the 2030's. Obama, in his speech at the Kennedy Space Center on April 15, 2010 stated "By the mid-2030s, I believe we can send humans to orbit Mars and return them safely to Earth. And a landing on Mars will follow. And I expect to be around to see it." I can only wonder where we will go in the future as our knowledge and technology improve.

For the article as well as the full details of Yuri Gagarin's journey into space, please look at this link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1375437/Rock-roll-Students-celebrate-anniversary-man-space--Russian-Yuri-Gagarin.html#

Posted by jeffkong at April 11, 2011 04:30 PM


Very interesting article. You seem pretty optimistic about sending humans to Mars considering the difficulties that go with it. Exploring life on Mars appears to be one of our biggest goals however, and with what we have learned about previous waterbeds existing there, there's no reason to think that perhaps some tiny form of life could exist there.

It's incredible how much more we know about the different planets in just 50 years though. By the time we are in our 70s, who knows what we will know about the Moon, Mars and other planets in our solar system. It seems like even today we are learning more even about our own planet.

The Cold War really was an incredible, unheralded period of time in history and it'll be interesting to see if the US can remain atop the world in terms of exploring other planetary objects in the years to come.

Posted by: nikraman at April 15, 2011 11:50 PM

After watching the video in class today I was reflecting on the development of life on earth. To think that life started out so small and simple and evolved into more and more complex beings is so crazy to think about. Fast forwarding from the first life on earth to the beginning of human life on earth, we see that humans lived very similar to animals. During this time humans' main concern was survival enabled by food, shelter and family. After our relatively short existence on this earth, humans have evolved into complex beings that lead extremely complex lives in comparison to our hominoid ancestors. We are constantly checking email, texting and worrying about making good grades so that we can get a job in society that pays well enough to sustain what we consider to be a "good life". I relate these thoughts to the writers comment on advancement in space travel. It is truly mind blowing to think about how the passing of time comes with increasing complexity. What will our grandchildren's concept of space include? Will they know other life forms in our universe personally?

Posted by: sarahwiz at April 15, 2011 11:52 PM

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