As Yuri A. Gagarin left the launch platform on human life’s maiden voyage into space the Soviets knew if they succeeded, the world was about to change. After all, if a man could survive in space, the universe was truly ours to behold, and explore. Space travel would actually become possible, in time of course. The minds behind the launch of the Vostok spacecraft had done quite a lot of research, and quite a lot of testing, but in reality they had no clue if a man could survive in outer space. They were trying to send a man off of Earth.


(A picture of Yuri in his Cosmonaut gear)

If anyone was qualified among the Russians for this daring, and awe inspiring venture, it was Yuri. He was a citizen that modeled the Soviet way of life, and was recorded to serve the USSR in many fields. Raised on a collective farm, he embodied the every day working class family, and serving as a pilot in the Soviet Air Force his dedication to the country, and the people, was well established. Among the 20 candidates selected for the Vostok space flight program, all but three of the candidates said that he deserved to make this first trip into space.

This mission into space opened the door, not merely into a new world, but into the universe. Yuri’s flight would eventually be recorded to have 108 minutes in space, but nonetheless, the Soviets had put a man in space. What started as a glorious victory for the USSR, putting the first man into space, would interestingly enough help ease the tensions between the USA and Russia as time passed. If the Soviets had not succeeded in this mission, the International Space Station would never have been created, and old tensions may never have been swept away. Moments before Vostok 1 left the ground Yuri was quoted with saying a simple, “let’s go.” and frankly, I can’t wait to see where we’ll go next.

4 thoughts on “Поехали.

  1. I wrote about Gagarin’s mission as well. We came at the topic from slightly different angles but I like how both of us ended up including something about how he embodied Soviet values. I think this is one of the most important aspects of Gagarin because it proved to the Soviet people that if you’re dedicated to your country, you can do great things in all fields, from the average worker to the astronaut.

  2. I also liked how you spent time in your entry discussing Gagarin’s embodiment of Soviet values. Not only does he embody the values, but I think that it is interesting that the different parts of his life have so far covered topics from the chapters that we have covered the last few weeks. Another thing that I liked about your post was that you indicated that sending a man into space actually wound up easing Cold War tensions. Although there was a competitive drive that followed, the International Space Station would eventually help to ease tensions.

  3. I enjoyed this post because of the detail on Yuri’s life and why he was chosen to be the first man in space. Reading through your source 108 minutes in space, the transcripts show that he was relatively calm throughout the trip. I would also agree with Leah that this post highlights that a transition from working class to a world wide symbol of achievement was an important factor in the space race and the Soviet culture.

  4. Very interesting as to how a simple man raised on a farm can rise to such heights as to be the first Russian in space. Also, I was unaware of the importance of this feat and the impact it had on the development of the International Space Station. Eye opening post.

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