Today, 12. April 2021, marks 60 years since Mankind first left our planet and ventured into space. In other words, it is the 60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's first spaceflight.
And while most of the world's space community may be limited to celebrating Gagarin Day indoors with a beer, the Russians put together a spectacular outdoor drone show.
It's incredible to consider how much has happened in the 60 years since this historic event. What was then part of the pinnacle of the competition between two world-powers, is now celebrated widely all around the world.
Today, leaders of western Space Agencies are instead seen congratulating the Russian general director of Roscosmos (Russia's national space agency) on the anniversary. Adding also how they look forward to future collaboration in space. Quite tha contrast!
For non-Russians, the tweet reads:
Friends, compatriots! I congratulate you on the 60th anniversary of the great flight of Yuri Gagarin into space! Glory to the Soviet heroes-pioneers of outer space!
I wish new victories to the successors of the work of our fathers - the workers of the rocket and space industry in Russia!
Happy Cosmonautics Day!
It isn't just the space community's shared appreciation of both American and Russian accomplishments in space that have changed. Today, the European Space Agency and Russia are increasingly collaborating to achieve common goals in space. In fact, in the recent job opening put out on finn.io (Norway's largest platform for open job applications) of the job of Astronaut for ESA, which was just recently published, states that a requirement for applying is the willingness to learn Russian! So perhaps even more so than a cause for celebration of Gagarin would be the political and social progress that we've made since.
I could have turned this post into a long summary of Yuri Gagarin's life and mission, but take it for granted that most of you know the story. Instead, it feels nice to share what to me and most of my friends and professional network is always a day worth celebrating. And it was nice to also see such great media coverage of the celebrations in Russia which thus gives mention to Gagarin!
Happy Gagarin day! :)
Posted with STEMGeeks