Was Yuri Gagarin REALLY the first man in space?

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Michel
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Was Yuri Gagarin REALLY the first man in space?

Post by Michel »

Some people believe it was in fact Vladimir Ilyushiin, 5 days before Gagarin's flight is purported to have taken place.

The theory is that the flight had technical issues, and had to be brought down early, and he crash landed in China where he was held for a year as a political prisoner.

The Russians, of course, deny this, and state he was in China for that time due to having had a bad car crash in 1960, had medical treatment in Moscow for a year, then was sent to China for further rehab, despite relations between the two countries being somewhat strained at the time.

What's the truth then?

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moizeau
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Re: Was Yuri Gagarin REALLY the first man in space?

Post by moizeau »

What the 'bloke in the pub' said?

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white exec
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Re: Was Yuri Gagarin REALLY the first man in space?

Post by white exec »

Winter 1976-7, we spent a week in Moscow (–32°C daytime, clear and very crisp!) courtesy of Thomson. At the huge 'VDNKh Park of Economic Achievement' just outside the city was the Cosmos building, a vast exhibition hall housing reproductions of various spacecraft (including Sputnik) and their occupants. Three things stuck and will be remembered:

- Those waxwork astronauts look very small, about two-thirds life size; what Scale are they? A: Lifesize - the requirement was for small crew, simply to fit into the craft.

- Along the wall were huge b/w photos of the first astronauts (and Laika, the dog) arranged in order of launch. Yuri Gagarin was about the fourth. So who are the first three? A: Heroes of the Soviet Union. They all died on the launch pad.

- There was also a huge model of the first "link-up" vehicle, where a U.S. capsule had docked with a Russian one. The contrast between the two was stark. The American half was all sleek, shiny and white. Hooked on to it was the Russian half: a black spherical 'pressure vessel', with external plumbing, not dissimilar from something which might descend to the sea bed. It looked pure Jules Verne.

The building is still there, many times updated. Pix on Google - Moscow Cosmos, VDNKh.

During our week in the City, we also found the Science Museum – not far short of the size of the London one. The radio and television section was fascinating, and it led on to several large rooms dedicated to Electronics. Now remember this was c.1976. We'd been wandering around unaccompanied, but all of a sudden a young woman appeared (with perfect English, of course) and offered to show us round the rest of the section. Impressively, she knew details of all the exhibits.

There is something special you must see, she said, and took us towards a huge table-top device, with a numerical keypad and six or eight vacuum-tubes as the numerical display. It occupied almost ¼m² of desk space. It's one of only four in the Soviet Union she explained, two of the others being in Universities, and the third in a research institute. What does it do? we asked. It adds, subtracts, multiplies and divides, was the reply. Sorry, but we're not allowed to switch it on.

Now, despite all caution (we had been pre-briefed) we couldn't resist. My wife took out of her pocket a Boots brand pocket calculator, turned it on, and did a quick pi a square root. The girl was flabbergasted: How much is that? £10 (10 roubles then) we said. At that point, a heavy hand descended on our shoulders, and a museum manager took the little calculator, and said Put it Away; We know about these... We were then ushered along to another section, and put in the informative hands of a more senior (and far less interesting) female museum guide.

Gibbo2286
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Re: Was Yuri Gagarin REALLY the first man in space?

Post by Gibbo2286 »

The closest I've been to Russia is a trip around East Berlin before the wall came down and climbing all over/sitting in this in Darling Harbour in Sydney. :)

http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-021000a.html

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Re: Was Yuri Gagarin REALLY the first man in space?

Post by doctle »

Some people think nobody has ever gone into space.

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Paul-R
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Re: Was Yuri Gagarin REALLY the first man in space?

Post by Paul-R »

Gibbo2286 wrote:
16 Jul 2019, 08:45
... East Berlin before the wall came down...
I have some pieces of the Berlin Wall on top of a furniture unit not three feet from my left shoulder.