85 years since the birth of Gagarin: interesting facts about the first manned flight into space

Yuri Gagarin forever inscribed his name inhistorical chronicles as the man who first saw our planet from space. The launch of the Vostok-1 spacecraft took place from the Baikonur cosmodrome at 9.7 am Moscow time on April 12, 1961. Since then, April 12 is traditionally celebrated Cosmonautics Day. After the first manned flight into space, accompanied by problems both during preparation and during execution, Yuri Gagarin gained worldwide fame and made official visits to more than 30 foreign countries. In many countries of the world, localities and streets were named after an outstanding Soviet cosmonaut. Today, the hero of a truly planetary scale would have turned 85 years old.

We recall the brightest and most interesting events from the history of the preparation and execution of the first man sending into space.


In the selection for the title of the first cosmonaut besidesGagarin hit another 19 applicants. They were all very experienced fighter jet pilots. The final list includes three candidates: German Titov, Yuri Garanin and Grigory Nelyubov. Yuri Gagarin was chosen from among them almost by accident. Titov was prepared much better than Gagarin, but the choice of the latter was due to political reasons: Gagarin was considered a “real Russian guy,” described as a simple and open person. Thus, a person’s charisma played a significant role in choosing a candidate. Titov and Nelyubov were chosen to be Gagarin’s doubles and it was they who accompanied him to the spacecraft.

In memory

Two days before the flight, Gagarin wrote a farewell farewell letter to his wife in case a catastrophe happens:

"Hello, my dear, beloved Valechka,Helen and Tick! I decided to write a few lines for you to share with you and share together the joy and happiness that I had today. Today the government commission decided to send me into space first. You know, dear Valya, how glad I am, I want you to be glad with me. An ordinary person was entrusted with such a large state task - to pave the first path into space! Can you dream of more? After all, this is history, this is a new era! I have to start in a day. You will go about your business at this time.

A very big task fell on my shoulders. I would like to be with you a little bit before that, talk to you. But alas, you are far away. Nevertheless, I always feel you next to me. In the technique I believe completely. She should not let down. But it happens because on a flat spot a person falls and breaks his neck. Here, too, something can happen. But I still do not believe in it myself. Well, if something happens, I ask you and first of all you, Valyusha, not to be killed with grief. After all, life is life, and no one is guaranteed that tomorrow the machine will not crush it.

Take care, please, of our girls, love them likeI love. To grow out of them, please, not a Belarusian, not mother’s daughters, but real people for whom the bumps of life would not be terrible. Grow people worthy of a new society - communism. The state will help you with this. Well, arrange your personal life, as your conscience will tell you, as you see fit. I do not impose any obligations on you, and I do not have the right to do this.

Something too mournful letter turns out. I myself do not believe it. I hope that you will never see this letter, and I will be ashamed in front of myself for this fleeting weakness. But if something happens, you should know everything to the end. So far I have lived honestly, truthfully, with benefit for people, although it was small. Once in my childhood I read the words of V.P. Chkalov: "If to be, then to be first." So I try to be and will be until the end. I want, Valechka, to dedicate this flight to the people of the new society, communism, in which we are already entering, to our great Motherland, our science. I hope that in a few days we will be together again, we will be happy. Valechka, you, please, do not forget my parents, if there is an opportunity, then help me in something. Give them a big hello from me and let them forgive me for not knowing anything about it, but they were not supposed to know. Well, it seems that's all. Goodbye my family. Tightly hug you and kiss you, with greetings your dad and Jura. 10.04.61

The first launch was successful. The letter was not required then. He will be given to his wife, the first cosmonaut of the Earth, 7 years after the plane crash on March 27, 1968, in which Gagarin died.

Before the first sending of Gagarin into space wasrecorded three appeals of the "first cosmonaut to the Soviet people." The first was recorded by Gagarin himself, the other two - by Titov Nelyubov. Three types of information messages prepared and the agency TASS. One of them talked about the first successful manned flight into space, the second was written in case of an unsuccessful landing of an astronaut, the third one was reported about a catastrophe. The first two messages in this case also, fortunately, turned out to be unclaimed.

Almost fail

Nevertheless, the preparation of the first human flightinto space was conducted literally with difficulty. The USSR did its best to overtake the USA and be the first to launch a man into near-Earth space, therefore in many matters of preparation the country was at very great risk. For example, the Vostok-1 used for launching was not even originally intended for manned flights. The device represented a copy of the Zenit-2 reconnaissance complex. To install an astronaut's chair, some of the photo and radio equipment was removed from the device. Such a rush - to be the first - even led to several state of emergency, which could lead to the failure of the mission and the death of the astronaut.

The first happened a day before the start. It turned out that the total weight of the ship with Gagarin in a spacesuit is 14 kg more than it should be. In this case, there was a risk of not bringing the apparatus to a given orbit. Soviet engineers approached the solution of the problem in a very original way - they cut off some of the cables and sensors, which they considered optional. But all the problems did not dare.

Just an hour before the start, it turned out that the hatchVostok-1 closes tightly. The sensor on the hatch did not give the desired signal tightness of the device. The engineers quickly decided that the matter was in a faulty contact. Since only a few minutes remained before the start, such a problem could lead to a transfer of the launch. The lead designer of Vostok-1, Oleg Ivanovsky, with other engineers at the speed of modern Formula 1 mechanics, unscrewed 30 nuts on the ship in seconds and, having adjusted the sensor, re-tightened everything in the correct order. After this, the leak test was successful. Start to transfer did not.


The flight of the spacecraft "Vostok-1" with the firstThe astronaut passed in fully automatic mode. This was explained by the fact that psychologists could not guarantee whether the astronaut would be able to maintain working capacity during a long stay in conditions of weightlessness. It was assumed that Gagarin could lose control of himself and would want to drive the device manually. At the same time, to deprive the astronaut of the opportunity to control the ship manually, thus, in the event of serious unforeseen circumstances, putting it in front of the need to rely only on electronics, the launch team did not dare. In the most extreme case, the astronaut was given a special code, which allowed him to activate the manual control of the spacecraft. The code was in a special sealed envelope. Psychologists believed that a cosmonaut would be able to read and enter this code correctly only if he was in his right mind. And yet, immediately before the launch itself, this code was told to Gagarin.

"I am burning!"

On the words spoken by Gagarin in the final stage of the flight, for a long time they preferred not to write anything: “I am burning, goodbye, comrades!”.

At that time, no one had a clear ideahow the spacecraft will descend through the dense salts of the atmosphere. Seeing the fire in the porthole, which engulfed the hull of the ship as a result of its friction with the atmosphere, Gagarin suggested that the ship was in fact caught in a fire and therefore this was his last second of life. The first such impressive sight was seen by Gagarin. The people who flew into space after it were ready for such an "ordinary" moment of flight.


On the spacecraft "Vostok" was notCosmonauts will be landed inside the descent vehicle, since they did not have soft landing engines that ensure a safe landing. In addition, experts were afraid of "brewing" the hatch under the influence of high temperature (3-5 thousand degrees) in the dense layers of the atmosphere. By the way, the skin of the ship "Vostok-1" is really partially partially melted. At an altitude of 7 kilometers above the ground in accordance with the flight plan, Gagarin catapulted, after which the capsule and the cosmonaut began to descend by parachute separately.

Past the goal and lack of oxygen

Due to problems in the vehicle braking systemVostok-1 Gagarin landed not in the originally planned area near the Baikonur cosmodrome, but 1000 km to the west, in the Saratov region, not far from Engels, north-west of the village of Smelovka.

The landing of the first cosmonaut could also end.tragic. After the ejection and detachment of the duct of the descent vehicle, it was not immediately supplied to the oxygen in the sealed Gagarin spacesuit. The problem was in the air supply valve. The last problem in this flight was the landing site. There was a risk that Gagarin would fall into the water of the Volga. The cosmonaut was helped by a good preflight preparation. With the help of parachute lines, he left the river and landed 2 kilometers from the coast.

Laces or suspenders?

Perhaps one of the most memorable eventsconnected with Gagarin after his successful flight into space, it became a case with laces. Initially, no one planned a solemn meeting of Gagarin in Moscow with the participation of the country's leadership. Everything was decided at the last moment by the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU and Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev. The Il-18 plane flew behind Gagarin to Kuibyshev.

At the airport "Vnukovo" Yuri Gagarin was expectinggrand reception. A huge crowd of people, journalists. The plane flew to the central building of the airport. The ladder was lowered ... And now, the first cosmonaut in the world, Soviet man, Major Yuri Gagarin, is sweeping along the carpet from the plane’s ladder to the governmental platform installed at the edge of the takeoff field. The broadcast is broadcast live. Millions of people are watching him. And here - the lace was untied!

This household detail only added people's Gagarin. Meanwhile, Sergei Khrushchev, the son of Nikita Khrushchev, who attended the ceremony, says that Gagarin’s laces were fine. Soviet space hero sock lift. Previously, socks were made without rubber bands, and braces were worn on the calf so that the socks would not crawl. Gagarin on one leg unstuck this gum, and an iron buckle hit him in the leg.


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Famous footage of shooting conversations betweenlocated in the cabin of the Vostok-1 spacecraft, Yuri Gagarin, and the chief designer of the Soviet space industry, Sergey Korolev, were imitations. It was prepared much later since the first manned flight into space. However, it is hardly worth reproaching the participants of a historical event for this - during the actual launch of Gagarin, people really had no time for some filming. Later, they decided to recreate the missing chronicle by asking Gagarin and Korolev to repeat the same words that they said on April 12, 1961.

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