[FPSPACE] 55 years ago...Symbol of the Cenutry
pjp961 at svol.net
Tue Apr 12 19:53:21 EDT 2016
April 12, 1961.
First man, first Human to orbit the Earth. Returned safely.
As the Soviets would say in that long ago,
"Glory to Yuri! Glory to Soviet Scientists and Engineers! Glory to the
Soviet People! Glory to Krushchev [albeit not for long] and the Communist
I have several books that exemplify the aspirations of the budding space
culture in the then-Russia. The one that is my favorite is the one entitled
"Wait for us, Stars!" "Zhdite Nas, Zvezdiy!" With paintings by Alexei
Leonov and Andrei Sokolov. Original text in both Russian and in English.
Issued by the Young Guards Press, 1967.
It has an introdution by Yuri Gagarin. Some of its first words are these,
and from this vantage point, very lyrical:
"This is the story of Man's genius, of men exploring the Universe and
subjugating the mighty forces of Nature to their will. For ages people of
different nations and in different countries have dreamed of flying to the
stars.. The launching of the spaceship 'Vostok' which seemed a miracle to
many, was actually not a miracle at all, but the product of the genius of
Soviet people and the truly Herculean work done by our deisgners, engineers,
technicians and workers. The spaceship is a symbol of the century. And,
indeed, it is a fusion of pure science, technical achievement, and the high
culture of the Soviet people."
My version has a blue paper insert (multiple pages) that has the text
translated into French, German and Spanish as well.
The aspirations and the spirit of the "space culture" may in time catch fire
with the right leadership. As Yuri writes in closing in "Wait for us,
"I am sure that many of those who read this album, young people especially,
will go to the Moon, to Mars, and other planets, and will see for themselves
the things described and depicted in drawings here. But maybe they will see
other things besides? All the better. The world will only benefit from
It may yet happen for Russia. But not under Putin.
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