Yuri's Night
April 4, 2002 6:08 PM   Subscribe

Yuri's Night is more than 100 parties on the same night around the world, on every continent including Antarctica, April 12, 2002. What's to celebrate? The 41st anniversary of the suborbital flight of Yuri Gagarin, and the 21st anniversary of the first space shuttle flight, a fitting tribute to two great space milestones. Is there a party in your city? Set one up! I only read about last year's (initiated for the 40th/20th), but I'm going to try to go this year. There are, of course, even moe 40th anniversaries of significant space events to come. [tip o' the hat to Rand Simberg, who has even more provocative stuff in his FoxNews.com column -- like relocating Israel to the Moon. And he's serious.]
posted by dhartung (9 comments total)

I thought it was the first _orbital_ flight. He completed a full orbit.
posted by azazello at 6:51 PM on April 4, 2002

This November will be the 45th anniversary of the first animal in space - Laika the dog. I love that she was a stray dog, rounded up from the Moscow streets. It makes for quite an image.

I plan to have a quiet celebration. Dogs and their human-servants are welcome to attend.
posted by vacapinta at 7:13 PM on April 4, 2002

azazello, you hit it right on the head: orbital. I was a space crazy kid, by jingo, and heartbroken to hear about Sputnik and Gagarin 'cause it was them damn Rooskies. I couldn't believe what a big deal we made about Alan Shepard and John Glenn. Been there, done that by someone already.
Boy, even so, there was nothing as exciting as watching a space launch as a kid. Or even as an adult--which is how I ended up watching the Challenger blow up on live TV... Nice post, dhartung.
posted by y2karl at 7:20 PM on April 4, 2002

Cool. I'm blogging this.
posted by Soliloquy at 7:26 PM on April 4, 2002

My mistake. Although they lied about the landing. It's considered an orbital flight because of the altitude, although what I was remembering was that he came short of a 100% full orbit -- see the Vostok flight analysis including a map. If you're going by distance traveled, it's "just barely".
posted by dhartung at 7:46 PM on April 4, 2002

I thought this looked really cool before I spied the site's compiled list of "space music." Scary.
posted by Eamon at 7:57 PM on April 4, 2002

Nice flight analysis, dhartung. I picked up a lot of information I didn't know. On the map it actually looks like he didn't complete a full orbit, although I guess the fact that he could have done a full orbit at his trajectory but retroburned earlier is more relevant.
posted by azazello at 8:15 PM on April 4, 2002

It's considered an orbital flight because of the altitude

If you're going by distance traveled, it's "just barely".

It was considered an orbital flight because he was in orbit. That means Gagarin was weightless the whole time because the Earth's gravity was matched by centripetal force.

He was riding a satellite! His horizontal velocity was about 17,000 mph! The Vostok capsule didnt "fall" out of orbit like in sub-orbital flights (e.g. Shepard's). Gagarin took it out of orbit by firing thrusters to take him down.The decison to do only one orbit was pre-decided upon. Laika (see above) had already done several orbits, so the Soviets had already demonstrated that they had the technology to do this. Safe recovery of a human was the big issue.
posted by vacapinta at 8:57 PM on April 4, 2002

vacapinta: I understand your position, but be aware this is something even professionals have argued over. At some level it's little more than semantics.
posted by dhartung at 9:14 AM on April 5, 2002

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