Yuri Gagarin - the first astronaut
"Decades, Centuries will pass, people will come to other planets, going beyond the space system, much is erased in the memory of mankind, but the name of Yuri Gagarin, the first time has overcome the Earth's gravity and escape into space, will live forever in the annals of the history of human civilization" (Academician of Sciences USSR BI Petrov).
Yuri Gagarin was born March 9, 1934 in the village of Klushino Gzhatsk district of Western (now Smolensk) region of the RSFSR. Russian. His father, Alexei Ivanovich Gagarin - Carpenter, mother Anna Matveeva Timofeevna - working dairy farm.
Childhood of the future cosmonaut was held in the village Klushino. September 1, 1941 the boy went to school, but the October 12 village took the Germans, and his study was interrupted. Nearly a half years Klushino village was occupied by German troops. When the Soviet troops liberated the village, study at school resumed. Yuri school years loved sports, especially basketball.
In 1945, the Gagarin family moved to Gzhatsk (now the city of Gagarin). After graduating from the sixth grade, Yuri enrolled in Lyubertsy vocational school and working at the same time in the evening the youth school. After graduating from the seventh grade, at the same time he graduated from college with a degree in foundry molder.
In August 1951 Gagarin entered the Saratov Industrial Technical School. In Saratov, began his fascination with aviation: he entered the Saratov Flying Club. In 1955, Yuri Gagarin graduated with honors studies in college and made the first solo flight on Yak-18. All the flying club Yuri Gagarin performed 196 flights and flew 42 hours 23 min.
In 1955, Gagarin was drafted into the army and sent to Chkalov (now Orenburg), in the 1st Military Aviation Pilot School named Voroshilov. He studied at the famous at the time the test pilot Ya Sh Akbulatov. Two years later, Gagarin graduated from college with honors, and for two years served in fighter regiment of the Northern Fleet near Murmansk, flew the MiG-15bis. In 1957 he married Valentina Ivanovna Goriacheva, whom he met while still in Chkalov.
In 1959 Gagarin wrote a statement with a request to enroll him in the group of candidates for cosmonauts. A week later he was summoned to Moscow to undergo a comprehensive medical examination at the Central Scientific Research Aviation Hospital. Early next year, followed by another special medical board, which recognized First Lieutenant Gagarin fit for space flight. March 3, 1960 by the order of Constantine Andreyevich Vershinin Air Force Commander, he was enrolled in the group of candidates for the astronauts, and March 11 Gagarin with his family went to the new duty station. On March 25 began regular sessions on the training program for astronauts.
April 12, 1961 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the world for the first time launched the spacecraft "Vostok" with pilot-cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on board. During this flight, he was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union and the rank of Major in advance (taking off the rank of lieutenant). From now on, April 12 - Cosmonautics Day.
4 months training of future cosmonauts took place in Moscow, and then the training center was transferred to a permanent place - in the Star. Nearby was received first housing - apartments for families of students of the astronauts and families governing
Besides Gagarin, there were other contenders for the flight - only twenty people (Air Force Group number 1). By decision of the Queen, the candidates recruited was among the pilots of fighter: he believed that such pilots already have experience congestion, stress and pressure drops. Selection of a first group of astronauts carried out on the basis of medical, psychological and other parameters: age 25-30 years, the growth of not more than 170 cm, weight of not more than 70-72 kg, the ability to stratospheric altitude, and adaptation speed of reaction, physical endurance, mental poise . to the height and weight requirements have arisen due to the corresponding restrictions on the spaceship "Vostok", which determines the power of the carrier rocket "Vostok". In addition, the selection of candidates considered a positive characteristic, party membership (Gagarin became a candidate member of the CPSU in 1959, and joined the party in the summer of 1960), political activity, social origin. On the first flight of twenty-six candidates selected. Then, from six - three (astronaut doubler and a spare). Of course, still are wondering why Gagarin? It should be noted that, first, the choice was made entirely correct, and secondly, whoever flew the first, the question would remain. Let's read the psychological characteristics of Yuri Gagarin, and then look at his open smile, read about his family - and this question will disappear by itself.
Psychological characteristic of Yuri Gagarin
Loves the spectacle with the active, where predominates heroics, the will to win, the spirit of competition. In sports games took place initiator, leader, captain. As a rule, play a role of his will to win, stamina, determination, a sense of the collective. Favorite word - "work." At meetings makes sensible suggestions. Constantly confident in their abilities. Confidence is always stable. It is very difficult, essentially impossible to deduce from the state of equilibrium. The mood is usually slightly elevated, probably because he had humor and laughter to the brim full of the head. However sober-reasonable. Endowed with infinite composure. Workout moves easily, works effectively. Developed a very harmonious. Uprightness. Clean body and soul. Polite, considerate, careful to punctuality. He likes to say: "As we have learned!" Modest. Embarrassed when "overdone" in their jokes. Intellectual development of the Jura high. Excellent memory. It stands out among the comrades a wide range of active attention, quick thinking, quick response. Assiduous. Carefully preparing for employment and training. Confidently manipulates formulas of celestial mechanics and higher mathematics. Do not hesitate to defend the point of view that considers correct. It seems that he knows life is more than some of his friends.
With the conduct of the flight in a hurry: the USSR took part in the space race, Korolev in a hurry, because they were evidence that the April 20, 1961 its man in space sent the Americans.
Start "Vostok-1" was made April 12, 1961 at 09:07 Moscow time from the Baikonur launch site; Gagarin's call sign was "Cedar". Booster East worked without any problems, but at the final stage did not work the radio control system, which was supposed to turn off the engines of the third stage. engine shutdown occurred only after the triggering of the backup mechanism (timer), but the ship had already climbed into orbit, which is the highest point (apogee) was at 100 km above the calculated. Converging with the orbit using "aerodynamic braking" may take on various estimates from 20 to 50 days. But because of the construction of the ship under construction East-1 was removed duplicate brake system. The latter solution was based on the fact that when a ship running on low 180-200 kilometer orbit it in any case within 10 days would come down with it due to the natural deceleration of the upper atmosphere and returned to the ground. On the same day 10 were calculated and life support systems.
Gagarin in orbit had a simple experiment: drinking, eating, doing pencil recording. "Placing" the pencil next to him, he accidentally discovered that he began to float away instantly. Gagarin From this he concluded that pencils and other objects in space better cabling. All my feelings and observations he recorded on a flatbed recorder. Before the flight was not yet known how the human mind would behave in space, so was a special protection to the first cosmonaut in a fit of insanity I would not try to control the flight of the ship. To enable manual control, he had to open the sealed envelope, inside which lay a piece of code, which is gaining on the control panel could unlock it.
The descent took place on ballististicheskoy path (like the other series of spacecraft "Vostok" and "Voskhod"), that is 8-10 fold peak load to which Gagarin was ready. There was a strong psychological stress - after entry of the capsule into the atmosphere lit ship sheathing (temperature outside the descent reaches 3-5 thousands of degrees) on the glass windows flowed streams of molten metal and the cabin itself starts to crackle.
At a height of 7 km in accordance with a flight plan Gagarin ejected, after which the capsule and astronaut steel Parachute separately. After ejection duct and detaching lander, in an airtight suit Gagarin not immediately opened valve through which outside air must act so that Gagarin almost suffocated. The last problem in the flight appeared landing site - Gagarin could descend by parachute into the icy water of the Volga. Yuri helped a good preflight training - controlling slings, he has withdrawn from the river parachute and landed at 1, 5-2 km from the coast, near the town of Engels, Saratov region.
The spacecraft "Vostok-1" with Yuri Gagarin on board has made one revolution around the Earth in 10:55:34 for 108 minutes, he completed the flight.
The first people who met the astronauts after the flight, were the wife of the local forester Anihayyat Takhtarova and her six year old granddaughter Rumia. Soon, the place came the events of the military division and local farmers. One group of soldiers took custody lander, while the other drove to the location of the Gagarin. From there Gagarin phone has reported to the commander of air defense division: "Please convey Air Force Commander: task was accomplished, landed in a predetermined area, I feel well, bruises and no breakages. Gagarin ".
Initially, no one was planning a grand meeting Gagarin in Moscow. All agreed at the last moment Khrushchev.
April 14 for Gagarin flew IL-18, and approaching the Moscow to the aircraft joined the honorary escort fighters, consisting of seven MiG fighters. Plane escort solemn formation passed over the center of Moscow, on Red Square, then made a landing in Vnukovo airport, where Gagarin was expecting a grand reception. A huge crowd of people, all the country's leaders, journalists and cameramen. The plane taxied to the main airport building, they let down the ladder, and it came down on the first Gagarin. From aircraft to government crowd was stretched a bright red carpet for her and went to Yuri Gagarin (the path he untied shoelace, but he did not stop and reached the government stands at the risk of tripping and falling) under the sounds of the orchestra, performing the Soviet aviamarsh "We were born to make a fairy tale come true" and has reported on its flight.
Then open "ZIL-111B" Gagarin standing welcome welcoming. All around were heard greetings, many waving placards. On Red Square was held a meeting at which Nikita Khrushchev announced the assignment of Gagarin titles Hero of the Soviet Union and the "Soviet cosmonaut". The rally turned into a spontaneous 3-hour demonstration, which Yuri Gagarin and Soviet leader hailed from the rostrum of the mausoleum of Lenin. The celebrations continued at a reception in the Kremlin, which was attended by many designers, whose names had not yet officially called. Leonid Brezhnev gave Gagarin medal "Gold Star" Hero of the Soviet Union and the Order of Lenin.
One after another, followed by a trip to foreign countries: everyone wanted to see the first astronaut and a chat with him. The first country visited by Gagarin, was Czechoslovakia. Then there were Bulgaria, England, Finland, Poland, Cuba, Brazil, Canada, Iceland, Hungary, India, Ceylon, Afghanistan. It is only in 1961! In subsequent years, he visited Egypt, France - more than 30 countries. Sometimes he had to speak for 18-20 times a day.
After the flight,
His life changed dramatically after the flight. So great was the desire of people to meet with the first cosmonaut, that within three years of meetings and trips robbed Yuri much of his personal time.
In 1964, Gagarin became the deputy head of the Cosmonaut Training Center. He led most of the socio-political work, as a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR 6 th and 7-th convocation, a member of the Komsomol Central Committee, President of the Soviet-Cuban friendship.
cosmonaut German Titov and Yuri Gagarin on the podium
Gagarin studied at the Zhukovsky Air Force Engineering Academy, and so for some time did not have the practice of Flight, also affects social activities. The first after the break, an independent flight on the MiG-17 he made at the beginning of December 1967. He landed with the second approach due to an incorrect calculation of the landing characteristic of the low growth of pilots who had a break in flights. This was the reason for the authorities' fears of losing the popular hero in an accident. Gagarin was understudy Vladimir Komarov in flight on "Soyuz-1", the flight of the solar battery malfunction was interrupted early, and ended with the death of an astronaut due to a failure of the parachute system. It is possible that had he lived Korolev, Gagarin would have been the main driver "Soyuz-1".
Yuri Gagarin pursue lunar spaceflight himself before his death, was a member of the crew of one of the upcoming lunar vehicles. Gagarin could not fly alone on a fighter, as a deputy head of the CPC for flight training, and so has made directions on how to restore qualification fighter pilot.
The death of
After defending his thesis at the Academy of Zhukovsky Gagarin embarked on Flight practice - a training flight on the MiG-15UTI (fighter trainer with dual controls - "Spark"). During the period from March 13 to 18, 22 makes it fly total of 7 hours. Before independent departures it remained last two test flight - a flight instructor, regiment commander, Hero of the Soviet Union Vladimir Seregin.
March 27, 1968 at 10:18 Gagarin and Seregin took off from the Chkalovsky airfield near Moscow in Shchelkovo. At the time of take-off visibility conditions were normal. Performing tasks in the aerobatic zone should have taken at least 20 minutes, but four minutes later (10:30) Gagarin reported to the ground that the job is complete, requested permission to turn around and fly to the base. After that, communication with the plane was lost.
When it became clear that the aircraft already had run out of fuel in the fly zone began the search, which lasted more than 3 hours. At 14:50 one of the helicopters have found the wreckage of the aircraft MiG-15UTI about 65 km from the airport, near the village of Novoselov, 18 km from the town of Kirzhach Vladimir region. The next morning on the branch found a piece of Gagarin's Flight Jacket with meal vouchers. Later, it was found a wallet with a driver's license and photo Korolev.